Indians in Dallas
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:… 

What to do when you get homesick for India

What to do when you get homesick for India

by Unknown

No matter where in India you are from, the feeling is familiar and we all know it. Just when you think you’re having the time of your life walking down Broadway with a Starbucks in your hand, it hits you. And it hits hard. And you just want to take the first plane back. Except, you can’t. Because life. Also, we know tickets need to be booked way in advance if you want a good deal. Here are some ways that I deal with the homesickness and bring a comforting dash of India back in my every day life. 1. Hotstar instead of Netflix and Chill. Hotstar has the most amazing selection of current Indian tv shows and movies across almost all major languages. Putting up my feet with an episode of Koffee with Karan or the Maniratnam movie I missed makes all the difference. 2. Have a random conversation with another Indian. Preferably a complete stranger. One thing that’s amazing about India is that you can develop long standing relationships with your sabziwala, the family you sat next to one time on a train journey, your mom’s tailor! I miss those conversations. Chatting non stop with another Indian that I randomly meet somewhere always makes me feel better. 3. Order in from an Indian restaurant. This is a no brainer. But I’m quite picky about what I order when I’m specifically homesick. Gulab Jamun. Rasmalai. Basically, Indian sweets. Everyone has an Indian comfort food. What’s yours? 4. Call friends you don’t call that often. Most of us call home and family regularly. But now and then, I have to make sure that I speak to some of my friends in India. They keep you rooted and they also let you know that all your favorite brands are now available back home so no big deal. 5. Take your Indian clothes for a walk in the sun. Sometimes you just need to slip into your favorite Biba Kurti or even just wrap yourself in your favorite Razai to feel enveloped by home. I like to find ways to wear something Indian every day, even though I lived in Jeans back when I was home. 6. Find an Indian charity or non profit to donate to. Sitting here, it’s easy to forget all the hardships that people go through back home. Finding causes, charities or even Individuals to give to through sites like Milaap or giveIndia make me feel a little more connected with my country. My personal favorite cause is wildlife sos, a non profit that works very hard to help animals in need in India. 7. Put on some music and dance the blues away. My current favorite song to dance to is Lambhorgini. And I don’t even speak Punjabi. But it doesn’t matter. Put together a playlist of the songs that make you feel like you’re home in your room and dance like Prabhudeva. Don’t worry about the neighbors. Everyone understands. One tip: Do not play songs from Swades. You might cry like I do. One other thing I’ve been doing recently is connecting with other Indians on Homeis. It’s nice to chat with and meet people going through the exact same things as you. Living in Manhattan makes it hard to meet other Indians and this is a really nice space to connect and hopefully, find new ways to be homesick together.
Myth 5: Only the primary income earner needs life insurance

Myth 5: Only the primary income earner needs life insurance

by Financial Literacy

Every Couple Should Be Fully Protected with Life Insurance. Protecting your family with life insurance means not just having life insurance coverage for the primary breadwinner but also for the loved one whose labor – whether it’s inside the home, outside the home, or both – also contributes to the family’s well-being. That means that every secondary breadwinner should have life insurance. Why? Because if they were to pass unexpectedly, what would it cost a household to: Replace the income of the secondary income earner? Cover the long-term expense of raising a child, which can include paying for the child’s education? Pay for home expenses? Help pay off a mortgage? Money can’t replace a loved one and all that they do, but it can make it easier to move on after an unexpected loss. Work with a licensed WFG insurance agent [HOMEIS USER] to find out how much life insurance you need to protect every part of your family. Stay tuned for myth #6..
Credit Score 101

Credit Score 101

by homeis

Credit Reports and Credit Scores

Your credit history is important to a lot of people: mortgage lenders, banks, utility companies, prospective employers, and more. So it’s especially important that you understand your credit report, credit score, and the companies that compile that information, credit bureaus. This brochure provides answers to some of the most common, and most important, questions about credit.

Your Credit Report

What is a credit report?

A credit report is a record of your credit history that includes information about:

  • Your identity. Your name, address, full or partial Social Security number, date of birth, and possibly employment information.
  • Your existing credit. Information about credit that you have, such as your credit card accounts, mortgages, car loans, and student loans. It may also include the terms of your credit, how much you owe your creditors, and your history of making payments.
  • Your public record. Information about any court judgments against you, any tax liens against your property, or whether you have filed for bankruptcy.
  • Inquiries about you. A list of companies or persons who recently requested a copy of your report.

Why is a credit report important?

Your credit report is important because lenders, insurers, employers, and others may obtain your credit report from credit bureaus to assess how you manage financial responsibilities. For example:

  • Lenders may use your credit report information to decide whether you can get a loan and the terms you get for a loan (for example, the interest rate they will charge you).
  • Insurance companies may use the information to decide whether you can get insurance and to set the rates you will pay.
  • Employers may use your credit report, if you give them permission to do so, to decide whether to hire you.
  • Telephone and utility companies may use information in your credit report to decide whether to provide services to you.
  • Landlords may use the information to determine whether to rent an apartment to you.

Who collects and reports credit information about me?

There are three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—that gather and maintain the information about you that is included in your credit report. The credit bureaus then provide this information in the form of a credit report to companies or persons that request it, such as lenders from whom you are seeking credit.

Where do credit bureaus get their information?

A: Credit bureaus get information from your creditors, such as a bank, credit card issuer, or auto finance company. They also get information about you from public records, such as property or court records. Each credit bureau gets its information from different sources, so the information in one credit bureau’s report may not be the same as the information in another credit bureau’s report.

How can I get a free copy of my credit report?

You can get one free credit report every twelve months from each of the nationwide credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—by

You will need to provide certain information to access your report, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth.

You can order one, two, or all three reports at the same time, or you can request these reports at various times throughout the year. The option you choose will depend on the goal of your review. A report generated by one of the three major credit bureaus may not contain all of the information pertaining to your credit history. Therefore, if you want a complete view of your credit record at a particular moment, you should examine your report from each bureau at the same time. However, if you wish to detect any errors and monitor changes in your credit profile over time, you may wish to review a single credit report every four months.

Who else is allowed to see my credit report?

Because credit reports contain sensitive personal information, access to them is limited. Credit bureaus can provide credit reports only to

  • lenders from whom you are seeking credit;
  • lenders that have granted you credit;
  • telephone, cell phone, and utility companies that may provide services to you;
  • your employer or prospective employer, but only if you agree;
  • insurance companies that have issued or may issue an insurance policy for you;
  • government agencies reviewing your financial status for government benefits; and
  • anyone else with a legitimate business need for the information, such as a potential landlord or a bank at which you are opening a checking account.

Credit bureaus also furnish reports if required by court orders or federal grand jury subpoenas. Upon your written request, they will also issue your report to a third party.

Does the credit bureau decide whether to grant me credit?

No, credit bureaus do not make credit decisions. They provide credit reports to lenders who decide whether to grant you credit.

How long does negative information, such as late payments, stay on my credit report?

Generally, negative credit information stays on your credit report for seven years. If you have filed for personal bankruptcy, that fact stays on your report for ten years. Information about a lawsuit or an unpaid judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. Information about criminal convictions may stay on your credit report indefinitely.

What can I do if I am denied credit, insurance, or employment because of something in my credit report? What can I do if I receive less favorable credit terms than other consumers because of something in my credit report?

If you are denied credit, insurance, or employment—or some other adverse action is taken against you, such as lowering your credit limit on credit card account—because of information in your credit report, the lender, insurance company, or employer must notify you and provide you with the name, address, and phone number of the credit bureau that provided the credit report used to make the decision. You can get a free credit report from this credit bureau if you request it within sixty days after receiving the notice. This free report is in addition to your annual free report.

In addition, lenders may use a credit report to set the terms of credit they offer you. If a lender offers you terms less favorable (for example, a higher rate) than the terms offered to consumers with better credit histories based on the information in your credit report, the lender may give you a notice with information about the credit bureau that provided the credit report used to make the decision. Again, you can get a free credit report (in addition to your annual free report) from this credit bureau if you request it within sixty days after receiving the notice.

If you receive one of these notices, it’s a good idea to get your free credit report and review the information in it right away. If you think your credit report contains inaccurate or incomplete information, follow the steps in Credit Report Errors below, to try to resolve the issue. For tips on how to improve your chances of being granted credit, or to improve your chances of receiving credit on better terms, read the Federal Reserve’s 5 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score (available online at

I’ve been receiving unsolicited credit offers. Why? Can I opt-out of receiving these offers?

Credit bureaus may sell the names and addresses of consumers who meet specific credit criteria to creditors or insurers, who must then offer them credit or insurance. For example, a creditor could request from a credit bureau the names and addresses of consumers who have a credit score of 680 or higher and then offer credit to those consumers. You can have your name and address removed from these lists by opting-out of the listing. This will reduce the number of unsolicited offers you receive. To opt-out, call 888-5-OPTOUT (888-567-8688) or visit You will need to provide certain information in order to opt-out, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. You have the ability to opt-out of receiving offers either for five years or permanently. If you want to opt-out permanently, you will need to fill-out, sign, and mail-in a form. The form is available by either calling the toll-free number or visiting the website. You can reverse your opt-out decision at any time to start receiving offers of credit and insurance again by calling the toll-free phone number or visiting the website.

Your Credit Score

What is a credit score? How is my credit score calculated? A credit score is a number that reflects the information in your credit report. The score summarises your credit history and helps lenders predict how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make payments when they are due. Lenders may use credit scores in deciding whether to grant you credit, what terms you are offered, or the rate you will pay on a loan.

Information used to calculate your credit score can include:

  • the number and type of accounts you have (credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, etc.);
  • whether you pay your bills on time;
  • how much of your available credit you are currently using;
  • whether you have any collection actions against you;
  • the amount of your outstanding debt; and
  • the age of your accounts.

What can cause my credit score to change?

Because your credit score reflects the information in your credit report, changes to your credit report may cause your credit score to change. For instance, if you pay your bills late or incur more debt, your credit score may go down. However, if you pay down an outstanding balance on a credit card or mortgage or correct an error in your credit report, your credit score may go up.

How can I get my credit score?

In some cases, a lender may tell you your credit score for free when you apply for credit. For example, if you apply for a mortgage, you will receive the credit score or scores that were used to determine whether the lender would extend credit to you and on what terms. You may also receive a free credit score or scores from lenders when you apply for other types of credit, such as an automobile loan or a credit card.

You may also purchase your credit score from any of the credit bureaus by calling them or visiting their websites.

Equifax: Call 1-800-685-1111 or visit

Experian: Call 1-888-397-3742 or visit…

TransUnion: Call 1-800-493-2392 or visit…

How can I improve my credit score?

To find out steps you can take to improve your credit score, read the Federal Reserve’s 5 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score (available online at

Credit Report Errors

How can I correct errors found in my credit report?

If you find errors in your credit report, you may dispute the information and request that the information be deleted or corrected. To do so, you should contact either the credit bureau that provided the report or the company or person that provided the incorrect information to the credit bureau.

To contact the credit bureau, call the toll-free number on your credit report or visit their website:

To contact the company or person that provided the incorrect information to the credit bureau, look on your credit report, in an account statement, or on the company’s website for contact information for handling such disputes.

When disputing information on your credit report, you should:

  • Provide information about yourself, such as your name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number;
  • Identify specific details about the information that is being disputed and explain the basis of your dispute;
  • Have a copy of your credit report that contains the disputed information available; and
  • Provide supporting documentation, such as a copy of the relevant portion of the consumer report, a police report, a fraud or identity theft affidavit, or account statements.

What happens once I send in information to correct information in my credit report?

If you submit your dispute through a credit bureau or directly to the company or person that provided the incorrect information to the credit bureau, your dispute must be investigated, usually within thirty days. If you provide additional information during the thirty-day investigation, that investigation period may be extended an additional fifteen days in some circumstances. When the investigation is completed, either the credit bureau or the company or person that provided the incorrect information to the credit bureau must give you the written results of its investigation. If the information provider finds the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three nationwide credit bureaus so they can correct the information in your credit report. You can get a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. This free report is in addition to your annual free report. If an item is changed or deleted, a credit bureau cannot put the disputed information back in your credit report unless the company or person that provided the incorrect information to the credit bureau verifies that the information is, indeed, accurate and complete. You can request that the credit bureau send notices of any correction to anyone who received your report in the past six months. A corrected copy of your report can be sent to anyone who received a copy during the past two years for employment purposes.

What if an investigation does not resolve my dispute?

If an investigation does not resolve your dispute, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your future credit reports. You also can ask the credit bureau to provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past, but you may have to pay a fee for this service

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
Can I get a Green Card? This is how it's done

Can I get a Green Card? This is how it's done

by homeis

Green Card, formally known as US permanent resident card (USCIS Form I-551), is an identification card which shows your immigration status as well as if you are legally authorized to live and work in the United States. It attests to your permanent residency and possessing it does not make you a US citizen. However, it is the first step to becoming a citizen as you are required to secure a green card first before proceeding to apply for naturalization. Other than the right to live and work in the United States, your green card gives you certain rights which include traveling in and out of the country freely as long as you adhere to certain rules, and conditions that come with the card.

There are three main ways to become a green card holder:

-Sponsorship by a family member in the United States

-Sponsorship by an employer’s offer of permanent employment in the United States or through your own entrepreneurship

-Green card lottery

*In some cases, you may be eligible to file for yourself, also known as applying for a green card through self-petition

To qualify for a green card, you must meet the following requirements:

-You must belong to one of the immigrant categories established in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

-You must have a qualifying immigrant petition filed and approved for you (with a few exceptions)

-There must be an immigrant visa immediately available for you

-You must be admissible to the United States

Every year, about 50,000 immigration visas are issued out through the Diversity Visa (DV) Program also known as Green Card Lottery. This is issued to people born in countries with low immigration rates into the US. Applicants of the lottery only qualify by country of birth and not by nationality. If you are selected, you reserve the opportunity to apply for permanent residence and also apply for your spouse and children who are not married and are under the age of 21. Once permanent residency is granted to you and your family as the winner, on meeting the required conditions, you will receive an immigration visa in your passports which has to be activated on or before six months of issuance at any port of entry into the States. In addition, this attracts a stamp on your visa and a signature on your passport as proof of lawful entry into the United States. Hereafter, you reserve the right to live and work permanently in the United States. Your Green Card afterward will arrive by mail a few months later.

If you decide to apply for a green card through self-petition and you have not stayed past the departure date on your Arrival-Departure Record ( I-94 form), your next step is to apply for an adjustment of your status. You will fill Form I-485 which you can find online at Ensure that you read the form instructions carefully and submit all required documentation and evidence. After your application is filed, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will ask you to appear at an Application Support Center where your picture, signature and fingerprints would be taken and a background check will be run to ensure your eligibility for green card status. Thereafter, you will then be notified of an interview at a USCIS office to answer questions under oath or affirmation regarding your application. After the process is complete, the USCIS will contact you to notify you of their decision regarding your permanent status.

US Green Cards are valid for permanent residents for a period of 10 years and 2 years for conditional residents. At the expiry of any of these periods, you reserve the right to renew or replace the card. The application can take years and requires a three-step process before it is issued inclusive of petition and processing. During the process of the application, you can obtain two important permits; a work permit and the permit to enter and re-enter the country. Previously, the status of permanent residents when they re-enter the United States after traveling abroad was only checked and if you are not a citizen, you could be asked to present your green card or any other proof to show the validity of your resident status. Currently, it is compulsory that if you are a permanent resident of US and up to eighteen years of age and above, you are required to carry your valid Green Card at all times and to present it on request by an immigration officer. Failure to do this violates the Immigration Nationality Act and would attract a fine of up to $100 and or imprisonment of up to 30 days.

Consequentially, the US authorities reserve the right to revoke the status of your permanent residency if the resident commits an offense that constitutes grounds for deportation. Other reasons to revoke one's residency permit status include; if you spend more than 365 days outside the United States without obtaining permission before leaving if your residency permit was obtained fraudulently, and failure to submit your resident’s income tax report while outside the United States. Failure to renew your permanent resident card does not result in loss of residency status except for conditional permanent residents. It is advisable that you renew your card on time as it can act as a work and travel permit. However, there is no penalty or extra fee for late renewals. Once you lose your permanent residency status, you are expected to leave the US immediately as soon as possible or face expulsion and deportation. In some cases, you can be deported and banned from re-entering the country for three years, seven years or even permanently.