I am international student on F1 visa in the US, and been here for almost four years

Generally, when I file my taxes, I claim to be a non-resident alien. Generally, a person who spends most of their year in the US is considered a resident alien, with the exception of students (and a few other categories).

However, if I wish to set up an account on TreasuryDirect, or an online Brokerage account at my bank, they ask me to check a box saying that I am a US Person. Am I allowed to check this box and go ahead? If I do so, am I obligated to file my taxes as resident alien from now on?

  • Do you have an SSN?
    – RonJohn
    Mar 29 at 19:57
  • fincen.gov/who-united-states-person You are probably not a US person, based on this definition.
    – RonJohn
    Mar 29 at 20:01
  • 1
    @RonJohn there are many different definitions of US person (and also of resident or national) used for different laws, regulations, and programs, and FinCEN's definition is solely for filing FBAR under BSA which is entirely irrelevant to this Q. F1 students in a program with OPT (Optional Practical Training) do get employment authorization and SSN, but still aren't tax-resident. Mar 31 at 6:13

1 Answer 1


No, you're not a US Person. The TreasuryDirect checkbox is akin to filing a W9 (and in fact serves as W9). You cannot file that certification.

  • 2
    Nevertheless, OP should be able to buy US treasuries by some means. Many foreign governments and banks hold a significant quantity of treasury bonds. It's just a matter of finding a brokerage that is willing and able to deal with you within the bounds of applicable law.
    – Kevin
    Mar 30 at 6:15
  • 1
    Sure, but not from Treasury Direct. Some US brokerages allow non residents, but not all.
    – littleadv
    Mar 30 at 6:18

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