Category Archives: Naturalization

Check Your ITIN because it could be Expired or Expiring Soon

By: Coleman Jackson, Attorney, CPA
November 21, 2016

Check Your ITIN because it could be Expired or Expiring Soon

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, otherwise known as (ITIN) allows taxpayers to meet their tax filing obligations who cannot obtain a Social Security Number.  An ITIN is typically used by nonresident foreigners , undocumented resident foreigners, dependents and spouses of U.S. Citizens and resident foreigners who cannot get a social security number, and nonresident students, professors or researchers filing a U.S. federal tax return or claiming an exception, and anyone else who has a tax reporting obligation but cannot obtain a social security number.  The ITIN, like a social security number, is a nine digit code.  The ITIN begins with the number 9 and has fourth and fifth digits ranging from 50-65, 70-88, 90-92, and 94-99.   These are the middle digits of the ITIN.   The ITIN does not grant the holder any legal rights to reside in the United States.  The ITIN does not grant the holder any right to work in the United States.  The ITIN is issued by the United States Treasury (IRS).  The ITIN is only used for tax reporting purposes.

ITIN holders beware!  Section 203 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), which became law on December 18, 2015 made critical changes to U.S. Tax Law, 26 U.S.C. Section 6109 as it relates to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Program.  Because of these PATH Act changes, every ITIN holder must check their ITIN to determine whether it is expired or expiring soon.  The PATH Act made major changes in the ITIN Program which requires holders of ITINs to renew their ITIN.

Holders of unused ITINs must renew them or they will expire.  Any ITIN not used on a federal tax return for the last three (3) years.  Count back from the current year to the previous three tax reporting periods.  If it has been three years since the ITIN was used; it expires on January 1, 2017.  That means that if you hold an ITIN that was not used in 2015, 2014 or 2013; your ITIN is no longer valid and cannot be used when you file your 2016 federal tax return; unless, you timely renew it.  The IRS began accepting ITIN renewal applications on October 1, 2016 for taxpayers affected by the PATH Act.

ITINs issued before 2013 began expiring in 2016 on a rolling basis.  The mandatory renewal period for these ITINs is on what the IRS is calling a rolling basis.  The key numbers that triggers the expiration and mandatory renewal schedule as to when the pre-2013 ITIN renewal period began are the middle two digits of the ITIN.  For example, beginning October 1, 2016, ITIN holders with middle digits of 78 and 79 began renewing their ITIN. Every ITIN holder must examine their ITIN and the ITIN of family members (household members) to determine when their ITIN expires or expired based on the IRS rolling renewal schedule.

Holders of expired ITINs could have difficulty complying with U.S. tax laws.  They could be prohibited from claiming exemptions and dependents and so forth with expired ITINs.  Moreover, failure to timely file required federal tax returns carry serious consequences under U.S. tax laws, such as, civil negligence penalties, fraud penalties and potential criminal prosecution.  There could also be serious consequences under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for failure to comply with U.S. federal tax laws (Internal Revenue Code).  Federal tax law abuse violates the terms of immigrant visas under the INA in certain circumstances.   ITIN holders must check their ITIN because the ITIN could be expired or expiring soon.

This law blog is written by the Taxation | Litigation | Immigration Law Firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C. for educational purposes; it does not create an attorney-client relationship between this law firm and its reader.  You should consult with legal counsel in your geographical area with respect to any legal issues impacting you, your family or business.

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Taxation, Litigation, Immigration Law Firm | English (214) 599-0431 | Spanish (214) 599-0432

U.S. Immigration Petition Prices Set to Increase this December

October 27, 2016
By:  Coleman Jackson, Attorney

U.S. Immigration Petition Prices Set to Increase this December 2016

Have everybody heard?  It is official.  United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fees are set to increase effective December 23, 2016.  Applications and immigration petitions postmarked or filed on or after December 23, 2016, must include the new fees or be rejected by USCIS.  Some examples of the fee increase effect on some of the more popular applications and petitions are as follows:

Form Number

Form Title

Fee-Effective 12-23-2016

Current Fee

I-90

Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card

$455

$365

I-102

Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document

455

330

I-129/129CW

Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

460

325

I-129F

Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)

535

340

I-130

Petition for Alien Relative

535

420

I-131 /I-131A

Application for Travel Document

575

360

I-140

Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

700

580

I-212

Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal

903

585

I-360

Petition for Amerasian Widow(er) or Special Immigrant

435

405

I-485

Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

1,140

985

I-485

Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (certain applicants under the age of 14 years)

750

635

I-526

Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur

3,675

1,500

I-539

Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

370

290

I-600/600A

Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative /Application for Advance Petition Processing of Orphan Petition

775

720

I-800/800A

Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative /Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country

775

720

I-601

Application for Waiver of Ground of Excludability

930

585

I-601A

Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

630

585

I-690

Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

715

200

I-694

Notice of Appeal of Decision

890

755

I-698

Application to Adjust Status From Temporary to Permanent Resident (Under Section 245A of the INA)

1,670

1,020

I-751

Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

595

505

I-765

Application for Employment Authorization

410

380

I-824

Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition

465

405

I-829

Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions

3,750

3,750

I-924

Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program

17,795

6,230

I-924A

Annual Certification of Regional Center

3,035

0

I-929

Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant

230

215

N-336

Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings

640

595

N-400

Application for Naturalization

640

595

N-470

Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes

355

330

N-565

Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document

555

345

N-600/N-600K

Application for Certification of Citizenship/Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under INA Section 322

1,170

600/550

USCIS Immigrant Fee

220

165

Biometric Fee

85

85

The table of fees above does not list the names or filling fees for all immigrant petitions and applications.  Filing fee increases take effect on or after December 23, 2016.  New submissions must be submitted to the Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) with the payment associated fees attached.

This law blog is written by the Taxation | Litigation | Immigration Law Firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C. for educational purposes; it does not create an attorney-client relationship between this law firm and its reader.  You should consult with legal counsel in your geographical area with respect to any legal issues impacting you, your family or business.

Noncitizens In Danger of Deportation | Federal, State & Local Tax Violations Could Be Deportable Offenses!

By:  Coleman Jackson, Esq.

Coleman Jackson, PC | 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 443 | Dallas, Texas 75206 | www.cjacksonlaw.com | 214-599-0431
June 30, 2014

Tax Violations Could Be Deportable Offenses

Noncitizens of the U.S.A.  who commit certain federal tax crimes are subject to deportation as aliens who have been convicted of an aggravated felony. The U.S. Supreme Court held in Akio Kawashima v Holder, 132 S.Ct. 1166 (2012) that violations of 26 U.S.C. §§ 7206(1) and (2) are crimes involving fraud or deceit under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a) (43) (M) (i) and therefore aggravated felonies as that term is defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101 et seq., when the loss to the Government exceeds $10,000.  Akio Kawashima was a lawful permanent resident, (“LPR”), or Green Card holder.  The Kawashima case involved fraudulent federal tax returns; but, arguably, the reasoning could apply to a loss of tax revenues resulting from other taxable events and types of transactions (such as, failing to file timely returns, failing to timely collect and turn-over employment taxes, and etc.),  if the loss to the government exceeds $10,000.

What if a Green Card Holder fails to timely file FBAR and FATCA disclosures?  Could delinquent, missing, or silently filed FBAR and FATCA reports subject a noncitizen to mandatory deportation?

If the government asserts and proves tax evasion, the LPR or other noncitizen is for sure deportable because tax evasion is a deportable offense under 8 U.S. C. § 1101(a) (43) (M) (ii).  But even if the government does not assert or prove tax evasion, the noncitizen (LPR) could still be deportable under the Kawashima holding if the loss to the government exceeds $10,000.

What about the LPR who files false sales & use tax reports at the State and local levels of government?  Are these noncitizens deportable under the reasoning in Kawashima?

Maybe, depending upon how the state tax code is written, Kawashima, specifically applies to losses under the Internal Revenue Code; but arguably noncitizens who are convicted of any federal, state or local tax fraud or deceit resulting in a loss to the government in excess of $10,000 are subject to virtual automatic deportation.

This blog was written for educational purposes only and creates no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the tax & immigration law firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C.

Coleman Jackson, PC
Immigration & Tax Law Firm
6060 North Central Expressway
Suite 443
Dallas, Texas 75206
Law Firm Sitewww.cjacksonlaw.com
Main Line:   214-599-0431 ||| Spanish Line:  214-599-0432

United States Citizenship through Naturalization

By:
Coleman Jackson, PC
Immigration & Tax Law Firm
Firm Site www.cjacksonlaw.com
December 4, 2013

What is Naturalization?

United States NaturalizationIn the United States, citizens can be divided in two basic categories, Natural Citizens and Naturalized Citizens. The natural citizen is someone born in the United States or born to U.S. Citizen parents on foreign land. The naturalized citizen is someone born in a foreign country but granted U.S. citizenship after fulfilling certain legal requirements.

If you were not born as a U.S. citizen, Naturalization is the process by which you can obtain the United States citizenship if you make application to United States Citizenship & Immigration Services “USCIS” and meet specific qualifications set forth in the U.S. Immigration And Nationality Laws.

This article will guide you through eligibility criteria and application process for naturalization along with the benefits you will receive as a citizen of the United States of America.


Eligibility Criteria for Naturalization

  • Eligibility Criteria for U.S. NaturalizationYou must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must continuously reside in the United States for a period of 5 years. This period is reduced to 3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen.
  • You have not traveled outside of the U.S. at least for 1 year.
  • You must prove a minimum 3 months residence in the state where you are applying for citizenship.
  • You are a person of good moral character.
  • You have a good command of the English language, that is, you have gained competency in reading, writing and speaking English.
  • You must have fundamental knowledge of U.S. history and government principals.
  • You must be willing to perform either military or civilian service for the United States.
  • You must respect and support the constitution of the United States.
  • You must be willing to take an oath of allegiance to the United States of America.


Application Process for Naturalization

Application process for Naturalization is not complicated and consists of submission of a government form, several supporting documents, followed by an interview and the allegiance Oath at the end. Consider the following steps.

Eligibility Criteria for U.S. Naturalization LawDetermine eligibility: Before applying, make sure you satisfy all the eligibility criteria according to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service). For reference basic eligibility criteria are mentioned above in this blog.

 

 

Application Form to apply for NaturalizationObtain Application Form: You need to submit form N-400 to apply for Naturalization. You can print this form from the USCIS website or you can order it by calling 1 800 870 3676.

Answer all the questions completely and truthfully in this form. You should seriously consider consulting and purchasing the services of a professional immigration attorney because although the application process might seem straight forward; errors made when completing the form, failure to supply required proofs, certain factors in your background, inaccuracies and mistakes made when you obtained your Green Card, and application of certain legal precedence, USCIS field adjudication policies and practices could result in a denial or the delayed processing of your application.

 

Naturalization form submissionSubmit Application Form: After the completion of the naturalization application, submit it to USCIS for further processing and mail it via U.S. postal services or private mail company to the appropriate address. Along with application form, you need to send two passport size color photographs taken within 30 days, all required documents and fees by check or by money order payable to “Department of Homeland Security”.

Note(s):

  • Make a copy of the naturalization application and everything that you send to USCIS for your personal file,
  • Send supporting documents,
  • Send a bank cashier’s check or money order made payable to the Department of Homeland Security,
  • Do not send application fees by cash.

You will receive a receipt from USCIS, which indicates that your application has been received. You can check current processing times and the status of application on the basis of your receipt no.

 

Bio metric Appointment for NatiralizationBiometric Appointment: Once USCIS verifies your documents authentic along with required eligibility criteria, it will approve your application and send you a letter with instruction related to your biometric test, appointment schedule and place. Usually it is scheduled at your nearest USCIS Application Support Center near your residence. You should arrive at your appointment on time, with the USCIS letter and your personal identification card, such as your driver license or student identification card. USCIS requires applicant’s fingerprints for criminal background verification.

Sometimes USCIS may ask for additional documents for further verification and examination of your eligibility to naturalize, and will send you a request for evidence (“RFE”).

 

Interview for NaturalizationInterview: Once above processes are complete, the USCIS will schedule a naturalization interview.  They will inform you of the date, time and place of the naturalization interview by sending a letter to you. It is very important to dress appropriately, appear on time and be courteous throughout the interview. In case you fail to attend your interview, re-scheduling could delay the process for several months.  Failure to attend the naturalization interview could result in denial of your naturalization application.

At the time of the interview you will be asked about yourself and questions on the N-400 form you completed. You could even be asked about any matters in your immigration file.  It is very important that you are prepared for this interview and it is critical that you are truthful and honest in your responses to the officer(s)’ questions.

In some cases if you are unsuccessful in the naturalization interview, or the USCIS officer were not satisfied with your answers, performance or documents, you can request that a second interview be scheduled. If you are unsuccessful the second time, you might reconsider naturalizing or begin the application process all over again.

 

Receive Decision by Postal for Naturalization ApplicationReceive a Decision: After the interview you will receive your result, if you are denied then you will receive a letter explaining the reason(s) for denial of your naturalization application. If you believe that it is appropriate, you may request a hearing to appeal the denial decision. If your application is granted, Congratulations! You do not become a U.S. citizen until you take the oath of allegiance to the United States of America.  Be ready to participate in the oath ceremony.

 

Oath for naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States: Again, you will not become a U.S. citizen until you take the oath of Allegiance at the naturalization ceremony. In case you are not able to attend naturalization ceremony, you can ask for rescheduling.  After the ceremony you will receive your Certificate of Naturalization.

 

Benefits and Responsibilities of U.S. Citizenship

The constitution and laws of the United States of America give many rights as well responsibilities to citizens. Once you are a citizen, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities.

Benefits to become Naturalized Citizen of U.S.Benefits:

  • Vote in federal, state and local elections.
  • Right to a prompt and fair trial by jury of your peers.
  • Get to bring certain family members to the United States as immediate relatives.
  • Obtain citizenship for children born abroad.
  • Becoming eligible for federal employment requiring U.S. citizenship.
  • Right to become an elected official.
  • Travel with a U.S. passport.
  • Eligible for federal grants and scholarship.


Responsibilities  of a U.S. CitizenResponsibilities:

  • Support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
  • Serve the country when required.
  • Participate in the democratic process.
  • Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.
  • Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
  • Participate in your local community.
  • Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.
  • Defend the country if need arise.


This naturalization presentation is written to inform and for educational purposes only.  It is not given as legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship.  You should consult an attorney for any particular matter pertaining to your facts and circumstances.

COLEMAN JACKSON, P.C.
Immigration & Tax Law Firm
6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 443
Dallas, Texas 75206
Office Phone:  (214) 599-0431 (English)   (214) 599-0432 (Spanish)

Immigration Alert: U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin Category F2A is Current Beginning August 1, 2013

IMMIGRATION ALERT:  GREEN CARD HOLDERS WHO DESIRE TO FILE FOR GREEN CARDS FOR THEIR SPOUSES AND CHILDREN (UNMARRIED CHILDREN AND UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE)

 ACT NOW!

Written By:   Coleman Jackson, Esq. | www.cjacksonlaw.com | (214) 599-0431 or Spanish (214) 599-0432

July 17, 2013

Immigration Alert:  Green Card Holders who desire to get Green Cards for their Spouses and Children (unmarried and under 21 year olds) need to file the appropriate applications and supporting documentation on behalf of their spouses or children beginning August 1, 2013.

These folks are in Visa Bulletin Category F2A.  That typically meant that their spouses and children had to wait years for a visa to become available.  Well in the August 2013 Visa Bulletin Category F2A is “C”, which means that a visa is currently available starting August 1, 2013.  The category could regress (that mean become not current, which means that these folks will have to wait until it becomes current again if they fail to act).

For example,   in November F2A could regress where people have to wait years for a visa to become available.  It could regress anytime after August 2013 without advance notice.  So these folks must act immediately by filing for Green Cards for their spouses and children beginning in August 2013.

The United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs August 2013 Visa Bulletin reads as follows:

FAMILY-sponsored:

F2A: This category has become “Current” for August, and is expected to remain so for the next several months. This action has been taken in an effort to generate an increased level of demand. Despite the fact that there are large amounts of registered F2A demand, currently there are not enough applicants who are actively pursuing final action on their case to fully utilize all of the available numbers.

If you or your spouse or children are in Category F2A, contact an immigration attorney now.

This is an excerpt from the August 2013 Visa Bulletin, which shows that category F2A, is Current beginning August 1, 2013:

All Charge China India Mexico Philippians
F2A  C C C C C

This means that category F2A is current for all of the listed countries.  That is Green Card Holders from any country can apply for Green Card’s starting August 1, 2013 for their spouses and children.

COLEMAN JACKSON, P.C.

Professional Legal Services Corporation
Immigration & Tax Law Firm

6060 North Central Expressway
Suite 443
Dallas, Texas 75206.
Office Phone:  (214) 599-0431
Em: cj@cjacksonlaw.com
Firm Site:  www.cjacksonlaw.com