Applying for a Social Security Number
F-1 students may apply for a Social Security Number as soon as they begin their studies at Hudson Valley Community College (as long as they are in Lawful Student Status and enrolled full-time, thus being eligible to work on-campus) and have secured on-campus employment. Please note that your College Identification Number (e.g., H00XXXXXX) is not a Social Security Number. The only way to obtain a Social Security Number is to formally apply for one.
To apply for a Social Security Number you must submit an application in person at a Social Security Administration Office, the closest of which is listed below. Prior to visiting the Social Security Administration Office, you must meet with the coordinator for international student services/DSO, so that he can provide you with a letter to facilitate your application. When you go to apply, you will need to bring with you the following five items:
- Your original passport
- Your Form I-20
- Your I-94 Card (the white card inside your passport)
- A letter from your employer that proves that you have secured on-campus employment and indicates the nature of the employment that you will be engaged in (effective 10/13/04)
- A letter from the coordinator for international student services/DSO that indicates that you are in Lawful F-1 Status, enrolled full-time, and authorized for on-campus employment
The Social Security Administration Office closest to Hudson Valley Community College is located in Troy, New York . The office is open between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (except for legal holidays). The office’s address and telephone numbers are below:
500 Federal Street
Troy , NY 12180
TTY: (518) 272-7264
Directions to the Social Security Administration Office in Troy , NY : The office is on the eastern end of the Green Island Bridge, in the Riverfront Office Building, at the corner of 4th Street and Federal Street. The office is on the first floor. Enter via the parking lot entrance on Federal Street. Parking is free.
If you would like to find the location of another Social Security Administration Office, you can do so by using the Social Security Online Office Locator.
For F-1 student employment that does not require Employment Authorization (CPT and on-campus employment), the Social Security Administration will no longer process an application for a Social Security Number if it is more than 30 days in advance of the scheduled employment start date.
For F-1 student employment that does require Employment Authorization, the employment start date on the Employment Authorization Document (a.k.a. “Employment Authorization Card”) must already have been reached before the Social Security Administration will process the application for a Social Security Number.
The Social Security Card issued to nonresident F-1 students often specifies that it is "valid only with employment authorization". F-1 Students may use this card number for employment, only if their employment has been properly authorized (by CIS or by the coordinator for international student services/DSO). Any questions about applying for authorization to accept employment should be directed to the coordinator for international student services.
Applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
What is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and what is it used for?
An ITIN is a number used for tax processing, available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouse, and dependents. An ITIN is only used for federal income tax purposes. This is an important point, because:
- The issuance of an ITIN does not entitle the recipient to Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC);
- The issuance of an ITIN does not infer or suggest anything regarding the individual's immigration status;
- The issuance of an ITIN does not authorize the individual to work in the U.S.
- When completing the federal income tax return (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR EZ), the individual will enter their ITIN in the space for the SSN
Who is eligible for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
Only individuals who cannot obtain a Social Security Number are eligible for an ITIN. The ITIN is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number "9", and is formatted like a Social Security Number (###-##- ###). Any temporary IRS Number that was previously assigned is no longer valid.
How do I know if I need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
If you must file a U.S. tax return or you are listed on a tax return as a spouse or a dependent and you do not have, and cannot obtain a valid Social Security Number, you must apply for an ITIN.
- The IRS no longer accepts "SSA205c", "applied for", "NRA", blanks, or previously issued IRS temporary numbers.
- Include your ITIN on the tax return to ensure prompt processing and receipt of any refund.
- New Internal Revenue Regulations require including a valid Tax Identification Number (TIN) on all U.S. federal income tax returns.
- Each person listed on the federal income tax return must have a valid TIN (either an SSN or an ITIN).
- If a federal income tax return requesting a refund is filed without a Social Security Number or ITIN for the primary filer and spouse, the refund will be delayed until they obtain the Identification number.
- If a dependent SSN/ITIN is missing, the exemptions will be denied and refunds will be adjusted accordingly.
- If you were previously issued a temporary IRS Number, you must now apply for an ITIN.
How do I apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
To obtain an ITIN, you must complete an IRS Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- You may complete and sign an IRS Form W-7 for a minor dependent. However, other dependents and spouses must complete and sign their own Forms W-7.
- The Form W-7 requires documentation substantiating foreign/alien status and true identity for each individual.
- If you, your spouse and/or dependents need an ITIN, you may submit a separate IRS Form W-7 for each person and documentation at the same time.
- You may either mail the documentation, along with the IRS Form W-7, to the Philadelphia Service Center , present it at IRS walk-in offices, or process your application through Acceptance Agent authorized by the IRS.
Is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) valid for work purposes?
No. An ITIN is not valid for work purposes. An ITIN is only used for federal income tax purposes. Alien individuals who are legally admitted to the U.S. as permanent residents, or in another immigrations status for which employment authorization can be granted, are eligible for Social Security Numbers. Individuals who are eligible for a Social Security Number are not eligible for an ITIN.
For additional information on Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, please refer to IRS Publication 1915: Understanding Your IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
Adapted from information provided by the Legal Aide Society and Community Legal Services of Orange County, California