For immigrants arriving to the United States, the American tax system can be a very new and confusing concept. In fact, the U.S. tax system is so complex that most natural-born Americans have difficulty filing each year. As a general rule, U.S. tax law applies to you if you live in the United States or spend a significant amount of time here.
In the United States 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 filing obligations. Continue reading →
The initial application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was an exhaustive and challenging process for many. But you should be pleasantly surprised to know that the DACA renewal application is significantly less complicated.
In fact, many DACA applicants are now able to prepare the DACA renewal application by themselves.
Eligibility for DACA Renewal
An individual may be considered for renewal of DACA if he or she met the guidelines for consideration of initial DACA and meets all the following guidelines: Continue reading →
For the second time, a federal judge has issued an injunction that orders the Trump administration to continue accepting applications for the DACA program. The New York ruling affirms an earlier court injunction in California that saved the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program from certain death. USCIS is now accepting DACA renewal applications.
On September 5, 2017, attorney general Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would phase out DACA. At the time of the announcement, eligible applicants could file a DACA application only until October 5, 2017.
Under the federal court ruling, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will now run the DACA program as it was before the September 5 announcement. However, USCIS says that they will not be accepting applications for initial grants of DACA, only renewal applications. Continue reading →
It’s probably the first U.S.-government issued identification that you’ve ever had. So losing a work permit from your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grant can be an exasperating experience. Don’t despair; you can replace a lost DACA card.
It’s important to understand that losing the DACA card, officially known as an employment authorization card, does not mean that you’ve lost your grant of DACA. It’s only a card that proves your deferred action status and authorization to work in the United States.
However, not having the work permit in your possession can create at least two serious problems: Continue reading →
Tomorrow marks the fourth anniversary of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order. And while the program has positively transformed the lives of many, there is still so much left unaccomplished in those four years. The DREAM has yet to be fully realized.
The DACA program, announced by President Obama on June 15, 2012, provides benefits to young immigrants living in the United States who came to the U.S. at an early age as undocumented immigrants with their parents. Each renewable two-year grant of DACA provides:
Deferred action — Protection from deportation
Employment authorization – a work permit that allows the individual to work within the United States
After obtaining Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), recipients will generally have to file taxes with DACA. Like everyone else, your income tax return is generally due April 15th.
If future laws provide a path to citizenship for deferred action recipients, you can bet that your responsibility as a tax paying member of society will be scrutinized. Filing taxes after DACA is a great way to build a solid track record too. Down the road, there’s a good chance you’ll need to show compliance with tax requirements, proof of your income, or prove your physical presence in the United States. Continue reading →
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients generally do not have a path to permanent resident status (green card). However, some DACA recipients can obtain a green card if they meet specific criteria. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center recently released an advisory that explains the technical requirements necessary to navigate this path to a DACA green card.
DACA is not a legal immigration status. It’s an exercise of discretion by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that grants temporary legal presence and employment authorization in the United States. Because many DACA recipients entered the country unlawfully, it can be very difficult to obtain legal status. The unlawful entry makes them ineligible for a DACA green card. Continue reading →
Update: USCIS Will No Longer Approve Advance Parole for DACA
People that have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), may also have the opportunity to travel abroad. The travel purposes are limited in scope, and travel must be authorized before departure through what is known as Advance Parole for DACA.
Advance Parole makes it possible to travel outside the United States and return without losing DACA status. It’s not available to everyone and for all travel reasons. Therefore, it’s important to understand the eligibility criteria and how to prepare the application for Advance Parole correctly. Continue reading →