Additional Information

TAXES

All international students on F-1 or J-1 visas who were present in the U.S. during the previous calendar year are required to complete and submit tax forms. This is required by U.S. law. Failure to submit the necessary federal tax forms may cause difficulties if you ever need to renew a U.S. visa or apply for a new U.S. visa type (H-1B visa) in the future. Additionally, you may be eligible for a tax refund if you received U.S.-sourced income.

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER

Students with F-1 or J-1 student visa status must obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) for employment (including on campus employment). In order to issue a Social Security number, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires evidence that you have received a formal offer of on-campus employment, or have been authorized for off-campus employment through Academic Training (J-1 visa) or Economic Hardship. A SSN is not required to register for classes, open a bank account, obtain a driver’s license, cell phone, credit card, insurance, or other “non-work” reasons.

SSA verifies your immigration documents and status with Immigration before issuing the SSN. Students who do not plan to work while studying are not eligible to receive an SSN.

Note for new students: SSA recommends that new students wait to apply for an SSN until after their SEVIS record has been activated by the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).

 

  • Form SS-5: Application for a Social Security Card: https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf
  • Valid passport with J-1 visa

  • Original DS-2019

  • Original I-94 card or a printout of I-94 Arrival/Departure record from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov

  • Proof of employment eligibility: 

    • J-1 on-campus employment: On-Campus Employer Verification Letter from Human Resources

    • J-1 off-campus employment (Academic Training): work authorization issued by OISS

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Social Security office information is subject to change. For official location and hours, please refer to the Social Security Administration page: https://www.ssa.gov/agency/contact/

Honolulu Location

300 Ala Moana Blvd

Rm 1-114 Fed Bldg

Honolulu, HI  96850

Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Wednesday: 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Phone

1-800-772-1213

Social Security Administration will mail your Social Security number and card to you in approximately 2-3 weeks.

The Social Security card has an annotation that says: “Not Valid for Employment” or “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization.” This note means that the Social Security card by itself is not proof of work authorization. You must also show other documents (for example, your I-20 or DS-2019 with work authorization indicated or a letter verifying your on-campus employment) in order to prove that you have obtained proper work authorization.

HAWAIʻI IDENTIFICATION CARD AND DRIVER'S LICENSE

International students in valid F-1 and J-1 status may apply for a driver’s license or Hawaiʻi state identification (ID) card at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). F-1 and J-1 students must pay the relevant fees and present required supporting documents to verify legal status in the U.S. Both driver’s license and state ID can be used as official identification and may be used when traveling within the U.S., proving your age (such as a 21-and-over venues), etc.

To avoid waiting in a queue, make an appointment with the DMV here: alohaq.honolulu.gov

New students, please note: The DMV may require that your SEVIS record be activated by OISS in order to receive a state ID or driver's license. New students should apply for driver’s license or state ID after they have been in the U.S. for 10 days and no earlier than 3 days after their SEVIS record has been activated by OISS.

Review the official Required Documents Guide here: https://www2.honolulu.gov/documentguide/

However, the DMV reserves the right to request additional documentation. We recommend that students bring:

  • Social Security Number (SSN) Card OR if you're NOT eligible for a SSN: go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) office and request an SSN ineligibility letter
  • Valid passport with J-1 visa
  • Original DS-2019
  • Original I-94 card or a printout of I-94 Arrival/Departure record from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov
  • Two documents showing proof of Hawaiʻi residence address (rental agreement for 6 months or more, bank statement no more than two months old, utility bills, etc.). The documents needs to have your name and Hawaiʻi address on it

There are several driver's licensing, satellite city hall, and self-service DMV centers on Oahu. To find a location best suited to you, please review this website: https://www.honolulu.gov/cms-csd-menu/site-csd-sitearticles/26204-services-and-locations-listings.html

DRIVER’S LICENSE TESTING: Written and road testing is required for a first time Hawaiʻi license.

General information: (808) 532-7730

Road Test information: (808) 832-4117

For more information regarding driver’s license and state ID, please visit the official website of the City and County of Honolulu at https://www.honolulu.gov/cms-csd-menu/site-csd-sitearticles/26204-services-and-locations-listings.html

Note: If you have a valid foreign license and valid International Driving Permit, you may be able to drive in Hawaiʻi for up to one year from the date of your arrival in the U.S. The country must be listed a result of the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva, 1949), and the Convention on the Regulation of Inter-American States. For complete listing of the recognized countries, please call AAA at 808-593-2221 or visit the AAA website: http://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpapplc.html