3. Exceptions to the Substantial Presence Test (1040NR)
A) Students on F, J, M or Q Visa
Students on F, J, M or Q visas are considered exempt individuals for the purpose of Substantial Presence Test. Therefore number of days spent in the US on student visa status need not be included in the above test. They must file a 1040NR is most situations.
B) Closer connection to another country
Even if you qualify under the Green Card or Substantial Presence test, if you are present in the US for less than 183 days in the current year and maintain a ‘Tax Home’ in a foreign country during the year, and have a closer connection to that ‘Tax Home’ than to the US, you may qualify for Non-Resident Alien status and file a 1040NR.
C) First year election to be treated as a Resident (1040 vs. 1040NR)
If you moved to the US in the current year, you may be allowed to elect treatment as a Resident Alien, even if you do not pass the Green Card Test or Substantial Presence Test and avoid filing 1040NR. You must meet the following conditions
1) Be present in the US for 31 consecutive days
2) Be Present in the for at least 75% of the days in the remainder of the year, counting from the first 31 qualifying consecutive days.
3) Pass the substantial presence test in the following year
As a Non-Resident Tax Payer, you must file a 1040NR form. Most tax software and tax consultants are not aware of 1040NR and may end up erroneously filing a standard 1040 instead of a 1040NR.