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International Student News

Due to COVID-19, the application process for social security numbers has been adjusted for autumn semester. Please follow these steps if you need to apply for a social security number (SSN):

  1. Print this form oia.osu.edu/pdf/SocialSecurityRequestForm.pdf and take it to your employer for their signature. The Social Security Administration is still requiring wet signatures – digital signatures will not be accepted.
  2. Schedule an appointment to drop off your Employment Verification Letter for signature at OIA: go.osu.edu/int-stu-pickup-appt. EVLs can only be dropped off Monday – Thursday; they will be ready for pick up only on Fridays.
  3. Schedule an appointment to pick up your completed form the following Friday: go.osu.edu/int-stu-pickup-appt
  4. Once you have the completed form with signatures from both your employer and OIA, please call the local Social Security Administration Office at 1-866-964-1723 to schedule a short in-person appointment. They are only taking appointments on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at this time. You will need to bring the following documents with you to your appointment:
    1. Passport
    2. I-94 (print at cbp.gov/i94)
    3. I-20 or DS-2019
    4. Completed Employment Verification Letter
    5. Completed Form SS5 (print at ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf)
  1. Please note that you can begin employment without having the SSN. Once you receive your SSN, you must
    1. Upload a copy of your SSN on the Registrar’s website
    2. Provide a copy of the card to the Human Resources Officer for the department with which you are working at Ohio State

If you require an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), OIA will be scheduling limited in-person appointments later in the semester.

Reem Bastaki, Ohio State alumna and engineer at the National Petroleum Company, began creating ear savers for medical workers in Kuwait after seeing similar devices being made abroad.

Bastaki was an international student, who completed her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio State’s College of Engineering in 2012.

Bastaki began crocheting and knitting her own versions of ear savers and distributing them free of cost to those in need of them.

“I started the initiative of crocheting ear savers for front liners on April 27,” said Bastaki. “From the third day of announcing the voluntary work through my Instagram page, the request for orders exceeded 450, and it was hard for me to do it all alone—so I asked for help from crochet community in Kuwait and the respond was beyond my expectations.”

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On July 24, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a final announcement and further guidance concerning international students who plan to enroll at a U.S. institution in the fall.

The July 24 guidance both supersedes ICE July 6 and 7 guidance and clarifies March 2020 guidance that is now in effect due to a court decision rendered July 14.

The July 24 guidance confirms that international students can engage in distance learning in excess of regulatory limits due to the public health emergency generated by COVID-19, however, there are additional limitations for new international students.

For more detailed information, please visit view the updated Frequently Asked Questions.

As Ohio State transitions to resuming some in-person operations, the Office of International Affairs would like to share tips and resources to better serve international students in getting their answers more efficiently.

Review our website

Our website can provide you with immigration information, regulation updates and resources and is always available. Make sure to became familiar with our website. Some important pages to review:

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Every year, Ohio State welcomes thousands of international students to campus. In these unprecedented times, new international students won't be able to enjoy the traditional Buckeye experience.

However, the Office of International Affairs will host a series of virtual events beginning August 3 to help new international students transition to college life, make new connections and learn about available resources. We would like to invite students to log in to our social events and help us give new international students a warm welcome to Ohio State.

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