International (Foreign) Students and Workers


How to Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)

All individuals employed by LBNL must have a U.S. Social Security number (SSN).  If you don’t already have a SSN, you must visit a Social Security Administration (SSA) office in person and submit Form SS-5 Application for SSN, along with original documentation verifying your age, identity, immigration status and authority to work in the United States.


Your Social Security card should arrive approximately two to four weeks after the SSA has received all of the required information.  Once you receive your SSN please contact Payroll to have your SSN recorded.


Local SSN Office

  • The Social Security office closest to LBNL is located in Berkeley. Visit their website here.
  • 2045 Allston Way  (between Milvia St & Harold Way)
    Berkeley, CA 94704
  • Hours:  Monday – Friday
                9:00 am – 3:30 pm

How to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Number (ITIN)

Individuals who do not possess a Social Security Number and cannot obtain one will need to have an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number before payments can be issued by LBNL.  If no SSA or ITIN is presented to LBNL, mandatory taxes for both Federal and State of CA will be withheld.


Foreign Employees (Workers) and Non-employees

How Aliens are taxed:

U.S. taxation of aliens depends on their tax residency status.  See IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

  • Resident aliens are taxed like U.S. citizens on their worldwide income, at graduated income tax rates.
  • Nonresident aliens are taxed on their U.S. source income and/or effectively connected income (income connected to a U.S. trade or business conducted by a foreign person).


Determining Tax Residency Status:

GLACIER, LBNL’s nonresident alien tax compliance system is a secured web-based Nonresident Alien (NRA) that employees, nonemployees, student fellowship recipients, foreign payees including independent contractors uses to provide their immigrant and tax data to LBNL via the internet 24 hours a day.  GLACIER helps determine tax residency, withholding rates and income tax treaty eligibility.  GLACIER also manages NRA’s paperwork, maintains NRA’s data and prepares tax forms and required statements.


  • Employees and visitors will receive and email from [email protected] to complete the registration process.


Year-End Tax Statements:

  • Form W-2, to report wages to both resident alien and nonresident alien employees.
  • Form 1099-M to report payments of $600 or more during the tax year, to resident alien independent contractors.
  • Form 1042-S, to report U.S. source income subject to withholding, to nonresident aliens (e.g., taxable student fellowship payments, independent contractor payments and wages to employees who claim tax treaty benefits).
  • Form 592-B, to report state withholding on payments to nonresident independent contractors for services provided in California (see Tax Withholding for CA Nonresidents under Tax Matters).

Tax Filing Requirements & Forms:
Information on federal and state filing requirements, tax forms and instructions can be found at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website, and at the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) website,

  • Resident alien forms – federal Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ, and state Form 540, 540A or 540 2EZ.
  • Nonresident alien forms – federal Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ, and state Form 540NR.

Tax Preparation:
GLACIER tax prep, a web-based tax preparation system designed for nonresident aliens, can be used to prepare Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ for a nominal fee.  More information is available at