Resident status for tax purposes in the US

You are considered a resident alien if you met one of the following two tests for the calendar year:

  1. The green card test – You are considered to have met the green card test if at any time during the calendar year you were a lawful permanent resident of the United States according to the immigration laws, and this status has not been revoked or administratively or judicially determined to have been abandoned.
  2. The substantial presence test – To meet the substantial presence test, you must have been physically present in the United States on at least:
  • 31 days during the current year, and
  • 183 days during the 3 year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before. To satisfy the 183 days requirement, count:
    • All of the days you were present in the current year, and
    • One-third of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
    • One-sixth of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.

Even if you meet the substantial presence test, you may still be treated as a nonresident alien if:

  • you are present in the United States for fewer than 183 days during the current calendar year,
  • you maintain a tax home in a foreign country during the year, and
  • you have a closer connection to that country than to the United States.
  • Sometimes, a tax treaty between the United States and another country will provide special rules for determining residency for purposes of the treaty.

An another article provides an overview of the tax consequences when the resident status ends.

Note that if you leave the US to relocate in another country and keep your green card, IRS will continue to treat you as a taxpayer.

I created this blog to help understand certain basic aspects of U.S. tax law. Of course, each situation is unique and nothing that is on this site will ever replace the expert advice of a tax professional.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any question.