My dad is a retired dual US/T&T citizen. He will be leaving the US in a few months to come live with me in Tobago on a permanent basis. How can he continue to receive his Social Security benefits when he moves back here? Can he open a bank account abroad?
Thank you for your enquiry. Residing abroad will have no effect on your father’s Social Security benefits. As a United States dual national, he may receive his Social Security payments outside the United States as long as he is eligible for them.
Regarding your second question, your father can absolutely open a bank account in Trinidad and Tobago. If he opens one at RBC Royal Bank or Republic Bank, he can sign up to have his Social Security check direct deposited. We encourage all Social Security recipients to sign up for Direct Deposit as this substantially reduces the delivery time. When you use Direct Deposit, you never have to worry about your check being delayed in the mail, lost or stolen. Alternatively, your father can elect to pick up his cheque monthly at the US Embassy, however, the delivery of paper checks is occasionally subject to delay.
In addition, any Social Security recipient living outside the United States will receive a periodic questionnaire from the Social Security administration. The information collected with this questionnaire enables the Social Security administration to update any relevant information. Your father will need to return this questionnaire as soon as possible as failure to respond can result in a delay or suspension of payments.
As a US citizen living outside the United States, we also encourage your father to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (Step). Step is a free service and allows enrollees to receive automatic updates about the foreign country where they are visiting or residing, including travel warnings and travel alerts. More detailed information about Step
is available on the Department of State’s travel website at travel.state.gov.
Finally, for your general information, the US Embassy in Port of Spain offers a range of services to US Citizens visiting and living in Trinidad and Tobago, including routine and emergency passport services, report of birth and death of a US citizen abroad, federal benefits and notary services. Most of these services require you to have an appointment.
—Appointments are available on our
website at trinidad.usembassy.gov. You can also reach the American Citizen Services section
by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For emergencies involving US citizens in Trinidad and Tobago, please call the embassy at 868-622-6371.