I live in the United States (Florida) since September 2019.
I'm married and have four children.
I'm on H1B, my wife and kids are on H4. I have an SSN, they don't. My wife does not have any US income.
I'm about to hire a CPA to do my 2019 taxes, but before I do that I would like to gather some understanding about the US tax system myself.
As far as I understand, I don't pass the substantial presence test for 2019 (we've been in the United states for about 100 days in 2019 and a couple of weeks in total in 2018 and 2017). We will meet the substantial presence test for 2020 by early May.
From what I have learned so far, I think I have three options:
File as a non-resident alien (1040-NR) for the whole 2019.
This way I will not have to report our income from the country of origin, neither report any foreign assets.
Make the First-Year Choice and file two different tax returns (1040 and 1040-NR) as a dual-status alien for the two different parts of 2019.
This way I will have to report my income from the country of origin for the relevant part of the year and file the FBAR and Form 8938
Elect to choose the Resident Status and file a joint return with my wife as residents (1040) for the whole 2019.
This way both me and my wife will have to report our incomes from the country of origin for the whole year and file the FBAR and Form 8938
Is my understanding of the above correct?
Will I be able to claim my children as dependents on 1040 (if I elect to file as a dual-status alien)? They don't have (and are not eligible) for SSN, so I can't claim child tax credit for them, and they don't pass the substantial presence test for 2019. I'm not a national of Canada, Mexico, South Korea or India.