Resident Alien Filing Requirements and Deadlines

To determine if you are a resident or non-resident alien for tax purposes, take the “Substantial Presence Test.” If you are a resident for taxes, proceed with these instructions.

Students and Scholars who earned income

If you are a resident alien for tax purposes and you earned income during the tax year, you will need to file federal and state taxes.

Federal tax forms must be mailed by (see for deadline)

Virginia state tax forms must be mailed by May 1 (see for deadline)  If you also lived or worked in other states, their deadlines may vary.


Documents to get started

  • Passport, I-94 record, and DS-2019 or I-20
  • Social Security Card (if you have one)
  • W-2, a tax statement sent by your employer that states how much you earned and how much you paid in taxes.
  • Receipts for any deductions you want to claim
  • Bank account information (you will need your bank routing and account number if you want your tax return to be electronically deposited to your account).
  • Last year’s U.S. tax return (if you have one)

Options for Assistance

1. Online Tax Programs

Online tax preparation programs, such as Turbo Tax, H&R Block, etc., ask you questions and completes tax forms for you.  They also typically allow electronic filing.  There are often separate fees for federal and state taxes.  If your income is below a certain level, many of these software programs are free through FreeFile.

2. Professional Preparers

You can also use professional tax preparation services, such as H&R Block, TurboTax, etc., to file your taxes.  These are typically more costly than do-it-yourself software, but can be beneficial if you have complicated tax situations.

3. Tax Forms (if you prefer to prepare by  hand)

To get forms, you can download them from the IRS website and the Virginia tax website, or get paper copies at the Fredericksburg Public Library.


Please note that CIE does not give tax advice, does not guarantee, and is not responsible for any final tax results.  It is the responsibility of each international student, scholar and dependent to comply with U.S. tax regulations. While we offer tax information in the form of resources, CIE is not trained to provide tax advice and disclaims all liability stemming from the misinterpretation or misuse of the resources offered.