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The "been there done that" thread: life in the US after DV

Uncle33

Member
1. He can come 5 minutes after you enter. You’ll be in the system.
2. Yes
3. Yes, jfk is his POE. He will need to have time to clear immigration, then collect his bags from customs and take them to the airline counter for the next flight - check with the airline, as they often have a counter right outside customs where bags can be dropped for this. He would be checked in for his onward leg already (he’ll get both boarding passes at his point of origin), but if his ticket involves codeshare on a different airline for the onward leg, there is a chance he may have to change terminals to get his connecting fight (and possibly have to bring his baggage with to check it in there if this is the case).
4. Procedures are the same (and no payments are made anywhere at the airport), but queues and wait times may differ between airports, terminals at the same airport, and at different times of day. I’m conservative with these things and would allow at least 2 hours layover if he is departing from the same terminal and 3 hours if he has to change terminals. If he is coming at high season (say December), leave more time. I’ve spent 2.5 hours in the immigration line at jfk in December before.

All that said, where is your son? (I seem to recall UK?) There are direct flights to SFO from London as well as some other cities in Europe.
Thank you Susie for the quick reply.

Son is with us here in HK at the moment but he will go back to school in the UK later in September and he will join us in the US during his winter term break. Right now we are trying to plan our activation trip but a lot is yet to be firmed with all the travel restrictions and flight cancellations going on.

May I ask for more information about the immigration clearing procedures? Someone posted on the internet that we will be taken into a private interview room to be questioned, some said all procedures were conducted right at the counter, yet some other said there was a separate room with many other immigrants waiting to be called to a window to be examined.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Thank you Susie for the quick reply.

Son is with us here in HK at the moment but he will go back to school in the UK later in September and he will join us in the US during his winter term break. Right now we are trying to plan our activation trip but a lot is yet to be firmed with all the travel restrictions and flight cancellations going on.

May I ask for more information about the immigration clearing procedures? Someone posted on the internet that we will be taken into a private interview room to be questioned, some said all procedures were conducted right at the counter, yet some other said there was a separate room with many other immigrants waiting to be called to a window to be examined.
I’ve never heard of anyone being taken into a private room, not for ordinary immigrant visa processing anyway. Regardless whether it is at the counter or the separate room with many people (this is known as secondary), the “procedures” are the same. There’s really not many if any questions for DV, it’s just looking at the file, taking biometrics and stamping the passport basically.

If he’s coming from the UK then have him fly straight to SFO, there’s absolutely no reason for all the hassle of a layover. BA flies direct twice a day from LHR, Virgin has a direct flight, and I think United (one of the American airlines, anyway) also has a direct flight.
 

Uncle33

Member
Thank you for the details.

Yes, LHR direct to SFO is our first choice.

One more question. Considering it will be another 6 to 7 (maybe even 8) months before he will set foot into the US again after his initial activation trip in Dec 2021, is there anything (forms to fill and to submit to the government) that he needs to get done before he goes back to the UK? I have heard of something like a long-absence application form. My worry is that he only has a window of 2 to max 3 weeks while physically in the US during the activation trip, will there be enough time to get all the legal paperwork (other than the GC and SS card) done?

My head is one big nuclear power reactor right now. Any advice will be most appreciated.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the details.

Yes, LHR direct to SFO is our first choice.

One more question. Considering it will be another 6 to 7 (maybe even 8) months before he will set foot into the US again after his initial activation trip in Dec 2021, is there anything (forms to fill and to submit to the government) that he needs to get done before he goes back to the UK? I have heard of something like a long-absence application form. My worry is that he only has a window of 2 to max 3 weeks while physically in the US during the activation trip, will there be enough time to get all the legal paperwork (other than the GC and SS card) done?

My head is one big nuclear power reactor right now. Any advice will be most appreciated.
No, if he’s away for an absence of less than a year he doesn’t need to do anything. There is no “legal paperwork“ that needs to be done. All the paperwork is done before the interview, other than the simple online process of paying the immigrant fee after you get your visa.
 

adam_95

New Member
Hi all,

First of all - thank you BritSimon, SusieQQQ & Som1smom for providing such incredible guidance to DV selectees. It's really admirable - thank you all (and anyone else I have missed out that also contributes regularly).

Now to my question -
Does anyone here have any experience or knowledge with taxes if you are an LPR in the states but employed at a foreign company and working remote for a limited period during the move?

I'm currently employed at my work in my home country but it's entirely remote-based.
My work may approve letting me work from the US for the first three months before I officially quit, so that I may still have an income for the first three months as an LPR when I make the permanent move and looking for a US job.

I'm wondering if anyone here knows anything of how taxes would work in the states. I assume this is something i'll have to deal with my home country's tax office and look into, but I figured it couldn't hurt to see if anyone has dealt with being employed abroad for brief periods and taxing in US.

It would be for a very limited period (3 months) where I would receive income from my "home country" job but be present in the states as I transition to the american life.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

First of all - thank you BritSimon, SusieQQQ & Som1smom for providing such incredible guidance to DV selectees. It's really admirable - thank you all (and anyone else I have missed out that also contributes regularly).

Now to my question -
Does anyone here have any experience or knowledge with taxes if you are an LPR in the states but employed at a foreign company and working remote for a limited period during the move?

I'm currently employed at my work in my home country but it's entirely remote-based.
My work may approve letting me work from the US for the first three months before I officially quit, so that I may still have an income for the first three months as an LPR when I make the permanent move and looking for a US job.

I'm wondering if anyone here knows anything of how taxes would work in the states. I assume this is something i'll have to deal with my home country's tax office and look into, but I figured it couldn't hurt to see if anyone has dealt with being employed abroad for brief periods and taxing in US.

It would be for a very limited period (3 months) where I would receive income from my "home country" job but be present in the states as I transition to the american life.
First - as a LPR you are taxed on worldwide income. So all the income you make from the day you activate your immigrant visa must be reported to the irs, regardless where it comes from and where you are physically located at the time.
My understanding is that if you are physically based in another country earning there, you can used the foreign income exclusion for your taxes. (In this case you’d be paying tax to the foreign government of course). I don’t know what the current number for that exclusion is but it’s probably a bit north of $100k (annually) now. If you are physically based in the US as an LPR, even if you are working remotely for a foreign company I believe it is classed as earning in the US. If you are also paying foreign tax at this point then hopefully a tax treaty should cover you not paying extra tax to the IRS. Please double-check all this with a tax professional who is experienced at dealing with foreign earnings (not all of them are). I would actually suggest you get one to do at least your first irs return anyway, they can get rather complicated especially when you’re dealing with foreign income, assets etc. (and you don’t want to miss out on any deductions you may be entitled to!)
 

OC2USA

Active Member
Hi all,

First of all - thank you BritSimon, SusieQQQ & Som1smom for providing such incredible guidance to DV selectees. It's really admirable - thank you all (and anyone else I have missed out that also contributes regularly).

Now to my question -
Does anyone here have any experience or knowledge with taxes if you are an LPR in the states but employed at a foreign company and working remote for a limited period during the move?

I'm currently employed at my work in my home country but it's entirely remote-based.
My work may approve letting me work from the US for the first three months before I officially quit, so that I may still have an income for the first three months as an LPR when I make the permanent move and looking for a US job.

I'm wondering if anyone here knows anything of how taxes would work in the states. I assume this is something i'll have to deal with my home country's tax office and look into, but I figured it couldn't hurt to see if anyone has dealt with being employed abroad for brief periods and taxing in US.

It would be for a very limited period (3 months) where I would receive income from my "home country" job but be present in the states as I transition to the american life.

We are in a similar position and will be getting a tax professional who is experienced in this.

You also have to consider state income tax. Not all states have it but most do. It’s seperate to Federal Income tax.

As Australia has a treaty with the US on taxation we should be fine with federal tax, however still have to lodge tax returns in each country and declare worldwide income.

However if we stay in California we will have to pay state income tax on top of that.

Then you start adding assets, shares, rental income etc and it just becomes messy. As Sussie says, definitely get a tax professional to make sure you have everything covered and also don’t miss out on deductions.
 

adam_95

New Member
First - as a LPR you are taxed on worldwide income. So all the income you make from the day you activate your immigrant visa must be reported to the irs, regardless where it comes from and where you are physically located at the time.
My understanding is that if you are physically based in another country earning there, you can used the foreign income exclusion for your taxes. (In this case you’d be paying tax to the foreign government of course). I don’t know what the current number for that exclusion is but it’s probably a bit north of $100k (annually) now. If you are physically based in the US as an LPR, even if you are working remotely for a foreign company I believe it is classed as earning in the US. If you are also paying foreign tax at this point then hopefully a tax treaty should cover you not paying extra tax to the IRS. Please double-check all this with a tax professional who is experienced at dealing with foreign earnings (not all of them are). I would actually suggest you get one to do at least your first irs return anyway, they can get rather complicated especially when you’re dealing with foreign income, assets etc. (and you don’t want to miss out on any deductions you may be entitled to!)
Thank you for the clear answers Susie, I will look into a tax professional but will be first doing as much reading as possible so that I have some background of how the system works.
We are in a similar position and will be getting a tax professional who is experienced in this.

You also have to consider state income tax. Not all states have it but most do. It’s seperate to Federal Income tax.

As Australia has a treaty with the US on taxation we should be fine with federal tax, however still have to lodge tax returns in each country and declare worldwide income.

However if we stay in California we will have to pay state income tax on top of that.

Then you start adding assets, shares, rental income etc and it just becomes messy. As Sussie says, definitely get a tax professional to make sure you have everything covered and also don’t miss out on deductions.

I would also be planning to be in California and would be subject to state income taxes, so if you find a good tax professional then please let me know. Another related question, is it a problem to be employed in general to a foreign company as an LPR?
I am wondering if it has any negative bearing on residence status, even if you are living actively in the states. It could be good to know down the road.
 

adam_95

New Member
Thank you Susie, I will find a tax professional.
Another question - in the "Welcome to the United States: A guide for new immigrants" guide it says that males between ages 18-26 are required to register with the Selective Services, but on SS's website it says 18-25. Just wanted to confirm if the rule/law is now 18-25 or?
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
G
Thank you Susie, I will find a tax professional.
Another question - in the "Welcome to the United States: A guide for new immigrants" guide it says that males between ages 18-26 are required to register with the Selective Services, but on SS's website it says 18-25. Just wanted to confirm if the rule/law is now 18-25 or?
go with the official website. It specifically says “If you are 26 or older, it's too late to register.”
 

EmilyW

Well-Known Member
Been a while!

Definitely get a tax professional. If nothing else, if you're an Australian, our superannuation funds do not meet the definition of a pension fund in the US and are considered investments like any other, which are subsequently treated differently to pension funds from a taxation perspective. I've used a great firm here in NC since I arrived, and they make the process easy and painless.

And in other news, I'm now a citizen. I had my citizenship interview and test yesterday at the Charlotte Field Office, passed, and was able to take the oath the same day. USCIS has been a part of my life for nearly 8 years. It's a relief to finally close the door on my immigration journey and move onto the next.
 

Sm1smom

Super Moderator
Been a while!

Definitely get a tax professional. If nothing else, if you're an Australian, our superannuation funds do not meet the definition of a pension fund in the US and are considered investments like any other, which are subsequently treated differently to pension funds from a taxation perspective. I've used a great firm here in NC since I arrived, and they make the process easy and painless.

And in other news, I'm now a citizen. I had my citizenship interview and test yesterday at the Charlotte Field Office, passed, and was able to take the oath the same day. USCIS has been a part of my life for nearly 8 years. It's a relief to finally close the door on my immigration journey and move onto the next.
Already? Time does fly indeed :). Congratulations
 

Britsimon

Super Moderator
Been a while!

Definitely get a tax professional. If nothing else, if you're an Australian, our superannuation funds do not meet the definition of a pension fund in the US and are considered investments like any other, which are subsequently treated differently to pension funds from a taxation perspective. I've used a great firm here in NC since I arrived, and they make the process easy and painless.

And in other news, I'm now a citizen. I had my citizenship interview and test yesterday at the Charlotte Field Office, passed, and was able to take the oath the same day. USCIS has been a part of my life for nearly 8 years. It's a relief to finally close the door on my immigration journey and move onto the next.

Wow Congrats!!
 

adam_95

New Member
Congrats Emily!!

Question about absence (posting here as well as I highly appreciate and value feedback from all of you) -

I have been issued a visa which expires end of February 2022. I am in my final year of my studies but are a bit unsure of when to activate. What do you guys believe is the most sensible thing to do in this scenario?

It would be nice to have activated my LPR status sometime in October or November to feel more "safe" status-wise, but that would mean that I'd be outside the states for 8-9 (maybe 10) months until I move back after my graduation. Would this be a risky or do you believe it would normally be ok given my reason for the absence?

Would it be better to wait with activation until Dec or January and then activate?
That would mean it'll be more risky if something were to happen COVID-wise, although restrictions seems to be lifting both travel-wise and in my home country.

Just looking for some fresh perspectives on this as I haven't yet been able to decide.
 
Hello,

I became recently a permanent resident (yaaay) and I am already starting to think about naturalization :) Something is not totally clear for me regarding the residence requirements. When it is said that we must not stay more than 6 months/year outside of the US --> is it per fiscal/civil year ? How can I make sure that I am not overstaying abroad ?

Thanks!
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Hello,

I became recently a permanent resident (yaaay) and I am already starting to think about naturalization :) Something is not totally clear for me regarding the residence requirements. When it is said that we must not stay more than 6 months/year outside of the US --> is it per fiscal/civil year ? How can I make sure that I am not overstaying abroad ?

Thanks!
There are two separate but related requirements: physical presence - total amount of time within the 5 years you must be in the US - and continuous residence - presumed broken (but a rebuttable presumption) if absent for 180 days or more continuously at any time and broken ”properly“ if absent a year or more.
 
Ok thanks ! but what I don't understand is, if I want to apply within 5 years for citizenship, when can I start counting the 5 years ? I became a permanent resident in July 2021, so if all requirements are met (and there isn't any change in the law) --> I can apply for citienship in July 2026 ? Or should I count differently ?
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Ok thanks ! but what I don't understand is, if I want to apply within 5 years for citizenship, when can I start counting the 5 years ? I became a permanent resident in July 2021, so if all requirements are met (and there isn't any change in the law) --> I can apply for citienship in July 2026 ? Or should I count differently ?
You can file 90 days before the 5-year anniversary of the “resident since” date on your green card.
 
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