Student Resources

Our resource page will help you with important basics like obtaining a driver’s license and social security number, housing, healthcare, taxes and more.

Students at International Dinner 2024

We are here to help you navigate life, not just on campus, but in the United States.

Applying for a Social Security Number (SSN)

The only way to receive a Social Security Number within Washington State is for the purpose of your employment. This means that you will first need to find paid employment before you can receive this number. Please note that a Social Security Number is mandatory in order for you to get paid. Below are the steps on how to get your Social Security Number.

How to Apply for Your SSN Based on Student Status

F-1 Students with On-Campus Employment

To apply for a SSN as an F-1 student for an on-campus job, you will need to provide documents that show your identity, age, citizenship, and status as a lawful alien. You will need to bring the following items with you to a Social Security Office:

  • Passport
  • Current I-20 with signature on page two
  • Printout of I-94 (available through the I-94 website)
  • Letter from the ISC describing why you need a SSN (instructions on how to request this letter listed below)
  • Letter from your supervisor (employer) on department letterhead stating your job title and signed by your supervisor
  • Complete an application form (Form SS-5) that you must download from the internet at This form is not available at the ISC.
  • You will need to upload application materials and make an appointment at your local Social Security Administration office.

Once your application is filed with the SSA office, they will give you a receipt. They will perform a background check and your Social Security card will be mailed to the address you provide within four to six weeks. Normal processing takes about four weeks.

Requesting an SSN Letter from the ISC

Download and fill out the Letter Request Form.

Provide a digital copy of a letter (on official letterhead) from your employer that states:

  • Your job title
  • Your supervisor name and role
  • The number of hours you will be working
  • Your start date
  • Update your contact info on MySeattleU

We will be checking this information before issuing a letter. After gathering all documents, electronically submit the Letter Request via ISC email or directly to your immigration advisor via email. Your advisor will email the letter to you.

F-1 Students Authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

To apply for a SSN as an F-1 student for an authorized paid CPT position, you will need to provide documents that show your identity, age, citizenship, and status as a lawful alien. You can apply as early as 30 days before your scheduled start date, but no earlier. You will need to bring the following items with you: 

  • Passport
  • Current I-20 (updated and endorsed for practical training)
  • Printout of I-94 (available through the I-94 website)
  • Letter from your supervisor (employer) on department letterhead stating your job title and signed by your supervisor

Complete an application form (Form SS-5) that you must download from the internet at This form is not available at the ISC.

F-1 Students Authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT)

To apply for a SSN as an F-1 student for an authorized OPT position, you will need to provide documents that show your identity, age, citizenship, and status as a lawful alien. You can apply on or after the start date on your EAD card, but no earlier than your EAD card start date. You will need to bring the following items with you: 

  • Passport
  • Current I-20 (updated and endorsed for practical training)
  • Printout of I-94 (available through the I-94 website)
  • Letter from your supervisor (employer) on department letterhead stating your job title and signed by your supervisor

Complete an application form (Form SS-5) that you download from the internet at This form is not available at the ISC.

What if my SSN card is lost or stolen?

You can replace your card for free if it is lost or stolen. However, you are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime.

To request a replacement card:

  • Complete the application form (Form SS-5)
  • Present recently issued photo identification to show your identity (passport, Washington state identification card)
  • Show evidence of your current lawful nonimmigrant status (visa, I-20/ DS-2019, I-94)
  • Complete a new ISC letter request form (if you are employed on campus) to request a letter from the ISC 

Your replacement card will have the same name and number as your previous card.

How to reach the Social Security Administration (SSA)

You can call the SSA from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at 1-800-772-1213. Recorded information is available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays. You can also visit their website at for more information.

You must apply for your Social Security Number (SSN) in person. There are several local offices throughout the Seattle area — all open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (except Federal holidays).

Below are some of the offices close to Seattle University:

Location Address
Downtown Seattle Jackson Federal Building 
915 2nd Ave, Suite 901 (9th floor) 
Phone: (800) 772-1213 
Bus routes: 12
North Seattle 13510 Aurora Ave N, Suite B 
(Corner of Aurora & NE 135th St)
Bellevue 505 106th Ave NE, Suite 301 Park Plaza 
(Between NE 4th St & NE 6th St)
Burien 151 SW 156th St 
Phone: 800-772-1213

State ID and Drivers License

Many students acquire a driver's license or an identification card during their time studying in the U.S. For those who are able to get the driver license, they can drive anywhere in the country and use it for their official identification (ex: domestic travel, proving your age, banking). The ID card only works as identification and does not enable people to drive. 

UPDATE: As of October 1, 2020, the Real ID Law goes into effect in Washington. This law will require that individuals flying within the United States or entering certain federal buildings use a form of identification more secure than a Washington State Driver's License or State ID. Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
  • U.S. Military ID
  • U.S. or Foreign Passport
  • Enhanced Driver License (EDL)
  • Enhanced Identification Card (EID)

Applying for your ID or Driver License

Go to the Washington State Department of Licensing website to find out where you can obtain your ID as well as obtaining directions on how to apply. 

Please note that there are a couple documents you will most likely need for your application:

  • Passport with valid visa
  • I-94 number
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • SEVIS Information page verifying your address, student status, SEVIS ID (from ISC)

Requesting SEVIS information page from the ISC

  • Download, print, and fill out this Letter Request Form.
  • Update your information at MySeattleU:
  • Verify your class registration
    • Are you registered for full time?
    • If applicable, are you approved for a reduced course load (RCL)?
  • Verify your major
    • Did you change majors without informing us?
    • Does SU have your correct major listed?
    • Does your major match your I-20?

If all of your information is correct and we can verify this on your SEVIS record, your SEVIS info page will be emailed to you by your immigration advisor.

Finding Housing

You can find a variety of housing options as a Seattle University student. You may decide to live on campus, or in one of the surrounding neighborhoods. If you are a new undergraduate first-year student entering Seattle University, we have a two-year on campus residency requirement, so you will need to live on the campus.

The ISC encourages international students to apply for housing on campus as soon as possible, as space is limited. Housing in Seattle (off campus) can be very expensive, and rents have increased significantly over the past few years.

Research on college and graduate students indicates that students that live on campus tend to do better academically than those who live off campus. If you live on or near the campus, you are closer to the academic, social, cultural, and co-curricular resources needed to succeed at the University.

On Campus Housing

Regardless of whether you are entering SU in the Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer, we recommend that you apply early for housing. In order to do this you need to submit an SU Housing Application.

For information about the application and about on campus housing please visit Seattle University Housing & Dining.

In addition, Seattle University Housing also has a specific page geared toward International Students that can be found at International Student On-Campus Housing Application.

Off Campus Housing

Housing in Seattle tends to be more expensive and difficult to find than in other parts of the Puget Sound.

The average prices of Seattle apartments (2024):

  • Studio apartment: $1442
  • 1-bedroom: $1953
  • 2-bedroom: $2717

If you are considering living off campus, you should start your search for housing at least a month before starting classes. We encourage you to allow time to research and look once you are in the area.

Many apartments outside of the immediate Seattle area offer move-in incentives. Public transportation is available, which makes living outside of the Seattle area a very viable, and less expensive, option. Most apartment managers require first and last month's rent as well as damage or cleaning deposits. Don't be surprised if you have to pay for a credit check, as it is standard practice in the Northwest.

We have included brief descriptions of various Neighborhoods of Seattle for your convenience.

Health Insurance

All international students studying inside the U.S. are required to have health insurance coverage. Seattle University's health insurance provider is Aetna and brokered through JCB Insurance Solutions. While studying at Seattle University, you will automatically be enrolled in this coverage unless you inform us that you are studying from outside the U.S. in a particular term or are inside the U.S. with your own (comparable) health insurance coverage. 

Coverage for each academic year begins on September 1st and runs through August 31st of the following year. For students beginning in a term other than Fall, health insurance coverage begins at the beginning of the start quarter and continues through August 31st of that year. Insurance premiums are billed quarterly, with Spring/Summer quarters being billed together as one term.

Law Students: Please note that law student coverage dates are August 1, 2024 - July 31, 2025.

Steps for Waiving the Required Insurance Premium

For students studying in the U.S. only:

To be eligible to waive out the student health plan you must have comparable coverage in the state of Washington including access to primary care, preventative care, and prescriptions.  Please note the policy must be based in the United States to qualify and the plan should be compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and filed and approved in the U.S.

To Access the Waiver

To access the waiver, go to the JCB Student Insurance Portal

  • Select Seattle University, 2024-2025 plan year, and International Students
  • Click on My Account to log in and create an account if you do not have one already. You must use your Seattle University email when creating your account.
  • Click on Submit Waiver Here
  • Choose term 2024-2025

Completing the Waiver

You will need access to your insurance information as well as be able to upload a copy of the front and back of your insurance card.

If you accidentally enter the wrong information, you can resubmit your corrected information as many times as needed prior to the waiver deadline.

Waivers only need to be completed once each academic year. If you have an approved waiver, you will not need to submit another one until the following academic year. The deadline for waiver is by the add/drop date on the academic calendar.

If you have an approved waiver, the premium will be removed from your student account and no further premiums added for subsequent terms during the 2024-2025 academic year.

You must actively waive the student health insurance every academic year. Waivers from previous years do not roll over.

If you do not waive, the following are the charges that will appear on your account.  Aetna Student Health is our new Insurance carrier.

  • Medical Plan: Aetna Student Health Open Choice PPO
  • Plan brochure: Aetna Student Health: Seattle University Policy year 2022-2023
  • Annual cost: $1823 divided into three terms: Fall, Winter, Spring/Summer
Terms and Rates for 2023-2024 (rates are expected to update in July)
Term Premium Term Dates
Fall 2023 $609 9/1/2023 - 12/31/2023
Winter 2024 $402 1/1/2024 - 3/23/2024
Spr/Sum 2024 $812 3/24/2024 - 8/31/2024

*Rates are estimated for 2023-2024 pending the WA State Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Student Account Billing

The term premiums are billed to your student account by quarter with spring/summer combined into one term. If you have an approved waiver the premium will be removed from your account and not added on subsequent terms during 2024-2025 academic year. Since the insurance premium is now paid by term, the policy ends when your term ends unless enrolled in the subsequent term. See above for the dates of coverage (term dates). If you apply for post-completion OPT, you can continue to keep coverage on a term-by-term basis by enrolling directly through JCB's website.

For more information on fees and terms of enrollment, please visit the Student Health Center.

For more information:

JCB Insurance Solutions
Seattle University Help Line: 206-201-0291
JCB student services email:
JCB Student Insurance portal:
Phone: 206-201-0291

Aetna Student Health insurance
Phone: 877-480-4161

Filing Taxes

Every international student is required to file a tax return as a condition of your visa, but not everyone will necessarily pay taxes to the U.S. government. International students are entitled to a number of benefits and exemptions, so many not owe anything. In fact, if you paid too much tax throughout the year, you may be entitled to a refund check.

No Income Earned

Regardless of whether you have earned income during your time in the US, if you are a nonresident in the US, you will still need to file what’s known as a Form 8843 “Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition" 

After completing FORM 8843, send it to: 

Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service Center 
Austin, TX 73301-0215 

Income Earned

In order to file your taxes, you may do it on your own by following instructions on the IRS website.


We recommend using a professional tax preparation service to properly prepare and file your tax return. Sprintax specializes in preparing fast and low-cost tax returns for international students.

Remember, not filing could negatively impact future immigration status (like H1B, LPR) Fines, penalties, interest can accrue if the IRS are owed, and you might be missing out on a tax refund.


International students at Seattle University are not eligible for federal financial aid but can still receive merit-based scholarships. Note that the International Student Center does not offer any international student-specific scholarships or financial aid.

Undergraduate Students

Incoming undergraduate international students should review scholarship information from Undergraduate Admissions.

Graduate Students

Incoming and current graduate international students can receive scholarships directly through their academic program. It's best to review your specific program's website, and also see more information through Graduate Admissions.

Outside Organizations

Students can also apply for scholarships through outside organizations not affiliated with Seattle University. has some resources for international students that can be helpful.

Student Financial Services

For more information on scholarships or other financial information through Seattle University, please contact Student Financial Services.