Nonresident or Resident
Our free Sprintax software will determine if you are a nonresident or resident for federal tax purposes. We'll make Sprintax available after Cornell has sent out all the tax-related forms that pertain to nonimmigrants — typically in March.
If you are a nonresident, you can use the Sprintax software to prepare your tax forms. You can’t use TurboTax or other tax software designed for residents! Sprintax will generate your tax return and allow you to file it electronically.
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.
Next Up: Tax Preparation Help