Living in the U.S.

Here are some frequently requested resources for students living in the U.S.


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.

Applying for a Social Security Number

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 on their website. 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.

More information about financial aid options

Emergency Procedures for International Students

In the unfortunate case of an emergency in San Francisco, the University of San Francisco has created a plan for the safety of our international students. Please review these procedures so you are aware of the plan for safety and resources prior to and following a potential emergency.

FlyWire Payment System

USF recommends that you use FlyWire when making international payments to the university.

More information about FlyWire