How to Apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

ITIN acronym with icons to explain Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Who should apply for an ITIN?

Students who receive taxable income as determined by the Internal Revenue Service (i.e. room and board scholarships, lottery winnings, dividend payments, etc.) but who are not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) because they are not employed need to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in order to file U.S. tax returns or to claim tax treaty benefits.

Attention: Students who are residents of countries that have tax treaties with the U.S. that cover scholarships—you may not use the benefits of your tax treaty until you have a SSN or ITIN. Students must provide their SSN card or ITIN notice to the Payroll Services Office (Roudebush Hall, room 2) and sign their tax treaty benefit claim form before the tax treaty benefit can be applied to the taxable income. Students who do not have a SSN or ITIN before coming to Miami will have to pay tax on the non-qualified portion (above tuition, books and fees) of the scholarship when their first semester begins. If students apply for a SSN or ITIN early enough to receive it before the following semester, the tax treaty benefits can then be applied and students will be eligible for a refund of the taxes paid when they next file their U.S. tax returns.

When should students apply for an ITIN?

We strongly recommend applying as soon as possible since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) usually takes up to 2 - 3 months to process ITIN applications and students must receive their ITIN early enough to file taxes before the deadline in April.

Please be aware: Students who apply for an ITIN at the same time as they file their tax forms will be required to submit their actual passport, F-1 or J-1 visa and I-20 or DS-2019. These documents will not be returned to the student until the ITIN application is processed. This often causes problems for travel plans during break periods.

Application Requirements

  • Must be in the U.S.
    • New students are not eligible to apply for an ITIN until approximately two weeks after the start of their first semester of study.
  • Must hold active F-1 or J-1 status
  • Cannot be employed or have a job offer

How to apply for an ITIN

Gather and, as necessary, complete the following documents, then mail the entire packet in the order listed below to:

Internal Revenue Service
ITIN Operations
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342

  1. Certification Letter
    1. Go to InterLink
    2. Log in using your Miami UniqueID and password
    3. Complete the e-form “ITIN Certification Letter Request”
    4. ISSS will send the letter to you via email.
  2. Completed W-7 application form
    1. It’s very important that you follow the Instructions for Form W-7
  3. Copy of passport ID page(s)
  4. Copy of F-1 or J-1 visa
  5. Copy of I-20 or DS-2019
  6. Copy of I-94 record
  7. Required documentation for Exception 1 or 2, as applicable
    1. See Exception tables in the Instructions for Form W-7 and
    2. If you need “a letter or official notification from the college or university awarding the noncompensatory scholarship, fellowship, or grant”  you may find that in your Miami University acceptance packet or from the Bursar’s office: onestop@miamioh.edu
  8. W-8BEN