The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN). The ITIN is used primarily for tax filing purposes and is not a form of work authorization.

F-1 or J-1 students who receive payments from USC in the form of a check (fellowship, stipend, scholarship, honoraria, etc.) but who are not eligible for a Social Security Number are required to obtain an ITIN. If a scholarship or fellowship is applied directly against tuition, there is no need to apply for an ITIN.

How to Apply for an ITIN

  1. Obtain a fellowship/scholarship letter from your USC sponsoring department, which outlines the name of your fellowship/scholarship and the terms of the award.
  2. Complete the ITIN Support Letter Request form
  3. Pick up the original ITIN support letter from OIS. OIS will notify students by email when the ITIN support letter is ready for pick up at OIS in Royal Street Structure, Suite 101. Processing time is 3-5 business days.
  4. Contact University Payroll Services ( to schedule an appointment.

Please note that if a student needs an ITIN for any other reason, but are not receiving payments from USC, they must apply on their own as outlined on the IRS website.

W-7 Form
W-7 Instructions