A Framework for Working with Foreign-Born Families in the U.S.

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When you start working with a client, you must get a good handle on their financial situation: Understand what’s important to them, where they are coming from, and where they want to go.

With foreign-born families residing in the U.S., all of the above applies but with the added complexity of having financial ties elsewhere.

To be true fiduciaries, we need to take it up a step further and create a new planning framework for this group.

I use a set of five questions to create this framework.

What’s their visa/immigration status?

All visas are not created equal. Understand the type of visa they are on and understand its implications. Is it an immigrant (permanent residency) visa or a non-immigrant visa?

The most common non-immigrant visa is the work visa. Two examples are H-1B and L-1 (which is more suitable for multinationals). There are a few others based on the country of origin.