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This is something I am a little surprised doesn't come up more, but here goes:

I am a current resident alien (living in NY). Previously I lived and worked in Dubai for 5 years.

My Green Card (by marriage) was valid last year from June but I moved to the USA in December, having spent June-November working my notice period in Dubai.

I am liable for US federal tax on income from the activation of my Green Card, but the question is can I claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion for the June-December period spent abroad as a continuation of my last 5 years working in Dubai?

Thanks for any insight in advance!

  • What do you mean your green card was valid last year from June but you moved to the USA in December? Do you mean that your Adjustment of Status was approved in June, or you entered the US on your immigrant visa in June, but then left the US on a trip abroad from June-November? Or do you mean you got your immigrant visa in June but did not enter the US with it until December? – user102008 Jan 10 at 20:50
  • "I am liable for US federal tax on income from the activation of my Green Card" Note that if you want to file as Married Filing Jointly, you will have to use Choosing Resident Alien Status, which will make you a resident alien for the whole year, and thus liable to US tax for the whole year, not just after you came. If you don't choose this, as a dual-status alien, you cannot file jointly (you guys will have to file as Married Filing Separately). – user102008 Jan 11 at 7:25
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If you were outside the US for at least 330 days in some period of 12 months (e.g. Jan-Dec 2019, or Dec 2018-Nov 2019), then you should be able to claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion for the months in those 12 months.

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