H1B Visa Holders Can Save When Sending Money to Family Overseas

If you’re like most H1B visa holders, you’ve left your friends and family back home in the hopes of making a good western salary. Not being able to see your family on a daily basis is a sacrifice you’re willing to make knowing that in the end, it will be worth it.

Unfortunately, with the high cost of living in America and the exorbitant fees charged by banks for sending money overseas, many H1B visa holders find it difficult to give their family as much money as they had hoped. So what’s the life on an H1B visa holder in America like and how can you save when sending money internationally to ensure your family is really benefiting from the sacrifice you’re making?

 

The Life of an H1B Visa Holder                                                                                     

Living and working in America as an H1B visa holder has its fair share of limitations. Unlike American citizens, you aren’t allowed to work multiple jobs or for multiple companies. The rules of an H1B visa state that you must work full-time and only for the company that is sponsoring your visa. You also aren’t eligible for any federally-held education loans.

There is also a fair bit of uncertainty that comes along with the visa privilege. For example, if you get laid off, you cannot claim unemployment and are supposed to leave the country. The loophole here would be if you can quickly find another company to sponsor your visa.

So with all of the uncertainties and drawbacks of living on an H1B visa, why do so many people still come to America and work on them. The answer is simple. They are much easier to obtain than a green card and the opportunity to make a western salary is hard to pass up.

 

How-to Ensure Your Family is Getting as Much Money as Possible             

You have put so much work into educating yourself, learning a skill, and getting an H1B visa so you can make good money working in America that it doesn’t seem fair for the huge banking corporations to take a large chunk every time you send it back home, but that’s exactly what they do.

It is not uncommon to lose 8% or more on the value of your money during an international money transfer with most banking institutions. How would you feel sending $2,000 USD to your family back home, paying a $50 fee to the bank, and then they only get an amount in their local currency with a $1,900 USD value? Pretty annoyed I imagine.

The reason this happens is because of the poor exchange rates banks give for international money transfers in addition to their high fees. Unfortunately most H1B visa holders are surprised when this first happens because the banks do a good job of hiding it. Luckily there is a way you can ensure your family is getting every dollar they deserve.

Dedicated foreign exchange services offer lower fees and better exchange rates than banks for overseas money transfers. With a company like Xoom or World First, that same transaction would only cost you $5 or $10 and your family will receive the full $2,000 value because their exchange rates are pretty close to, if not matching, the current market rate.

Don’t just settle on losing a large chunk of your money every time you want to send it back home to family. Do the research, check with foreign exchange transfer services, and find out how you can get the cheapest international money transfer.

 

Changing Trends in Migrant Money Remittances

The international money transfer market has been thrown into a tizzy over the last couple of years. While traditionally the big banks have had what could be called a monopoly on the majority of overseas money transfers, this is finally beginning to change. Private money transfer companies are coming to the fore as a better and cost effective alternative.

Adding a touch of transparency to the international money transfer industry, these private foreign exchange firms are offering lower rates and quicker transfers than the big banks. This is having huge effect on one of the least represented demographics in the governmental and financial sectors; migrant workers.

For a longer than most can remember, migrant workers have left developing countries and come to places like America, the U.K. and Australia for the chance at a better life. The majority of them send large portions of their salary to families members back in their home countries, but according to a World Bank Report, they are being charged an average of 8% for the service.

The ratio of fees to money transferred is generally higher for smaller amounts making this a costly problem for migrant workers who regularly send small amounts of money weekly. Not only do the big banks make money on the expensive fees charged, they often give poor exchange rates too.

 

A Better Way to Send Migrant Remittance Overseas

There are a number of new players on the scene leveling the playing field and helping migrants keep more of their money when sending it to friends or family members overseas. Companies like US Forex, WorldFirst, Transferwise, and Xoom are emerging as cheaper ways to send money abroad. Not only do they charge lower fees, but they give better exchange rates too. They are becoming the best way to regularly send small amounts of money internationally.

It’s not just migrant workers who can benefit from these emerging companies, but expats and holiday travelers as well. Instead of using their credit or debit cards and receiving 3% or higher fees, they can initiate a cash money transfer online from their home banks to a number of convenient pick up locations. It eliminates the need to choose between carrying large sums of cash or using credit and debit cards.

 

Boosting the Economies of Developing Countries

It’s not just the migrant workers and their families who can benefit from cheaper overseas money transfers, but whole economies too. The Pew Research Center has found that annual flow of remittances has nearly tripled since 2000 reaching a grand total of almost $500 billion. Along with foreign direct investment, migrant remittances are one of the most significant sources of money flowing into developing countries. Lower fees for sending money overseas translates into more money boosting the economies of developing nations.

The emergence of these foreign exchange firms is coming at just the right time; a period when the reputations of large banks are coming into question because of their deceptive actions. Recently international banks like Barclays and Deutsche Bank have been investigated for using algorithms to manipulate exchange rates. It will be interesting to see, how the banks respond as more people learn of cheaper ways to send money overseas.