Exempt Individuals: Teachers and Trainees
A teacher or trainee is an individual, other than a student, who is temporarily in the United States under a "J " or "Q " visa and substantially complies with the requirements of that nonimmigrant status. You are considered to have substantially complied with the requirements of that nonimmigrant status if you have not engaged in activities that are prohibited by U.S. immigration laws and could result in the loss of your nonimmigrant status. Any nonimmigrant temporarily present in the U.S. in "J" or "Q" status who is not a student is included within the definition of "Teacher or Trainee." For example, alien physicians, au pairs, short-term scholars, and summer camp workers temporarily present in the U.S. in "J" nonimmigrant status are included within the IRS definition of "Teacher or Trainee." In addition, cultural exchange visitors in "Q" nonimmigrant status are also included within the IRS definition of "Teacher or Trainee".
Also Included Are Immediate Family Members of Exempt Teachers and Trainees
Members of the immediate family include the individual's spouse and unmarried children (whether by blood or adoption), but only if the spouse's or unmarried children's nonimmigrant statuses are derived from, and dependent on, the exempt individual's nonimmigrant status. Unmarried children are included only if they meet all the following:
- Are under 21 years of age.
- Reside regularly in the exempt individual's household.
- Are not members of another household.
The immediate family of an exempt individual does not include attendants, servants, or personal employees.
When a Teacher or Trainee is Not Exempt
You will not be an exempt individual as a teacher or trainee if you were exempt as a teacher, trainee, or student for any part of 2 of the 6 preceding calendar years. However, you will be an exempt individual if you were exempt as a teacher, trainee, or student for any part of 4 (or fewer) of the 6 preceding calendar years and:
- A foreign employer paid all of your compensation during the current year.
- A foreign employer paid all of your compensation during each of the preceding 6 years you were present in the United States as a teacher or trainee.
A foreign employer includes an office or place of business of an American entity in a foreign country or a U.S. possession.
If you qualify to exclude days of presence as a teacher or trainee, you must file a fully-completed Form 8843, Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition (PDF) with the IRS.
Carla was temporarily in the United States during the year as a teacher on a "J " visa. Her compensation for the year was paid by a foreign employer. Carla was treated as an exempt teacher for the past 2 years, but her compensation was not paid by a foreign employer. She will not be considered an exempt individual for the current year, because she was exempt as a teacher for at least 2 of the past 6 years.
If her compensation for the past 2 years had been paid by a foreign employer, she would be an exempt individual for the current year.