My spouse does not live, work or earn money in the USA, so he doesn't pay US taxes. (I file as "married, filing separately.")

But I want him to be able to apply for US credit cards. He can't get an SSN since he doesn't work in the US, but you can apply for cards with an ITIN (individual taxpayer ID number).

Can we apply for an ITIN for him, even though he does not now and will not be paying US taxes?

  • Do you mean he "doesn't pay US taxes"? Or "doesn't file a US tax return"? Someone filing a US tax return doesn't necessarily end up needing to pay US taxes, but they would get an ITIN to file.
    – user102008
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 22:31

2 Answers 2


Use form W7 to apply for an ITIN. You'll need to qualify for any of the reasons stated there. If you don't qualify for any - you can't get an ITIN.

From what you described it looks like your husband is not entitled for ITIN.


As littleadv says, Form W7 is the right one. Under "Reason for applying" you could select (e): Spouse of U.S. citizen/resident alien. See additional details in the form instructions. This would be an option after you are married.

Note that the top of the form states in bold italics that "An IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) is for federal tax purposes only." It may be worth editing the question to reference your assertion that an ITIN can be used for credit card applications.

  • Note that filing a tax return is a requirement for reason (e), and from my reading of the question such filing was not in the plans.
    – littleadv
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 5:57

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