A non-resident alien is an alien who didn’t pass the substantial presence test or green card test. Both resident and non-resident aliens are classified as any individual who is not a U.S. national or U.S. citizen.
However, it is the Green Card and substantial presence tests that determine who will be the non-resident aliens and who will gain resident aliens status. When an individual passes either of those tests, they gain resident alien status for one calendar year. This classification is significant for tax filing purposes.
New entrants with a J-1 or F-1 visa are typically categorized as non-resident aliens. And students coming with these visas are considered non-resident aliens till they don’t pass the substantial presence test.
Can Non-Resident Aliens Work in the U.S.?
Non-resident aliens can work in the U.S. once they are authorized. They need to fill out a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to become authorized. This form verifies the identity of aliens and confirms their eligibility for employment in the United States.
Documents Needed for Employment of Non-Resident Aliens in the U.S.
Both resident and non-resident aliens must submit identification papers in addition to Form I-9. The documents non-resident aliens may require to submit are:
Unexpired Temporary Resident Card
Certificate of Naturalization
In the case of unavailability of those documents, applicants can provide a combination of identity and employment eligibility documents as:
Employment Eligibility Documents:
Certification of Birth Abroad (Issued by the Department of State)
U.S. Social Security card
A state- or federal-issued ID card or Driver’s License
School ID card
Do Non-Resident Aliens Need Social Security Numbers?
Non-resident aliens need a Social Security number (SSN) if they wish to work in the United States.
Non-resident aliens can apply for an SSN in two ways. Which are:
If a non-resident alien lawfully lives in the U.S, he can submit a request for an SSN while applying for a work permit from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. To get an SSN, he can fill in Form I-765, the Application for Employment Authorization.
If a non-resident alien is lawfully staying in the U.S carrying a visa status that allows him to work, he can visit a Social Security office in person.
Tax Treatment of Non-Resident Alien
If any non-resident employees fulfill any of the following criteria, they must file a tax return:
A non-resident alien with U.S.-sourced income who isn’t engaged in a trade or business.
A non-resident alien engaged in work or business in the United States during the year.
A fiduciary of a non-resident alien.
A citizen or domestic fiduciary in charge of looking after a non-citizen alien or a non-citizen alien’s property.
Any non-resident alien who meets one of these qualifications must submit Form 1040-NR. Or they must file Form 1040-NR-EZ if they do not have any dependents to claim.
Non-resident aliens must use these forms to pay taxes on income related to a trade or business in the United States. Fixed income, determinable, yearly, or periodic, is also subject to taxes.
When they depart the country, an alien must submit Form 1040-C, the U.S. Departing Alien Income Tax Return. This pays the owed taxes and records all income received for the entire tax year.
And if any individual stays a nonresident alien at the end of the tax year, and their spouse is a resident alien, then the spouse (if they want) can regard their non-resident alien spouse as a U.S. resident alien for taxation purposes. Using the filing status “Married Filing Jointly,” they can submit Form 1040.