Second Round of Stimulus Checks: Are Non-Immigrants Eligible for US Government's Economic Relief Package?

The US House of Representatives recently passed a $3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions(HEROS) Act that allows for a second round of stimulus checks for eligible contenders in the US who were unemployed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This includes non-immigrants who are in the US on temporary work visas.

It is currently awaiting a vote of approval from the Senate which will determine if a second round of stimulus checks will be distributed to eligible residents in the US.

As of today, close to 40 million people have been rendered unemployed in the US due to the pandemic. Over 117,000 H1-B visa holders have been laid off due to the crisis and have had just 60 days to repatriate to their home countries.

Are You on H4 EAD and Currently Unemployed Due To Covid?

Here’s how you can apply for unemployment benefits

The rising unemployment has severely impacted the US economy that has motivated the House to pass the Heroes Act and distribute a minimum of $1,200 per qualifying individual.

Earlier, pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, several foreign workers including those on H1-B work visas received stimulus checks from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

What Expenses Does the HEROES Act Cover?

  • Stimulus check for families
  • Additional income for essential workers who have had to go back to work during Covid-19
  • Cost coverage for Covid-19 testing
  • Financial support for rent & mortgage, for some eligible candidates 
  • Other funds supporting local businesses & state governments

How much Money Do The Non-Immigrants Receive In The Stimulus Check?

Similar to the CARES Act, the HEROS Act gives –

  • $1,200 for each individual tax filer
  • $2,400 for married couples, filing jointly and 
  • $1,000 for each minor child/qualified dependent, up to three children/dependents in the family

Do H1-B Holders Qualify For The Stimulus Checks?

Yes, H1-Bs and other non-immigrant visa holders qualify for the second wave of the stimulus checks if they fall under a certain income bracket, i.e. $75,000 for individual incomes and $150,000 for joint family taxed incomes. 

It is important to note that these phase out at $99,000 for single income bearers are at $198,000 for those who are married filing taxes jointly.

Additionally, to qualify for the second stimulus check, the non-immigrant has to fulfil the requirements of being a ‘resident alien’ as defined by the US Tax laws and pass the ‘substantial presence test’. This means the non-immigrant should have lived in the US for – 

** At least 31 days in Yr. 2020 and

** For a minimum of 183 days between Yr. 2018 and Yr. 2020. These 183 days should cover:

  • All the days you were present in the current year,
  • + 1/3 of the days you were present in the Yr. 2019,
  • + 1/6 of the days you were present in Yr. 2018

Lastly, it is important to have a social security number to be eligible to receive these second stimulus checks. While the CARES Act prevented the entire family from getting the stimulus check if either one doesn’t have an SSN, the HEROES Act will only prevent that person from being eligible but everyone else gets their allotted amount.

The table below breaks down the SSN factor for eligibility –

Married Filing JointlyEligibility
Green Card HoldersYes
H1-B, L1 Visa HoldersYes
H1-B SSN + H4 ITIN + No ChildOnly For H1-B Holder
H1-B SSN + H4 SSN + No ChildYes
H1-B SSN + H4 ITIN + Child ITINOnly For H1-B Holder
H1-B SSN + H4 SSN + Child ITINOnly For H1-B Holder & H4 Holder
H1-B SSN + H4 SSN + Child SSNYes
H1-B SSN + H4 ITIN + Child SSNFor H1-B Holder & Dependent Child

HEROES Check Eligibility

In conclusion, this HEROES Act is yet to pass the Senate vote. In the meantime, the CARES Act expires in July and an alternate $600 “back to work” Bill is being discussed in the US government. 

Please stay tuned to Path2USA to remain updated on what will apply to you.