Foreign Student and Scholar Curriculum for Volunteers


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 self-help VITA sites 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 Form 8843PDF and Forms 1040NRPDF 

The course is designed as a stand-alone training resource.  It can also be used in conjunction with the Basic and Advanced VITA/TCE course content using Link and Learn Taxes online.

Additional resources for this course are listed below and available through an IRS-SPEC tax consultant or on the IRS Forms & Instructions page.

  • Publication 4011PDF, Foreign Students and Scholars Resource Guide  
  • Publication 4152PDF, Electronic Toolkit for Nonresident Alien
  • Foreign Student and Scholar Test/Retest is included in Form 6744, VITA/TCE Volunteer Assistor’s Test/Retest
  • Foreign Student and Scholar Test Answer Key (Publication 4189-E, VITA/TCE Volunteer Test/Retest Answers) is also available to partners from an IRS-SPEC tax consultant.
  • Publication 5087PDF VITA/TCE Foreign Student and Scholar Resource Guide (this is a forms guide to use at the site or testing)
  • Form 13614NR, Intake and Interview Sheet for Nonresident Aliens
  • Puerto Rico Resource Guide (Publication 4696 PR) 
  • Puerto Rico test for VolunteersPDF (Publication 4695 PR) 
  • Instructor Guide and Test Answers (Publication 4695 PR-A)