ITIN Information

The following information is taken from the IRS website. Please visit to download a guide to understanding your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

What is an ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. ITINs are for federal tax reporting only, and are not intended to serve any other purpose. IRS issues ITINs to help individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws, and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for Social Security Numbers (SSNs). 

If you are not eligible for a SSN because you will not work in the USA, then applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) may be a viable option for you. This will provide you with an identification number for tax purposes in the USA.

NOTE: An ITIN does not authorize work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit.

How do I know if I'm eligible for an ITIN?

If you do not have a SSN and are not eligible to obtain a SSN, but you have a requirement to furnish a federal tax identification number or file a federal income tax return, you must apply for an ITIN. If you have an application for a SSN pending, do not file Form W-7. Complete Form W-7 only if the Social Security Administration (SSA) notifies you that a SSN cannot be issued.

ITIN Application Procedure

ISPO International Student Advisors are not authorized to assist you with completing the W-7 ITIN Application form. If you need assistance completing this form, please contact the San Diego Taxpayer Assistance Center or the local H&R Block Tax Office. Additionally, ISPO will not be reviewing your documents for accuracy and does not assume any liability for any mistakes made on your application form.

  1. Organize a complete application as listed below:
    • F-1 Letter Request Form or J-1 Letter Request Form. Check “ITIN Support Letters”
    • Original, completed Form W-7 Application.
      • For scholarship income, please generate the W-7 by logging into Glacier software and going through all the screens.
      • Glacier will generate your W-7 with (f) as the reason you are requesting an ITIN (if you have scholarship or fellowship income), then (h) Other, and will fill in the  Exception you are requesting:
        • 2(a) – wages, salary, compensation & Honoraria Payments, claiming the benefits of a tax treaty. You will need to enter your Treaty Country and Treaty Artlcle Number. Link to Tax Treaty Table:
        • 2(b), scholarships, fellowships & grants, claiming the benefits of a tax treaty
        • 2(c), scholarships, fellowships, & grants, not claiming the benefits of a tax treaty
    • ONE photocopy of your current:
      • passport biographic page
      • visa
      • I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students)
      • I-94
  2. Bring application to ISPO for submission.
  3. The ISPO advisor will review your documents to verify your identity and provide additional required support letters for your application. As required, ISPO will send your application on your behalf to the IRS. Processing time is 5 business days. You will receive an e-mail when your application has been sent.

How and when can I expect to receive my ITIN?

If you qualify for an ITIN and your application is complete, you will receive a letter from the IRS assigning your tax identification number usually within six weeks. If you have not received your ITIN or other correspondence six weeks after applying, call the IRS toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040 to request the status of your application if you are in the United States.