What is an ITIN? Who needs one?
An ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers) is a tax identification number that is only available to individuals who are not eligible for a social security number.

By virtue of their visa types, an F or J visa holder is eligible for a social security number, so they must first apply for or be denied a Social Security number before applying for an ITIN. The Office of International Programs can furnish you with a letter of denial to bring with you to Social Security Administration.

Short Term International Visitors who do not already have a Social Security Number or ITIN number must apply for one before an honoraria payment can be made. Obtaining an ITIN number may take up to six weeks.

Starting in 2013, new ITINs will expire after five years. Taxpayers who still need an ITIN will be able to reapply at the end of the expiration period.

How do I apply for an ITIN?
An individual may apply for an ITIN via mail to the IRS, or by walking into a local IRS office. Further, in some cases, individuals may be able to apply for an ITIN in their home country. For further information, refer to IRS Publication 1915.

Bring to the appointment:

  • completed W-7
  • copy of passport, I-94 card or arrival stamp, and visa documents

How can I obtain a Form W-7?
You can download and print out Form W-7 from the IRS Web site:

What documentation is needed with a Form W-7?
You will be asked to provide the original Passport and visa documentation such as I-94, I-20, DS-2019, I-797, etc or arrival stamp.

If you have a J, F, or TN visa, IRS regulations may require that you first go to the Social Security Administration, apply for a Social Security number, or receive a "Denial Notice" so you can apply for an ITIN instead. To expedite this process, bring the "Request For Denial Notice" letter with you to Social Security. This step is not required of "B" visa holders: B1, B2, WB, and WT.