SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER & ITIN

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Social Security Number & ITIN

The following questions and answers about the Social Security Administration (SSA) are provided to assist you in applying for a Social Security number (SSN), Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) or Letter of Ineligibility (needed for some driver’s license applications).

If you need your SSN urgently and the process is being delayed by the SSA, please contact CGPS about the possibility of a temporary solution.

If you are ineligible for a Social Security Number, but are receiving payment, a scholarship, a fellowship, or other taxable income, you must apply for an ITIN.

Social Security Number (SSN)

A Social Security number (SSN) is a type of identification number used for Social Security. It is a nine digit number resembling “123-00-1234” which is issued to an individual by the United States Federal Government. An SSN is intended to accurately record the earnings of the individual to whom it is issued. SSNs also function as a general identification number in many situations. The identification number (SSN) assigned to the individual is issued on a card. This card is referred to as the “Social Security card.”

As a student or an exchange visitor, you may need an SSN and card if you plan to work in the U.S. Your sponsor or third party placement organization may require it for their payroll records.

Recent provisions in U.S. law have changed the rules for assigning an SSN and issuing a Social Security card. See Foreign Workers and Social Security Numbers at https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10107.pdf for more information.

If the nonimmigrant is ineligible for an SSN, he or she can request a “Letter of Ineligibility'' from the Social Security Administration. At this time, a completed application should be mailed to the office along with photocopies of supporting documents. While the SSA does not usually accept photocopies, during the COVID-19 pandemic they are not requiring original documents to be mailed. Required documents include: I-20/DS-2019, passport and Form I-94. You will receive the Letter of Ineligibility in the mail. You are required to have the Letter of Ineligibility in order to take the driver's license test. The Letter of Ineligibility is valid for 60 days.

To apply for a Social Security number (SSN), you must:

  • Complete the appropriate CGPS employment process to receive your employment letter that is required to receive an SSN. 
  • New international students in initial status: your F-1 or J-1 SEVIS record must be activated before you can get a Social Security number. Before going to the Social Security Administration, please contact CGPS to check on the status of your SEVIS record.
  • Wait 1) at least 10 days from your arrival date in the United States before applying for your SSN, and 2) until CGPS completes your SEVIS registration (you can check this during the CGPS employment process). Doing this helps ensure that the Social Security Administration (SSA) can verify your immigration information with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • Complete an Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5).
  • You must take the completed application and original documents to the nearest SSA office.

For F-1/J-1 visa holders (Students):

For J-1 visa holders (Scholars):

  • Original Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Passport
  • Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record 
  • Social Security Application (Form SS-5)
  • Employment Letter (For On-campus
    employment use this form)
  • Original Form DS-2019
  • Passport
  • Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record
  • Social Security Application (Form SS-5)
  • UD Offer Letter

 

  • Fill in your name exactly as it is shown on your Form I-94 and passport. The name on your passport, I-20 or DS-2019 and Form I-94 should all be the same.

  • Check “Legal Alien Allowed to Work”.

  • Enter your date of birth in the following manner: month, day, year (MM/DD/YYYY).

  • Enter your Parent/Mother’s name at her birth.

  • Enter your Parent/Father’s name.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) must verify your documents with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) before a Social Security number (SSN) can be assigned to you. After receiving the verification from DHS, an SSN will be issued and the Social Security card (containing the assigned SSN) will be mailed to the address you provided on the application (Form SS-5). Most of the time, documents can be verified quickly online with DHS. If the documents cannot be verified online, it may take DHS several weeks to respond to the request. The SSA works closely with DHS to reduce these delays.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the SSA asks the public to first try to use online services before scheduling an appointment. To schedule an appointment please call the SSA listed below. You will be required to follow SSA safety guidelines when visiting their office for your appointment. 

For more information and to find copies of Social Security Administration (SSA) publications, visit their Web site at ssa.gov or call toll-free, 1-800-772-1213 (for the deaf or hard of hearing, call their TTY number, 1-800-325-0778). The SSA representatives can answer specific questions from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Information is also provided by automated phone service 24 hours a day. All calls are treated confidentially.

Office Address:

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

920 West Basin Rd #200

New Castle, DE 19720

Phone Numbers:

Office: 1-866-667-7221 

TTY: 1-800-325-0778

Office Hours:

https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus

Directions:

Anyone using public transit, including airport shuttles, taxis, or ride share companies like Delaware Express, Lyft or Uber, is advised to: wear a cloth mask, practice social distancing, avoid touching surfaces, and practice hand hygiene. Read more guidance about using transportation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please refer to this guide for taking public transportation to the SSA office and the DART website for more information.

Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

In the U.S., any person who receives taxable income must file taxes. Any foreign national who has federal tax reporting requirements and is not able to obtain an SSN must apply. Remember, you must attempt to obtain a SSN before applying for the ITIN. The Social Security Administration should give you a letter of ineligibility, stating that you are not eligible to receive an SSN.

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.

To apply for an ITIN, you must complete the form W-7 (available by clicking here) along with supplemental documents to prove your identity and foreign status. Attach a valid federal income tax return, unless you qualify for an exception, and include your original proof of identity or copies certified by issuing agency and foreign status documents (this means original passports, visas and other identification documents).

Because you are filing your tax return as an attachment to your ITIN application, you should not mail your return to the address listed in the Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ instructions. Instead, send your return, Form W-7 and proof of identity and foreign status documents to:

     Internal Revenue Service
     Austin Service Center
     ITIN Operation
     P.O. Box 149342
     Austin, TX 78714-9342

You may also apply using the services of an IRS-authorized Acceptance Agent or visit some key IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in lieu of mailing your information to the IRS in Austin.

Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) in the United States provide in-person help with ITIN applications on a walk-in or appointment basis. Applicants outside the United States should contact U.S. Tax Attachés in Beijing, Frankfurt, London, or Paris. The IRS's ITIN Unit in Austin issues all numbers through the mail. Information about Taxpayer Assistance Centers in Delaware is below.

You will need to complete the following:

  1. Complete the form W-7.
  2. Attach a valid tax return for which the ITIN is needed.
  3. Request a letter from CGPS for ITIN certification. This letter will certify your identity, your non-immigrant status, and your relation to the University.
  4. Take your completed application, Tax return, letter from CGPS and your original immigration documents (Passort, Visa, I-94 printout) to the Taxpayer Assistance Center Dover or Wilmington to have your documents reviewed in-person.

 Wilmington

844 King St.
Wilmington, DE 19801 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Services Provided

(302) 830-2076 

Dover 

611 S. Dupont Hwy. 
Dover, DE 19901 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Services Provided

(302) 678-2784

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. If you are outside the United States, call 267-941-1000 (not a toll-free number).

For more information and to find forms, visit the IRS website at:

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/General-ITIN-Information

For face-to-face tax help, or to have your application reviewed, visit:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-My-Local-Office-in-Delaware

 

CGPS staff are here to help guide and refer you, but we are not Tax experts. Please direct questions to a certified tax expert, like the Tax Assistance Center, or your HR department.

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ISSS Disclaimer: The information contained on this web site is provided as a service to international students, faculty, staff, employees, and administrators at the University of Delaware, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax, or other matter. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of official counsel. For assistance on your immigration status, we encourage you to contact an ISS advisor for specific guidance at oiss@udel.edu.