I have Green Card but it is not activated yet because I didn't visit U.S. yet.

I will enter U.S. 2 weeks later and I will stay in U.S. for 1 month after that I will come back my home country(United Arab Emirates) so after this point I need to find a job and move U.S. permanently in 1 year.

I have a bank account and I had income in U.S. from Apple App Store but I sold my app assets to someone else last week so I will not have any income when my green card activated. Should I pay tax for my earnings which are earned before I enter U.S. ? Should I fill form this?


  • Are you being precise enough with your language? Green cards do not work quite that way... But lots of employers are imprecise about the rules for working in the US, and aim to sneak people in on visa types that don't allow working, then have them overstay and work under the table illegally. This gives the employer leverage over the employee, to then treat them like practical slave labor. Also if you mishandle your visas, you can get banned from working in USA later, or even entering USA. And it's all on you, no forgiveness if you're tricked. Sep 2, 2017 at 15:43
  • If you're going to be outside of the US for a while after getting your I-551 it might be a good idea to obtain a re-entry permit to make things a little easier when you come back.
    – CactusCake
    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


There is no such thing as "activating" a green card. Only US permanent residents can have a green card, and you do not become a US permanent resident until you enter the US with your immigrant visa. It sounds like what you have is just a US immigrant visa, and you do not have a green card.

When you enter the US with your immigrant visa, you will become a US permanent resident, and the Green Card Test will apply, which will make you a resident alien for tax purposes, and thus subject to US tax on your worldwide income. However, (assuming you haven't been to the US much in the years before) since you only became a resident alien this year, the First Year of Residency rules apply, which means that you are only considered a resident alien for only the part of the year after you became a permanent resident (if you meet the Green Card Test) or the part of the year after you were first present in the US this year (if you meet the Substantial Presence Test), whichever is first (if you meet both tests); and you will be considered a nonresident alien before that, so you will be a dual-status alien for the year. If entering the US with your immigrant visa is the first time you are to the US this year, then the time before that, you are a nonresident alien, and you are not subject to US taxes on non-US income during that time.

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