SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home961. Employment Outside The U.S.

961.1 Is employment outside of the U.S. covered by Social Security?

Your work outside the U.S. is covered by Social Security if it is performed:

  1. As a U.S. citizen, a U.S. resident for an American employer (see §962), or for an American employer's foreign affiliate for which coverage has been arranged as described in §§963-965; or

    Note: Prior to the 1983 Amendments, enacted on April 20, 1983, coverage was available only to U.S. citizens (not U.S. residents). Also, the American employer and the American employer's foreign affiliate both had to be corporations.

  2. On or in connection with an American vessel or aircraft, if the contract of employment was entered into within the U.S; or

  3. On or in connection with an American vessel or aircraft, if the vessel or aircraft touches at a port or airport in the U.S. while you are working on it.

961.2 What does within the U.S. mean?

“Within the U.S.” means on, in or over any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands or the territorial waters of any of these places.

961.3 What does American vessel mean?

The term “American vessel” means:

  1. Any vessel documented or numbered under the laws of the U.S.; or

  2. Any vessel which is neither documented nor numbered under the laws of the U.S., nor documented under the laws of any foreign country if its crew is employed solely by:

    1. One or more citizens or residents of the U.S.; or

    2. Corporations organized under laws of the U.S. or any State.

961.4 What does American aircraft mean?

American aircraft means an aircraft registered under the laws of the United States.

Last Revised: Jun. 30, 2004