May 8, 2019

Is it possible to have too much money when you come to America?

There are many things your loved ones must consider as they come to the United States. Before immigrating, they must fill out applications, secure various documents, undergo a physical examination and get a visa. But while the process can be lengthy, they probably hope for a better life with you.

However, living in the United States can be far more expensive than the country your loved ones are emigrating from, especially when they do not have permission to work. But before your family members arrive at the border, they should know that entering the country with an excess of money could lead to trouble with the law.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized nearly $4 million so far this year

Up 62% over last year, the CBP Detroit Field Office seized unreported currency totaling $3,852,262 by the end of April 2019. This is a $1.5 million increase from last year’s figures during the same time frame.

There is no law against bringing money into the country. There is, however, a requirement about reporting large sums of currency.

What are the financial reporting requirements?

When your loved ones enter the U.S., they must report money and “monetary instruments” (a country’s legal tender) in excess of $10,000. If they do not report their amount of resources brought into the country, government officials may question their origin and seize them.

Financial declarations must include:

  • Currency
  • Traveler’s checks
  • Personal checks
  • Stocks
  • Securities

When CBP agents seize money, they may require proof of a legitimate source of the income. Government agents may also require proof of how your loved ones intend to spend their money in order to get it back.

Before your loved ones come to America, you can encourage them to contact the U.S. embassy for more information. The more they understand the immigration laws pertaining to financial declarations, the smoother their transition into the States may be.