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Nonresident or Resident

Our free Sprintax software will determine if you are a nonresident or resident for federal tax purposes.  

If you are a nonresident, you can use the software to prepare your tax forms. Sprintax will generate the forms you need to print, sign, and mail to the IRS. We’ll let you know when this year’s Sprintax is ready in early March. 

Here’s what you need to know about your tax status. 

Your tax status is not the same as your immigration status. 

Your nonresident or resident tax status is separate from your immigration status. You may need to file a resident tax return, even though you are a nonresident for immigration purposes. 

Most Cornell internationals file as “nonresident aliens.”

You only become a resident for tax purposes if you get a green card or if you pass what is called the substantial presence test. Read the IRS rules for determining your tax status

Most international students, teachers, and trainees are exempt from the substantial presence test for specific periods of time. As long as you remain exempt from the substantial presence test, you file nonresident tax forms. Consult the IRS rules or Sprintax for more details. 

You may be a resident for tax purposes if … 

  • You became a green card holder (U.S. permanent resident) in the past tax year. 
  • You are on an H-1B or TN visa and were in the U.S. at least 183 days of the past tax year. 
  • You are a J-1 scholar (or J-2 dependent) who entered the U.S. prior to January 1 two years ago. 
  • You are an F-1 or J-1 student (or F-2 or J-2 dependent) who entered the U.S. prior to January 1 five years ago. 
 

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