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

Residency Status

Determining Status


A student may be temporarily in the U.S. in F, J, M, or Q immigration status. Immediate family members of a student generally are considered as in the same immigration status, including spouses and unmarried children under age 21 who reside with the student.

During the first five years in the U.S., the days the student is physically present in the U.S. are exempt and not counted as actual days of presence for purposes of the substantial presence test.


Any part of a calendar year in which the student is present in the U.S. counts as a full year. Previous years under any visa status with exempted days, generally count towards the five-year exemption period. Ask taxpayers if they have previously been in the U.S. in an immigration status with exempted days, even as a child.

Students gathering in college courtyard