Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN)

The Internal Revenue Service issues an individual taxpayer identification number, or ITIN. It is used to process individual federal tax returns. It cannot be used for employment purposes. Foreign visitors will need to apply for a social security number if they are eligible for employment.

Foreign visitors who don't have a social security number or aren't eligible to apply for one need to apply for an ITIN if they are receiving payments from the University, such as taxable scholarship or fellowship awards, living expenses, independent services, or honorariums.

To get an ITIN, foreign visitors should complete Form W-7 (pdf), the application for an IRS individual taxpayer identification number. The application can be made in person at the local Internal Revenue Service office and certain overseas IRS offices, or by mail.

Form W-7 has instructions on how to complete the form, documentation requirements, and how to apply by mail. If a nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher checks box F—nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher filing a U.S. tax return—on the application form W-7, the IRS will require a letter from the school stating that the person does not have a job or job offer. The nonresident alien can ask for the verification letter from Payroll Services at 545 West Bank Office Building or by emailing payroll@umn.edu.

For more information on ITINs, see Publication 1915-Understanding Your IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (pdf), and information on obtaining an ITIN from abroad.

The International Student and Scholar Services website also has information on applying for an ITIN and the local IRS offices that accept applications.