H1-B Visa Holders Will Get Coronavirus Stimulus Checks Starting Next Week

H1-B visa holders, their dependents and other non-immigrant visa holders in the US are eligible to get a check as part of the economic stimulus package called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. If you are a non-immigrant with an SSN and have filed your tax returns, expect to get a check credited to your bank account starting next week.

Will All Non-immigrants Get the Stimulus Check from the US Government?

No! Only those who are categorized as ‘Resident Aliens’ by the IRS will receive this check. This excludes visiting parents, international students on F1 student visas and those non-immigrants that don’t have an SSN. 

Visiting parents are not eligible for a check from the US Govt

But you can still protect them with a medical insurance that covers for Coronavirus

What is the Eligibility Criteria to Receive the Stimulus Check?

To get the economic relief check from the US government, all H1-B holders and other tax paying resident aliens have to meet a minimum standard of eligibility requirements applicable to most US citizens. Even children are eligible based on certain conditions.

  • You should have filed your 2019 tax returns
  • Else your 2018 tax returns will be considered
  • Have to have a Social Security Number (SSN)
  • If taxes are filed together with your H4 dependent visa holder spouse, both filers should have an SSN.
  • In the case of a child, the parent should have an SSN else, the child doesn’t get it even if the child has an SSN
  • People having an ITIN are not be eligible

You can still file 2019 taxes to claim the Stimulus Check

Here’s everything you need to know about the Federal and State Taxes in the US

What is the Substantial Presence Test and How is it Applicable to H1-B Visa Holders?

Substantial presence implies that the non-immigrant should have been present in the US for at least:

  • 31 days in 2020
  • 183 days within a combination 3-year period that includes 2020 and the 2 years immediately before that.
  • This should cover physical presence for the entire year of 2020 plus 4 months of 2019 and 1/6 of 2018.

If the H1-B visa holder has been physically present in the US for the above days, he will be eligible for the stimulus check.

When Can H1-B Visa Holders Expect to Receive the Stimulus Check?

The IRS will begin distributing checks starting next week. It will be sent out in waves and continue until September 2020. So if you don’t receive it in the next couple of weeks, first check whether you are eligible for it and then wait patiently.

How Can You Collect your Stimulus Check?

The checks will be deposited in your US bank accounts. If you had included information regarding direct deposit on your 2018 or 2019 income tax return, the IRS will directly submit the check there. If not, the IRS will have an online portal available that will allow tax payers to upload their direct deposit bank information. For the others, who may not have filed their federal tax returns online or received a federal tax refund in your bank account last year, then your check will come in the mail.

How Much Money Should Non-Immigrants Expect in the Coronavirus Stimulus Check?

H1-B visa holders are expected to get a minimum threshold of wages mandated by the LCA. Since this threshold might exceed the minimum wage requirement to qualify for the stimulus check, you will have to verify with your employer if you qualify for the check.

  • To qualify for the stimulus check, an unmarried visa holder, earning less than $75,000 will get a one-time payment of $1,200.
  • Married couples who file their taxes jointly but earn less than $150,000, the check amount will be a one-time payment of $2,400.
  • As the income exceeds $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers, this amount boils down to $0.
  • Families with children can expect to receive $500 for each child, provided that the parents have an SSN.

Will You Get This Check every Month?

No! the CARES Act is a one-time economic relief during the hardships of Covid-19. The US government will have to pass another Bill to an extend this relief package.

Does Getting This Check Affect My Green Card Application?

No! Since this check is considered a tax credit, you receive it like any other tax payer. Accepting this amount will not be considered a State benefit. This will not affect any future immigration filings including application for US citizenship.

Are you worried about becoming a Public Charge?

Here’s how to find out if you are one