I've been in the US as non-resident and resident.

2014 - F1 - NR
2015 - F1 - NR
2016 - F1 - NR
2017 - F1 - NR
2018 - F1-OPT - R (filled 1040)
2019 - F1-OPT - R (filled 1040)
2020 - F1-OPT - R (filled 1040)

Now for 2021, my OPT ended and I left the country in June. I'm trying to figure out if I should file as Resident or Non-Resident for 2021.

Non-Resident would be favorable as I earned income outside the US after I left in June.

Question is: can I claim Closer Connection Exception to the Substantial Presence Test for Foreign Students for 2021 and file as NR after 3 years of filling as R? (I meet the 4 requirements).


Does your opinion change if I was to mention that I'd consider applying for an employer-based GC in the future?

  • Why do you think you were resident for 2018? You hadn't been an exempt individual for some part of 5 previous calendar years at that time (unless you had been on F/J status prior to 2014 that you didn't show).
    – user102008
    Jan 26, 2022 at 18:47
  • "Non-Resident would be favorable as I earned income outside the US after I left in June." You can still be non-resident for the time after you left the US, even if you do not use the Closer Connection exception for the F1 time, if you submit a statement to establish an earlier residency termination date than the end of the year, and had a closer connection to a foreign country in the time after you left the US. See the section "Last Year of Residency" in Publication 519.
    – user102008
    Jan 26, 2022 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


You'll need to figure out based on the substantial presence test, but it doesn't matter for your concern. You've only been resident until June, and you're concerned about income you've earned after you already left the US and are no longer a resident. This is considered "dual status".

In order to explicitly treat your post-residency income as non-resident, even if your income until June should be treated as resident, you file two tax returns: one as resident that covers all your US income, and one as non-resident that covers all the income after you left the US.

See the instructions at the link how to do that.

Re your explicit question, the page says this:

Most foreign students cannot use this exception, however, because of the requirement that the individual not have been physically present in the United States during the current year on more than 182 days, and the requirement that their tax home be located outside the United States.

You left in June, so you spent less than 182 days (unless it was June 30), but it may be iffy if you already claimed residency in prior years. You're also no longer a student (even though you're on a student visa).

Sending dual status return will end up being the same, tax wise, and is much simpler IMHO, but up to you.

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