My wife need to apply for ITIN so we can file our joint tax return for the first time. She is not a US resident yet, so she can't apply for SSN. According to W-7 instructions, we need to file the W-7 form along with the tax return to IRS Austin, TX location. My wife can't send her original passport because she needs it to fly to Greece next month (some days after the taxes deadline extension for 2021). We tried to call the Greek Consulate in San Francisco several times to schedule an appointment for issuing a certified copy of her passport but they have never answer the phone. So, we are running out of options. The W-7 instructions state that Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA) is another option, but this is only if you are renewing an existing ITIN; If you apply for a new one you have to submit it along with the tax return and all the required supporting documents. Does anyone have an idea on how to proceed with that?

As an alternative solution I was thinking of sending my wife's original greek national id but it seems that if we do that we will need another original or certified copy of another supporting document, e.g., a birth certificate we currently don't have available. Also W-7 instructions state that if a National identification card is used as a supporting document it must contain name, photograph, address, date of birth, and expiration date, but the greek national ids do not contain address and expiration date, so we probably can't use that.

1 Answer 1


The IRS has some Taxpayer Assistance Centers that offer in-person review of documents, where you guys can bring your tax return and your wife's W-7 and passport, and get the passport back the same day. This would be an option if you guys can get an appointment before the tax filing deadline.

If that doesn't work, other options include:

  • Requesting an extension (paying any owed amounts before May 17, 2021), and hopefully you can file the tax return with the W-7 to apply for an ITIN (either with the passport or at a Taxpayer Assistance Center) by October 15, 2021, or
  • You filing as Married Filing Separately for now, and then filing an amendment to Married Filing Jointly along with the W-7 to apply for an ITIN (either with the passport or at a Taxpayer Assistance Center) at a later date, or, if your wife will get an SSN, filing an amendment to Married Filing Jointly when she gets her SSN (you have 3 years after the tax filing deadline to amend and claim a refund)

(By the way if she will get an SSN in the next 6 months, requesting an extension is a good idea anyway because she can get the first two stimulus payments if she gets her SSN issued before the tax filing deadline, including extensions.)

  • Thank you very much for your answer and the options you provided us. I will start by trying the first one. I will accept your answer after trying and verifying any of the options provided :) Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 2:54

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