Tax Relief for Accidental Americans

Who is an “Accidental American”?  There are on occasion individuals born inside the United States to non-U.S. parents or individuals born outside the United States to U.S. citizen parents, are often unaware of their status as U.S. citizens for years.   These individuals are commonly referred to as “Accidental Americans.”  While this can initially feel quite exiting for these individuals to discover they are U.S. citizens, the excitement soon fades as they discover they have been U.S. tax residents since birth.  U.S. citizens, wherever in the world they reside, are subject to U.S. individual income tax on all sources of income, regardless of where this income is sourced (within or outside the U.S.), as U.S. tax residents.  At this point, the value of U.S. citizenship may drop for Accidental Americans, as they must come into compliance with U.S. tax law.  New Option: Relief Procedures  On September 6, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced procedures to provide a measure of tax relief for certain Accidental Americans.  While the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures could be utilized to bring Accidental Americans into compliances with (a) the requirements to file U.S. income tax returns and FBARs, and (b) the Exit Tax Regime, many Accidental Americans had strong motivations to […]
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Employment Based Visas

Every fiscal year, approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants under the provisions of US immigration law. Employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories. These five preference categories include priority workers and persons with extraordinary ability, professionals holding advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability, skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers, certain special immigrants, and immigrant investors.  Certain spouses and children may accompany or follow-to-join employment-based immigrants. Based on your approved petition, your spouse and minor unmarried children, younger than 21, may apply for immigrant visas with you. Like you, they must fill out required application forms, obtain required civil documents, pay the required fees, and undergo medical examinations.  To be considered for an immigrant visa under some of the employment-based categories listed above, the applicant’s prospective employer or agent must first obtain a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor. Once received (and if required), the employer must then file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the appropriate employment-based preference category. However, persons with extraordinary abilities category may file their own petitions. Employment based immigrant visa cases take additional time […]
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USCIS Proposes Filing Fee Increases

On November 14, 2019, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a proposed regulation, which would substantially increase the filing fees for many types of immigration benefits. The agency’s notice of proposed rulemaking, which is published in the Federal Register, explains that the proposed regulation would increase costs for most petitioners and applicants...
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Temporary Block on Immigrant Health Insurance Requirement

President Trump’s October 4th Proclamation has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge.  If allowed, it would require those seeking U.S. visas to obtain approved health insurance within 30 days of entry if they are not able to cover their own healthcare expenses. Judge Michael Simon, a Federal District Judge in Portland, Oregon, issued a nationwide temporary restraining order on Saturday, November 2, the day before the Proclamation was set to go into effect.  This order will prohibit the government from implementing the Proclamation for 28 days. During this time, the plaintiffs (seven U.S. citizens and a nonprofit group, Latino Network) and the defendants (various governmental agencies and officials)  will argue on whether the court should issue a preliminary injunction, which would block the Proclamation from becoming effective until the lawsuit has been completely resolved. In this suit, the plaintiffs are challenging the legality of the Proclamation, and if the judge issues a preliminary injunction, the Proclamation will be suspended until the judge makes the ultimate decision on whether the Proclamation is legal or illegal. This temporary restraining order comes weeks after a series of Federal Court decisions to temporarily block the Department of Homeland Security’s amended public charge rule from becoming effective. […]
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Presidential Proclamation to Block Entry for Uninsured Immigrants

On October 4, 2019, President Trump issued a proclamation that will require legal immigrants to gain approved health insurance coverage within 30 days of their entry to the U.S, unless they can prove that they are in a financial position that allows them to cover their own foreseeable medical expenses...
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Breaking News: Updates on the New Public Charge Rule

On October 11, 2019, three federal courts prevented the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from implementing the new DHS Public Charge final rule. The rulings came from...
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New Public Charge Rule Effective Soon

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the final public charge rule last month, and it will go into effect this coming Tuesday, October 15, 2019. With this new change, individuals who are likely to rely on public benefits while in the U.S. could be denied either admission to the country or an adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident...
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