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Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues to an individual who needs to report income but  is ineligible to obtain a Social Security number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration. To apply for an ITIN, an F or M student must submit a Form W-7, “Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number,” with a U.S. tax return.

An F or M student who is ineligible for an SSN must apply for an ITIN if any of the following occur:
  • Reception of a grant, fellowship or scholarship
  • Interest from stock options, lottery or gambling winnings
  • Other types of non-wage income

Designated school officials should be aware of new IRS requirements effective January 2013 that affect ITINs applicants and certifying acceptance agents (representatives authorized to assist individuals on behalf of the IRS and to process tax documents). The IRS listed these new changes.

To apply for an ITIN, an F and M student must submit the following to the IRS:
  • Form W-7, “Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number”
  • A certification letter (with applicant’s full name and SEVIS number)
  • Copies of identity and foreign status documentation A copy of the Form I-20,
  • “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status”
  • Other required documentation to meet the Form W-7 application requirement


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