Social Security Number (SSN)

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Social Security Number (SSN)


A Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and certain temporary residents. The number is issued to an individual by the SSA after verifying his or her identity. The SSN is used to track an individual’s earnings and to provide access to government benefits. It is also used by financial institutions to verify an individual’s identity when opening a bank account or applying for a loan. The SSN is issued for life and does not need to be renewed. 

All financial institutes need a TIN or SSN from their client if the client is a US Person for tax purposes. This can come as a surprise to the customers of the bank or financial institute because they are not always aware of having American citizenship.

How do I get an SSN?

To obtain an SSN, you must complete complex application forms and provide various documents to prove your residence and identity, including your birth certificate. The duration of the application process varies between countries, taking anywhere from 4 weeks to a year. Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) in your country of residence to apply.

Do you have or think you have an SSN number? You can also request a replacement card from the SSA.

Our mission
Americans Overseas wants to make sure your path to compliance is a more simple, direct and cost-efficient one. We do this by providing information on tax matters for Americans living abroad. We connect Americans worldwide to the right tax specialists for their situation.

Why do I need an SSN?

You need a Social Security Number (SSN) for various reasons, such as to work in the US, file taxes, open a bank account, apply for US government benefits, and obtain a US passport.

If you have little to no ties to the US, it is likely that you will only use an SSN to file tax returns in the US and need it to give up to financial institutions outside of America. These institutions need to report your SSN annually if you are a US person.


SSN service

Need more help or can’t find certain information? Ask about the Social Security service at Americans Overseas, we are here to help you get through the process and inform you of all rights and obligations.

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Contact us about your situation and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

You can fill in the contact form, send us an e-mail or give us a call.

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After we received your information, we’ll set up a consult – free of charge and without any obligation – to fully asses your situation and to give us a better understanding of how we can help you.

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Based on the complexity of your situation, we’ll provide the right information that you need or set you up with a specialized tax advisor that will help you further.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the US tax system, the obligations and all the additional terms can be difficult. Especially if one lives outside of America. Is your question not answered? Contact us.