04 Mar Who can get the $1400 Stimulus Check?
By Atty. Chris Caday Lozano
The governments’ support for the Covid-19 pandemic in Cares Act provides stimulus checks of $1200 initially and another $600 thereafter. Then there is the coming stimulus bill in Congress , the American Rescue Plan, providing for $1400 stimulus checks for most Americans. It passed the House and is now in the Senate for approval. The question is are non-citizens qualified to receive this check?
The second stimulus package has specific eligibility requirements for who can receive a stimulus check. Lawful permanent residents and some qualifying resident aliens with Social Security Numbers with authorization to work will receive a payment.
Which Non-U.S. Citizens Are Eligible for Stimulus Checks?
Only people with valid Social Security numbers authorized to work will be eligible to receive a stimulus payment. That means undocumented immigrants and immigrants who file their taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) are not eligible for a payment.
Originally, families with mixed immigration status, where one family member filed tax returns with an ITIN, disqualified the entire family from receiving stimulus funds. Nearly 5.1 million U.S. citizens or permanent resident immigrants last year were affected by the provision. The most recent stimulus package now includes those families.
Here are the non-U.S. citizens also eligible for stimulus checks (if they have a valid Social Security number):
Lawful permanent residents
Lawful permanent residents are individuals who are legally residing permanently in the U.S. as an immigrant, according to the IRS. Generally, these individuals are granted an alien registration card, also known as a green card.
Qualifying resident aliens
It’s possible to be a qualifying resident alien without having a green card. Under IRS guidelines, this includes people who are physically present in the U.S. on at least 31 days during the current year, 183 days in the past three years (including the current year) and have a valid Social Security number for employment. These individuals cannot be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer in order to be eligible for a stimulus check.
That means participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (commonly referred to as DREAMers), Temporary Protected Status (TPS) individuals and H1-B visa holders with Social Security numbers are eligible for stimulus checks.
There are certain people who might pass the substantial presence test mentioned above, but are exempt individuals—meaning they are nonresident aliens and don’t qualify for stimulus checks. That includes:
Foreign government-related individuals. That includes people those under an “A” or “G” visa (except for “A-3” or “G-5” visa holders).
Teachers or trainees. They typically hold “J” or “Q” visas.
Foreign students. This includes those who hold a “F”, “J”, “M” or “Q” visa.
Professional athletes. This includes those temporarily in the U.S. to compete in a charitable sports event.
Note that U.S. Citizens Living Abroad are Also Eligible for a Stimulus Check
U.S. citizens who live abroad are still eligible for a stimulus check as long as they meet the income thresholds and other qualifying criteria.
Those individuals will receive their payment the same way they received the first stimulus check in the spring; it will either be a direct deposit into the bank account on file with the IRS, or sent as a paper check to the address listed on your 2018 or 2019 tax return.
If you didn’t receive your first stimulus check, you will be able to claim it when you file your 2020 taxes this spring by claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit with Form 1040.
Note: This is not a legal advice and for information only. We can help in Income Tax Preparation to claim your stimulus checks as tax refunds. Please make appointment at 1-877-456-9266.
If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.
Chris Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers. He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and income taxes and personal injury law since June 1999. His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: info@CCLlaw.net