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No Income International Students

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  • All nonresident aliens present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 non-immigrant status must file Form 8843 "Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition"—even if they received NO income. Form 8843 must be filed if an individual is:

    • present in the U.S.

    • a nonresident alien

    • present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 status

    If an individual meets all three qualifications above, the individual must file Form 8843, regardless of the individual's age and even if the individual is not required to file a U.S. income tax return (Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ).

  • Form 8843 is not an income tax return. Form 8843 is merely an informational statement required by the U.S. government for certain nonresident aliens (including the spouses or dependents of nonresident aliens).

  • Generally, no. Nonresident aliens who are not required to file an income tax return (Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ), but who are required to file Form 8843, need not apply for a Social Security number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If, however, an SSN/ITIN has been assigned, the number must be included on Form 8843.

    An exception to this rule is for individuals who are eligible to be claimed as dependents on a U.S. income tax return. Such individuals must have an SSN/ITIN. Only nonresident aliens from a very limited number of countries may claim an exemption for their dependents on their U.S. income tax return (Form 1040NR). In such a case, any dependent who is claimed must have a SSN/ITIN. An exemption for spouse and/or dependents is only applicable if the country of tax residence is:

    • American Samoa
    • Canada
    • Korea
    • Mexico
    • Northern Mariana Islands
    • India (applicable only to F-1 and J-1 students)
    • If you are required to file an income tax return (Form 1040NR/1040NR-EZ), attach Form 8843 to the back of the tax return.
    • If Form 8843 is for a spouse or dependent eligible to be claimed as a dependent on a federal tax return, Form 8843 must be attached to the back of the tax return on which they are claimed.
    • If Form 8843 is not filed in connection with a federal tax return, the form must be sent to your Local IRS Office by the due date. Please note that each individual who files Form 8843 must send the form separately from any other form or anyone else's forms.

      For example, Juanita Garcia is present in the U.S. under an F-1 immigration status with her husband and 3 year old daughter (both present in F-2 immigration status). Juanita is the only person in the family who received U.S. source income during 2015. Therefore, Juanita will file an income tax return (Forms 1040NR/1040NR-EZ) with Form 8843 attached. Juanita's husband will file Form 8843 and mail in a separate envelope; Juanita's daughter must submit Form 8843 (in a separate envelope), regardless of her age.

  • The Substantial Presence Test (SPT) is one of the two tests that the IRS uses to determine whether international students and scholars are resident aliens for tax purposes or nonresident aliens for tax purposes. It measures whether or not the taxpayer has been present in the US for at least 183 days total over a three year period using the IRS calculation. International students in an F, J, Q, and M visa status are able to exempt 5 years of presence from the SPT, while international scholars in a J or Q visa status are able to exempt 2 years of presence from the SPT. 

  • You do not need an SSN or an ITIN to file Form 8843. There is a place to enter your tax identification number if you have one, but you do not need a tax identification number to file this document.