Planning for Foreign Nationals


  • An estimated 36% of New York City’s population was born outside the United States.
  • Pretty much half the residents of the borough of Queens were born overseas.
  • In the 2010 census, it was established that over 21 percent of all married-couple households in America had at least one spouse born in another country.
  • Over 800 languages are spoken in New York City alone.
  • In 2013, the US issued 1,031,631 “green cards”.
  • In 2013, the US naturalized 757,434 new citizens.


If you are living and working here, but are not a full US citizen, you are subject to a different set of rules to Americans when it comes to number of tax and financial planning issues. This is particularly true in the field of estate planning, but can also come into play when it comes to insurance, mortgages, college savings plans and credit. And these rules can differ further depending on whether the taxpayer is a resident (“green card” holder) or non-resident alien here on a visa. If you overlay income from overseas onto the equation and the existence of foreign accounts with your name on them or that of your spouse (whether you are a citizen or not), then things are becoming far more complicated for you than before, with the strengthening of the reporting requirements which carry enormous penalties for non-compliance, even if non-willful.

At TA Planners, we are not tax or immigration attorneys, but we do work with these professionals to help to raise awareness among foreign nationals and their families of the new landscape in which we find ourselves and can point our clients in the right direction if more concrete action needs to be taken.

Foreign nationals based in the US and their citizen spouses need to familiarize themselves with their rights and responsibilities and particularly how these change as movement takes place up the immigration ladder from non-resident to resident to citizen. TA Planners can help.