Should I apply for an ITIN?

Overall, an ITIN is an important tool to help you establish your footprint in the U.S. Here are a few examples of how an ITIN can be beneficial: 

  1. Proof of residency: If you consistently file your taxes with an ITIN, your tax returns can serve as your proof of residency in the U.S. In the case that you apply for any adjustment of immigration status in the future, you will likely be asked to provide proof of residency for a certain period of time. 
  2. Proof of income: In cases where you might need to show proof of income — like applying for an auto loan, filing FAFSA (federal student aid), or applying for other financial products — you can use your tax returns to fulfill this requirement. 
  3. Proof of ‘good moral character’: If you apply for any adjustment of your immigration status in the future, one criterion USCIS or an immigration judge may use during their consideration is the display of ‘good moral character.’ By consistently filing taxes with an ITIN, you can use this history to show that you have fulfilled your civic duty to file taxes as an individual residing in the U.S.

Aside from the ability to file taxes and establish your footprint in the U.S., an ITIN enables you to start building your financial life by accessing a number of financial services and products. Many banks and credit unions allow ITIN holders to open checking accounts, savings accounts, access credit-building products (e.g. credit cards), and take out loans (e.g. auto loans, mortgage loans). Learn more: What financial services can I access with an ITIN?

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