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

Residency Status


Three Residency Statuses

The first step in assisting international students and scholars is determining their residency status for tax purposes.

All noncitizens or nonnationals of the U.S. are considered aliens. There are three types of aliens for tax purposes:

  • Resident: U.S. residents who meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test
  • Nonresident: Persons who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States
  • Dual status: Persons who are both nonresidents and resident aliens in the same tax year

Resident aliens are taxed like U.S. citizens, while nonresident aliens are taxed differently. Most students fall under the nonresident alien status.

Click here to refer to the Determining Residency Status Decision Chart from the Volunteer Resource Guide.


The determination of residency status for federal income tax purposes may be different from the residency status determined for immigration purposes.

Determining Residency Status

Determining Residency Status