How Foreign Residents Can Obtain an Individual Taxpayer ID Number issued by the United States

What is an ITIN?

If you intend to open a bank account in the United States for your company, an officer of your company must obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The ITIN is your personal tax identification number. You cannot open a bank account in the United States for your company unless you have an ITIN or a United States Social Security Number.
After your ITIN is issued, your company must apply for a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) before opening a bank account in the United States. The EIN is the tax identification number for your company. The EIN is required in order to file anything with the Internal Revenue Service and to open a bank account in the United States.


How do I obtain an ITIN?

You may apply to obtain an ITIN by using one of the options described below.


Option 1: Apply through an authorized Acceptance Agent

You may obtain your ITIN from an authorized Acceptance Agent in the states and countries listed at:

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96304,00.html

An authorized Acceptance Agent may charge a fee to assist you with obtaining an ITIN.


Option 2: Apply at certain United States Embassies and Consulates

To obtain an ITIN, you may apply in person at your local United States embassy or consulate. The information officers at some United States embassies or consulates will not charge you for this service. Call in advance for information about walk in times and schedules. Some United States embassies and consulates may not offer this free service. Check with your local United States embassy or consulate to inquire whether they offer this free service.


Option 3: Apply on your own by completing Form W-7

You also have the option of applying on your own by preparing and filing Form W-7 and mailing that form to:

Internal Revenue Service
Philadelphia Service Center
ITIN Unit
P.O. Box 447
Bensalem, PA 19020

With Form W-7, you must include copies of your identity documents that are certified by an apostille or notarization by a notary public in the United States. If you decide to mail in your own your application, rather than going through an Acceptance Agent or Consulate/Embassy, you should expect the process to take several months. It is faster and easier to obtain your ITIN through an authorized Acceptance Agent or a United States consulate/embassy.

You may download Form W-7 at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf
or
fill in Form W-7 online at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-fill/fw7.pdf.

If you decide to apply on your own by completing Form W-7, the copies of the identity documents listed below that you submit to the Internal Revenue Service must be certified by one of the following methods:

  • Certified by the issuing agency or official custodian of the original record; or
  • Notarized by a notary public in the United States, who must see the valid original document and verify that the copy conforms to the original. To locate a notary public, contact any United States embassy or consulate worldwide; or
  • Certified or notarized by a foreign notary authorized under the Hague Convention with an apostille attached.

What identity documents must I submit to obtain an ITIN?

You must submit one or more of the following identity documents to verify your identity and citizenship:

  • Passport, less than three years from issuance containing your mailing address.
  • Driver's License, with picture and less than three years from issuance containing your mailing address.
  • State Identification Card issued by national government authority, less than three years from issuance containing your mailing address and photo.
  • Military Identification Card less than three years from issuance containing your mailing address with photo.
  • Voter Registration Certificate
  • Birth Certificate or Marriage Certificate or Baptismal Certificate
  • School Records