Indians in Atlanta
ICE is at your door. What do you do?

ICE is at your door. What do you do?

by homeis

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — the federal law enforcement agency in charge of arresting, detaining, and deporting undocumented immigrants or documented immigrants with criminal convictions — is reportedly begiun nationwide raids, potentially impacting thousands of immigrant families.


Dealing with law enforcement can be stressful, so it’s important to know your rights before you’re face-to-face with ICE agents. While there’s never any guarantee that law enforcement officers will follow the law, here’s what they can and can’t legally do to you and what you can legally demand.


Don’t Open the Door:

Like police, ICE can’t enter your home without a warrant signed by a judge. You can ask ICE to slide their document under the door, if they have one, to determine whether or not it's a judicial warrant.


Ask to Speak to a Lawyer:

A good immigration lawyer can help guide clients through the complicated and often confusing system of immigration law, so find one in your area and discuss your status with them, not with law enforcement. If you're at risk, try to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Immigration Lawyer Search lets you specify what kind of immigration law you need help with, i.e., “Deportation - Removal,” and search your local area if you enter a city name or zip code; you can even search by last name if you’re familiar with a lawyer in your area by name but not sure how to find them.


Remain Silent or Tell ICE You Wish to Do So:

You have the right to remain silent in any interaction with an ICE agent, and you can tell them so. What you say can be used against you in immigration court or deportation proceedings, so always be cautious of what you say to ICE or law enforcement and ask to speak to a lawyer before any communication takes place.


Don’t Sign Anything:

Unless you’ve already spoken to a lawyer who advises it you shouldn’t sign any documents ICE asks you to. According to the Miami Herald, signing a document provided by ICE may mean you’re signing your own deportation order.


Don’t Lie or Provide False Documents:

Lying to ICE agents can be dangerous. Providing false documents can be used against you in court proceedings.


Don’t Flee or Resist Arrest:

If you run from ICE, the results can be deadly not just legally dangerous. People who help an immigrant escape ICE can be charged with things like obstruction of justice by the Department of Justice, as was the case with a judge who let an immigrant escape after a court hearing. People who attempt to physically stop an arrest can also be charged with resisting a public officer.


You Don’t Have to Tell Them Where Someone Else Is:

You’re under no obligation to tell ICE where someone they’re looking for is, but you shouldn’t lie. Instead, ask the agents to leave contact information.


You’re Allowed to Ask for an Interpreter:

If an immigrant placed under arrest is not an English-speaker, they can ask for an interpreter during their detention process with ICE.


You Should Make a Plan With Family or Loved Ones:

In the event you are detained, it’s wise to have an action plan in place to handle any immediate concerns like child and pet care, and long-term issues like home maintenance and collecting mail. Attorneys also advise that loved ones have on hand the name and contact information for an attorney so they can make contact in the event of an arrest.


Keep Learning and Building Networks:

No one resource can prepare you for every possible ICE raid. But massive compilations of resources that cover workplace considerations, community preparedness, and more are available online from the information service Informed Immigrant and as collaboration projects between immigration groups.


Stay Safe homeis!

Visa-free travel for Indians with US Visa

Visa-free travel for Indians with US Visa

by homeis


An Indian passport allows you to travel visa free to a few countries like Nepal, Bhutan, HongKong, parts of the Caribbean and even Ecuador and Haiti! However, your Indian Passport does not give you the same travel privileges that your American friends enjoy.

Thankfully, your US visa adds more power to your travel plans. Your US Visa can enable you to travel visa free to several amazing destinations worldwide. 

Countries to which you can easily travel with your US Visa:

  1. Aruba: Indian citizens with a valid US Visa can stay up to 30 days)
  2. Albania: Valid multiple entry USV isa lets you stay up to 90 days 
  3. Antigua and Barbuda: You can get a visa on arrival if you have a valid visa for the USA or Canada
  4. Bermuda: US multiple entry visa holders can stay up to 90 days
  5. Belize: No visa required for holders of multiple entry USA Visa holders however Indian nationals have to pay a repatriation fee.
  6. Colombia: Visa not required for Indians with a valid US Visa
  7. Costa Rica: 30 days for valid US visa holders
  8. Dominican Republic: 90 days for holders of a valid US Visa
  9. Georgia: 90 days for holders of valid US Visa
  10. Guatemala: No visa required for holders of valid US Visa
  11. Honduras: Visa free entry to holders of a valid US visa
  12. Mexico: No visa required for valid US visa holders for tourist or even business purposes
  13. Montenegro: 30 days for valid US visa holders
  14. Nicaragua: 90 days with a fee of USD 20 for valid US visa holders
  15. Northern Marianas: No visa required for US visa holders as it is part of the US commonwealth
  16. Panama: No visa required for valid US visa holders
  17. Philippines: 14 days visa free for valid US visa holders
  18. Puerto Rico: No visa required for valid US visa holders
  19. Serbia: No visa required for 90 days for valid US visa holders 
  20. Taiwan : 30 day online travel authority available to Indians with valid US visa 

Happy Travels!

Share your Business Promotions!

Share your Business Promotions!

by homeis

Think of an offer or deal that will appeal to your community. Be creative! Or if you have one already, use this channel to tell everyone about it.

Here, business owners can share your best deals to your community and reach shoppers who are looking for you.

To create a Special Deal Post, simply click Post in this Channel and promote your business, products or service to all the homeis shoppers in the community.

To share you promotion with the community, click HERE!

How do I build credit in the US?

How do I build credit in the US?

by MYRA Wealth

When you are immigrating to the United States, it is natural to want to land on strong financial footing. However, all immigrants face a common barrier: a lack of US credit history. This can impede your ability to get approved for a credit card, apply for a mortgage, or engage in other types of financial transactions. While it’s possible to use cash day-to-day, it is a good idea to begin building a credit history as soon as possible. Building credit can make it easier to apply for a mortgage, get a car loan, rent an apartment, or get a rewards credit card. Even if you aren’t looking to do those things now, you might want to in the future.


Keep Reading:

myrawealth.com/insights/an-immigrants… 

Health insurance 101

Health insurance 101

by homeis

In the United States, if you are not covered by a health insurance plan (medical insurance), you have to pay for health care services yourself. There is no subsidization by the government, and the insurance is bought from either private or public companies. Prior to relocation, it is of utmost importance, as an employee, to know the costs of health insurance. As an employee, you are required to receive various health insurances through your employer without any form of discrimination provided you have a Social Security Number (SSN). At the event of no SSN due to the long wait involved, there are two possible solutions applied, either a policy of David Shield that will provide an appropriate response on the assumption that you do not have an existing situation or a case of pregnancy.

Basically, there are two major categories of health insurance plan:

  • Group health insurance or
  • Personal/individual health insurance

Group health plan is provided by your employee, government agency or workers union, with policies of least financial restrictions and serves to provide a more comprehensive coverage than the personal health insurance plan. The health care services covered include: vision, dental care, preventive care, well-baby services, and maternity care. A group health insurance plan may be self funded or fully funded where in the case of being self funded, the employer decides what kind of health care coverage the employee gets while if fully funded, the employee is provided all essential health benefits as required by Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The advantages that accrue from this category of health insurance plan includes: affordability, effective premium payment, enhanced job market/workplace. Its limitations include restriction in insurance options, poor flexible insurance network and complex tax implications.

Personal Health insurance is purchased by the individual from the open market without the employer being involved. This type of health insurance plan is much more expensive than the group plan and has limited coverage.

After the passage of the PPACA law, new essential benefits offered by all healthcare plans include:

  • Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
  • Emergency services
  • Laboratory services
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
Myth 3: Life Insurance is Expensive

Myth 3: Life Insurance is Expensive

by Financial Literacy

Life insurance is less expensive than most people think. What’s stopping people from getting the life insurance protection they need? That pesky little myth that it costs too much. When asked how much a $250,000 term life policy would be for a healthy 30-year-old, most people estimated $500 per year – more than three times the actual cost of $160.* Don’t let this misconception stop you from protecting your family. Talk to a licensed WFG insurance agent to find a life insurance strategy that’s right for you. * 2017 Insurance Barometer Study, LIMRA, April 2017. Stay tuned for Myth #4
How to open a bank account

How to open a bank account

by homeis

With so many financial institutions to choose from, choosing the right bank can be confusing, but whichever company you ultimately choose to go with, be sure that it is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

To open an account, you need the following: ●a form of ID for example a foreign passport ●proof of address, ●your Social Security number (SSN).

You may be able to open an account online with some banks although you will still need your SSN and activate the account at the bank’s branch in person. Banks banking disclosures will include: The interest rate and annual percentage yield of the bank accounts Bank charges etc. Compare the following most common bank account features while deciding what bank to use Bank Rates which includes the interest rates, interest compounding and annual percentage.

●Interest Rate –expressed as a percentage, it is the amount of interest due per period say for a full year. You should inquire on the interest rate, starting interest rate after you open the account and the relationship between your bank account balance and interest. You will be told when you will start earning interest either from your ledger balance or from collected balance.

●Interest Compounding– When your money earns compound interest in a bank account, the interest earned is added to your balance on a regular basis. You will be told how often the interest is compounded.

●Annual Percentage Yield (APY) – Expressed as a percentage, it reflects the amount of interest you will earn for each deposit made on a yearly basis. You should know the minimum balance required before you can start earning interest.

Basically, there are five types of bank accounts you need to know: ● Checking Accounts (with or without an ATM card) When you deposit money into a checking account, your bank will give you checks (in a small book form) giving you quick, convenient, and frequent access to your money. You can write checks to purchase items, pay bills, or to withdraw. You will be charged various fees on your account such as when you order a check, balance inquiry fee etc. Find out the fees your bank will charge. A regular checking account (at most banks) will not draw interest, although some will offer special rates or special accounts known as negotiable order of withdrawal accounts



Budgeting 101-Where should I start

Budgeting 101-Where should I start

by Financial Literacy

It’s the new year so there are bound to be some new resolutions you want to stick to. If one of them is improving your budgeting skills – or maybe just creating a budget in the first place – read on for some guidelines that may help reduce some of your expenses (including what you might call the essentials). Start with debt and interest rates If you have any loans in your name, rest assured there will be interest associated with those loans, unless you’ve got a really nice aunt who loaned you some money interest-free. From the borrower’s perspective, interest is simply the expense of receiving money from a creditor which you’re required to pay back over time. No one wants to pay higher interest than necessary. In contrast to other expenses, like rent, food, or entertainment, interest itself produces absolutely no value for the borrower. The borrowed money may produce value, but the interest itself does not. For that reason, you’re going to want to pay as little interest on your loans as possible. One strategy is to transfer credit card balances to lower APR credit cards – just beware of transfer fees. Read the fine print to make sure the new card actually carries a lower interest rate, as sometimes the rate after the introductory period may go up. If you can refinance any of your loans, like student, auto, or home, consider it. For example, there’s no reason to pay 5% if you can pay 4%. (Again, make sure you understand the terms and any fees involved.) Slim down the essentials This is the time when all items in your budget are going to come under consideration. Everything is on the table. For transportation, any reduction in cost you can make is going to depend on your location. If you live in a high-density urban area and you normally drive yourself or use public transit to get to work or other destinations, ask yourself if you can walk or cycle instead. These options often provide health benefits as well. The key? Look at the essential sections of your budget and mentally run through how you obtain those essentials, like driving to the nearest grocery store or who your landlord is. Then brainstorm alternatives for paying for these items or services – anything is fair game! (For example, would your landlord reduce your rent if you help out with yard maintenance?) Finally, do a little research and analysis to see if those alternatives are cheaper (and feasible). Eliminate non-essentials The next step is to look at each non-essential and determine its utility to you. If you barely think about the actual purchase, you might have simply developed the routine of purchasing that item or service (think: “monthly movie subscription service you never use anymore”). In that case, the hardest part might be combing through your credit card statement and nixing the services you never use. Another example of routine, autopilot spending might be the soda you buy with your lunch. Do you really need it? Maybe not. Switching to tea or coffee that you can brew at home may be cheaper. And water is (usually) free. Repeat this process with every non-essential. Are you really using your 10GB/mo mobile internet plan? If not, look for a lower, more cost-effective GB plan. The key here is to try to distinguish between convenience and necessity. Don’t discount the discount There are discounts everywhere, from loyalty programs to manufacturers’ coupons to seasonal specials. If there is an essential that burns your budget, it may be worth checking to see if you’re eligible for a government program.[i] Some credit cards offer rewards programs, but be very careful to pay off the full amount each month to avoid accruing interest, otherwise your rewards could be negated. Keep the big picture in mind Sometimes it can be hard to justify the time and effort that might be involved to save $2 per day. It’s just two dollars, right? But look at the accumulated savings. Saving $2 per day for a year translates to over $700, or about $60 per month. If you choose to brew that tea instead of buying the soda, maybe you can afford the 10GB plan instead of the 1GB plan. [i] usa.gov/benefits WFG112772-0119

The dangers of payday loans and cash advances

The dangers of payday loans and cash advances

by Financial Literacy

In an emergency you might need some extra cash fast. Having your emergency fund at the ready would be ideal to cover your conundrum, but what if your emergency fund has been depleted, or you can’t or don’t want to use a credit card or line of credit to get through a crisis? There are other options out there – a cash advance or a payday loan. But beware – these options pose some serious caveats. Both carry high interest rates and both are aimed at those who are in desperate need of money on short notice. So before you commit to one of these options, let’s pause and take a close look at why you might be tempted to use them, and how they compare to other credit products, like credit cards or traditional loans. The Cash Advance If you already have a credit card, you may have noticed the cash advance rate associated with that card. Many credit cards offer a cash advance option – you would go to an ATM and retrieve cash, and the amount would be added to your credit card’s balance. However, there is usually no grace period for cash advances.[i] Interest would begin to accrue immediately. Furthermore, the interest rate on a cash advance may often be higher than the interest rate on credit purchases made with the same card. For example, if you buy a $25 dinner on credit, you may pay 15% interest on that purchase (if you don’t pay it off before the grace period has expired). On the other hand, if you take a cash advance of $25 with the same card, you may pay 25% interest, and that interest will start right away, not after a 21-day grace period. Check your own credit card terms so you’re aware of the actual interest you would be charged in each situation. The Payday Loan Many people who don’t have a credit history (or who have a poor credit rating) may find it difficult to obtain funds on credit, so they may turn to payday lenders. They usually only have to meet a few certain minimum requirements, like being of legal age, showing proof of employment, etc.[ii] Unfortunately, the annualized interest rates on payday loans are notoriously high, commonly reaching hundreds of percentage points.[iii] A single loan at 10% over two weeks may seem minimal. For example, you might take a $300 loan and have to pay back $330 at your next paycheck. Cheap, right? Definitely not! If you annualize that rate, which is helpful to compare rates on different products, you get 250% interest. The same $300 charged to a 20% APR credit card would cost you $2.30 in interest over that same two week period (and that assumes you have no grace period). Why People Use Payday Loans Using a cash advance in place of purchasing on credit can be hard to justify in a world where almost every merchant accepts credit cards. However, if a particular merchant only accepts cash, you may be forced to take out a cash advance. Of course, if you can pay off the advance within a day or two and there is a fee for using a credit card (but not cash), you might actually save a little bit by paying in cash with funds from a cash advance. Taking a payday loan, while extremely expensive, has an obvious reason: the applicant cannot obtain loans in any other way and has an immediate need for funds. The unfortunate reality is that being “credit invisible” can be extremely expensive, and those who are invisible or at risk of becoming invisible should start cautiously building their credit profiles, either with traditional credit cards or a secured card[iv], if your circumstances call for it. (As always, be aware of fees and interest rates charged with the card you choose.) Even more important is to start building an emergency fund. Then, if an emergency does arise, payday loans can be avoided. [i] investopedia.com/ask/answers/111414/h… [ii] speedycash.com/faqs/payday-loans [iii] incharge.org/debt-relief/how-payday-l… [iv] experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/what-…

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