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IRS & Immigration office

Los Angeles, CA |

General question:
Have IRS & Immigration office the right to take a look at your American bank account and see how much you earned last year and if you still were working after you J-1 or other visas like H-1 has expired? I mean the information on a bank account is private isn't it?

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Attorney answers 2


Neither the IRS nor the USCIS unilaterally may access a person's banking records. When applying for immigration benefits, there may be reasons for the USCIS to require production of financial records including bank records. And in any litigation regarding, for example, tax fraud, the court process might compel the production of bank records.

Although not specifically addressed in your questions, expiration of one's J-1 or H-1 visa may result in that person becoming out of status and at risk of being subjected to removal/deportation proceedings. If an adult remains in the U.S. out of status for 180 days, he/she becomes subject to a 3-year bar to re-entering the U.S. (if out of status for a year, then a very harsh 10-year bar may apply).

[Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]

David N. Soloway
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C.
1800 Century Place, Suite 100
Atlanta, Georgia 30345
404-320-7000 * 1-877-232-5352 *


No, the IRS and immigration office don't have the right to look at your American bank account just like that. There would have to be a reason this is requested and sometimes bank account statements are requested by the government, though not under the circumstances you describe.

The bigger question is what does your bank account reveal that you'd prefer the government not see? If you work without authorization, you cannot adjust status to permanent residence or change from one nonimmigrant status to another in some cases. Sometimes employment without authorization requires you to depart the U.S. to process your case. And it can also mean that you could be put into removal proceedings.

If on an immigration form you're asked about unauthorized employment, you must respond honestly. If you don't, you could have further problems about material misrepresentations of fact which could make matters much worse than if you didn't.

The above is general information not intended to be case specific advice and it doesn't form an attorney client relationship. For that, you'd need to agree mutually with counsel. For further information, feel free to go to my website or contact me at or 818 609 1953.


Alice M. Yardum-Hunter, Attorney, Certified Specialist, Immigration & Nationality Law
State Bar of CA, Bd. of Legal Specialization

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