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Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Old May 18th 2012, 4:03 pm
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Default Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

I am currently studying an online course for a Florida Real Estate License. On successful completion i.e. I pass the end of course exam, I will be eligible to take the Florida State exam for my License. My problem is that I have to put forward my application prior to taking the exam to the DBPR who have stated that it is mandatory that I have a US social security number (SSN). Without it I can't apply.

I have no visa other than the Waiver visa. I have tried to contact the social security dept. at our US Embassy and they say I have to apply for "Legal Alien not allowed to Work" status prior to applying for the SSN. How do I do this? Can anyone help? All this seems a "catch 22" getting pushed between one US govern dept. to another.

My ultimate aim is to live and work in Florida the license would give me a good opportunity to secure work. My husband and I already have a residential home which we have had for two years.

Any advice would be gratefully received.
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Old May 18th 2012, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

You don't qualify for a SSN, period. If the licensing board requires a SSN, you don't qualify for a license, either.

The embassy is wrong -- the SSA no longer issues SSNs to visitors, and hasn't done so for an awful long time. If you require a number to pay tax (for example, you rent out your home), an ITIN is issued by the IRS instead.

A job offer as a realtor is highly unlikely to allow you to live and work in the USA. Notwithstanding the fact that most realtors are self employed.
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Old May 18th 2012, 4:47 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Originally Posted by SebastianFL View Post
I am currently studying an online course for a Florida Real Estate License. On successful completion i.e. I pass the end of course exam, I will be eligible to take the Florida State exam for my License. My problem is that I have to put forward my application prior to taking the exam to the DBPR who have stated that it is mandatory that I have a US social security number (SSN). Without it I can't apply.

I have no visa other than the Waiver visa. I have tried to contact the social security dept. at our US Embassy and they say I have to apply for "Legal Alien not allowed to Work" status prior to applying for the SSN. How do I do this? Can anyone help? All this seems a "catch 22" getting pushed between one US govern dept. to another.

My ultimate aim is to live and work in Florida the license would give me a good opportunity to secure work. My husband and I already have a residential home which we have had for two years.

Any advice would be gratefully received.
It's true that you cannot get a SSN without a US Status that allows you one; and visitors aren't allowed one. You also cannot get a TIN number (sometimes used in lieu of a SSN) because that can only be obtained at the time you file a US tax return, which you won't be doing.

So you've called the folks who want your application, and they've said they will not accept an application without a SSN at all, under any circumstances? Perhaps they only allow people who have legal authorization to work in the USA to obtain a real estate license?

Rene
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Old May 18th 2012, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Originally Posted by fatbrit View Post
Notwithstanding the fact that most realtors are self employed.
.... and in the case of Florida, starving.
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Old May 18th 2012, 5:38 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Originally Posted by SebastianFL View Post
I am currently studying an online course for a Florida Real Estate License. On successful completion i.e. I pass the end of course exam, I will be eligible to take the Florida State exam for my License. My problem is that I have to put forward my application prior to taking the exam to the DBPR who have stated that it is mandatory that I have a US social security number (SSN). Without it I can't apply.
What is the point of getting a Florida Real Estate License when you don't have (and do not appear to have a path to getting) the right to work in the US?
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Old May 18th 2012, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Have you tried to talk to the state about not having a SSN? I'm sure you're not the first person.
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

I fail to see how you can get a Realtor's license if you can't work in the US! Just because you have a holiday/vacation home in Florida does NOT make you a resident legal to work, and a license is only available if you are!

So I'd say you are SOL.
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Originally Posted by SebastianFL View Post
I am currently studying an online course for a Florida Real Estate License. On successful completion i.e. I pass the end of course exam, I will be eligible to take the Florida State exam for my License. My problem is that I have to put forward my application prior to taking the exam to the DBPR who have stated that it is mandatory that I have a US social security number (SSN). Without it I can't apply.

I have no visa other than the Waiver visa. I have tried to contact the social security dept. at our US Embassy and they say I have to apply for "Legal Alien not allowed to Work" status prior to applying for the SSN. How do I do this? Can anyone help? All this seems a "catch 22" getting pushed between one US govern dept. to another.

My ultimate aim is to live and work in Florida the license would give me a good opportunity to secure work. My husband and I already have a residential home which we have had for two years.

Any advice would be gratefully received.
It's not catch22 - you are attempting to do things in the reverse order. First you need to figure out what visa you qualify for in order to legally live and work in Fl. Once you achieve that, then apply for the RE license, which might help get the job you want.

You have not mentioned anything that indicates you have any chance of making the first step.
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Old May 18th 2012, 8:47 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

It is no different than an American trying live and work in Europe. First he/she has to qualify for a work visa and have an employer that wants to hire him/she. An American wouldn't be able to just pop into France and become a real estate agent since France has a 10% unemployment rate and definitely doesn't need another real estate agent.

Within the EU, moving from country to country is similar to an American moving from state to state but persons from countries outside the EU can't just come to the EU and start working anymore than a foreigner can just come to the US and start working.
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Old May 18th 2012, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Originally Posted by SebastianFL View Post
I have no visa other than the Waiver visa. I have tried to contact the social security dept. at our US Embassy and they say I have to apply for "Legal Alien not allowed to Work" status prior to applying for the SSN.
The 'legal alien not allowed to work' thing is for spouses of those who are here on a work permit such as a H-1B visa. If you and your husband are here as visitors that's just what you are - visitors with no right to work. In Florida we thank you for buying some real estate and contibuting to our tax base, but other than sunshine you certainly won't get a work permit in return.
Were you planning on making some cash on the side selling to other Brits? By the way - if you're either illegal or here as tourists and earning some income on the side, the IRS will be more than happy to provide a Taxpayer ID Number and accept your payment no questions asked - but you still won't get a work permit.
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Old May 21st 2012, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Well you can get an ITIN by filing a W-7 but I have a related question to this topic and I was wondering if someone with some experience could enlighten me:

There are lots of realtors in Alberta who have realty licences in places like Arizona and Utah but as far as I can tell they're all dual citizens. If you look at the requirement for a Utah realty licence they actually have reciprocal examinations, so if you have an Alberta licence you can get a Utah licence - but you must be authorized to work in the US.

My question is this - why do you need to be authorized to work in the US to sell real estate in the US? Because for example you could be living in Canada or Mexico easily enough and have lots of customers wanting to buy vacation homes.

I couldn't get an answer out of the licensing division in Utah, their definition of who is authorized to work is clearly not legal either, they define it as someone qualified to get food stamps, which would exclude people who are in the US for example as E-2. That violates equal employment law.

Clearly it can't be that you aren't qualified as they recognize the Alberta exam.

Every single realtor I've spoken to about it here, they have a partner or someone down there who can show you around the property.

I just fail to understand why you have to be authorized to work in the US to hold a realtor licence there. Someone explain it to me!
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Old May 21st 2012, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Originally Posted by sunnysideup View Post
If you and your husband are here as visitors that's just what you are - visitors with no right to work.
But you can be a visitor for business. I've entered as B-1 myself to conduct real estate transactions. CBP had no problem with it at all. VWP for business is pretty much identical to B-1 except the maximum length of stay.

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/87206.pdf

Aliens should be classified B-1 visitors for business, if otherwise eligible, if they are traveling to the United States to:
(1) Engage in commercial transactions, which do not involve gainful employment in the United States (such as a merchant who takes orders for goods manufactured abroad);
(2) Negotiate contracts;
(3) Consult with business associates;
(4) Litigate;
(5) Participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars; or
(6) Undertake independent research.
Well you're engaging in a commercial transaction, I suppose if the real estate is in the US then it could be considered employment in the US, is that where this all comes from? But the nexus of your business is outside the US (or can be at least).

I can't see how being an alien and having a realtor licence in the US is inconsistent with Hira. You enter the US to take orders, and in most cases you are entering the US to take orders for people who live outside the US, you're just examining property. It's incidental.
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Old May 21st 2012, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post

I just fail to understand why you have to be authorized to work in the US to hold a realtor licence there. Someone explain it to me!
I fail to understand what would be the point of holding the realtor's license if you weren't allowed to work in the country so as to utilize it! It would be a worthless piece of paper.
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Old May 21st 2012, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

But it implies you are familiar with the law there and are qualified to deal in transactions in that jurisdiction even though you don't live there. I'm sure there must be loads of realtors in the US who hold realtor licences in other States. How is it any different than being a member of the State bar if you're a lawyer? The principle is the same.

For example: http://www.re.state.az.us/Lic/Docume...g_Brochure.pdf

Says you must have "proof of legal presence" but says nothing about being a resident of the State.
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Old May 21st 2012, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: Need SSN for Florida Real Estate License

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
Says you must have "proof of legal presence" but says nothing about being a resident of the State.
Surely legal presence in the country is the overall necessity in order to work in any state in any manner except under the counter. And utilization of the license would be considered work, so it has to be a legal presence that permits employment. To use your example: once a lawyer is legally permitted to work in the US, they can take the bar in any state in which admittance would be beneficial to their practice. But if they aren't in the country legally in the first place, everything becomes moot.
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