Aspiring CPA without Social Security Number (SSN): Is there a Way Out?

become a cpa without social security numberInternational CPA exam candidates often need to overcome several obstacles in order to get qualified for the exam. One such obstacle is the social security number (SSN). Rest assured that, in most cases, you can still sit for the CPA exam without the SSN.

What is Social Security Number?

A social security number is a 9-digit number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary workers in order to track these individual for social security purposes. Regulated industries such as the CPA often require their licensees to submit the SSN to facilitate monitoring.

Can I Become a CPA without Social Security Number?

The AICPA has a helpful table showing the CPA exam requirements by state. Although almost all states ask for the social security number in the application form, a considerable number of them give special waivers to international CPA exam candidates or those who do not have the SSN, such as H4 visa holders.

These candidates can submit an affidavit (as in Montana), or write a letter to the state board to explain the situation (as in Colorado). You can send a quick email to the respective state boards for clarification.


The SSN is typically not the bottleneck in the CPA exam qualification process. Candidates should instead look closely at the educational and experience requirement in order to narrow down the choice of state boards.

More information on the qualification process can be found on Chapter 3 of my book. You can also browse the FAQ page with lots of useful questions and answers.


  1. Prissila says

    Dear Madam,

    I am Malaysian currently staying in St. Paul, MN with my husband, he is under F1 Visa and myself under F2 visa, in this case, I can’t work and don’t have social security number too.

    I am graduated student from Newcastle, England with my BA (Hons) Accountancy degree since 1999. I had worked as Account Executive in Construction firm, Malaysia for 11 years. I just moved here since Dec 2011. I am interested to be US CPA, but I found out, is not the easy way, it is consume time and money and also not guarantee you can get it. Can you tell me, what should I do in the first step in order to catch my dream to be CPA!!!
    Thank you very much.

  2. aarti says

    Hi ,
    i wish to pursue CPA , I shall be obliged if you can kindly let me know about the eligibility and fees for pursuing it, i have done my Bachelors from India which is of 3 years and later i did my diploma in Tax Management it was of 5 months , and also did a three integrated course as a study in arts (classical dance ) from SNDT University along with this i also have work experience of 3 years in CA firm, Will all these help in taking the exam.Secondly i am presently in US with my spouse and dont have SSN number , kindly assist as i really want to pursue the course

    Thanking you