New F-1 or J-1 students, please wait 30 days after your I-20/DS-2019 program start date before completing the Letter of No Employment Request form with Bechtel or applying for an ITIN.
Current ITIN application processing time by the IRS is approximately 8–12 weeks. You are encouraged to apply for ITIN during the first quarter at Stanford.
Applying for an ITIN
If you are not eligible to apply for a Social Security Number, you are required to apply for an ITIN to file your tax returns.
There are three options for applying for the ITIN.
Option 1 - In-Person (highly recommended)
You may visit the nearest IRS- Tax Payer Assistance Center or Authorized Certified Acceptance Agent. Please note, you will need to schedule your visit for mid-March to the beginning of April. The reason for this time frame is because you must provide a copy of your U.S. federal tax return when applying for the ITIN and most students cannot complete their tax return until they receive the 1042-S form from Stanford, which is sent in late early March. Do NOT mail your tax returns to the IRS prior to your ITIN appointment.
This will be a very busy period and appointments will be very limited. We recommend you contact the IRS- Tax Payer Assistance Center or Authorized Certified Acceptance Agent months in advance to make a March/April appointment.
An IRS Authorized agent will assist you in completing your application and submitting it to the IRS. This option is the most effective and is highly recommended by the Bechtel International Center
- Form W-7
- visa documents (passport, I-20/DS2019, I-94)
- letter of no employment (Please request from Bechtel by completing the Letter of No Employment request available from 'My Student Home' in Bechtel Connect.)
- U.S. federal tax return
- You can use Sprintax to apply for your federal tax return. You will need to print the tax return and bring it to your ITIN appointment. Do NOT mail your tax returns to the IRS prior to your ITIN appointment. Students receiving funding from Stanford in the form of fellowships or financial aid cannot complete the tax returns until they have received the 1042-S from Stanford, which is sent in late February.
*If you are unable to make an appointment before the tax deadline (April 15) you should apply for a tax extension using Sprintax
You may choose to file your federal tax return and your W-7 ITIN application simultaneously. While this seems like a convenient option, we do caution against it. In this option, you must also submit your original passport or a copy of your passport certified by your home country’s consulate which can be difficult to obtain. Please do not send the IRS your original passport. Instructions for filing in this manner can be found through Sprintax Tax Prep. You may need to complete a Letter of No Employment request available from 'My Student Home' in Bechtel Connect.
You may obtain an ITIN from abroad and you can obtain specific information of this process through the IRS ITIN Abroad. We cannot issue letters of no employment for J1 scholars or their dependents.
- Publication 1915, Understanding Your IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number ITIN
- IRS Forms & Publications to download the most recent W-7 form and instructions (Enter W-7 in the Find box.)
If I become eligible for an SSN after obtaining an ITIN, what should I do?
The local Social Security Administration Office will consider your request for an SSN if you provide evidence of eligibility. The local SSA Office will process the SSN application even though your ITIN has not yet been rescinded, but according to IRS regulations an individual should not possess both an ITIN and an SSN. To request that your ITIN be rescinded, contact the IRS (ITIN unit) after you have received the SSN and inform them of your new SSN.