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Am I a resident of the US if here on a J-1 visa?

Am I a resident of the US if here on a J-1 visa?

Old Jul 6th 2011, 5:00 pm
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Default Am I a resident of the US if here on a J-1 visa?

Hi,

I'm a UK citizen, who's been living in Canada for the past several years as a resident (but not as a citizen). I've recently moved to the US on a J-1 visa.

Am I considered a US resident - or does the J-1 mean I'm not?
If not, am I considered a resident of Canada even though I no longer live there?

(What's prompted my question is I'm going to go on vacation and got a travel insurance quote from a Canadian company I've used previously, and I have to be a Canadian resident to qualifty for the insurance. But this will also affect my tax filing etc.)

TIA
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Old Jul 6th 2011, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Am I a resident of the US if here on a J-1 visa?

Do you have something official which shows you are a Canadian resident (similar to a US green card or something)?

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Old Jul 6th 2011, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: Am I a resident of the US if here on a J-1 visa?

Ask them what they want to see, in writing. Won't do any good if they void the plan when you need it because of a technicality.

Generally, where you are living and working, you'd be considered a resident of that location, even if not a permanent resident for immigration purposes.
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Old Jul 6th 2011, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Am I a resident of the US if here on a J-1 visa?

I have a Canadian permanent residency card and landed immigrant paper, so from that perspective I officially have residency status. Its just that I'm not actually physically residing in Canada.

I too thought that where one lived/work was where one was considered to reside, however I was under the impression there's something different about a J-1 visa (to say a H visa for example), but I can't remember where I saw/got this impression from.
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Old Jul 6th 2011, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: Am I a resident of the US if here on a J-1 visa?

It depends what you mean by "resident", there is no single definition of it.

Technically you are in the US in a non-immigrant classification, so that means you are not a resident of the US, for immigration purposes. If you start filing a 1040 instead of a 1040NR and 8843, the IRS will consider you resident for tax purposes. If you have a driver's license in the State where you are, you are a resident of the State (usually, there are uncommon exceptions).

If you have no Canadian address then for travel insurance purposes I wouldn't bother, because there's no point fiddling it, it won't be worth the paper it's written on because you violate the conditions of the insurance, just get US travel insurance. This has no bearing on anything to do with taxes. Residency for tax purposes is defined in the tax code and relevant tax treaties. Claiming insurance from Canada I suppose could be considered a residential tie, but a pretty trivial one. Under the US-Canada tax treaty it's called the "house and spouse" rule, i.e. where do you and your spouse live, either one is a major residential tie to that country for tax purposes. A driver's licence is usually considered a big one too.

Amount of time spent in that place is not as big of a deal as the IRS makes out in their publications, especially if you're from Canada and even more especially if you're a J-1 student and can claim the 8843 exemption.
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Old Jul 6th 2011, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Am I a resident of the US if here on a J-1 visa?

Originally Posted by niuniu View Post
I too thought that where one lived/work was where one was considered to reside, however I was under the impression there's something different about a J-1 visa (to say a H visa for example), but I can't remember where I saw/got this impression from.
Probably the 8843 exemption, have a read of the instructions for IRS Form 8843. However bear in mind if you use it you remain resident in Canada for tax purposes. (And in any event, Canada would probably deem you resident unless you have complied with the departure tax requirements).
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Old Jul 6th 2011, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Am I a resident of the US if here on a J-1 visa?

I have an address in Canada as I still own property there, and my wife has been spending half her time in Canada and the other half in the US (with no specific US visa, other than the regular status afforded to Canadian citizens travelling to the US). So from her travel insurance perspective she'd probably have to get it from a Canadian company (also the flights leave Canada).

The travel insurance prompted the question today, but I'd like to find out definitively anyway for several reasons, including the tax.
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Old Jul 7th 2011, 2:21 am
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Default Re: Am I a resident of the US if here on a J-1 visa?

Originally Posted by niuniu View Post
I'd like to find out definitively anyway for several reasons, including the tax.
Once again, there is no one single definition of "resident".

If you are concerned about tax issues then you need to figure out where you are considered to be resident for tax purposes.
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