Social Security & Tax Information for Current International Students

Social Security Number (SSN)

As an F-1 or J-1 international student, you do not need a social security number unless you are engaging in employment. If you are engaging in employment through one of the following you are eligible to apply for a social security number:

How to get a Social Security Number (SSN):

  1. Gain Employment
  2. Complete On-Campus Employment Form with Employer
  3. Make A Request for a social security letter from ISSS and upload On-Campus Employment Form
  4. Bring the following documents to the Social Security Administration
  • SS-5 Application form available HERE
  • Print out I-94 from HERE
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • Offer Letter from Employer
  • Social Security Letter from ISSS
  • Passport
  • Student ID

The Social Security Administration checks your legal status in the USCIS S.A.V.E. database. Sometimes the database does not show a person's status immediately. Most applicants receive a receipt for their application the day that they visit the office and the social security card with the number in the mail in a few weeks. To locate the Social Security Administration office nearest you, go to and click on the "find your nearest Social Security office" link at the bottom of the page.

Tax & Filing Your Taxes

Taxes are due each April. All international students are responsible for filing a tax return each year, even if you have not had any employment.

  • Tax Reference for International Visitors.
  • Tax Reference for International Students.
  • International Tax Overview (including Scholarship Information) J-1 students that are sponsored by a third party (Fulbright, AmidEast, AmericanCouncils, etc) should check with their sponsors regarding taxes.

J-1 students that are sponsored by a third party (Fulbright, AmidEast, AmericanCouncils, etc) should check with their sponsors regarding taxes.

International Taxes, Employees, & Scholarships

In regards to International Taxes for employees, student employees, and certain recipients of scholarships, there are specific tax burdens that are required for these individuals. If you are an employee of the university you will need to meet with the International Tax Specialist or contact them if you have questions.

Contact the International Tax Specialist (Only for employees of the University)

If you are a scholarship recipient, there are certain circumstances where you may owe or be charged taxes. You can find this information on the International Tax Overview.

International Student & Scholar Services

International Students

CU Denver

Student Commons Building

1201 Larimer Street

Suite 1119

Denver, CO 80204

International Scholars

CU Denver

Lawrence Street Center

1380 Lawrence Street

Suite 932

Denver, CO 80204

International Students & Scholars

CU Anschutz

Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place

Ground Floor: STE. EG305, EG305A, and EG306

Aurora, CO 80045

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