Are There Stimulus Checks for Green Card Holders?

Posted by Frank Gogol

You might have heard about the “American Rescue Plan” recently. The American Rescue Plan is an economic relief package that President Joe Biden has signed to provide financial relief to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This relief package is to the tune of $1.9 trillion, providing a third round of stimulus checks for all eligible individuals. But the one thing that’s on the mind of every green card holder right now is this: are green card holders eligible to claim the benefits of the American Rescue Plan? Let’s find out.

Will There Be a Third Stimulus Check?

Earlier this month, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. This is a financial relief package that provides support to eligible candidates in the form of a third round of stimulus checks, each $1,400 or more.

These stimulus checks are available to those who are eligible and have a Social Security number. The good news for green card holders is that they are also eligible for these stimulus checks.

Which Non-U.S. Citizens Are Eligible for Stimulus Checks?

There are two primary criteria that non-U.S. citizens have to meet to receive the third stimulus check. The first criterion is that they need to possess a Social Security number. The second is that they need to fall within the income brackets that have been defined in the plan. The income brackets differ for individuals, heads of household, married couples, and joint filers. The plan has made special provisions for parents as well.

This means that neither undocumented immigrants nor those who possess an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number are eligible for these stimulus checks. However, the government has made special provisions to include those families who have mixed immigration statuses, i.e., one member of the family who files tax returns with the help of an ITIN. Previously, these families had been disqualified from claiming the benefits of stimulus checks.

Here are the different non-U.S. citizens eligible to receive the third stimulus checks.

Permanent Residents

Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) are those who, according to the IRS, permanently and legally reside in the U.S. as immigrants. These are the same immigrants who hold green cards, i.e., alien registration cards.

Qualifying Resident Aliens

Some qualifying resident aliens do not possess green cards. According to the IRS, these are people who have valid Social Security numbers and have resided in the U.S. for at least 31 days in the current year or at least 183 days in the past three years.

This is known as the substantial presence test, which qualifying resident aliens have to pass to be eligible. They cannot claim themselves as a dependant of another taxpayer to become eligible for the stimulus checks.

Who does this include? This includes those qualifying residents who have an H1B visa, have Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or are participants of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It must be noted that each of these individuals can only claim the check if they have a valid Social Security number.

This means that those who are in the United States in foreign government-related jobs with an A or a G visa (except for A3 and G5 holders) are not eligible for the third round of stimulus checks. Other non-resident aliens who are not eligible are trainees and teachers that have J or Q visas, foreign students, including those who hold F, J, M, or Q visas, as well as professional athletes who are temporarily residing in the country to compete in charitable events.

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How Will You Receive the Stimulus Check?

If you are eligible for the stimulus check, you will receive the check directly into your bank account, which is how checks were received in the previous two rounds. However, the IRS may decide to send the checks through the mail as well, which means that you may have to keep a close eye on the mail you receive.

Special Consideration for Parents in the Stimulus Package

Parents have been provided with special provisions under this economic relief package. The good news is that it is not only minor children who will be eligible but also adult children claimed on tax returns. Children with permanent disabilities will also be able to claim the benefits. Every child who meets the criteria must also hold a Social Security number to qualify for the stimulus check.

Financial duress is the other criteria that parents must meet to receive checks for their children. Single parents or heads of households with an income of less than $200,000 a year or married couples with an income of less than $400,000 a year will receive $2,000 per every child who is under the age of 17. The financial relief that parents are due to receive will be in the form of the child tax credit.

Children aged between six and 17, qualifying adult children, and children with permanent disabilities will each receive $3,000.

However, for children under the age of six, the check amount is higher at $3,600 per child. Parents who are eligible to receive this amount are single parents with an income of less than $75,000 a year, heads of household with an income of less than $112,500 a year, and married couples with an income of $150,000 a year.

How Will Eligible Parents Receive the Extra Money?

Eligible parents will receive monthly checks from the IRS between July and December 2021. For children under six years old, parents will receive $300 per child, and for children between the ages of six and 17, parents will receive $250 per child. Parents are allowed to file their taxes until August 2021, after which they would receive the remaining half of the checks.

Are Citizens Living Abroad Also Eligible for Stimulus Checks?

Yes, citizens living abroad are also eligible for stimulus checks. The only criteria are that they meet all of the eligibility requirements. These individuals will receive the stimulus checks in the same manner as the previous two checks, either deposited into their bank account or mailed to the address they listed on their 2019 or 2020 tax returns.

Conclusion

The American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden has thus made financial relief available for green card holders. Those green card holders who have Social Security numbers and meet the other qualifying criteria can get economic support from this plan. The plan has also made special provisions for parents, which were not included in the previous two stimulus checks.

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