New international students in F-1 or J-1 visa status being paid by the university (e.g. compensation, taxable scholarship, fellowship, prize or award) are advised to take the steps listed below as soon as possible in the first semester.
More information about Social Security Numbers and the application process is available on this page.
Some of you have already received an email from the Yale International Tax office with a request to complete the Foreign National Information System (FNIS) application. If you have not received an email, please follow the instructions on the International Tax Office website to request the link to FNIS. Please complete this application as soon as possible.
Submitting a completed FNIS application will determine:
- Your U.S. tax resident status (Resident [RA] or Nonresident [NRA]) and proper tax withholdings.
- Whether you are eligible for a tax treaty benefit.
Once the International Tax Office receives and reviews your FNIS application, you will be notified of the next steps to follow. If you are:
- A non-resident F-1 and J-1 student, you will be exempt from OASDI and Medicare tax withholding. Check your pay stub.
- A tax resident of a treaty country and you have reported either a U.S. SSN or ITIN to the Yale International Tax Office, you may be exempt from certain federal taxes pursuant to the treaty.
The following students are eligible to apply for a Social Security Number two weeks after registering with OISS:
- F-1 students who have secured on campus employment, are receiving for-service fellowships, or are working off-campus with OPT or CPT.
- All F-1 PhD students.
- J-1 students with letter of permission to work from their visa sponsor (either Yale or outside organization, e.g. Fulbright)
If you are an active F-1 student who is currently in the U.S. and receiving taxable scholarship or financial aid, but are not eligible for an SSN (i.e. do not have an on campus job or do not plan to apply for OPT or CPT soon), you can apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). Please submit an ITIN application request via OISS Connect.
Warning: In some Yale systems and forms, you might see a 9-digit number filled in as your U.S. SSN, sometimes referred to as a “dummy SSN”. You are never “assigned” an SSN number by the university; this is only done for onboarding purposes. This number is likely to be your student ID number (SID) and cannot be used as an actual SSN. The only way to obtain an SSN is applying in person at the Social Security Administration office.
Once you received your SSN or ITIN, report the number by going to your registrar in person:
- Yale College and Graduate School students can do this at 246 Church St
- Professional School students should visit your own school registrars
If you are eligible for a tax treaty benefit, also send an email to inform the International Tax Office that you have reported your new SSN to the Registrar. Put “SSN Received” in the subject line, but do not email your Social Security Number.