Social Security Benefits for Non-US Spouses

Are you a foreign spouse who wishes to claim the social security benefits? Stay tuned till last at USTAXFiling, where you will get all the updates about Social Security Benefits!

If you plan to retire overseas with a non-US spouse, you might have several questions running through your mind: what social security benefits can you claim as a foreign spouse? Here is everything you must know:

Can Your Spouse Get Social Security Benefits If They Are Non-US Citizens?

This is the big yes! In several cases, non-US spouses may claim social security benefits. Your non-US spouse is eligible for survivor benefits, and they may become eligible for dependent or spousal benefits.

There are some exceptions, though. To know whether your foreign spouse is eligible to get social security benefits, let us take a look at the eligibility threshold.

Eligibility Criteria for a Foreign Spouse to Receive Social Security Benefit

The terms and conditions surrounding social security benefits for foreign individuals are complex. The exact needs may differ based on which country you choose to reside in or buy a new home. Also, there are a few general regulations that you must know.

To claim social security benefits as a non-US citizen spouse, the following are the eligibility criteria:

  • You should contribute to social security for a minimum of 10 years (Your spouse doesn’t need a history of contribution)
  • Your spouse should be at the age of retirement (62 years old for many individuals)
  • You should be at a retirement age (62 years old for several individuals)

(If your spouse or you have a kid who is disabled kid or under 16 years old, the minimum age is waived)

As long as your spouse and you meet this eligibility threshold, your spouse must become eligible for social security benefits. Also, if your spouse continues to work while getting these perks, they might reach the social security earnings limit, decreasing the amount they may claim.


If your spouse has worked in the US for too long to become eligible for their own social security benefits, they may not get two payments even if they become eligible for spousal social security benefits. They may only claim any of the two payments, whichever is larger.

Can Your Foreign Spouse Claim Social Security Benefits in Any Country?

Foreign spouses and US citizens may claim Social Security benefits in any country across the world. Also, there are a few exceptions to this.

First, no one can claim social security benefits if anyone is residing in North Korea or Cuba. Also, there are several countries where it is impossible for the government of the US to send social security payments. These are:

  • Tajikistan
  • Belarus
  • Azerbaijan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Moldova

Also, specific eligible individuals might claim social security benefits in these countries. If you stay away from any of the above countries, you may claim the social security payments that are withheld during your stay.

It does not apply to North Korea and Cuba. Payments that are withheld while residing in any of these two countries cannot be claimed even after you move.

Again, the regulations to claim the social security benefits may differ based on where you and your spouse stay. For more details, we would suggest you consult a qualified expat tax consultant.

Can Your Non-US Spouse Claim Social Security Survivor Benefits?

Yes! If you pass away, your non-US spouse might claim Social Security survivor benefits. To become eligible, your spouse and you should have been married for a minimum of nine months. Unless you are to die during active military duty, in that case, the minimum is waived.

If your spouse becomes eligible for social security spousal benefits, they may claim these benefits once they reach 60 years of age. If spouse is disabled, the minimum age is reduced to 50, and if they have a kid under 16 years or a disabled kid, the minimum age is completely waived.

Once your spouse comes to the minimum age, they may start to claim 70 percent of their social security benefit. If they wait till their age of retirement, they might claim the complete payment.

Get All the Answers You Need for Your Expat Taxes

In this article, we discussed everything about how a foreign spouse may get social security benefits. At USTAXFiling Expat Tax Services in the USA, we specialize in assisting expats around the world to manage their US tax obligations. Our USTAXFiling experts have rich years of experience and are highly skilled. They make sure to discuss everything related to social security benefits and resolve your queries as soon as possible. Our USTAXFiling representative has all the updated information related to Social Security Benefits. Schedule an appointment with us at USTAXFiling, and we will be happy to answer all the queries you have.

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