Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Unique Filing Status and Exemption Situations

Determining Alien Status

Substantial Presence Test

Individuals who do not have green cards may still be considered resident aliens if they meet the requirements of the substantial presence test for the calendar year. To meet this test, an individual must be physically present in the United States on at least:

  • 31 days during the current year, and
  • 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the two years immediately before that, counting:
    • All the days he or she was present in 2013 (current year) and
    • 1/3 of the days he or she was present in 2012 (first year before current year) and
    • 1/6 of the days he or she was present in 2011 (second year before current year)

Click here to view the Determining Residency Status—Decision Tree, which is in the Volunteer Resource Guide, ITIN Returns tab. It is used to determine an individual's residency status for tax purposes. Additional information can also be found in Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

More Information

An individual who meets the requirements of the substantial presence test is, for tax purposes, a resident alien of the United States. This status applies even though the person may be an undocumented alien. Remember: filing as a resident alien does not affect immigration status.

Determining Residency Status—Decision Tree
Publication 519

Determining Residency Status—Decision Tree

Publication 519