Nonresident Alien Tax Information

You are a nonresident alien (NRA) for tax purposes if you have not met the substantial presence test based on the number of days you have been physically present in the U.S. The following individuals are generally considered nonresident aliens:

  • F-1/J-1 students, for the first five calendar years present in the U.S.

  • J-1 visa holders, for the first two calendar years present in the U.S.

You become a resident (for tax purposes) on January 1 of the qualifying year, regardless of the month you arrived.

If you need assistance determining your tax residency status, please contact immigration@virginia.edu.


Taxes for Wage-Earning NRAs

You will have to pay

  • State Income Tax (unless exempted by tax treaty)

  • Federal Income Tax (unless exempted by tax treaty)

If you do not have an H-1B visa, you are exempt from

  • Medicare Tax

  • Social Security Tax

Taxes for NRAs on Scholarship/Fellowship/Honorarium

  • UVA does not withhold taxes on qualified tuition and related expenses (i.e. tuition and fees required for the enrollment or attendance at an educational institution, fees, books, and supplies and equipment required for courses of instruction at such educational organization)

  • Payments that are not considered qualified (i.e. stipends, housing/dining/clothing allowances) are taxed at 14%

  • A reduced rate or exemption may apply if there is a tax treaty between the foreign national’s country of tax residence and the U.S.

  • Honorarium payments are taxed at 30%. A reduced rate or exemption may apply if there is a tax treaty between the foreign national’s country of residence and the U.S.



Filing Taxes

Federal Taxes

All international students and scholars who were in the U.S. for any period of time during the tax year must file an annual tax statement (income tax return) with the federal government.

  • You must file a 1040NR or a 1040NREZ tax form if your combined income is more than $3,650 or you claimed Tax Treaty Benefits (tax exemption). Failure to do so can negatively affect future applications for immigration benefits, such as employment-based visa status or a green card.
  • You are not required to file a 1040NR or a 1040NREZ if your total wages, scholarships, and fellowships amount to less than $3,650.

State Taxes

You may also be required to file an income tax return with the state of Virginia (and any other state in which you have earned income).

Form 8843

  • All nonresident aliens present in the U.S. under an F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2,M-1, M-2, Q-1, or Q-2 immigration status must file Form 8843: Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition, even if you received NO income during the tax year.
  • Form 8843 is not an income tax return. It is an informational statement required by the U.S. government for certain nonresident aliens (including the spouses or dependents of nonresident aliens).

Using the Foreign National Tax Resource

  • The Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR) is a free, web-based tax program for our international community, offered through the International Studies Office and UVA’s Office of Compliance and Immigration Services.
    • FNTR is similar to popular tax preparation programs such as TurboTax, but it is designed specifically for nonimmigrant tax filers who are still nonresident aliens.
    • The FNTR will produce Form 8843 for you.
  • We strongly encourage all nonresident aliens to use the FNTR program, regardless of whether you earned income in the U.S. during the tax year.
  • Please contact immigration@virginia.edu if you are a nonresident alien and have not received an FNTR informational email with an access link and password.

HRCIS is prohibited by law and University policy from providing official tax advice or assisting with your tax returns.