At the beginning of every year, taxes are a big topic. There’s a lot of overlap between taxes and immigration. There are various components of the immigration case that involve taxes.
Here are a few important tips on taxes in relation to immigration cases, specifically spouse visa cases.
1. File Your Taxes Jointly
If you’re married, make sure that you are filing your taxes together. Why? Because immigration is going to look at it as part of your relationship evidence.
If you are a married couple, immigration would want to see that you’re filing your taxes together because that is what a married couple does. Having your taxes filed jointly is very important for your relationship evidence.
If you’re filing your taxes individually or separately, that can cause and raise a red flag for immigration. They would ask you why in an immigration interview. It’s very important to know that immigration is looking to see if you’re a married couple that your taxes are filed jointly.
In that same vein, a lot of people say they can’t file their taxes jointly because their spouse lives in another country or their spouse hasn’t received their Social Security number yet so they can’t file their taxes together.
You can still file your taxes together and this is something that an accountant would be able to help you with. There’s something called an ITIN number, an Individual Tax Identification Number.
It’s not a Social Security number, but it’s a number that’s given to individuals who might be living in another country or don’t have a Social Security number yet. That would allow you to file your taxes together. Even if your spouse doesn’t have that Social Security number yet or they live abroad, there’s still a way to do that and you should file your taxes together.
2. File Your Taxes as Soon as Possible
If you’re going through an immigration case, the sooner you can file them, the better.
At the beginning of the year when everyone is supposed to be filing taxes, we see an uptick in requests for evidence.
If you’ve recently filed an adjustment of status case or if you are going to be having your consular interview at a US embassy or consulate abroad, immigration is going to want to see these updated taxes. They’re going to want your file updated with the new taxes for 2021.
Requests for Evidence
It’s very common that starting the next year, we will receive a request for evidence. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just part of the process. That’s how immigration will obtain those updated 2021 taxes.
You might receive a request for evidence and they use a standard template which might be scary or confusing. The notice will sometimes say that the petitioner doesn’t qualify as a joint sponsor and that these are the things that you need to provide.
It may or may not be that the petitioner doesn’t qualify. It’s usually just a template request and typically what that means is that they want your updated most recent year taxes.
We let all of our clients know that that is a possibility and if that happens, then it would just be a matter of reviewing the petitioner’s income to see if they still qualify. If you can file your taxes as soon as possible, that will be really helpful so that way you’re in a position to respond to that request for evidence right away or you can take them to your US embassy or consular interview abroad.