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How much cash a family can carry

How much cash a family can carry

Old Jul 3rd 2016, 1:10 pm
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Default How much cash a family can carry

Hi All,


How much cash a family is allowed to carry when entering USA on an immigrant visa (family - 2 adults and 1 child).

-I suppose it’s good to carry in pounds so you benefit from exchange rate a bit ( fingers crossed pound will go up in couple of months).

-I will be in living new jersey so where to exchange GBP to USD. I mean which companies you recommend who give good exchange rate ( In UK I have always used post office)

Thanks
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Old Jul 3rd 2016, 1:29 pm
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Default Re: How much cash a family can carry

As much as you like. provided that you can prove that you are the legitimate owners of the money and that it was not gained from proceeds of crime.

$9999.99 if you don't want to have to declare the money (and likely/potentially go to secondary inspection).

However, I would bring much less cash over, and use a decent forex broker, like Transferwise, once you have a US bank account set up. You'll possibly want to get the account setup before you leave the UK first. I would never want to carry large amounts of cash with me. When I moved over, I left most of my money in a UK bank account, and used a UK credit card for a couple of months before I was able to get a US bank account and US credit card set up.

Last edited by cautiousjon; Jul 3rd 2016 at 1:33 pm.
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Old Jul 3rd 2016, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: How much cash a family can carry

You'll get a very poor rate for exchanging physical bank notes in the US.

If you try to deposit a significant amount of cash as an opening deposit into a bank account, or within a few days of opening the account, there is a very good chance that your name, address, and details will be sent to FinCEN, the IRS's investigations division, and from there shared with the FBI, the DEA, and state and local police, plus pretty much any other law enforcement agency - the postal inspectors, the insurance investigators, you name it.

Also carrying substantial cash is just plain risky, for loss or theft.

In short, your plan to "max out" on cash is a very bed idea, so I strongly recommend another plan. IMO you really don't need much cash in the US, and until I started having to provide pocket money and cash advances to little Miss P, I could make $20 last a couple of months.

My personal recommendation would be to leave money in the UK to pay your UK credit card bills and then use your UK credits until you get up and running in the US.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 3rd 2016 at 2:20 pm.
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Old Jul 3rd 2016, 3:57 pm
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Default Re: How much cash a family can carry

You will want to check if your travel insurance is valid if you carry large amounts of cash on your person. From a tax perspective, you'll need to figure out if there is any section 988 income to recognise when you convert the foreign currency into US dollars.
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Old Jul 3rd 2016, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: How much cash a family can carry

Originally Posted by Cook_County View Post
You will want to check if your travel insurance is valid if you carry large amounts of cash on your person. From a tax perspective, you'll need to figure out if there is any section 988 income to recognise when you convert the foreign currency into US dollars.
I had to google that. It's probably better to state "capital gains from foreign exchange" to most people, instead of "section 988".

Also, since they are UK citizens, they won't be liable to US taxation until they become permanent residents, which means at least in this case section 988 is irrelevant.

Carrying that much cash is a completely crazy idea though, all the same.
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Old Jul 3rd 2016, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: How much cash a family can carry

Just to be clear, the limits do not apply to "cash" per se but to monetary instruments, which includes cash and also checks / cheques and suchlike.

A few years ago I brought over a cheque for > 10,000 and declared it as per the regulations. A quick explanation, a bored look on the face of the official, and no problems.
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Old Jul 6th 2016, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: How much cash a family can carry

Originally Posted by cautiousjon View Post

$9999.99 if you don't want to have to declare the money (and likely/potentially go to secondary inspection).
.
This is per individual. i am not sure about children.
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Old Jul 6th 2016, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: How much cash a family can carry

Originally Posted by cautiousjon View Post
As much as you like. provided that you can prove that you are the legitimate owners of the money and that it was not gained from proceeds of crime.

$9,999.99 if you don't want to have to declare the money ....
Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
This is per individual. i am not sure about children.
That amount is actually incorrect. You must declare "amounts exceeding $10,000", not "amounts of $10,000 and greater".

Also the amount includes all currency and cheques, etc. so if you (an individual) show up with $9,900 in cash and £100 and don't declare it then you could end up in deep doodoo.

In any case the immigration officers can confiscate any money which they deem to be "suspicious" (it's called "civil forfeiture", Google it! ) and you will have to go to court to claim it back, with no guarantee of success. This is not scare mongering, it is a very real risk and it does happen. ...... There is a similar law in the UK.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 6th 2016 at 6:27 pm.
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Old Jul 6th 2016, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: How much cash a family can carry

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
This is per individual.
Not quite.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...3D/suggested/1
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