The nearest Social Security office is 19 miles south of Okoboji in Spencer, Iowa. Often, your employer will assist in organizing social security office appointments and transportation.  If you are an employer wishing to schedule an appointment for a group of students, please contact us @

Spencer Social Security Office
1610 12th Ave SW.
Spencer, IA 51301
1 (866)273-6050

Office Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 9:00am-4:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am-12:00pm

Saturday and Sunday: Closed.

It is important that you check in with your sponsor prior to visiting the Social Security Office. If you do not validate yourself in SEVIS within 10 days after your arrival in the USA, you will have a delay in receiving your Social Security number.

When applying for your Social Security Number, you must bring the following:

  • Your Passport with Visa (J-1)
  • 1-94 Arrival/Departure Record (you can get yours here on-line at:
  • gov/194
  • DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status
  • Your letter from your sponsor to Social Security (if you got one, not all sponsors provide this)
  • Your job offer

After applying, SSA will give you a letter stating that you have applied. Give a copy of this letter to your employer. This letter allows you to begin working before you receive your Social Security Card.

Contact your sponsor immediately if you have trouble receiving earned wages while waiting for your social security card.