MSC that do not require SSN?

I am an international student in the U.S. on a student visa and I am unable to get a SSN... long story and don't want to deal with bureaucracy.

What MSC's do not require SSN until you reach $600 or do not require SSN at all?


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Hi ann,

You can sign up and defer your SSN. You can still get paid without it.

Also, there is a sticky that has a list of which MSCs pay and when. Look for the ones that use PayPal.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Some won't pay you if you defer...they let you shop and then pay you after you give it to them.

Many will allow an EIN instead.
I wonder if there are some international companies that have shops in your home country as well as here will let you sign up using your home's version of a SSN? You might check with Albatross, Bare, Market Force, etc. to see what their policy is. Unfortunately, I do not know myself as I have always lived in the US.

Shopping across Indiana but mostly around Indianapolis.
I am going to be in the U.S. for about 4 more years. @HonnyBrown What MSC?

I don't want to do an EIN either.
I was thinking of you signing up with your information from your home country. If it was one of that listed shops in both countries, then you could do either country (basically the same as if I was on vacation to Europe or something).

Shopping across Indiana but mostly around Indianapolis.
If you are here on a student visa, there are restrictions on whether you are allowed to work or not, Be careful. Also, everyone (me, you, everyone) is required to report all income regardless of whether it is reported on a 1099 form or not. If you are here on a student visa, you need to be very aware of what you are allowed to do, and what you are not allowed to do.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
ann, an MSC is a mystery shopping company.

I defer my SSN when I sign up with a new one. I submit it when I do my first shop with them.

One MSC I signed up with without my SSN paid me.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
MSCs are real companies. IMHO (IN My Honest opinion), they all pay taxes. They are all subject to be audited. I doubt that any of them will actually send you money without you providing a SSN or an EIN. The IRS imposes requirements on businesses just as they impose them on individual taxpayers.

And as I mentioned above, INS imposes additional requirements relative to working on anyone with a student visa. Be careful.
@anng123 wrote:

do you have names of an MSC that does not require SSN for payment at all?

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
anng, how will you be able to pay your taxes if you don't have a SS# or an EIN? If you don't earn $600 with a company, they don't usually send you a 1099, but you would still be required to report and pay taxes on all earnings.
Myst4u is spot on. There are strict limitations on acceptable employment or any employment depending on the visa. If a MSC pays you five bucks, they are claiming it on their taxes. Many no longer defer the SSN specifically because of work eligibility. If you claim to be eligible and it is later discovered you are not, you have opened up all sorts of legal problems. Those types of legal problems will haunt you in the immigration system. They could conceivably prevent you from obtaining work related visas, becoming a LPR or becoming a citizen.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. There are various programs available for F-1 students to seek off-campus employment, after the first academic year. F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment, after they have been studying for one academic year. These three types of employment are:
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)"
Edited to add:
"For both F-1 and M-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS."

The bottom line is that if you want to induce an MSC to pay you to mystery shop, you first have to get your Designated School Official and USCIS to approve it based upon it being related to your area of study and whatever other requirements there might be. IMHO, an MSC is not going to want to get involved in getting you approved when they can hire someone with a SSN.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/25/2016 06:06AM by myst4au.
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