If you are among the growing number of Americans who spend part of their career working outside the United States, both the United States and a foreign social security system cover your work. You would normally have to pay social security taxes to both countries for the same work. However, the United States has international agreements with a number of countries that eliminates this dual coverage, so you pay taxes to only one country.
International agreements help people who have worked in both the United States and another country, but who have not worked long enough in a single country to qualify for its Social Security benefits.
Under the agreement, we can count your work credits in the other country if this helps you qualify for U.S. benefits. If you already have enough credits under the U.S. Social Security system to qualify for a benefit, we will not count your credits in the other country.
If we need to count your foreign work credits, you will receive a partial U.S. benefit based on how long you worked under U.S. Social Security.
Although we may count your work credits in the other country, your credits are not transferred from that country to the United States. They remain on your record in the other country. It is therefore possible for you to qualify for a separate benefit payment from each country.
For more information about these agreements, visit International Agreements.