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
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
Effective 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
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
Applicants that are requesting consideration of DACA renewals are encouraged to apply as early as possible to minimize any possible lapses in coverage. DACA processing times are lengthy.
The problem is that USCIS acknowledges the processing times for DACA applicants is generally about 9 months. The national average for processing Form I-821D is 6 months. However, it is taking USCIS an additional 3 months on average Continue reading
CitizenPath is giving undocumented youth protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy a way to prepare all three DACA forms in one easy, low cost renewal process.
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