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FICA tax exemption


I am an international student on an F1 visa and will complete 5 years in the States. I am still a full-time student and working for a private org (not the university). Am I still exempt from FICA after 5 years? (I am from India.)

3 Replies

FICA tax exemption

The rules are here:


States in F-1, J-1, or M-1, status for less than 5 calendar years are generally nonresident aliens under residency rules of IRC section 7701(b). These nonresident alien students are exempt from Social Security Tax and Medicare Tax on wages paid to them for services performed within the United States. To qualify for the exemption, the services performed need to be allowed by USCIS for these nonimmigrant statuses, and such services are performed to carry out the purposes for which such visas were issued to them.

  • Exempt Employment includes:
    • On-campus student employment up to 20 hours a week (40 hrs. during summer vacations).
    • Off-campus student employment allowed by USCIS.
    • Practical Training student employment on or off campus.
  • Limitations on exemption:
    • The exemption does not apply to spouses and children in F-2, J-2, or M-2 status.
    • The exemption does not apply to employment not allowed by USCIS or to employment not closely connected to the purpose for which the visa was issued.
    • The exemption does not apply to F-1, J-1, or M-1 students who change to another immigration status which is not exempt or to a special protected status.
    • The exemption does not apply to F-1, 1, or M-1 students who become resident aliens.

FICA tax exemption

No, once you hit 5 years, you are not exempt from FICA.


Also, you are not exempt even if you have been in the US less than 5 years unless the employment is effectively connected to the educational purpose of your Visa, as noted above.  If you are studying accounting, you may be exempt from FICA if you are working part time at an accounting firm for experience, but you are not exempt from FICA if you work for a landscaper over the summer to earn extra money. 

Level 14
Level 14

FICA tax exemption

@Partha007 ,   Having gone through this post and responses by my collogues  @Opus 17  & @Bsch4477 , , the issue  you bring up  is  (a) not dependent on whether  you are exempt ( i.e.  from days present counting for purposes of  Substantial Presence Test ); (b)  is primarily on your status as a student ;  (c) purpose  / relationship of your employment   ( whether you are an employee or trainee / learner ,  benefits received   etc. etc.) and (d) the status of the employer  ( whether  an extension of the educational institution / charitable,  etc. etc. ).  This is all very well laid out in Rev. Proc.2005-11.

 My strong suggestion is that you discuss this with your education institution's  foreign student office -- they will definitely have  more  down-to earth position.   Also are you working with EAD permit or  what  ( normally as an international student you are  ONLY allowed to work  on campus or related institutions without express permission of Immigration Services.


Please provide more info on your situation so one of us can provide a more specific answer.


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