What is an ITIN and Why You Need It: A Guide for Nonresidents

September 12, 2023
2 min read
What is an ITIN and Why You Need It: A Guide for Nonresidents | ITIN Support

If you're a nonresident required to file a tax return in the U.S., you've likely encountered the term ITIN. But what exactly is an ITIN, and how can you obtain one swiftly and without hassle? This article will guide you through the process, leveraging our expertise to simplify your journey. Discover more about ITINs and their benefits on our blog.

What is an ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a nine-digit identifier issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. tax collection agency. It's designed for nonresidents who must file a tax return due to taxable income, such as certain scholarships, but who are ineligible for a Social Security Number (SSN). SSNs are exclusively available to employed nonresidents.

Who Needs an ITIN?

You should consider applying for an ITIN if:

  • You hold F-1 or J-1 status;
  • You lack an SSN;
  • You're not planning immediate employment on campus or seeking CPT/OPT (which requires an SSN);
  • You're receiving a scholarship, fellowship, or stipend directly from U.S. sources, exceeding tuition and fees.

Interestingly, if you benefit from tuition-free study or a tuition reduction, this isn't taxable and doesn't necessitate an ITIN.

How to Apply for an ITIN

Applying Directly to the IRS

To apply for an ITIN directly, one must:

  1. Complete the Form W-7 (Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).
  2. Attach a valid federal income tax return, unless exempt.
  3. Provide original or certified copies of identity and foreign status documents.
  4. Mail your application as per Form W-7 instructions.

This method can extend up to 7 weeks, contingent on application completeness and mailing risks.

Applying Through Our Service

Alternatively, our streamlined service simplifies your application:

  1. Complete our easy online form here.
  2. Enjoy a competitive fee under $200.

We expedite your application, ensuring it's processed within 48 hours, complete with tracking details. Only a valid passport upload is required—eliminating the need to mail sensitive documents. Learn more about our pricing and services here.

Why Choose Us?

We excel in assisting nonresidents secure their ITINs efficiently and securely. Our service stands out by offering:

  • Rapid and Secure Processing: Your application is dispatched within 48 hours, safeguarded by encryption and SSL technology.
  • Affordability: Our service is priced under $200, offering significant savings.
  • Convenience: No need to mail original documents; digital uploads suffice.
  • Reliable Customer Support: Our team is ready 24/7 to assist with your application queries via phone, email, or chat.


An ITIN is essential for nonresidents needing to file a U.S. tax return without an SSN. Whether applying through the IRS or our convenient service, obtaining your ITIN is a critical step in managing your tax obligations in the U.S. For a hassle-free application process, consider our expert services. If you're ready to apply or need further information, visit our ITIN application page here.

At ITIN Support, we're committed to assisting you every step of the way. Contact us today to streamline your ITIN application process.