Effects of Unintended, Lengthy Stay in the United States, by Lawmaks

The global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has triggered an array of unpredictable consequences especially for travelers who must worry about maintaining a legal status. With the current cancellation of flights and travel restrictions, many individuals have found themselves wondering how to legally extend their stay in order to remain “in status” of their Visa or ESTA. 

This issue is especially of importance to individuals who may be reaching or surpassing a 6-month “overstay” which may trigger a 3-year bar from returning to the United States. Legal assistance is recommended for individuals affected by the pandemic, due to the rapidly changing protocols and procedures.

Another unintended consequence of COVID-19 has to do with triggering US tax residency for those individuals forced to remain in the US. As a general rule the Substantial Presence Test (SPT) is applied and if an individual (who is not a US citizen or green card holder) is physically present in the US for 183 days (in the aggregate) or more in the calendar year he/she is considered a US tax resident and will be subject to US federal income tax on a worldwide basis. 

While these developments affect many foreign nationals, they are particularly impactful for business sectors that typically have a significant number of foreign nationals in their workforce, such as investment funds, IT businesses, and consulting companies.  

It is highly recommended for foreign nationals and companies who find themselves in this predicament to consult qualified immigration lawyers as well as tax advisors when faced with the unintended consequences of an overstay.

Contact LAWMAKS for an evaluation of your individual case.

The content in this newsletter should not be construed as legal advice. We encourage you to contact an Immigration Attorney for any immigration law questions you may have. Furthermore, the content herein is the work product of LAWMAKS and should not be copied or redistributed in any form or fashion by any individual or entity.