International Scholar Relations

Obtaining a Social Security Number

Visiting Scholars:

If you are an employee being paid by Western University, you will need a Social Security number (SSN). When you apply, please note, it will take at least 10 days after your arrival for your visa information to be available in the SEVIS system. Social Security cards can take between four and twelve weeks to be processed.   A temporary SSN number will be provided by the SSN office.

The application may be completed at the Pomona Social Security Office or you can download the form from the SSA’s Social Security Forms page at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.html.

For additional information, please contact the Payroll Administrator payroll@westernu.edu in the University
Financial Services & Treasury at WesternU, or visit the Social Security Administration Web site at http://www.ssa.gov/. Also, you may call toll free 1-800-772-1213.

The nearest office of the U.S. Social Security Administration is located at:

960 West Mission Blvd.
Pomona, CA, 91766.
Phone: 1-800 772-1213.

The Social Security Office is open from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday except Federal Holidays (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/holidays.html).

Please make sure that you bring the following items with you when applying:

  • Passport with US visa stamp
  • DS-2019
  • I-94 Admission/Departure Record
  • Letter from ISR confirming your J-1 status
  • “Offer Letter” from host College 

Social Security Tax (also called FICA and FUTA)

  • J-1 Exchange Visitors who are “nonresidents for tax purposes” are not required to pay Social Security Tax.
  • J-1 Exchange Visitors must pay social security tax in their third calendar year of presence in the U.S.

Your SSN Application Receipt 

You should be given a receipt when you submit your application. If you do not receive a receipt, you must ask the Social Security Officer for a Form SSA-L676 in lieu of a receipt. You will need to present the receipt or the Form SSA-L676 to Western University’s Human Resources Department, to be added to the Payroll System to receive your paychecks.

Tax Treaty Benefit

You may be exempt from paying taxes, if your country has a treaty with the U.S.  Please visit this link http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p901.pdf for more information including the required Form 8233 that must be completed and submitted to the Payroll Administrator in the office of University Financial Services & Treasury.

When the tax treaty benefit ends, based on the agreement between the U.S. and your country:

  1. Contact the Office of Human Resources to schedule an appointment to complete the required forms for tax deduction;
  2. Take the completed forms to the Payroll Administrator to start payroll deduction of the required taxes.

  3. Notify J1Program@westernu.edu to inform them of your change in tax deduction status.

Updated:  August 2015