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Pls help. Filing Taxes questions

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My husband filed his taxes as Single in the US. But we are already married. He was told that it's okay to file as Single since i am not in the US yet. However, i read in the visa journey wiki that he shouldnt file as single if he is married.

Is that true? Should my husband really file as married? Why was he advised to file as

Single even when they know that we are already married?

What happens if in his tax form it shows as single and not married?

Thanks so much for all your help.

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Yes, he should have filed MFJ or MFS, even if you are not in the US. Married is married, right? The person who told him that didn't know what they were talking about. Your husband can amend his return when you come to the US and get a SSN.

11/06: Husband EWI from Mexico
11/08: Started dating

11/11: Husband got deported
1/11/14: Got married
1/26/15-3/17/15: NVC

5/28/15: INTERVIEW - denied

6/8/15: I-601/I-212 waivers received

11/17/15: I-601/I-212 waivers APPROVED

12/11/15: HUBBY HOME!! :dance:

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It depends. Do you have a SSN or ITIN? If you don't then it was not practical for him to file as married. What he could have done is to file a W7 along with his tax return to apply a ITIN number for you. I don't think it would become an issue and whenever you come to the US and get your SSN (assuming you don't have one right now), your husband can always file an amendment and add you to his return.

I used to work in the individual income tax field. I have had clients whose wife is in another country trying to come to America and did not have a SSN. What we did was exactly what I said above and it worked out fine.

Edited by Katherine93

08/13/2013 Came to the US on F1 visa

09/26/2013 Met my husband

11/03/2013 Started dating

03/11/2015 Got married at the court house

10/23/2015 Medical exam done

11/04/2015 AOS package mailed out by USPS priority (I130 & I145 concurrent filing)

11/06/2015 Packaged delivered to Chicago Lockbox

11/13/2015 Both checks cashed by USCIS

11/15/2015 Received text msg notification of receipts of I765, I131, I130 and I485

11/19/2015 Received NOA in mail

11/20/2015 Received biometrics appointment letter in the mail

12/04/2015 Biometrics appointment completed

12/09/2015 Case ready to be scheduled for interview

01/25/2016 Submitted online service request for EAD

01/27/2016 I765 case status updated to "New Card Being Produced"

01/28/2016 EAD officially approved and card has been mailed

02/03/2016 EAD/AP combo card received in the mail. YAY!


10/27/2016 EAD/AP renewal application mailed USPS priority

10/29/2016 EAD/AP renewal package delivered to Chicago Lockbox (Saturday)

11/02/2016 Online case status updated to interview scheduled for December 8th

11/12/2016 New medical exam done due to one year validity

12/08/2016 AOS interview and case was APPROVED, new card is being produced

12/12/2016 Received Approval/welcome notice in the mail

12/16/2016 Received conditional green card in the mail


01/31/2017 Filed for divorce (long story)

07/26/2017 Final divorce decree granted 

08/21/2017 i-751 with divorce waiver package mailed USPS priority 

08/28/2017 NOA/Extension letter received in mail 

11/01/2018 New card is being produced

11/02/2018 Case approved 

11/06/2018 Card has been mailed to me

11/08/2018 Received 10 year green card in mail

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I don't think it is big offence. Youncan file as single because you didn't live with him more than 6 months. Your tax return is for financial support not for proving bonafied for marriage.

11/27/2013 - Priority Date

04/01/2015 - I-130 Approved

04/21/2015 - NVC received Case

04/29/2015 - DS261 filled

05/02/2015 - Case under CSPA review

06/04/2015 - Supervisor review Initiated-Wait 42 days

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Do a search of VJ. There are tons of threads about this. He should have filed as married. Even if you don't have a SSN or ITIN, he could have filed Married Filing Separately, and put "NRA" in the field for your SSN.

I'm not familiar with the Manila Embassy, but there are some people that have posted on here about having issues/extra questions at their interview because of the Single status.

Mar 2014 - Married

5/7/14?? - Attorney mailed paperwork

5/15/14 DHS cashed check

5/19/14 - NOA1 received with PD 5/12/14

10/17/14 - NOA2 received

10/28/14 - Email received that file has been sent to NVC

11/13/14 - NVC received file

12/10/14 - NVC Assigned case number

12/12/14 - AOS Fee Invoiced

12/13/14 - Submit email to NVC to remove attorney as DS-261 Agent

12/16/14 - AOS Fee showing as Paid

12/17/14 - IV Fee invoiced

12/20/14 - IV fee available and paid

12/27/14 - DS-260 submitted

1/2/15 - AOS and IV packages sent to NVC

1/5/15 - USPS delivered packages to NVC

1/7/15 - NVC scanned in packages. Let the countdown begin...

1/30/15 - FINALLY got a reply to my email to remove the attorney from the DS-261

3/9/15 - Called NVC and they have checklisted us for an "incorrect" decree absolute from the UK, even though it is the legal official document. Have requested a supervisor review.

4/28/15 - Called and NVC said supervisor had reviewed and now claimed that the decree absolute was not included. After disagreeing with the less than helpful lady on the phone, and her not being able to get the review time right. (She kept changing her story between 42 days and 30 days).

4/30/15 - Sent the same copy of the decree absolute to the NVC from the UK, highlighting the "decree absolute" wording with a letter stating that this is the only document provided by the UK government.

5/6/15 - Scan date for checklist received.

6/5/15 - Case complete!!!

6/12/15 - Called and interview is scheduled for July 1!

6/14/15 - Received email with interview date and instructions.

6/19/15 - Case showing as ready on CEAC.

7/1/15 - Approved at interview!!!

7/6/15 - CEAC changed to Administrative Processing

7/7/15 - CEAC changed to Issued!!!!!

7/10/15 - Passport and packet delivered!

7/29/15 - Husband entered with visa at Dallas/Fort Worth airport

9/29/15 - GC delivered!!!

5/4/17 - ROC packet sent via USPS

5/9/17 - Tracking shows delivered

5/17/17 - Check cashed

5/19/17 - NOA1 received with date of 5/8/17

5/27/17 - Biometrics appt received 6/8/17

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My husband filed his taxes as Single in the US. But we are already married. He was told that it's okay to file as Single since i am not in the US yet. However, i read in the visa journey wiki that he shouldnt file as single if he is married.

Is that true? Should my husband really file as married? Why was he advised to file as

Single even when they know that we are already married?

What happens if in his tax form it shows as single and not married?

Thanks so much for all your help.

You'll be fine. My husband filed single too on his taxes. It was not an issue during my interview.

I arrived in the US Dec 2013, in Feb 2014 we filed our tax as married filing jointly. No issues whatsoever. No penalties either.

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This is a mistake that keeps happening over and over again - for two main reasons: 1) tax folk do not know or understand immigration and 2) common tax prep software does not allow a MFS or MFJ without a Social Security Number for a spouse.

If you are married, the IRS expects you to file MFS or MFJ. Period. No matter WHAT your tax guy or gal tells you, if you are married, it's MFS or MFJ.

Now, it's a common mistake, but it is easy to correct. The person who filed wrongly (the US Citizen) must file an amendment at some point. If you believe that the mistake will cost you your visa, then the US citizen should file ASAP. They will have to file a PAPER amendment. There is no way to file electronically if the spouse does not have a SSN or ITIN yet.

The non-US spouse needs to be ready to answer the question about filing singly at the interview - saying that the tax guidance the US spouse was given was incorrect, and that the US spouse has 1) either filed an amendment and you have a copy of the amended tax return or 2) the spouse will amend it as soon as you reach the US and you get a SSN.

For many of us, even WITH the mistake, the issue is never raised by the embassy/consulate. The issue WILL come up if the Case Officer or Immigration Officer has any doubts about the bona fide nature of your relationship, though. That's why it is best to have the US citizen spouse file an amended tax return as soon as possible.

A lot of people have made it through the process with the mistake. But don't take a chance, especially if you have heard your embassy/consulate is a stickler for this.

I will re-iterate: Most tax accountants DO NOT KNOW IMMIGRATION RULES!!!

Best of luck to you!

Sukie in NY




Our Prior Journey

N-400 Naturalization

18-Feb-2018 - submitted N-400 online, credit card charged

18-Feb-2018 - NOA1

12-Mar-2018 - Biometrics 

18-June-2018 - Notice of interview received

26-July-2018 - Interview  - APPROVED!!!

26-July-2018 - Oath Ceremony Scheduled

17-Aug-2018 - Oath Ceremony



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Definitely file as married as it complies to the law and it will help with your future processing,

but its not the end of the world if he didn't, he can easily submit amendment to change it.

10-04-2013 We met online
11-21-2013 We met in person in Shanghai for 2 weeks

12-13-2013 I-129F packet sent via express

12-19-2013 USCIS NOA #1 (text and email) received

12-24-2013 USCIS assigns Alien Registration Number
12-31-2013 USCIS NOA #1 hard copy received
06-02-2014 USCIS web site shows NOA #2 approval
06-06-2014 USCIS web site shows case sent to NVC

06-xx-2014 Fiancee acquired birth, marriage, and police certificates from local police station (wrong)

06-16-2014 NVC creates case with GUZ### number

06-19-2014 NVC sends case sent to Guangzhou, China
06-24-2014 Received packet 3 express mail from embassy
06-25-2014 Completed DS-160 and paid K1 visa fee

06-26-2014 Mailed packet 3 response back to Embassy

06-26-2014 Requested police certificate from Russian embassy

07-08-2014 Received packet 4 email from Embassy

07-17-2014 Picked up Russian police certificate

07-25-2014 Fiancee medical exam (received MMR & Varicella, but they missed required TD shot)

07-31-2014 Picked up medical exam reports

08-01-2014 Request (correct) birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service (GongZhengChu)

08-06-2014 Picked up birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service

08-14-2014 Passed Interview Guangzhou embassy

09-01-2014 Received passport, visa, & sealed envelope

09-13-2014 POE

09-17-2014 Went to CBP office to get (US entry) I-94 updated correctly

09-18-2014 Applied for Social Security Card
09-19-2014 Applied for Marriage License (via online)
09-25-2014 Received Social Security Card
09-30-2014 Picked up Marriage License
10-09-2014 Marriage by Justice of Peace
10-09-2014 Got Certified Marriage Certificate Copies
10-17-2014 Received a letter from SS office that they need the marriage license
10-09-2014 Applied to change the social security card name
10-24-2014 Went back to SS office to provide the marriage certificate documents again!!!
12-09-2014 Submitted AOS, EAD, and AP
12-16-2014 Received 16 emails and 16 text NOA messages
01-05-2015 Received Biometrics appointment letter for (01-12-2015)
01-12-2015 Had Biometrics (fingerprint & picture) - Required Marriage Certificate!!!
02-17-2015 EAD and AP is approved
02-23-2015 Received AP is approval letter
02-25-2015 Received EAD/AP combo card (expires 02/16/2016)
02-27-2015 Applied for SS card name change (they took her SS card)
02-27-2015 Driver's learner permit test was denied since the SS card was given to SS office for name change
03-17-2015 Received SS card with married name
03-17-2015 Started to change all her accounts to married name
03-23-2015 Received potential interview waiver letter
03-27-2015 DMV rejects learner's permit due to "legal status=pending" and vision test failure
04-05-2015 Vision test for learner's permit
04-06-2015 DPS sent us letter that DHS cleared my wife's status to acquire driver's license.
04-10-2015 Passed Driver Learner's Permit
04-22-2015 Received Driver Learner's Permit ID card (expires 02/16/2016)
08-27-2015 Green Card approved
08-31-2015 Received Green Card "Welcome Notice Was Mailed" letter
09-05-2015 Received Green card
10-26-2015 Passed Driver's License Road Test (on 3rd attempt)
11-03-2015 Received Driver's License (expires 02/16/2022)
11-06-2015 Applied to remove conditional work remark on SS card
11-23-2015 Received updated Social Security Card.
- - - - - - - - - - Pending Future Processing - - - - - - - - - -
05-27-2017 File 10 Year Green Card
08-27-2017 2 Year Green Card Expires
05-27-2018 File USC

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He could be subject to a rather large fine. The only filing status's he can chose from are married filing joint, married filing separate or single head of household if he has a qualifying dependent.

You think he will get fined for paying more? I don't know why in this situation you wouldn't file as married and get the tax benefits, but to each their own. Some might argued not living together wouldn't count as a deduction but I would argue it would count as more as having a family with 2 locations is expensive.

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