6: Visas and Immigration

Social Security Numbers

What is a social security number? Social Security numbers generally are assigned to people who are authorized to work in the United States. Social Security numbers are used to report your wages to the government and to determine eligibility for Social Security benefits.

You do not need a social security number to enroll and study at UH Hilo. The only reason that you can obtain a social security number is if you get a job. If you get a job, contact the Director of International Student Services for authorization to get a social security number. You do not need a social security number to open a bank account, get an ID card, get a cell phone, or rent an apartment or house off-campus.

Students from the Compact of Free Association nations (Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia) can get a U.S. social security number even if you do not work.

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