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No, you don’t have to be a U.S. citizen living in America to get a second stimulus check



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If you are a U.S. citizen living outside the country, you are likely still eligible for a second incentive payment.

Angela Lang / CNET

If you are a non-US citizen who lives and works in America, are a US citizen who resides abroad, or is a resident of a US territory, you may have some questions about whether or not you qualify for a second stimulus control from up to $ 600, now that President Donald Trump signed a new COVID bill into law. You may still be wondering if you have a check in it first round of payments last year but never made.

The second stimulus control changes some lines around who is eligible to get onedepending on your immigration status in the US where you live outside the US and your tax returns. We will break down and explain the changes and rules how to claim a missing payment for yourself or your children.

CNET has guides for this everything you need to know about stimulus controls as you are on SSDI, as you are an older adult, as you have dependents, as you are a young adult or if you pay or receive child benefit. We also have one stimulus calculator tool that the IRS formula can up to determine the payment of your second stimulus check.

Read more: Bad news: Not everyone qualifies for the second stimulus check, even if they got the first

Do you have to be a US citizen to receive a stimulus check?

Not necessary. Under the march CARES ActAll US and non-US citizens with a Social Security number who live and work in the US were eligible for incentive payments. That includes people referred to by the IRS as “resident aliens,” green card holders, and employees who use visas such as H-1B and H-2A. This rule is also the same in the new law.

If your citizenship status has changed since you first got a Social Security number, you may need to update the information from the IRS to get your check through the online nonfilers tool. U.S. citizens living abroad were also eligible for an initial payment (more below).

Who Does the IRS Count as a U.S. Citizen?

The IRS considers all people born in the U.S. to be U.S. citizens, regardless of the tax or immigration status of one’s parents. A person born outside of the US can also be a US citizen at birth if at least one parent is a US citizen and has lived in the US for a period of time.

The IRS also considers you a US citizen if you are over 18 and have gone through a naturalization process, which typically involves living in the US for three to five years, completing an application, attending an interview, and taking a citizenship test. . You need a certificate of naturalization or citizenship to prove your citizenship and get a social security number to qualify for a stimulus check.


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Am I considered a ‘resident alien’ and if so, am I eligible for a stimulus check?

The IRS defines “aliens” as green card holders and employees in the US with visas such as H-1B and H-2A, or those who have a “substantial presence” in the US. They must all also have a Social Security number. Foreign residents were eligible for a first incentive check under the CARES law, and are also eligible for a second check under the new package – as long as this is not the case. claimed as the dependent from another taxpayer.

If I am an undocumented US resident or do not have a Social Security number, am I eligible for a second stimulus check?

If you are a “non-resident alien”, you are not eligible for a second stimulus check. The government defines a non-resident alien as someone who has “failed the green card test or the substantial attendance test”. If you don’t have a valid Social Security number, you probably weren’t eligible for an incentive payment under the CARES Act, nor are you eligible for a second payment under the new package. If you filed a U.S. tax return but don’t have a Social Security number, you still weren’t eligible.

The House of Representatives’ Heroes Act – which has not become law – extended eligibility for non-citizens as long as they have a taxpayer identification number (ITIN), a replacement for a social security number. The last bill that did become law did not extend this possibility.

What if my spouse is considered a non-resident alien?

Under the CARES law, you were not eligible for an initial incentive payment if you had a Social Security number but your spouse is a non-resident alien and you filed taxes jointly. If you are filing jointly, both spouses must have had a valid Social Security number to receive benefits unless one of them is a member of the United States Armed Forces during the tax year. However, if you file your 2020 taxes separately from your spouse, you may qualify for that receive payment upon your return in 2020.

However, this rule has changed with the new one $ 900 billion packageIn the second round of incentive checks, a US citizen and their non-civil spouse are both eligible for a payment as long as they have a Social Security number. This is called a “mixed status” household when it comes to citizenship.

If I am a US citizen living abroad, am I eligible for a stimulus check?

Yes. U.S. citizens living outside the country were eligible for the first incentive payment below the CARES Act and are still eligible for one second incentive check of up to $ 600 for single filers, $ 1,200 for married joint filing and $ 600 for each qualifying dependent. Like the rest of the American population, you don’t qualify as anyone else you claim as a dependent about their taxes, or if you don’t have a valid Social Security number.

If you are a U.S. citizen abroad and meet those criteria and submitted tax form 1040 or 1040-SR (for older adults) in 2018 or 2019, the IRS must have deposited your payment directly into your U.S. bank account (it cannot in foreign bank accounts), or emailed to you using your information from your 2018 or 2019 tax return or from your Social Security pension or other federal benefits program.

If I live in US territory, am I eligible for a stimulus check?

If you are one of the 4 million people living in US territory – Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands – you were eligible for an incentive check under the CARES Act and are also eligible for a second check under the new package. However, the IRS does not split payments among the five territories. Instead, the local tax authorities do, based on information provided by the IRS. If you live in one of the areas and have not received an initial payment (and are not receiving a second payment on January 15), you should contact your local tax authority.

What if I live in one of the freely associated states?

If you are a citizen or resident of the freely associated states – the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands or the Republic of Palau – you may not be entitled to benefits. However, if you are a resident of a U.S. territory for the 2020 tax year for U.S. territory income tax purposes, you may be eligible for a payment through the U.S. territory tax authorities. For more information, please contact your local tax authority.

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident for federal income tax purposes, but reside in one of the freely associated states, you may be eligible for a payment from the IRS.

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People living in US territories were eligible for an initial stimulus check under the CARES Act.

Angela Lang / CNET

What should I do if I have not submitted a tax return for 2018 or 2019?

If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad or a citizen of a U.S. territory and have not filed a tax for 2018 or 2019, but qualify for an incentive check under the CARES Act or the new $ 900 billion package, you can claim that money during tax season this spring in the form of a Recovery Rebate Credit from the IRS.

This rebate would either increase the amount of your tax refund or decrease the amount of tax you must pay by the amount of incentive money the government owes you on the first and second payments. Read more about how to claim a missing incentive payment here, like everything you need to know about how your taxes affect your incentive payment.

What if I live abroad or in the US and have not received my first check?

If you meet all of the eligibility requirements but haven’t received your first payment under the CARES Act, you can claim that money this year in the form of a Recovery Rebate Credit from the IRS. If your second payment doesn’t arrive shortly after January 15, you may also need to claim it as a recovery credit (Learn how to claim your missing incentive money here).

What if I live abroad or in US territory and have not received the extra $ 500 or $ 600 per dependent child?

If you have a child aged 16 or under, who qualified for an additional $ 500 under the CARES Act or $ 600 under the new relief package, you can also claim that money as a Recovery Rebate Credit from the IRS.

How would a second check arrive if I live abroad?

A second check would likely arrive in the same way as a first. If you live abroad or in US territory, your first check probably was too deposited directly into your U.S. bank account (the IRS cannot deposit money into foreign bank accounts), or whether it is mailed to the address that the IRS has registered for you, based on your tax return or from your Social Security pension or other federal benefits program.

Now that a second round of checks is on the way, it will soon be possible track the status of your payment by visiting the IRS Get My Payment web page, or track it via USPS if you expect a check by mail.

For more information on incentive payments, here how to find out which IRS priority group you are in to see how quickly you receive your second payment.


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