University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota


Individual Taxpayer Identification Number(ITIN)

Who needs a ITIN?

Individuals requiring an identification number to file income tax forms, or for some other specific legal purpose, but who do not qualify for a Social Security number (F–2, J–2, F–1 without job offer, H–4 visa holders), may be eligible for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

For more information on ITINs, IRS has provided general information in Publication 1915 - Understanding Your IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, (W-7 form) and information on obtaining an ITIN from abroad.

See an ISSS Adviser to request a DSO certification letter.

ITIN numbers cannot be used for employment. Employment in the United States requires a Social Security Number.

How do I apply for an ITIN Number? 

If you need to apply for an ITIN number, you can find the W-7 Form on the IRS website with instructions. In addition, to submitting the W-7, original documents or certified copies of your documents from an issuing agency is required to prove immigraiton status and identity. Below are the different options to provide proof of immigraiton status and identity with your W-7 Form.

According to the IRS, W-7 applications take approximately 6-8 weeks to process. For students and scholars who are required to file an income tax return, it is possible to send your ITIN application along with your income tax return together. 

1. Schedule an appointment with an ISSS Adviser to request a DSO letter. 

This option will prevent you from mailing any original immigration documents through the mail. An ISSS Adviser will verify your documents (passport, visa, & DS-2019/I-20) and your identity. 

Please note: Due to COVID-19, the ISSS Office is closed with staff working remotely until further notice. Until the ISSS office has physically reopened, below are alternate options. 

2. Make an appointment at a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center

This will also prevent students/scholars from having to mail original identity and immigration documents to the IRS. Students/scholars can make an appointment with an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center to verify their identity and immigraiton status. Due to the COVID-19, the IRS locations are closed. Check their website for when they resume services.

3. Apply for an ITIN using the services of an IRS-authorized Certifying Acceptance Agent.

This option will also prevent you from having to mail your proof of identity and immigration status documents. For a fee you can hire a CAA to verify your identity and documents. 

  • What is an IRS Acceptance Agent?
    An IRS acceptance agent is not a person who works for the IRS.  They are authorized by the IRS to assist individuals who don't qualify for a SSN and need an ITIN.  They facilitate the application process by reviewing documents, authenticating identity, and forwarding completed forms to the IRS.  

Please note: These resources are not affiliated with the University of Minnesota or International Student and Scholar Services and have not been fully vetted. Notification of a resource should not be construed as an endorsement by the University of Minnesota. We are aware of this resource, but it is fully any student's responsibility to investigate and choose whether or not to utilize its services

4. Mail in your documents to the IRS to verify them. 

It can be risky to send original immigration documents in through the U.S. mail. If you will need your original documents for any purpose within 60 days of submitting your ITIN application, you will need to look at alternate options, such as, apply in person at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center or CAA. For specific instructions on how to mail documents to the IRS please visit the IRS Website: How to apply for an ITIN?