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Sphere on Spiral Stairs

What is a Non Resident Alien (NRA)?

What is a Non Resident Alien (NRA)?

If you are an Non Resident Alien (NRA) (not a U.S. citizen), you are considered a nonresident alien unless you meet one of two tests.


You are a resident alien of the United States for tax purposes if you meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test for the calendar year (January 1-December 31). There are extenuating circumstances to these but here are the basics:

Green Card Test

You are a resident, for U.S. federal tax purposes, if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States at any time during the calendar year. This is known as the "green card" test.

You are a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States, at any time, if you have been given the privilege, according to the immigration laws, of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant. You generally have this status if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued you an alien registration card, Form I-551, also known as a "green card."

Substantial Presence Test

A complex formula that determines if a Foreign Person is considered a US Person for the calendar year of a purchase in order to be exempt from paying the FIRPTA withholding. It is a counting days process.

  • Days do not count if Foreign Person is in USA representing a foreign government, a teacher, student (J, Q, F, M visas) or professional athlete in a charity event.

  • Count 31 days during year of sale AND 183 days during the year of sale and the preceding 2 years, ONLY counting all days during sale year; 1/3 days during 1st preceding year; 1/6th days during 2nd preceding year.

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