Exempt Individual - Who is a Student


A student is any individual who is temporarily in the United States on an "F, " "J, " "M, " or "Q " visa for the primary purpose of studying at an academic institution or vocational school, and who substantially complies with the requirements of that visa. You are considered to have substantially complied with the visa requirements 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.

Also Included are Immediate Family Members of Exempt Students

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 Student is Not Exempt

You will not be an exempt individual as a student if you have been exempt as a teacher, trainee, student, Exchange Visitor, or Cultural Exchange Visitor on an "F, " "J, " "M, " or "Q " visa for any part of more than 5 calendar years, unless you establish to the satisfaction of the IRS that you do not intend to reside permanently in the United States, and you have substantially complied with the requirements of your nonimmigrant status. The facts and circumstances to be considered in determining if you have demonstrated an intent to reside permanently in the United States include, but are not limited to:

  1. Whether you have maintained a closer connection to a foreign country, and
  2. Whether you have taken affirmative steps to change your status from nonimmigrant to lawful permanent resident as discussed under Closer Connection to a Foreign Country.

Please refer to The Closer Connection Exception to the Substantial Presence Test for Foreign Students.

If you qualify to exclude days of presence as a student, you must file a fully-completed Form 8843, Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition with the IRS. If you are already filing an income tax return, attach Form 8843 to your income tax return. If you are not required to file an income tax return, you should mail Form 8843 to the Internal Revenue Service at the address indicated in the instructions for Form 8843.

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