An individual in any of the following categories is temporarily exempt from counting days toward the substantial presence test:
Resident aliens are taxed like U.S. citizens, while nonresident aliens are taxed differently. Most students fall under the nonresident alien status.
Generally, exempt individuals cannot choose to count their exempt days in order to be treated as a resident under the substantial presence test. (An exception for married taxpayers electing to file jointly where one spouse is a U.S. citizen or resident will be discussed later in the lesson.)
Taxpayers must file Form 8843 each year they claim the substantial presence test as an exempt individual. Form 8843 and any required additional statements must be completed if taxpayers intend to request an extension of time based on claiming a closer connection to their home country. Please refer to the lesson on Completing Form 8843 for further information.