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

Filing Status and Dependents

Filing Status and Dependents

Topic Summary

Any family member who can be claimed as an exemption must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

All unmarried nonresidents must use the Single filing status. Married nonresidents must use Married Filing Separated filing status, even if their spouse is not present in the U.S. Nonresidents cannot use the Head of Household status.

Nonresidents from Canada, Mexico, Republic of Korea (South Korea), or India may be able to claim an exemption for a spouse and dependents.

A person must satisfy several tests to be a taxpayer's qualifying child: Relationship, Residence, Age, Support, and Special Test for a Qualifying Child of More Than One Person.

A nonresident alien has restrictions on qualifying for the Child and Dependent Care Credit, and for the Child Tax Credit.

A student or scholar who is a nonresident for any part of the tax year generally does not qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Spouses and some dependents in J-2 immigration status must file Form 8843, and either Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ. Spouses and dependents in F-2 immigration status file only Form 8843 if they have no income.