Coronavirus has impacted many individuals in the United States the past couple of months affecting personal finances as well as the economy. To ease the financial hardship on Americans, Congress has decided to send out stimulus checks. Not all citizens are eligible to receive a stimulus, and more specifically, not all immigrants are eligible.
What is a Stimulus Check?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, has provided fast direct assistance to US workers. The IRS distributes the checks to people who qualify without having to go through an application process. Under the CARES Act, some can receive up to $1,200 per individual, $2,400 per married couple who file joint tax returns, and $500 per qualifying minor child.
Qualification to receive stimulus payments:
- US Citizen
- Lawful permanent resident/green card holder
- Qualifying resident alien
What This Means For US immigrants
To receive government benefits, one must pass the substantial presence test, which means you must be present in the U.S. for 31 days during the current year, and 183 total days in the past three years. Certain immigrant categories automatically cannot establish a substantial presence.
Visas Holders That Can Receive Stimulus Checks
Visas Holders That Cannot Receive Stimulus Checks
- Anyone on a student visa (includes F visas, J visas, M visas, and Q visas)
- H-1B visa holders without SSN
- H-1B visa holders with H-4 spouse without SSN
Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act
In April, Congress passed the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act that allows individuals with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to receive stimulus checks despite their immigration status during this national pandemic. If a foreigner falls under the qualifications to receive a stimulus payment and a taxpayer, you should look into your government benefits!
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