USCIS has released a new Form I-765 (used by F-1 students for OPT and OPT STEM Extension applications), which allows F-1 Students to apply for OPT and a Social Security Number (SSN) simultaneously. In addition to the standard items featured on the I-765, a few new items have been added for those who wish to apply for the SSN (or a replacement SSN card), if needed. USCIS reports that those who apply for an SSN along with their OPT, can expect to receive their social security card about two weeks after receiving the EAD.
Previously, students would have to wait until the OPT application process was fully complete and they had received their EAD card in the mail, before going to the SSA office in person to apply for the SSN. With this new option, students can apply for both OPT and the SSN at the same time via mail, which eliminates the need to visit the SSA office in person to apply for the SSN.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office.