January 21, 2017

Foreign Student Certification

Temporary visitors (international students and scholars) to the United States who are in F, J, M, or Q immigration visa status have a filing requirement. They must file at least one form with the IRS for federal income tax purposes.

Colleges and universities normally provide assistance for these individuals. Volunteer tax preparers are taught to:

  • Distinguish between resident and nonresident aliens
  • Determine whether a nonresident alien is required to file
  • Determine the correct forms to file
  • Determine whether a tax treaty applies and determine which income is taxable and which is excludable
  • Correctly complete IRS Form 8843, Form 1040NR, and 1040NR-EZ

We encourage you to go for Foreign Student VITA Certification and have uploaded the following training material used locally to assist with your studies! NOTE: The IRS in their publications refer to Foreign Students as ‘students’ and Teachers as ‘scholars.’

Training Material from 2019.01.26 – Foreign Student Certification Workshop (Santa Clara County)

IRS Publications

Other Resources

  • I-94 Website, which forwards you to the History Search webpage after your taxpayer agrees to use the information according to the Department of Homeland Security’s rules. This is where Foreign Students can access their I-94 records (specific travel dates in and out of the country), which may help them in calculating the number of days they were present in the US.

Info for Foreign Student Taxpayers

This is the Foreign Student Taxpayer webpage that we’re sending foreign students to for more information about what they need to bring to the tax sites.

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