Can an Illegal Immigrant Get a Tax ID Number? (ITIN)

Can an Illegal Immigrant Get a Tax ID Number?
Can an Illegal Immigrant Get a Tax ID Number? | Photo courtesy | Facebook


If you are an illegal immigrant living and working in the United States, you may wonder how you can pay your taxes and comply with the law.

You may also want to enjoy some of the benefits that come with having a tax ID number, such as opening a bank account, getting a credit card, or applying for a mortgage.

In this article, I will explain what a tax ID number is, how you can get one as an illegal immigrant, and what advantages it can offer you.

What is a tax ID number?

A tax ID number is a personal number given by the IRS for processing taxes. There are three main types:

  • Social Security Number (SSN): This goes to US citizens and lawful residents. It also determines eligibility for Social Security and Medicare benefits.
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN): This goes to those not eligible for an SSN but who need to report income. This includes undocumented immigrants, foreign nationals, and dependents or spouses of US citizens or permanent residents.

How to Get an ITIN as an Undocumented Immigrant

To get an ITIN, fill out Form W-7 and provide ID or status proof like a passport, birth certificate, or driver’s license. Mail the form or submit it in person or through an IRS agent.

The IRS will process the application and assign an ITIN within 7 weeks, mailing you a letter. You can then file taxes and claim certain credits if eligible.

Benefits of Having an ITIN

An ITIN can help establish a financial history and access some financial services, like:

  • Opening interest-bearing bank accounts, including online banks
  • Getting credit cards to build credit score
  • When applying for mortgages, lenders may consider income/credit history

It also helps pay taxes and comply with laws. Paying taxes shows contributes to society and the economy. This record could also help in applying for future citizenship.

However, an ITIN does not grant legal status, work authorization, or social security benefits.

It is only a tax ID number and does not affect immigration status or deportation risk. Always consult an immigration lawyer before applying.



In summary, an undocumented immigrant can obtain an ITIN tax ID number by submitting Form W-7 with identifying documents.

The ITIN enables paying taxes, claiming eligible credits, and accessing some financial services.

It also helps establish a financial history and record of US presence, potentially useful if applying for future legal status.

However, the ITIN does not confer legal immigration status, work authorization, or social security benefits. It is strictly an IRS tax processing number.

The ITIN does not affect deportation risk. Before applying for an ITIN or filing taxes without legal status, always consult an immigration attorney regarding the best approach for your situation.

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