What is an ITIN?
ITIN stands for 'Individual Taxpayer Identification Number'. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) created ITINs for use by anyone who is not eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) and who receives taxable money.
Who Needs an ITIN?
Students may need an ITIN for a variety of University and non-University reasons, including receiving stipends, opening interest-bearing bank accounts, trading stocks, or applying for loans. If your student is receiving a scholarship, grant, or monetary award from the University, they may require proof that they have applied for an ITIN before their award can be disbursed.
Students are not eligible to apply for ITINs until they have been selected to receive funds and have documentation, such as an award letter. More information on this topic can be found on the Scholarship Stipend Payments portion of the Payroll website.
While OIA can assist eligible students with ITIN applications, we are unable to determine if a student is required to obtain the ITIN to receive a specific award or grant. If you are not sure if your student requires an ITIN to receive a financial award, contact your department’s Human Resources representative or financial manager for guidance. If there are still questions, the department administrator (not the student) should then contact the Payroll office for assistance.
Note: If a student is eligible for the SSN or has already obtained an SSN, they do not need to apply for the ITIN, as they are no longer eligible.
How do students apply for an ITIN?
Due to a special agreement between the IRS and the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP), advisers in OIA are able to submit ITIN applications on behalf of most F-1/J-1 students. To apply at OIA, the following conditions must be met:
The student must be an F-1 or J-1 student whose immigration status is sponsored by the University,
- The ITIN must be required for University purposes, such as a University award or stipend.
Outside of these conditions, it is unlikely that OIA can submit the student’s ITIN application. More information about eligibility for applying at OIA can be found on our student ITIN website. You can refer students to OIA to confirm whether or not they are eligible to apply for an ITIN at our office.
Students Who Can Apply at OIA
Eligible students can apply for the ITIN through the OIA by following the ITIN instructions on our website. At the conclusion of the appointment, the student will be provided with a signed copy of the W-7, which they can use as proof of application. OIA refers students back to their departments for guidance on where or how to submit the signed W-7 copy. Generally, it can take about 6-8 weeks for an ITIN number to be approved by the IRS, so students are encouraged to apply as early as possible if they need the number to claim a tax benefit or file a tax return.
To submit an ITIN application, students must make an appointment with OIA and come to the appointment with completed application documentation. Please direct students to OIA’s instructions on how to apply for an ITIN, prior to appointments. Students can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773.702.7752 to schedule an ITIN appointment.
Students Who Cannot Apply at OIA
If students are ineligible to apply at OIA, please direct them to their OIA adviser for guidance. We can provide advice about where and how to apply based on their circumstance. In general, students can apply for an ITIN with their immigration sponsor (e.g. Fulbright), with their financial institution, or with any IRS Certified Acceptance Agent. If students apply outside of OIA, please advise them NOT to send their original passport or other immigration documents to the IRS. Instead, students should use certified copies provided by the passport-issuing agency. The student’s embassy or consulate can usually provide these certified copies.
ITIN and Taxes
If a student has a question regarding any tax treaty benefits, they should contact their departmental HR or financial office for more information. OIA advisers are not tax experts and lack the expertise to advise on personal tax issues, such as filing tax returns, seeking refunds, or claiming a tax treaty benefit. However, you may direct them towards the Tax portion of our website for general assistance.