Most nonresidents cannot claim an exemption for their dependents even if the dependents are U.S. citizens. Exceptions apply to persons from Canada, Mexico, Republic of Korea (South Korea), and India, as follows:
Canada and Mexico: Dependents can be claimed if they meet all of the tests for dependency.
South Korea: Dependents must live with the nonresident in the U.S. at least part of the year. The dependency exemption will need to be prorated if the nonresident has both U.S. income and foreign income.
India: Dependents cannot be claimed if they are nonresident aliens. They must also meet all of the tests for dependency.
The dependents must meet all of the dependency tests outlined in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals).
A personal exemption is allowed for any person not eligible to be claimed as a dependent on a U.S. tax return.