Social Security Number

The Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number that the Social Security Administration issues for tax purposes. However, a SSN is also required when applying for important services and credentials with many city and state agencies, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles and several utility companies (telephone, gas, electricity, etc.), and sometimes when renting apartments.

As a J-1 visa holder and Getty grant recipient you may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).

If you apply for a SSN, please be aware that you must provide the Getty with a copy of your SSN application and, once you receive it, a copy of your SSN card. Failure to do so will result in your grant being taxed 14% even if you reside in a country that maintains applicable tax treaties with the United States. The withholding from your stipend will be adjusted accordingly once the Getty has received your SSN.

You can apply for a SSN after you have been in the United States for at least 2-3 weeks, not before.

To apply for a SSN take the following documents to the Social Security office:

Your passport
I-94 form available on line at:
DS-2019 form
Your Getty acceptance letter
Form SS-5 available at the SSA office and on-line at:
You should receive your SSN card in 2-4 weeks from the day of application.
The Social Security Administration office is located on the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Colby Avenue in the City National Bank building.

The address is:
11500 W. Olympic Blvd.
Suite 300 (3rd floor)
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel: 1-800-772-1213

The office is open from Monday though Friday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM (except on Wednesdays 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon). No appointment is necessary. For more information regarding the SSN please see the following website:

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9. IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but do not have, do not need, or are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number.

An ITIN is used for tax purposes only, for example when filing taxes. The Getty is an ITIN certifying acceptance agent, and can apply for your ITIN as soon as you arrive at the Getty. This allows you to immediately receive any applicable tax exemptions from your paycheck.

The government agency that issues this number, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), may take anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months to issue ITINs.

Please note that ITINs are usually not accepted in place of SSNs at the Department of Motor Vehicles and utility companies (telephone, gas, electricity, etc.).

Please let OSIP staff know:

if you would prefer to apply for a Social Security Number in person
if you would rather have the Getty apply for an ITIN on your behalf
if you already have an application for a Social Security Number pending
For more information regarding the ITIN please see the following website:

Invited Professionals

Have a Question?

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact OSIP