This query is about a person who worked in the United States for about 14 years (legally) and contributed to Social Security during that time. He held a Green Card, which expired after he moved to India.

Will he be eligible for Social Security benefits (at retirement age) while living in India?

1 Answer 1


The Social Security Administration FAQs indicate that benefits claims are initiated from within the US.

Can noncitizens living outside the United States receive Social Security benefits?

In most cases, we stop payments to noncitizens after they are outside the United States for six calendar months in a row. If we stop your payments, we will not start them again until you return to the United States and remain for a full calendar month.

We may continue to pay benefits to noncitizens outside of the United States if they meet certain conditions. Use our Payments Abroad Screening Tool to find out if you can continue to get benefits while outside the United States.

The US does have agreements with a number of countries under which noncitizens can keep getting Social Security even if they live abroad permanently, although India is not among them.

  • 1
    So in short the person can not get Social Security benefits, as he will have to travel every 5 months to US, to keep his benefits.
    – Abhyuth
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 20:54
  • @Abhyuth Well...no. The Screening Tool shown above indicates that (assuming Indian citizenship and Indian residence and 10+ years of SS payments) you may receive SS benefits while outside the US and do not need to periodically return. You must, however, be in the US when you begin to receive SS benefits. After you are receiving benefits you can return to India. Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 3:02

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