Monday, 4 March 2013

ITIN application without sending passport

Just thought that I would post my experience so that it would help others in a similar situation.

The current regulations require that the ITIN application be submitted with original documents. In our three year old's case, this means his original passport, which the IRS can hang on to for up to 2 months. I found that pretty uncomfortable, so looked for options. One way is to get a photocopy attested by the issuing agency. This means the passport office of India - I thought the Indian consulate in San Francisco would help with that. Multiple calls to the consulate went unanswered. So I gave up on this route as well.

Finally discovered that tt is possible to do the ITIN application in person, without submitting the passport, at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. For a list of offices in California, see:

I went to the San Jose office with our three year old on Friday. The dependent who is applying for an ITIN needs to be there in person - so you need to take your child/spouse along. The office starts at 8:30 am, I reached there by 9 am (had to hunt for a bit because the building was not numbered - look for the building undergoing some construction/repair work and enter from the side street). Got a token after waiting in the line for almost 45 minutes - and our number came up at around 3:45 pm. So expect to spend the day there - if you are going with a child, take lots of entertainment :) Luckily, you can go out regularly, so my son and I spent most of the day wandering about downtown San Jose.

One good thing - the center actually accepted my tax return itself, not just the ITIN application. So there is no need to send any documents to the Texas office.

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  1. Did you get the ITIN for your wife and son?.Because I did the same thing in NC state.My wife received ITIN but they have sent a notice to send original passport or certified copy of my passport to Texas office.
    I have sent them original passport of my daughter on Mar 11th and delivered on mar 14th but still waiting to get ITIn and original passport

    1. My wife didn't need an ITIN, and we received my son's ITIN last week. So far, no request for any additional documents - keeping fingers firmly crossed!