Who is considered a Foreign National

For purposes of determining U.S. legal residency, a foreign national is anyone who is not a citizen of the United States. Foreign nationals fall into two categories, resident aliens or green card holders and non-resident aliens, who reside outside the United States

Are You a Resident Alien (Green Card)?

A Resident Alien is someone who has established a legal domicile in the U.S. Therefore, are treated as U.S. residents and are subject to several of the same income and transfer tax rules as U.S. citizens. Resident Aliens will generally meet one of the conditions below:

  • Have permanent legal residency status in U.S. (Green Card)
  • Reside a minimum of 31 days per year in the U.S. and having stayed a total of at least 183 days during the past three years (includes current year)

Are You a Non-Resident Alien?

Non-resident aliens have not established a U.S. domicile:

  • Have a valid U.S. visa (i.e. B1/B2)
  • Do not hold legal permanent residency in the U.S. (No Green Card)
  • Do not meet the IRS Substantial Presence Test

Non-Resident and Resident aliens have very different rules when it comes to U.S. income and estate tax implications. Learn more on the different tax considerations for foreign nationals.