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Bob is a non-resident alien, F1 student living in the USA. Bob is married to Alice, who is a resident alien, F1 student living in the USA. Alice earns 75kUSD/year (approximately half fellowship, half teaching assistant, and most of it is eaten by tuition fees).

Bob is doing a CPT summer internship in the USA and is filling his W4 form: is Alice regarded as a working spouse?

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Yes, she does. But Bob's situation is further complicated, since being non-resident Bob will file MFS return. But, that is not all. Bob can elect file MFJ with Alice and then can be treated as resident. Otherwise, Alice will file MFS as well, and both will be essentially penalized.


  • MFS = Married Filing Separately
  • MFJ = Married Filing Jointly

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