I am a French citizen on a J1 visa in the USA, and recently became a resident alien. As such, I will be taxed. If I read correctly the IRS page, I can claim exemption for my wife and our two kids (all of them being residents as well, and on J2 visas).
But, as they say,
CAUTION: Your spouse and each dependent must have either a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number in order to be claimed as an exemption or a dependent.
According to this brochure (second paragraph), my wife can't get a SSN because she is not authorized to to work in the US by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We're going to re-submit a demand for an ITIN.
However, I think that our children are allowed to get an SSN.
- Is that correct: can children on a J2 visa ask for an SSN?
- Is there any advantage to obtain an SSN rather than an ITIN?
Edit / Update: as it turns out, I used the Tax treaty between France and the USA to be completely exempted from taxes, and hence didn't need to claim any exemption. Consequently, there was no need for ITIN for my dependants, since they weren't claimed as exemptions.