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Social security outside the US

Boca Raton, FL |

I lived in the US for at least 10 years, paid my taxes. Have a valid for work ss card. I'm an undocumented immigrant voluntarily moving back to my country in Central America, not coming back. Single, no dependents, 42 years old. How and when can i receive social security retirement benefits? How is the process?

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Attorney answers 4


As an undocumented worker you will not be able to recieve Social Security retirement benefits. You would only be able to recieve benefits as a non-citizen if you became a permanent resident of the US.



If I eventually become a permanent resident, would it have to be with the same ss number? What happens with my retirement if I get a new number? And how long do I have to become a permanent resident to claim this benefit?

Garry Wayne Miracle

Garry Wayne Miracle


Sorry but I do not know the answer to this question.


As a lawful permanent resident, you qualify for retirement benefits while in the United States and perhaps even if you move abroad. You need not become a U.S. citizen.

To get Social Security retirement benefits while in the United States, a retiree must be legally here. However, U.S. citizens, permanent residents and even some undocumented immigrants can get those benefits if they move abroad. Anyone whose employment was subject to Social Security taxes may be eligible for these benefits.

Workers not here legally cannot get Social Security retirement benefits while in the United States. Whether they can get the benefits while abroad depends partly on where the person retires. However, most undocumented immigrants who worked in the United States using a Social Security number or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) can get benefits while abroad. For general information on Social Security retirement benefits, go to or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. You can get information about collecting benefits abroad by reading the SSA’s booklet, “Your Payments While You Are Outside The United States.” see:

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.


I don't believe you are eligible to receive any social security benefits if you are not a legal premanent resident or a US citizen. I suggest that you seek advice from an attorney that handles social security law.
Luis A. Guerra, Esq.
Law Office of Luis A. Guerra, PA
Atrium Centre
4801 South University Dr., Suite 252
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328
Telephone: (954)434-5800
Facsimile: (954)518-4268

Law Office of Luis A. Guerra (954) 434-5800. This answer is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as final, nor is it intended as legal advice.


Unfortunately, you can't. In order to be eligible for social security
benefits you must be lawfully present in the United States and legally
able to work. You do not satisfy these requirements under the facts you

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