Social Security Card & Work Permit

Your first step at securing approval for on-campus employment is through the Work Permit process. You must complete this process if you are applying for Social Security, a first-time work permit, or renewal work permit. Please be advised that the Kearney Center will no longer accept work permit forms through email; all forms must be submitted through the process outlined below.

Please Note: A job offer is required to obtain a social security card and/or work permit. The Kearney International Center cannot process any requests without a job offer letter. Once received, social security cards must be signed immediately.


Student’s Responsibility for Social Security or Work Permit Application

Step One: Employer Informs Kearney Center of Your Employment

  • Students cannot start working until they receive the signed work permit authorization form from the Kearney International Center.
  • Have your employer fill out the Verification of F-1/J-1 On-Campus Employment form. Your employer will need to upload the form to
  • Until further notice, the Kearney International Center will be accepting digital signatures on the Verification of F-1/J-1 On-Campus Employment form. You must download the form and open it in Adobe to enable digital signatures.

Step Two: You Receive A Link from the Kearney Center to Upload All Required Documents

  • Once your employer has submitted your Verification of F-1/J-1 On-Campus Employment form, you will receive an automatic response from the Kearney Center that provides you a link to the Student Work Permit Application.
  • The application link is the same for Social Security and Work Permits.

All Applicants

To ease the process, please gather the following documents and be ready to upload them into the form:

First-Time Work Permit Applicants

Here are the required student payroll tax forms. We prefer students fill out the tax forms in our office during their required appointment, so we can assist them and make sure they fill them out correctly.

Social Security Application

In addition to the materials mentioned in the first column, please prepare and complete the Social Security Application. You will be required to upload your application in the form.

Renewing Work Permit Applications

  • You are required to fill out the Student Work Permit Application and provide a copy of your passport and current I-20.
  • You are NOT required to meet with Kearney Center staff to complete the process.
  • If you already have a valid on-campus work permit authorization but are getting a 2nd job or new job on campus, you do not need to fill out multiple work permit applications. You simply need to bring a copy of your on-campus work authorization to your new employer. If you need another copy of this document, please contact the Kearney International Center front desk staff.


Step Three: Schedule Your Mandatory 30-minute Appointment with the Kearney Center

  • The link to schedule your appointment will be in the Student Work Permit Application.
  • Lost the link to schedule your appointment? Schedule it here

Step Four: Meet with Kearney International Center Staff to Review and Complete Social Security Application or Work Permit Application

  • The Mankato Social Security office is now only accepting walk-ins for Social Security appointments. You can no longer schedule an appointment in advance. The SSN office recommends visitors arrive early in the day, because they will only help people who are in their office space by 4pm. The SSN office staff notified us that anyone waiting in the hallway at 4pm will be turned away.
  • Before you apply for your Social Security card, you must first pick up a signed employment verification form from the KIC staff, which you need to bring with you to your SSN appointment at the Social Security office.
    • The Social Security office cannot process your request for a SSN card until your work start date is within 30 days. If you request a SSN card more than 30 days before your work start date, the SSN office will NOT process your request.
  • Students renewing their work permits do not need to meet with Kearney Center staff to complete the process.
  • During the appointment, the Kearney Center will confirm that all forms are filled out correctly and have all required signatures. If there are minor mistakes on your form, you will be able to correct them during the appointment.

Step Five: Watch Your Email for Updates on Your Social Security or Work Permit Application

  • You are responsible for checking your University email to see when to pick up your work permit. The Kearney Center will only send one email to you.

Please Note:

  • The Kearney Center will process your work permit in three to five business days. It is not possible to receive your work permit the same day as you drop off your forms.
  • If you have an on-campus job with Sodexo, Maverick Shop, or Affinity Plus, you will receive your work permit from your employer. You will need to complete the Statement of Employment and return it to the Kearney Center.
  • When you receive your original Social Security card by mail, please sign the card immediately, and then take it to the Campus Hub (CSU 117), so they can update your student records.

Understanding Employment Regulations

  • Undergraduate Students: You may not work more than a combined total of 20 hours/week.
    • As an F-1 or J-1 International Student, you choose to work more than a total of 20 hours/week, you will be out-of-status - leading to serious immigration issues including having your SEVIS record terminated. This is considered unauthorized employment making you ineligible for reinstatement.
    • 40 hours/week is authorized for summer & winter break for undergraduate students.
  • Graduate Students:
    • If a graduate student has an assistantship (example: GA, TA, or RA), they are authorized to work up to 20 hours/week.
    • However, If a graduate student is employed in an hourly worker position, they can only work up to 14 hours/week.
  • A job offer is required to obtain a social security card.
    • Please sign your SSN card immediately once you receive it.
  • You need to keep your Passport valid at all times. An expired passport terminates your campus employment.
  • You need to request a Program Extension if your I-20 program end date is near. You are not allowed to work on-campus if your program has ended.
  • You can work only on-campus unless you have authorization for CPT, OPT, or an Economic Hardship EAD.
  • If you have more than one job, you can only work a total of 20 hours/week as an undergraduate student or 14 hours/week as a graduate student during the school year.