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I am a U.S. taxpayer residing abroad, and I have a child who was born abroad. Can I claim my child as a dependent on my tax return?

In general, you can claim exemptions for individuals who qualify as your dependents. To be your dependent, the individual must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, U.S. resident alien or a resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the calendar year in which your tax year begins.

Children usually are citizens or residents of the same country as their parents. If you were a U.S. citizen when your child was born, your child generally is a U.S. citizen. This is true even if the child’s other parent is a nonresident alien, the child was born in a foreign country, or the child lives abroad with the other parent.

You must include the social security number (SSN) of each dependent on your return. If your dependent is a nonresident alien who is not eligible to get a social security number, you must list the dependent’s individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), instead of an SSN.


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Updated: June 2, 2018

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