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.
It is becoming increasingly important to have proof of your
immigration status in the United States. Having immigration papers,
documentation or proof of your legal status is essential if you have contact
with law enforcement or immigration officials. In the current environment, even natural-born U.S. citizens can run into problems with identification. What’s more, immigration paperwork can be necessary to gain access to many government benefits, secure housing, obtaining driving privileges, just to name a few. Continue reading →
Many people want to come to the United States to work, but not everyone can. Foreign nationals must have employment authorization before accepting work in the United States. In fact, both employees and employers may be subject to fines or imprisonment for illegal employment arrangements.
To work in the United States, a foreign national must have one of the following:
A Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card)
An Employment Authorization Document (U.S. work permit) or
An employment-related visa which allows you to work for a particular employer.
Are you getting ready to prepare an immigration form for you or a relative? In most cases you can do it by yourself without the aid of an immigration lawyer. But an inaccurate or carelessly answered question can delay an application or result in a denial. Likewise, a poorly prepared application packet can cause unnecessary delays and trigger additional questions. In fact, simple mistakes when preparing USCIS immigration forms can potentially tarnish the person’s immigration record forever.
In the fiscal year 2014, nearly 8% of the 7.7 million applications filed at USCIS lockbox facilities were rejected. That’s well over 600,000 applications rejected! Here are some helpful tips for preparing USCIS immigration applications and petitions: 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 →
There are many rules and restrictions related to F-1 student employment in the United States. Non-immigrant visas are issued for specific, temporary reasons to visit the U.S.
When issuing a non-immigrant visa, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes measures to validate that the applicant intends to return home. Therefore, there are additional checks to make sure employment is related to your education.
When evaluating their employment options, many international students are surprised to learn about these 3 lesser known F-1 student employment facts: Continue reading →
Certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders may now apply for an Employment Authorization Document. The final rule giving H-4 employment authorization was part of the executive actions on immigration that President Obama announced in November 2014. It became effective on May 26, 2015. The new rule ends years of waiting by thousands of H-4 visa holders that have been unable to work in the United States.
An H-4 visa is issued to the immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of H visa holders (H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3), so that they can legally stay in the U.S. However these dependent spouses have not had the privilege of H-4 employment authorization in the United States. Continue reading →
DACA is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and requires applicants to file three separate forms for consideration (Forms I-821D, I-765 and I-765WS). In addition to the $465 USCIS filing fees, immigration attorneys will generally charge several hundred dollars for preparation of the three forms. This has made the program difficult to afford for candidates who are typically students, recently employed or unemployed.
CitizenPath, which was founded by immigration attorneys and internet experts, uses the web to simplify Continue reading →