Student Requirements

Prospective F-1 international students must have the financial resources to live and study in the U.S. This includes being able to cover the cost of tuition, books, living expenses, and travel. Students must provide proof of financial resources to International Services before a Form I-20 will be issued to them. See Student Requirements for more information.

BYU-Idaho Grants

See Financial Aid for information about BYU-Idaho Grants.

Deposit

A deposit is required for all international students and will not be waived. The deposit is in addition to the sponsor’s commitment of $12,500 or $16,500. The deposit can be refunded to you at the end of your schooling. You will need to utilize your sponsor’s financial commitment to pay for school and other living expenses. 

Required deposit:

  • $4,000 for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • $6,000 non-members

 Additional deposit information:

  • If you have paid your deposit and do not attend BYU-Idaho, you can request a refund and it will be refunded to the person who originally paid the deposit.
  • If you attend BYU-Idaho and graduate, transfer schools, withdraw or leave for a mission, the remainder of your deposit will be refunded to the person who originally paid the deposit.

Insurance

While you are a student at BYU-Idaho you are required to have health insurance. If you are planning on using health insurance other than the student health plan provided by BYU-Idaho, please be aware of the following:

  • Your insurance must have coverage in the U.S.
  • Because of school policy, it will also have to be approved by the Health Center at BYU-Idaho.
  • Your insurance cannot be subsidized by the U.S. government.
  • Different health insurance companies work with different doctors, specialists, offices, etc. You need to be aware of the providers in your network, so you aren’t overcharged for going to the wrong place (this may include being overcharged at the Health Center at BYU-Idaho).

See the Student Health Center for more information about student health plans.

Taxes

International students are required to pay taxes every year. It is one of the conditions of the student visa. 

If you receive a grant from BYU-Idaho, have health insurance, or have employment in the U.S., you are required to file and pay taxes as an international student studying in the U.S. It is your responsibly to complete and file your taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collects taxes from individuals who earn an income in the United States. Taxes pay for government services such as military, health care, schools, and roads. Any income earned in the United States must be reported to the government. This includes:

  • Income from wages;
  • Receipt of a grant, fellowship, or scholarship;
  • Interest from stock options; and
  • Other types of non-wage income. This includes the Healthcare Act. By law, everyone in the U.S. is required to pay taxes on their Healthcare Benefits. If you attend BYU-Idaho on campus you will be required to obtain health insurance.

Allow enough time for the preparation and filing of your taxes.  If you live in the U.S. as a student, even for one semester, and then leave the country, you will be contacted by the U.S. Government to file and pay taxes. 

International Services invites the Idaho State Tax Commission to hold a free tax seminar on campus, in February. If you are an international student at BYU-Idaho, you should attend this seminar. International Services cannot answer any specific tax-related questions so please take full advantage of this great opportunity.

Do NOT file your taxes with TurboTax. TurboTax does not file correctly for international students, as it will file you as a U.S. resident. You are not a U.S. resident, and should not file through TurboTax. If you would prefer to file your taxes online, we recommend using Sprintax.

Employment Tax

The employment tax deductions from your paycheck go directly to the U.S. Government. You should sign up for auto withdraw from your paycheck for these tax deductions. 

  • If you sign up to withhold too much money in your tax deductions from your paycheck, the U.S. government will reimburse you after the tax deadline in April.   
  • If you do not withhold enough money in your tax deductions from your paycheck, you will be required to pay the U.S. Government. The government will give you a deadline for when you have to have your taxes paid.
  • Ask your employer about tax withholdings when filling out your hiring paperwork.

If you have not worked in the U.S., you will not have a Social Security Number. You will need to file taxes and apply for an ITIN.  

For tax questions and information please visit:
https://www.irs.gov/
https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/2015/03/filing-taxes-101 
https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/what-is-an-itin

Instructions for students to fill out the Forms 8843, 1040NR, and the Idaho Form 43.
(Download PowerPoint)

Instructions for students who need to file the Healthcare Form (For the State Exchange Insurance) how to file the Form 8962. Students only need to access the PowerPoint if they have a Form 1095A for the State exchange healthcare. Students with insurance through the school or through a private plan not under the State Health Exchange will not need this PowerPoint.
(Download PowerPoint)

Individual Tax-Payer Identification Numbers (ITIN)

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number available for certain nonresident and resident aliens who cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN). You can use the IRS’s  Interactive Tax Assistant tool to determine if you should file an application to receive an ITIN.

To obtain an ITIN, you must complete IRS  Form W-7. You can mail the documentation, with the Form W-7, to the address in the Form W-7 Instructions, present it at an IRS walk-in office, or process your application through an  Acceptance Agent authorized by the IRS.

Social Security Numbers

A Social Security Number (SSN) is an assigned 9-digit number used to identify and accurately record your wages to the U.S. government. Social Security Numbers are assigned to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and eligible nonimmigrant workers in the U.S.

  • International students who have been given employment in the U.S. are required to obtain a Social Security Number. As a reminder, you are only permitted to work on campus unless you have permission from International Services in the form of a new CPT I-20 to work off-campus.
  • Students that have not received employment in the U.S. are not eligible for a Social Security Number.
  • Even if you have a Social Security Number it is not an authorization to work off-campus.

When a student is given employment they will need to take the following documents to the Social Security Administration office in Idaho Falls. 

  • Form SS-5
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • I-20
  • I-94
  • Proof of work authorization
    • If a student is hired for an on-campus position, they will need a signed letter from Human Resources with a DSO signature giving work authorization.
    • If a student is hired and authorized for an off-campus position, they will need to take their CPT I-20 as well as papers from their employer.

You need an SSN for:
Employment

  • You can begin work (and be paid) while you wait for your Social Security Number to be issued. However, you must have applied for a Social Security Number if you are employed in the U.S. or if you have received and plan to accept an offer of employment in the U.S.
  • Refer to  Social Security Administration Policy Regarding Foreign Students about working while waiting for a Social Security number to be processed.

Scholarships/Grants

  • If you are going to receive a grant or scholarship from the BYU-Idaho, you will need a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) if you are not eligible for a Social Security number to file taxes the following year.

You do not need an SSN for:  
Banking

  • At most banks, you do not need an SSN to open a bank account or for most other financial transactions.

Driver’s License

Working at BYU-Idaho

The purpose of attending BYU-Idaho as an international student is to study, not work. International students are not allowed to work off-campus unless they have been authorized for CPT (internships) or OPT (post-graduation work experience) by International Services. Working off-campus without authorization is a violation of your nonimmigrant status and will lead to the termination of your I-20.

The university has an estimated 18,000 students on campus during Fall, Winter, and Spring Semester. Jobs on campus are difficult to obtain due to the number of students along with limited employment options on campus. Jobs are not reserved specifically for international students. It may take some time to secure employment on campus.  

Your sponsor will need to provide financial support while you attend BYU-Idaho. Working part-time can help with some small expenses, but it will not be enough to fully support all of your financial commitments.  

Jobs on campus pay on average $9.00 per hour. During your on-track semester, you can only work up to 20 hours each week. Most jobs allow for 12 – 15 hours a week. Working over 20 hours each week is a direct violation of your status and may lead to the termination of your I-20. During your flex track, you can work up to 40 hours per week. Working up to 40 hours a week during your flex semester or summer may be contingent upon your employer’s budget. You may need to obtain more than one job on campus if you wish to work up to 40 hours per week during your flex track. Employment at BYU-Idaho is not to exceed more than 1,300 hours annually. See the Student Employees page for more information about student employment.

Phone Scams

People have lost a lot of money or even their personal identity to phone scams. Scammers have figured out many ways to cheat you out of your money and identity over the phone. In some scams, they act friendly and helpful. In others, the scammer could threaten you or try to scare you. One tactic that scammers try is to imitate a government phone call, saying that there is an issue with the IRS or Social Security, and they need your personal information or social security number over the phone. The U.S. government will never communicate with you by calling you. Hang up the phone immediately.

Phone scammers will try to get your money or your personal information to commit identity theft. Never give out personal information over the phone. For more information about phone scams, visit the FTC Consumer Information site. If you have questions about whether you are being scammed, please contact our office.