Do Visa Holders Need to Fill US Census 2020?

H1B, L, F1 visa holders, Illegal migrants need to fill US census 2020 along with US citizens. Age, address, race asked & not shared with FBI, USCIS or DHS. No visa status question.

Written by Anil Gupta
  Anil Gupta    Updated 25 Jun, 21

You must have received a Census 2020 letter from US Census Bureau in your USPS mail box. If you have not, you will receive it soon as the time frame is Mar 12 to 20, 2020.

Every US resident irrespective of their visa status is being sent the form with a unique Census ID code. You will need this 12 digit ID to fill your information online at website.

If you do not respond online, you will receive a paper based questionnaire by mail. You would be required to mail it back.

If you do not respond either online or by paper mail, Census bureau will send an officer in person to your residential address to interview you.

USA census mail code
USA census mail code
Is It mandatory to respond to US Census?

The census is important and your response is required by law. Your personal information and answers are kept confidential.

Do H1B/L visa workers need to fill Census 2020?

H1B visa workers in US need to fill US Census 2020 along with other temporary visa residents in USA.
L1/L2 holders also need to participate in USA Census.

Do B1/B2 visa holders need to fill Census 2020?

B1/B2 visa holders are not required to fill Census information as they are in US for short term temporary visit.

Are F1/F2 visa students required to provide their details?

F1/F2 students are required to provide their birth and other details for counting US population.

What is the last date to respond online?

You should respond to Census questions online by April 1, 2020.

Are undocumented People required to fill Census?

Undocumented and unauthorized migrants are also required to fill US census. This includes people who are illegally present in US.

There is no question in the census that asks about your legal status in USA.

What information is required by Census?

You will be asked to fill information about your country of birth, U.S. citizenship status and year of entry into the United States.

Why is my parent’s place of birth asked in Census?

The census needs your mother and father’s place of birth to find generational status.
Generational status means the first, second, and third-and-higher generations.

The first generation means people who are foreign-born.
The second generation refers to those with at least one foreign-born parent.
The third-and-higher generation includes individuals with two U.S. native parents.

Why is US Census done?

The Article 1, Section 2 of the US constitution mandates that census is done every 10 years to count every person living in the United states.

Your information can only be used for statistical purpose which is then used used to budget the federal and state funding.

Census 2020 Questions

#1 US Address Verification

Enter your unique 12 digit code that you received by mail.

First Step in Census is US address verification
First Step in Census is US address verification

If you did not receive the Census mail with 12 digit code, you can directly go to Census bureau website and fill by by providing your US residential address.

Say ‘Yes’ to verify your address. Click Next.

Census address verification
Census address verification

#2 Enter Full Name & Phone Number

Census is asking for name in case they need to contact someone to ask about incomplete, inconsistent, or missing information on the questionnaire.

This information is never published, does not result in published estimates, and is carefully protected to respect the personal information of respondents.

#3 Number of People in House

Count all members living at this address:

  • Babies and children of all ages (even newborns and infants), including biological, step, and adopted children, as well as grandchildren, foster children, and children in joint custody arrangements.
  • Any other close or extended family members living there, even partners, grandparents, cousins, in-laws, etc.
  • People who are not related to you, such as roommates, boarders, friends, or live-in employees.
Census - number of people living in house
Census – number of people living in house

Do NOT include:

  • College students who live away most of the year.
  • Armed forces personnel who live away.
  • People who, on April 1, 2020, will be in a nursing home, mental hospital, jail, prison, detention center, etc.
  • People visiting your address on April 1, 2020 who usually live and sleep somewhere else like B1/B2 visitors or parents from home country like India, China etc.

#4 Home Rented or Owned

Census - house is rented or owned
Census – house is rented or owned

#5 Personal Questions

Personal questions include:

  1. Sex
  2. Date of birth and age. For babies less than 1 year old, do not enter the age in months. Enter 0 as the age.
  3. Hispanic Origin and
  4. Race

Indians should select the race as ‘Asian Indian’. Pakistanis need to choose ‘Other Asian’ and then write ‘Pakistani’ in the text box.

Census personal question about race
Census personal question about race
Census personal question race continued
Census personal question race continued

#6 Spouse & Child Personal Questions

The same set of personal questions are repeated for each member in the household.

For your spouse, choose ‘Opposite-sex husband/wife/spouse‘ or an appropriate option.

For child, choose ‘Biological Son or Daughter‘.

For child race question, choose ‘Asian Indian’ even if he or she was born in US and is a US citizen.

Census relationship question for spouse
Census relationship question for spouse

#7 Submit Census

Submit Census
Submit Census

Census Bureau vs DHS

The Census Bureau does not share any person information with any other agency, including state, federal police or FBI. Census only counts the population for the purpose of making public policies.

On the other hand, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) colletcs and stores data on the numbers of persons obtaining green card, refugees and asylees, naturalizations, nonimmigrant admissions like H1B, L visa workers, and enforcement actions. It also provides estimates of the unauthorized immigrant population in the United States.


Written by Anil Gupta
  Anil Gupta  
Mentor | Immigration and Finance Journalism | Humor | Opinions are my own