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Second stimulus check: can I receive it if I live abroad?

If you are a US citizen living abroad or a resident of a US territory, you may be eligible for a first or second stimulus payment.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urges Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass the $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. December 30, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

The new stimulus check is part of the government relief package to provide financial relief to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. The relief package includes $600 direct payments to each person who cannot be claimed as a dependent and earns under a certain amount of income. It also includes up to $600 per eligible child payments for parents of children under the age of 17.

Do I get a second stimulus check if I live abroad?

Yes, expats qualify for the second stimulus check. You qualify if you fall within the income threshold, have a social security number, and file taxes, even if you live overseas.

The first payments have already gone out. Most people will get a direct deposit. If not, your stimulus check should be mailed by the end of January.

The IRS’ “Get My Payment” tool will help you to see the status of your payment.

How much will my second stimulus check be for?

Your second stimulus check depends on your 2019 income. The full amount is $600 per individual, $1,200 per couple, and $600 per child under the age of 17.

For expats to qualify for the full second stimulus check, you must have $75,000 or less in income if you file as single, $112,500 or less if you file as head of household, or $150,000 or less if you file jointly with your spouse or as a qualifying widow. You’ll also then qualify for a $600 payment per qualifying child.

For those above this income level, your stimulus check amount will lower $5 for each $100 your AGI exceeds the above thresholds.

How will I get my second stimulus check if I’m an American living overseas?

If you're a US citizen living abroad or a resident of a US territory, you may be eligible for a first or second stimulus payment.

There are two ways overseas Americans can get their second stimulus payment: Direct deposit or through the mail.

You should get your check via direct deposit if you received your latest tax refund through direct deposit or if the IRS has your direct deposit info from the last round of stimulus checks.

You need to have an account with a U.S. bank in order to get direct deposit.

It is recommended that you update your address if you:

- Don’t know what address is on file

- Don’t feel great about getting mail reliably or quickly in your area

- Have moved to a different address

- Want your check sent somewhere other than the address they have on file

I’m retired overseas — do I qualify for the second stimulus check?

Yes, retired expats qualify for the second stimulus check even if they aren’t required to file a tax return each year. This also applies to Social Security beneficiaries (both retirement and disability), railroad retirees, and those receiving veteran’s benefits. If you do not receive Social Security retirement benefits, railroad benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance, or veteran’s benefits through the government, you may need to take action and file a 2020 tax return to get your payment.

Do you have to be a US citizen to receive a stimulus check?

Under the March CARES Act, all US citizens and non-US citizens with a Social Security number who live and work in America were eligible to receive stimulus payments. That includes people who the IRS refer to as "resident aliens," green card holders, and workers using visas such as H-1B and H-2A. This rule is the same in the new law as well.