Category Archives: Immigrant Life

U.S. Taxes and Immigration Consequences

U.S. Taxes and Immigration ConsequencesFor immigrants arriving to the United States, the American tax system can be a very new and confusing concept. In fact, the tax system in the U.S. is so complex that most natural-born Americans have difficulty filing each year.

In the U.S., everyone with income above certain levels is expected to file a tax return. That’s not true in all countries around the world. In many countries, the government withholds taxes from paychecks, and the individual never has to directly file an income tax return. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. agency responsible for collecting taxes.

Whether you are a lawful permanent resident or an undocumented immigrant, it’s important that you get a basic understanding of your tax obligations and the consequences of where you pay taxes. Continue reading

LGBT Immigration Rights Have Come a Long Way

LGBT Immigration RightsOver the last several years, LGBT immigration rights in the United States have changed significantly. A progressive cultural environment and several court cases have helped to equalize treatment of same-sex marriage in the U.S. immigration system.

While the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities continue to be persecuted throughout much of the world, LGBT immigration rights have blossomed in the United States. Continue reading

USCIS Fee Increases Effective December 23rd

uscis fee increasesEffective December 23, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase the fees that must be submitted with the majority of its immigration forms. The USCIS fee increases, which were finalized in an announcement yesterday, can be found in a final rule published in the Federal Register. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after December 23, 2016, must include these new fees or USCIS will reject your submission.

During the early summer of 2016, USCIS announced fee increases would be coming. The USCIS fee increases became official yesterday. Fees increased by a weighted average of 21 percent for many forms. While fees for some forms increased only modestly, fees for other forms such as Form N-600 ballooned by 95 percent. Continue reading

Best Way to Send Money Abroad

best way to send money abroad internationallyYour first thought when sending money abroad might be to visit your bank or maybe even the convenience of the services at your local Walmart. In fact, you can find remittance services — funds sent overseas by foreign-born residents — in supermarkets, convenience and drug stores, and stand-alone storefront operations. Today, the variety of options can make it complicated to shop for the best way to send money abroad.

Each year, U.S. households send an estimated $135 billion to families, friends, and others abroad. The United States is the world’s largest source of remittances according to the Government Accountability Office. The graph below illustrates U.S. remittance amounts to the top 10 countries. Continue reading