Common Terms and Definitions

NONRESIDENT ALIEN

A nonresident alien is an individual who is not a United States Citizen or a resident alien. For federal tax purposes, individuals are generally taxed as nonresident aliens if they do not fall into one of the following categories:

  •   United States Citizen
  • United States Resident with a Green Card
  • Individual without a green card who meets the Substantial Presence Test (defined below)

RESIDENT ALIEN

A resident alien is an individual who is not a United States citizen and falls into one of the following categories:

  •   United States Resident with a Green Card
  • Individual without a green card who meets the Substantial Presence Test (defined below)

SUBSTANTIAL PRESENCE TEST

A nonresident alien will be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes if he/she meets the substantial presence test under the conditions listed below. The test must be applied each year on a prospective basis, always taking into account the current year and the preceding years.

 

A nonresident alien will meet the substantial presence test with respect to any current calendar year if:

  •   They were present in the United States for at least 31 days during the current calendar year; and
  • The sum of the number of days they were present in the United States during the current year and the two preceding calendar years equals or exceeds 183 days as computed using the following formula:

A. Current year days in U.S. X1 = _______days
B. 1st preceding year days in U.S. X 1/3=_______days
C. 2nd Preceding year days in U.S. X 1/6=________days
D. Total days in U.S.  =___________days

 

 

If Line D equals or exceeds 183 days, the individual has passed the substantial presence test for the current calendar year.

 

 

VISA

A visa is a permit to apply to enter the United States. If needed, it is normally obtained at an American consulate outside the United States. It classifies the visit as business, tourism, etc. and is usually valid for multiple visits to the United States during a specified period of time. A visa allows travel to the United States but does not guarantee that the individual will be allowed to enter the United States (see discussion below under Arrival/Departure Record (I-94)).

 

A nonimmigrant visa is given to someone who lives in another country and wishes to come temporarily to the United States for a specific purpose. Nonimmigrant visa are given to people such as tourists, business persons, students, temporary workers and diplomats.


 

VISA WAIVER PROGRAM

The visa waiver program enables citizens of participating countries to travel to the U.S. for business or tourism for 90 days or less without obtaining a U.S. visa. The following countries participate in this program (as of July 2005):

 

Andorra

Iceland

Norway

Australia

Ireland

Portugal

Austria

Italy

San Marino

Belgium

Japan

Singapore

Brunei

Liechtenstein

Slovenia

Denmark

Luxembourg

Spain

Finland

Monaco

Sweden

France

the Netherlands

Switzerland

Germany

New Zealand

United Kingdom

 

 

ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE RECORD (I-94)

Once a nonimmigrant visa is obtained, travel to the United States is authorized. This does not, however, guarantee that the person will be allowed to enter the United States. USCIS has authority to grant or deny admission to the United States and to determine the length of stay.

 

An Arrival/Departure Record is created by the USCIS when the traveler is inspected upon arrival in the United States. The inspector endorses the Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) with the date, place of arrival, class of admission (which corresponds to the visa class), the length of time the traveler may remain in the United States, and any special conditions which may apply to the visit. The inspector keeps the Arrival portion of the form and returns the endorsed Departure portion to the traveler who must keep the card in their possession until they leave the United States. When the traveler leaves the United States, they must surrender the Departure portion of the I-94 to the airline representative, if they travel by air, or to the immigration or customs officer if they depart across the border to Canada or Mexico.

 

The I-94 document is critical in determining whether a nonresident alien visitor may be paid a fee or reimbursed expenses. A copy of this form (along with other forms previously discussed) must be obtained by the College before any payment can be processed.

 

FOREIGN NATIONAL INFORMATION FORM (FNIF)

All nonresident aliens paid by the College must fully complete and sign the FNIF. The information will allow the College to determine the U.S. residency for tax purposes. The form may be completed online at http://windstar.com.