Some frequently requested resources for students living in the U.S:
Taxes: If you are in the U.S. in F, J, M, or Q nonimmigrant status, you are required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to file certain U.S. tax forms each year, even if you did not earn any money in the U.S. ISSS hold Tax Workshops every Spring semester. For more information, please go to our Tax webpage to learn more about tax filing and sign-up for a workshop.
Social Security: F-1 and J-1 students who are eligible to work on-campus and have on-campus jobs are eligible for Social Security Numbers. F-1 students who have been approved for Optional Practical Training or Curricular Practical Training, and J-1 students who have been approved for Academic Training, are also eligible to apply for a Social Security Number. Read more about applying for a Social Security Number on this page.
Drivers License and California Identification Card (ID): If you want to apply for California Drivers License or ID you need to bring your I-20, I-94 and passport to the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You can find the closest DMV online at www.dmv.ca.gov. To apply for a driver's license you will need to take a vision test, a written test on California driving laws, and a in car test. If you have just arrived in the United States you will need to wait at least 10 days after your arrival and complete the check-in process with ISSS. You should check with ISSS before going to the DMV in the first month of your program, to make sure that your SEVIS record has been activated.
Vendor Letter: Since many international students cannot get a Social Security Number, ISSS has prepared a vendor letter to help students rent apartments and get cell phones. Please refer to our letters page for more details and for other letters of verification.
Financial Aid for International Students: USF students who are in the U.S on a student visa should typically be funded by the sponsor or other means indicated at the time of the admission and visa application. If there arises a need for additional funds during your studies there are some options for international students, but they are limited. The USF Financial Aid office outlines some of the private loan options for international students and the International Student Grant on their website. Please note that private loans require that students have U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-sign for the loan. *If you have lost the funding you were relying on and struggling with making your tuition payments, you should make an appointment with ISSS to explore your options.