• UPDATE — Trump EO Preventing Green Card Holders From Re-Entering USA

    By Virginia La Torre Jeker J.D.


    UPDATE January 29, 2017 Reuters reports that green card holders who are citizens of one of the seven listed countries are being admitted into the US on a case-by-case basis. Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union announced Saturday evening that a federal court in New York had issued an emergency stay on President Trump’s controversial executive order. The stay was granted by Judge Ann M. Donnelly of the US District Court. It is temporary, and a court will have to later decide whether to make it permanent. Under the stay, individuals cannot be deported from the US because of Trump’s executive order, but affected individuals who are currently abroad are in limbo. You can read Judge Donnelly’s order here and the full complaint here. Green card holders from one of the 7 countries who are abroad will have to contact a US Embassy or Consulate for further screening and approval to enter the US.

    An Executive Order (EO) was issued by President Donald Trump yesterday prohibiting US entry of individuals from seven listed majority-Muslim nations for a 90 day period presumably while the government determines what information it needs to safely admit them to the US. The seven countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Additional countries can be added to the list in the future – so keep your eyes open for the possible addition of new countries (might Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates be next?).

    The EO travel ban applies to all “aliens” — a term that encompasses anyone who is not a United States citizen. Green card holders are considered “aliens” and thus, it is possible if a green card holder is a citizen of one of the listed countries he or she could be barred from returning to the US from trips abroad. Those holding student or employee visas may be hit particularly hard if they are traveling abroad at the moment.

    The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has issued an update for all constituents detailing that it has already received reports that green card holders and other visa holders have been denied boarding and admission into the United States at the airport due to the EO. Similarly, the New York Daily News reported that some green card and visa holders were already being blocked from boarding flights to the US.

    Don’t Forget – You Still Owe US Tax Even if You Can’t Enter the Country

    Right now, nothing is very clear and a lot of questions remain unanswered. One thing is clear though, while green card holders may be banned from re-entry to the US under the EO, their US tax obligations will not be abated. They are responsible to pay US income tax on worldwide income regardless of their US immigration status, and they must comply with all tax information return reporting and FBAR reporting rules. Sound unfair? You bet. Maybe it’s time to reconsider that green card. Just make sure you give it up correctly or you may suffer some serious US tax consequences.

    Keep Updated

    ADC’s team of lawyers is reviewing the language of the EO to get a complete and better understanding.

    ADC is advising nationals currently in the US who are from the listed countries not to travel abroad as it advises “You will not be allowed to re-enter the country”. ADC will be hosting a Live Discussion on the EO and its ramifications on Monday, January 30 at 2:00 P.M. EST via Facebook Live.

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  • The information provided in this article is for general information purposes only. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to include advice on which you may rely. You should always consult a suitably qualified professional on any specific matter.

Virginia La Torre Jeker J.D.

Virginia La Torre Jeker J.D., is based in Dubai. Virginia has been a member of the New York Bar since 1984 and is also admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court. She has over 30 years of experience specializing in the international aspects of US tax, including FATCA. She has been quoted in the New York Times and Newsweek, and is regularly quoted in many local news articles and publications."

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