Can an Illegal Immigrant Get an ITIN?

Jan 31, 2024 | Immigration Attorney

can an illegal immigrant get an itin

Can an illegal immigrant get an ITIN? Navigating life as an undocumented immigrant in the United States involves facing a unique set of challenges. One significant hurdle is the lack of eligibility for a Social Security Number (SSN), a crucial requirement for various services. However, there’s a lifeline for individuals in this situation—an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). 

In this blog, we delve into what ITIN is, its significance, and the process undocumented immigrants can undertake to obtain one.

What is an ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is a unique 9-digit identification issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It acts as a substitute for the SSN, allowing immigrants without Social Security eligibility to fulfill essential tasks like filing taxes, accessing financial aid, enrolling in health insurance plans, opening bank accounts, and serving as proof of residency.

 Can an Illegal Immigrant Get an ITIN?

Absolutely! Any individual ineligible for an SSN can apply for an ITIN. The process is straightforward: fill out the IRS Form W-7 and submit it with supporting documentation, such as a valid passport. Verification of identity and foreign status is essential, and the IRS provides a choice of 13 documents to facilitate this process. Here are 4 ways to apply:

  • Mail Service: Applicants can apply through mail or private delivery service, eliminating the need for in-person visits.
  • Taxpayer Assistance Center: For those who prefer in-person applications, a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) allows staff to authenticate documents on-site.
  • Acceptance Agent: Applicants needing assistance can use an Acceptance Agent (AA) authorized by the IRS to guide them through the process.
  • Certifying Acceptance Agent: Similar to an AA, a Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA) not only helps complete the W-7 form but also authenticates documents, allowing applicants to retain their originals.

The application procedure can span up to seven weeks, and once sanctioned, the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is dispatched via local mail services. To ensure the ongoing validity of your ITIN, it’s imperative to incorporate it into your federal tax return. Neglecting to include it for three consecutive years will lead to its expiration.

3 Benefits of Getting an ITIN

  1. Facilitates Access to Government Programs and Services

Beyond tax compliance, having an ITIN opens the door to numerous government programs and services. Various assistance programs, such as housing support, educational grants, and community services, may require an ITIN for eligibility. This broader access ensures that immigrants can fully participate in and benefit from the resources available within their communities.

  1. Empowers Entrepreneurship and Business Ownership

An ITIN isn’t just a tool for personal financial transactions; it can also be a catalyst for entrepreneurship. With an ITIN, undocumented immigrants can establish and operate their businesses legally. This empowerment is crucial for economic growth within immigrant communities, fostering innovation, job creation, and economic self-sufficiency. It provides an avenue for individuals to contribute actively to the economy.

  1. Strengthens Family and Community Ties

The significance of an ITIN goes beyond individual benefits; it contributes to the well-being of families and communities. With an ITIN, undocumented immigrants can engage more actively in community activities, creating a sense of belonging and connection. Additionally, the ability to contribute financially through legal means enhances family stability. 

Get the Legal Help You Need

Having now addressed the pivotal question, “can an illegal immigrant get an ITIN,” the devoted team at 360 Immigration Law Group stands ready to provide meticulous legal support to clients nationwide. Whether you reside in Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach, Boca Raton, Tamarac, Parkland, Deerfield Beach, Sunrise, Oakland Park, Fort Lauderdale, and Plantation, consider us your dedicated partners throughout this critical journey. Take the next step and call us at 954.667.3660 for a free consultation. Available in Portuguese, Spanish, or English via phone, Zoom, or WhatsApp, our services extend to clients across all 50 states, U.S. territories, and worldwide.