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Federal Benefits

Social Security and Federal Benefits

Social Security Numbers

The U.S. Embassy does not have a Federal Benefits Unit, but may accept Social Security Card applications and forward them to the regional overseas office for processing. Processing takes approximately 9-12 months from the time of application and the card will be mailed directly to the mailing address on the application. Social Security Cards may be mailed to the U.S. Embassy for pick up. Please note that applying for a Social Security Card in the U.S. takes approximately 1-2 weeks and may be a better option for those traveling back.

To apply for a Social Security Card for a child under age 12, only the American Citizen parent is required to appear and must bring the following:

  • Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5-FS) signed by either the U.S. Citizen Parent or the U.S. Citizen child
  • U.S. Citizen Parent’s passport (one of the parents must be an U.S. Citizen if the child is under age 12)
    • The passport must have at least 12 month validity
    • The passport must be signed
  • U.S. Citizen Child’s passport
    • The passport must have at least 12 month validity
    • The passport must be signed by the child or the U.S. Citizen parent
  • Child’s original Consular Report of Birth Abroad or birth certificate (with English translation if applicable)
  • Fees: no charge
  • Please make an online appointment by clicking here.

If the child is over age 12 and has never applied for a Social Security Card, he or she must provide original Elementary and High School transcripts and be interviewed by a consular officer in person. For more information on Social Security and other federal benefits for U.S. Citizens living overseas, please click here.

Lost / Replacement Social Security Cards

If your Social Security Card was lost / stolen, you may apply for a replacement card with the Federal Benefits Unit. The process to obtain a replacement Social Security Card is the same as applying for a new Social Security number, please see above.

Social Security and Retirement

Individuals ready for retirement, need to apply for benefits with the Social Security Administration on their own. Go to and select “Apply online for retirement benefits.”

The social security office uses the most secure technology to keep your information private. Once the social security office receives your application, they will review it and contact you if they need any more information. When they have all the necessary information and documents they‘ll process your application and send you a letter in the mail with the result.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers

The U.S. Embassy is not able to accept applications for ITINs. We can certify a true copy of an individual’s foreign passport which must be included as part of the application process. Please make an online appointment by clicking here. There is a $50 fee for this service.

For more information, please visit the following websites:

The Department of State’s information on paying taxes while abroad

The Internal Revenue Service’s information for international taxpayers

Additional Resources

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