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I'm a New Zealand citizen who emigrated (I have a green card) to the US in July. Due to some medical issues I returned to NZ in early December. My question is whether I should file as a Dual-Status or Non-resident? I'm assuming Non-Resident since I wasn't resident on the last day of the year?

Is it a good idea to file for the extension to meet the physical presence test? Or can I claim the period ending in 2014 for the physical presence test?

My long term intention is to return to the US.

Thanks.

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Since you have a green-card, you're a US permanent resident and pass the green-card test. You cannot file non-resident. You can either file as a dual-status or full-year resident.

If you meet the green card test at anytime during the calendar year, but do not meet the substantial presence test for that year, your residency starting date is the first day on which you are present in the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident. However, an alien who has been present in the United States at any time during a calendar year as a Lawful Permanent Resident may choose to be treated as a resident alien for the entire calendar year.

  • "However, an alien who has been present in the United States at any time during a calendar year as a Lawful Permanent Resident may choose to be treated as a resident alien for the entire calendar year." There is no basis for this for an unmarried person in either Publication 519 or the law. – user102008 Apr 3 '15 at 8:09
  • You do realize that I quoted from the link, right? That's what the colored background usually means. – littleadv Jun 3 '15 at 14:36
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You are not a nonresident alien because you pass the Green Card Test.

But since you came to the U.S. in the middle of the year (assuming you didn't count as resident in 2013), you fall under First Year of Residency special rules. You are only a resident starting on the first day you entered the U.S. as a permanent resident; you are nonresident before that. Therefore you are a dual-status alien for 2014.

If you are married, you can choose to use the Choosing Resident Alien Status or the Nonresident Spouse Treated as Resident election to become a resident alien for all of 2014 and file jointly with your spouse. If you are not married, there is no way for you to be considered a resident alien for all of 2014.

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