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I did an undergraduate degree between 2008 and 2013 under an F1 visa. Then, right after, I started a graduate degree (PhD). I had to apply for a new F1 visa after I graduated in 2013, but I kept my social security number from 2010.

My question is: does the 5 year non-resident alien status for tax purposes reset with a new F1 visa or is that period once in a lifetime? In other words, should I have had to file 1040 instead of 1040NR?

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As a student, you are not an exempt individual if you have been an exempt individual as a student, teacher, or trainee for any part of 5 previous calendar years (unless you claim closer connection to a foreign country). That's 5 calendar years ever (not 5 out of the previous so many years). For you, the 5 calendar years were 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. You cannot be an exempt individual as a student for 2013 or any later years. So your days in the US in student status do count towards the Substantial Presence Test, and you are a resident alien for a given year if you pass the test for that year.

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