Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) for Immigrants

An Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is used for tax reporting and processing purposes. ITIN is issued to people who do not have or are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration. The IRS will not accept an ITIN application without a tax return. An ITIN does not give permission for people to work in the United States.

A person can apply for an ITIN when they are ready to file their tax return, which is generally on or after January 1st, but before April 15th of each year. ITINs are composed of nine digits and begin with the number 9.

In order to apply for an ITIN, the applicant must submit an ITIN application (Form W-7) with their federal income tax return. In addition to the Form W-7 and the tax return, the applicant will also need to prove his identity and foreign status in order to apply for an ITIN.

It usually takes from four to six weeks (4-6 weeks) to receive a letter from the IRS assigning an ITIN number. The IRS will process the tax return after ITIN is assigned. This may take from six to eight weeks (6-8 weeks).