Special Instructions for Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Institutions


Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

These temporary procedures for ITIN applications only apply to Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-approved institutions for nonresident alien students and exchange visitors and their dependents classified under section 101(a)(15)(F), (M), or (J) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(F), (M), or (J)].

Applicants must obtain a certification letter from a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-approved institution as a substitute for submission of the original identification documents with the Form W-7 as required under the June 22, 2012, interim procedures.  The supporting documentation for establishing identity and foreign status are provided in Publication 1915, Understanding Your IRS Individual IRS Identification Number.  A certification letter is required for each Form W-7 application.  This includes applications for the primary applicant, associated secondary (spouse) applicant, and dependent applicant(s).  The Form W-7 application, with copies of all required supporting documents including the certification letter, must be sent to the IRS.

The certification letter must (see sample letter):

  1. Be on original, official college, university, or institution letterhead with verifiable address;
  2. Provide applicant’s full name and SEVIS number;
  3. Certify the applicant’s registration in the Student Exchange Visitors Information System (SEVIS);
  4. Certify the authenticity of the passport, visa, or other identification documents reviewed;
  5. List the identification documents provided to verify identity and foreign status;
  6. Be signed and dated by a SEVIS official (PDSO, DSO, RO, or ARO[1]) of a SEVIS-approved institution or exchange program with a verifiable contact telephone number; 
  7. Attach copies of the documents used to verify the identity and foreign status from the approved list of documents listed in the instructions for the Form W-7; and
  8. Attach a copy of DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, (J-1 Status) and/or copy of the I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status

Applications must be assembled and submitted in the following order:

  • Certification letter
  • Form W-7 Application
  • Copies of identity and foreign status documentation
  • Copy of DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J-1 Status)
  • Copy of I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status
  • Other supporting documents necessary to meet the Form W-7 application requirements

ITIN applications should be mailed by a SEVIS official (PDSO, DSO, RO, or ARO) of a SEVP-approved institution or exchange program to the following address:

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

[1] Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), Designated School Official (DSO), Responsible Officer (RO), or  Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO)