Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) For International Students

Important Note: the following information does not constitute legal advice nor should it be considered a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) or a qualified tax professional. The staff of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) are neither licensed nor qualified to provide personalized tax advice.

What is an ITIN?

An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

What is an ITIN Used For?

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

Who Needs an ITIN?

The IRS issues ITINs to foreign nationals and others who have federal tax reporting or filing requirements and do not qualify for SSNs. A non-resident alien individual not eligible for a SSN but who is required to file a U.S. tax return only to claim a refund of tax under the provisions of a U.S. tax treaty needs an ITIN.

Other examples of individuals who need ITINs include:

  • A nonresident alien required to file a U.S. tax return
  • A U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return
  • A dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien filing a U.S. tax return
  • A dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder filing a U.S. tax return

How Do I Know if I Need 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 are an F-1, J-1 or M-1 student who is receiving a grant or other non-wage payments (e.g. scholarship for housing and meals; living allowance; compensation that requires a service to be performed) from Florida Institute of Technology or another US payer, and you do not have a social security number, you will be required to apply for an ITIN.

If you are a non-immigrant visa holder, and your only obligation is to file form 8843, you do not need an ITIN number.

Please contact the ISSS Office ( to make an appointment to speak about your need for an ITIN. In addition, please see the Controller's Office website for further information: 

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