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An independent contractor is not something that is applied for, nor is it an official designation granted by the state or federal government. Rather, it's what a worker is if he is not an employee. For example, if you pay the neighborhood kid to cut your lawn, then that kid is an independent contractor. You pay him the fee for cutting your grass, but he is not your employee. You don't withhold taxes from what you paid him. That kid doesn't need a business license, and you don't need to give him a 1099 to make his status as independent contractor official.
Per the IRS, an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.
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If the person is not authorized to work in the US hiring them to work whether as an employee or an independent contractor is illegal for both the person hiring and the person hired. An independent contractor would have to complete a form W-9 and verify the validity of the ITIN provided. Otherwise you would be operating illegally.
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