The IRS accepts Form W-7, Application for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number by mail accompanied by ORIGINAL documents or certified copy of the document from the issuing agency to establish the identity and foreign status of the ITIN applicant. Applicants can also submit their W-7 by scheduling an appointment at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center while in the United States, or through a Certifying Acceptance Agent either in the United States or abroad.
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.
Section 203 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, enacted on December 18, 2015, included provisions that affect the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) application process. Taxpayers and their representatives should review these changes, which are further explained in the Frequently Asked Questions, before requesting an ITIN.