Non-Resident or Resident?

Are you a Non-Resident or a Resident for US Federal Tax Purposes?

Please note that your US federal tax status may be different from your New York State tax status. Please see our New York State web page for details on New York State tax status.

TAX Status is Separate from Immigration Status
Your tax status (non-resident or resident) is separate from your immigration status. You may be a resident for tax purposes even though you are still a non-resident for immigration purposes.

TAX Status determines which forms you must file
The type of tax form you will file depends upon whether you are a RESIDENT or NONRESIDENT for US tax purposes. The tax software will determine if you are resident or a non-resident for tax purposes. If you are still a non-resident for tax purposes, you will be able to file the non-resident forms using the tax software.

Am I a Non-Resident or a Resident for tax purposes?
You become a resident for tax purposes when either you get a green card or you "pass" what is called the "substantial presence test." However, internationals in certain non-immigrant visa statuses are EXEMPT from the substantial presence test for specific periods of time. As long as you are still EXEMPT from the substantial presence test, you are required to file non-resident tax forms.

Exemptions from the "Substantial Presence Test"
Students
A student on an “F”, “J”, “M”, or “Q” visa and substantially complies with the requirements of that visa. Immediate family members of a student are also counted as students for this purpose. Students are exempt from the “substantial presence” test for 5 years. But any part of a calendar year in which the student is present in the US counts as a full year.

Teacher or Trainee
A person who was primarily admitted to the US to teach or research (not study); is temporarily present with “J” or “Q” visa status. Teachers and trainees are exempt from the “substantial presence” test only if they have been in the US no more than 2 out of the last 6 years. Any part of a calendar year in which the person was present counts as a full year.

You may be a Resident for Tax Purposes if:

  • You are an F1 or J1 student (or F2 or J2 dependent) who entered the US in 2011 or earlier.
  • You are a J1 scholar (or J2 dependent of a J1 scholar) who entered the US in 2014 or earlier.
  • You are on an H1B or TN visa and were in the US at least 183 days in 2016.
  • You became a “green card” holder (US permanent resident) in 2016.

If you think you are a RESIDENT for Tax Purposes:

If you believe you may be a resident for tax purposes you may want to read about resident status and the substantial presence test in greater detail in IRS Publication 519.

Follow these links to get the forms to file as a resident:

Popular ways to get assistance with resident forms:

We wish you a smooth tax season!