Q. What’s a Social Security Number? (and, most important, do I need one?)
A. In the UNITED STATES, a Social Security number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued to US CITIZENS, PERMANENT RESIDENTS (GREEN CARD HOLDERS, and TEMPORARY RESIDENTS (WORKING VISA HOLDERS).
The number is issued to an individual by the Social Security Administration.
You need a Social Security number to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other government services.
Q. Does a noncitizen need a Social Security number?
A. Generally, only noncitizens authorized to work in the United States (i.e. holding a working visa) can get a Social Security number. Social Security numbers are used to report an individual’s wages to the government and to determine a person’s eligibility for Social Security benefits.
Lawfully admitted noncitizens (spouses or children of an individual holding a working visa, for instance) can get many benefits and services without a Social Security number. As an example: you do not need a number to get a driver’s license, register for school, or obtain private health insurance.
Q. When do I apply for a SSN?
A. You can apply for a SSN as soon as you enter the USA with a regular working visa
Q. What do I need to apply?
A. Copy of your passport showing your valid working visa.
Q. Where do I apply?
You may apply at any Social Security Card Center
If you were born in the USA or you moved in because you were provided a working visa you are entitled to apply and obtain a SSN
Q. SO, WHAT IS AN ITIN?
A. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident aliens may have a U.S. filing or reporting requirement under the Internal Revenue Code.
The most common cases we run into:
• Foreign investors (Real Estate investors, for instance)
• Dependents or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien
• Dependents or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
Q. When do I apply for an ITIN?
A. You can apply for an ITIN the first time you are required to file a return (any kind of return due to the Internal revenue Service)
Q. What do I need to apply?
A. A W7 form for each applicant reporting date of birth, address, citizenship…. AND a certified copy of the applicant/s’ passport by the issuing agency.
Q. Where do I certify my passport?
You may be able to request a certified copy of documents at an embassy or consulate. However, services may vary between countries, so we recommend that you contact the appropriate consulate or embassy for specific information.
You need to apply for an ITIN if you have federal tax reporting or filing requirements and do not qualify for SSN.