What is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
An ITIN is predominantly used for tax purposes. People who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number, but need to file taxes or for other tax purposes, can apply for an ITIN and use it when they file their yearly tax return. It it NOT a substitute for a SSN, therefore you cannot legally work using an ITIN; you must have a SSN to do that.
ITINs are also used to open bank accounts, apply for credit cards and can even be used to get a cell phone account. Although these things are possible, not every institution will allow it. If you have any questions regarding those issues, please visit the forum, click on the search box and type in what you are looking for.
To apply for an ITIN, please visit the Internal Revenue Service website for more information.