When immigrating to the United States, you may have enough to worry about when trying to become a citizen. However, the last thing you need to worry about is debt. Unfortunately, whether you’re a citizen or not, you may be in overwhelming debt. As a result, you may want to file for bankruptcy, but you may hesitate because you’re unsure how it could impact your immigration process. The following blog explores how bankruptcy can impact immigration and why you need the assistance of a Memphis, TN consumer bankruptcy lawyer to assist you during these confusing legal matters.
Can Non-Citizens File for Bankruptcy?
In the United States, everyone, regardless of citizenship status, has the right to file for bankruptcy. Though you may assume you need a Social Security Number, there are a number of personal identification numbers that can be used by the IRS for tax purposes. These include your Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), TIN (Tax Identification Number), and Employee Identification Number (EIN). As such, you are able to file for bankruptcy with one of these numbers, as a Social Security Number is not mandatory for this process.
If I Fill For Bankruptcy, Will It Impact Immigration?
In most cases, filing for bankruptcy will not impact your immigration status. In fact, no parts of any bankruptcy forms inquire about citizenship status. Similarly, bankruptcy is not a public charge. This is critical as the United States Customs and Immigration Services has the right to deny the application of anyone who lacks economic resources and relies on programs like food stamps. However, bankruptcy does not qualify, meaning it will not negatively impact your immigration application.
Many believe it will reflect negatively during the process, as immigrants must demonstrate strong moral character. However, filing for bankruptcy is a legal right and does not reflect moral failings. In fact, this may actually help your application, as it shows you are dedicated to improving your financial situation to achieve a better life.
It’s also important to note that bankruptcy does not particularly increase the risk of deportation. Unfortunately, many immigrants hesitate to pursue this process, as they worry they will be arrested and forced to leave the country. However, the courts that handle bankruptcy are not focusing on your citizenship status. As such, you are not at an increased risk for deportation.
What Should I Do if I Need Assistance?
As you can see, there are many considerations that must be made when filing for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, when undergoing the immigration process, worrying about your debts can increase the anxiety you feel. That’s why it’s critical to connect with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Not only can they help you decide which option is best for your circumstances, but they can help ensure your paperwork is filed correctly and on time.
At the Arnold Law Firm, our team is committed to helping you through this time. As such, we will do everything in our power to make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Contact us today to learn how we can help you through these challenging times.