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

Unique Filing Status and Exemption Situations

Exemption for Nonresident Alien Spouse

Green Card or Substantial Presence Test

Case Study

Paul, a U.S. citizen, and his wife, Gabriella, were married at the end of 2013. She lived in the United States for 120 days in 2013 (from September to December). She was in the United States on 120 days in each of the years 2011 and 2012. To determine if she meets the substantial presence test for 2013, total the following:

  • The full 120 days of presence in 2013
  • 40 days in 2012 (1/3 of 120), and
  • 20 days in 2011 (1/6 of 120)

Since the total for the 3-year period is 180 days, Gabriella is not considered to be a resident under the substantial presence test for 2013. She needs 183 days to meet the substantial presence test.

Paul and Gabriella.