Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
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Unique Filing Status and Exemption Situations

Exemption for Nonresident Alien Spouse

Overview

Nonresident aliens who meet the green card test or the substantial presence test can be treated as resident aliens for tax purposes—they file Form 1040.

Nonresident Aliens who do not Pass the Tests

Refer unmarried nonresident aliens who do not meet the green card or substantial presence test to a VITA site that handles Foreign Students/Scholars, if appropriate, or a professional tax preparer to file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ.

You may be able to provide assistance to U.S. citizens and resident aliens who have a spouse that does not qualify to be treated as a resident alien using the green card or substantial presence test.

There are options for nonresident aliens who are married to U.S. citizens or residents; depending on filing status and other factors, a citizen/resident may be able to claim a personal exemption for the nonresident spouse.

Tip

For more information, see Publication 17, Filing Status.