All, I am new here and have a rather puzzling (at least to me) situation: During 2012, I started off the year as an F1 Visa Holder till September 30. I then switched to an H1B on October 01 and spent 92 days on an H1B till December 31, 2012. I have recently been approved for a Green Card on Jan 25, 2013. Now, a simple reading of the IRS law would indicate that I don't satisfy the substantial presence clause for 2012 and should file as a non-resident alien. I have been reading up online and it appears to me that filing for an extension and then using the First -Year Choice would enable me to file taxes as a resident in 2012. Is this true? Or have I completely misunderstood how the first year choice works?


No, first year choice allows you filing as resident for the 2012 year from the day you switched to H1B (i.e.: October 1st). That assuming you've stayed in the US the whole time. You will have a split year, what's called "Dual Status".

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