Resident Alien Tax Information

To be a resident alien (RA) for tax purposes, you have to meet 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 resident aliens:

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

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

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

If you need assistance determining your tax residency status, contact

Taxes for Wage-Earning RAs

You are taxed the same as U.S. citizens. You will have to pay

  • Medicare Tax

  • Social Security Tax

  • State Income Tax

  • Federal Income Tax

If you are currently enrolled in six or more credit hours, you do not have to pay Medicare or Social Security Tax. You may be exempted from State and Federal Income Taxes by a tax treaty.

Taxes for RAs on Scholarship/Fellowship/Honorarium

You are taxed the same as U.S. citizens, so UVA does not withhold taxes on scholarship, fellowship, or honorarium payments.

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.

  • Resident aliens are taxed like U.S. citizens.
  • You will need to use a version of the 1040 federal tax form.
  • Use a Free File tax preparation software package like TurboTax, a tax preparation service, or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

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 may have earned income).

  • To file Virginia state taxes, you will need to complete Form 760.
  • The first year you file Virginia taxes you must complete a paper form and mail it to

    Virginia Department of Taxation
    P.O. Box 1498
    Richmond, VA 23218-1498

  • If you have filed Virginia taxes in the past, you can use VA Free-File.

FBAR and Form 8939

Resident Aliens are required to file an FBAR (Foreign Banking Accounts Report) if

  • they had financial interest or signature authority over any financial account located outside of the U.S., and
  • the foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 in the aggregate at any time during the calendar year.

The FBAR is a calendar year report and must be filed by April 15 of the following year.

Resident Alien taxpayers with specified foreign financial assets that exceed certain thresholds must report those assets to the IRS on Form 8938, submitted with a tax return.



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