Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Family and Other Issues

Family and Other Issues

Identification Numbers

Most nonresident students and scholars cannot claim family members as dependents. Any family member who can be claimed as a dependent must have a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). If the dependent has been issued a Social Security Number (SSN), it is used as the TIN. Most family members do not have work authorization, so they will not have SSNs.

The IRS issues Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to individuals who are required to have TINs but who are not eligible to obtain SSNs. The ITIN was created for use on tax returns only.


ITINs issued after December 31, 2012 will expire after 5 years from the date when it was issued. At the end of the expiration period, taxpayers must reapply for a number.

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