I came to the US to study on an F-1 visa in August 2014 and graduated in May 2018. Since then, I have been working on an F-1 OPT visa. In 2019, I applied and received my H1B visa - specifically, my I-797 Notice of Action specified a notice date of August 2019.
What should my filing status be in 2019? Do I have the option of filing as a non-resident alien or a dual status return or do I have to file as a resident alien?
Some considerations I had while trying to figure this out:
- I thought originally that a non-resident alien filing might be possible as I am on the F-1 visa until August and thus am "present" in the US for less than 183 days according to the substantial presence test
- My company has also treated my tax withholdings in the same manner - withholding additional amounts only after my H1B visa was approved in August 2019
- But I read elsewhere that the 5 calendar year criteria includes the first stub year as a full year (i.e. my F-1 status only lasts till December 2018 since August to December 2014 is counted as one year).
Would appreciate any advice. Thanks.