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Social Security and Taxpayer ID Numbers

Social Security Numbers

Effective October 13, 2004, F-1 students who apply for a Social Security

Number will have to provide proof they are employed in order to obtain the SSN. The Social Security Administration requires that students provide a letter from their employer to be issued a SSN.

This new rule does not apply to F-1 students who have an EAD card or students who already have a social security number.

F-1 students must present the following documents for SSN application:

  • A valid SEVIS I-20
  • A valid passport
  • I-94 card
  • F-1 Visa stamp
  • Photocopies of immigration documents.
  • Social Security Card application form.
  • A letter issued by the international student advisor.
  • A letter issued by the student's employer.

Please contact the PDSO at (573) 592-4251 or if you have questions regarding SSNs. Visit the social security website to download forms at

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Students and their dependents who are not eligible for a Social Security Number are required to have a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in order to file taxes. F-1 students and J-1 students and their dependents are required by federal regulations to file at least one form. An ITIN is a nine-digit number issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. ITINs are intended for tax use only and can be obtained by filing Form W-7 with the Internal Revenue Service. An ITIN does not represent permission to work, nor is it proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.

(Only apply for an ITIN if you do not have a SS# or if you are ineligible for a SS#.)

How to apply:

Mail the following documents:

  • A completed W-7 Form (application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), which is available online at
  • An original document of identification (or notareized copy) that proves your status as an international student- examples include your passport, birth certificate, driver's license, and/or your I-20 or DS-2019 form.

to this address:

Internal Revenue Service

Philadelphia Service Center

ITIN Unit, P.O. Box 447

Bensalem, PA 19020

Original documents that you submit will be returned to you, but copies will not be returned. You will receive an ITIN number by mail in four to six weeks.