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What things should be considered by an immigrant before deciding on whether to file taxes in the United States as a Nonresident Alien or a Resident Alien?

The person making the decision does qualify to make the choice (L1-B Work Visa, been in the country continuously since last summer).

Does it make a difference in the amount of the refund one can get? Are there any longer term pros/cons?

  • "The person making the decision does qualify to make the choice (L1-B Work Visa, been in the country continuously since last summer)." "last summer" as in for at least 183 days last year? or less than 183 days last year? If you were in the US for at least 183 days last year, you already pass the SPT for last year, which makes you dual-status. You only have a choice to become full-year resident if you are married and filing jointly. – user102008 Mar 8 '18 at 21:38
  • If you were in the US for less than 183 days last year (and have not been in the US significantly in the 2 years before that), you do not pass the SPT for last year, which makes you a nonresident for the whole year. In that case you have a choice to do First-Year Choice to become dual-status for last year once you pass the SPT for this year. And then you have a further choice to become full-year resident if you are married and filing jointly. – user102008 Mar 8 '18 at 21:40
  • Beginning of June so roughly 210 days. So it's going to be this one and I don't even have a choice: Aliens who make such a change are Dual Status Aliens and must file a special tax return called a Dual Status Return. Thank you for your help! – Peter Mar 8 '18 at 23:29

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