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

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)