Obtaining an ITIN from Abroad
Effective January 1, 2013, new ITIN procedures take affect for the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) application process. Some of the information below, including the documentation requirements for individuals seeking an ITIN, has been superseded by these changes. Taxpayers and their representatives should review these changes, which are further explained in these Frequently Asked Questions, before requesting an ITIN.
Alien taxpayers who need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) may be able to secure one from outside the United States.
The IRS has permanent staff available that is able to help process Forms W-7, IRS Application Number and Instructions (PDF) at the following U.S. embassies overseas: Beijing, Frankfurt, London, and Paris. The addresses and phone numbers of these overseas offices may be found at Contact My Local Office Internationally. In addition, there are public accounting firms overseas in certain countries which are Authorized Acceptance Agents for ITIN numbers. You will find their names and addresses at the Acceptance Agent Program page.
The IRS also accepts a Form W-7 by mail accompanied by ORIGINAL documents or certified copy of the document from the issuing agency establishes the identity and foreign status of the ITIN applicant.
The Instructions for Form W-7 list 13 documents that can be used to prove foreign status and identity. A foreign passport is the only one that can stand alone (i.e., establishes both foreign status and identity). If a passport is submitted, there is no need to submit any other documents. If a passport is not submitted, a combination of at least two other documents, with at least one containing a photograph, must be submitted with the ITIN application. The IRS will accept copies of original documents, if the copies have been properly certified by:
- the government agency (foreign or domestic) which issued the documents, or
- employees of the U.S. State Department located in U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.