|Contact Information for Office of International Students and Scholars|
Fitzgerald Student Services Building
|Address||1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557-0074
The Internal Revenue Code section 3121(b)(19) and the Social Security Act allow foreign students, scholars, researchers and teachers in F-1 and J-1 status to be exempt from paying social security and medicare taxes as long as they remain nonresidents for federal income tax purpose.
Foreign students in F-1 and J-1 status are considered nonresident aliens exempt from paying social security/medicare taxes if they have been in the United States for less than five calendar years. This exemption applies to on-campus employment as well as any period of practical training, including post-graduation optional practical training (OPT) or academic training, or other DHS authorized employment. Students, who have been in the U.S. for more than five years, are considered resident aliens for federal income tax purpose and are liable for social security/medicare taxes.
Foreign scholars , researchers and teachers in J-1 status are exempt from paying social security/medicare taxes for two calendar years. Spouses and dependents in J-2 status are NOT exempt and must pay social security/medicare taxes.
For more information on this topic please refer to IRS Publication 519 "U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens" or to Publication 15, Circular E, "Employer's Tax Guide".
If you qualify for exemption from social security/medicare withholdings but your employer has been deducting these taxes from your paycheck, you can request a refund from your employer. If this request cannot be accommodated, you must file form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement available at www.irs.gov and mail it to IRS. It takes approximately 6 months to process your claim with IRS.
The new law which came into effect October 2004, allows international students to apply for a social security card ONLY if they have an offer of employment for on-campus job or employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of having a social security card is for employment only; the social security number (SSN) should not be required to open a bank account, get a cell phone or other utilities.
The Social Security Administration Office will process applications for SSN only under the following circumstances:
For more information on these employment options available to students please refer to the Employment Information section. To find out about employment and social security cards for dependents please go to Family Info section.
To apply for a social security number/card, please go to:
Social Security Office
1170 Harvard Way, Reno , NV 89502
Office hours: Monday - Friday; 9 am E 4 pm
Bring with you these documents: