How to Apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) as an International Student in Australia

Apply TFN

Apply for a Tax File Number (TFN)

If you’re an international student planning to study and work in Australia, one of the essential things you need to do is obtain a Tax File Number (TFN).

A TFN is a unique identifier issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and it’s crucial for legal employment and financial transactions in Australia.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of applying for a TFN.

1. Determine Your Eligibility

Before you start the TFN application process, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria:

  • You must be in Australia.
  • You should hold a valid visa that allows you to work in Australia.
  • You must intend to earn income in Australia.

2. Gather the Required Documents

To complete your TFN application, you’ll need the following documents:

  • Passport or Travel Document: Ensure that your passport or travel document is valid and that you have a valid visa to study and work in Australia.
  • Australian Residential Address: You will need to provide an Australian address where your TFN can be sent. If you don’t have one yet, you can update this information once you obtain an address.

3. Complete the TFN Application

You can apply for a TFN online through the ATO’s official website. Follow these steps:

a. Visit the ATO Website

Go to the Australian Taxation Office’s official website at

b. Locate the TFN Application Form

On the ATO’s website, search for the “Tax file number – application or enquiry for individuals” form. You can find this by using the website’s search bar or navigating to the individual tax file number section.

c. Fill Out the Form

Once you find the application form, fill it out accurately. Be prepared to provide personal information, visa details, and your Australian address.

d. Submit the Application

After completing the form, submit your application electronically. You’ll receive a receipt with a reference number to track the status of your application.

4. Wait for Processing

The processing time for a TFN application can vary, but it typically takes a few weeks. You can check the status of your application using the reference number provided on your receipt.

5. Receive Your TFN

Once your application is processed, you’ll receive your TFN by mail. It will be sent to the Australian address you provided on your application.

6. Start Using Your TFN

Now that you have your TFN, you can start using it for various financial and employment purposes, such as:

  • Opening a bank account in Australia.
  • Starting a job and ensuring that your employer withholds the correct amount of tax.
  • Completing your annual tax return.

Remember to keep your TFN confidential and only share it with authorized entities.


Obtaining a Tax File Number (TFN) is a vital step for international students planning to work and study in Australia. It allows you to engage in legal employment and manage your finances while you’re in the country.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the TFN application process smoothly and ensure compliance with Australian tax regulations.

For the most up-to-date information and to access the TFN application form, visit the official Australian Taxation Office website at

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