Please don't confuse it with answer here. Mine is not a duplicate question.

If I am on F1 (non-immigrant student) visa and doing my OPT (1st year not the STEM extension) or I am a full time student (still on F1 visa) and have acquired the resident alien status for the tax purposes. Do I have to pay the social security and medicare taxes? I am a bit confused. Based on the screenshot pasted below from this IRS page, I think I don't need to pay. However, this answer on turbotax says that I need to. Please advice.

Screenshot from a IRS page

  • You really need to explain what you mean by F1-OPT and so on. FWIW (going the other direction, as a US citizen working in another country), the taxes are collected and applied to your home country's equivalent of Social Security. But this depends on there being a treaty between the US and your country.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 3:46
  • F1 --> is a visa type. It is non-immigrant student visa. OPT --> Optional practical training. It is an option for International students to work as fulltime professional for a year in the US as part of their education. The following link has detailed description of it. uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/…
    – PHcoDer
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 13:56
  • Actually, the IRS page you linked to says: "The exemption does not apply to F-1,J-1,M-1, or Q-1/Q-2 nonimmigrants who become resident aliens."
    – xuhdev
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 6:08

1 Answer 1


If you are working on campus in the school where you are studying, you are exempt from FICA on that work even if you are a resident alien or US citizen. See this page for more details.

If you are working on OPT, you are probably working off-campus, so this exception wouldn't apply. Also, if you are working full-time, the exception doesn't apply. So I think you have to pay FICA taxes if you are a resident alien.

  • Thanks. What if I am on OPT and working in a company as full time employee?
    – PHcoDer
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 2:49
  • 1
    @PHcoDer: I updated
    – user102008
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 19:02
  • Thanks. I have confirmed from other sources too and it is correct what you said.
    – PHcoDer
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 20:03

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