All international students, scholars and their dependents present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 nonimmigrant status who are nonresidents for tax purposes must file Form 8843 [pdf] "Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition" even if they received NO income in 2020. Form 8843 [pdf] is not a U.S. income tax return. It is an informational statement required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for nonresidents for tax purposes (including spouses or dependents of nonresidents).
- Regardless of an individual's age, Form 8843 [pdf] must be filed if a student or scholar was present in the U.S. during 2020 under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 status and is s a nonresident for tax purposes.
- Mail the form by June 15, 2021 to:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
- Form 8843 [pdf] must be sent separately from any other forms.
Do I Need a Social Security Number or
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to File Form 8843?
The general answer is no. Nonresident international students and scholars, for tax purposes, who are not required to file an income tax return (Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ), but are required to file Form 8843 [pdf] do not need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If an international student or scholar has been issued a SSN or ITIN, the number should be included on Form 8843.
An exception to this rule is for individuals who are eligible to be claimed as exemptions on a U.S. income tax return. If a dependent can be claimed they must have an SSN or ITIN. Only dependents from a limited list of countries may claim an exemption for their dependents on their U.S. income tax return (Form 1040NR). An exemption for a spouse or dependents is only applicable if the country of tax residence (for the F-1 or J-1) is:
- India (applicable only to F-1 and J-1 students)
What if I forgot to file my Form 8843 in a previous year?
Complying with U.S. tax law is part of maintaining your immigration status. You should file the previous year's Form 8843 as soon as possible.