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Level 1

H1B and H4 spouse with worldwide income

Hey there,


I worked all year in US on H1B visa, I got married in August 2019 and my wife moved to the US in November. She had income in Romania before moving to the US. Based on the presence test, she is a nonresident for tax purposes and we would like to file a joint return and I would like her to be treated as a US resident for tax purposes, hence filing for ITIN (she is not eligible to get a SSN).


Based on the information that I've been reading online I need to follow these steps:


1. Apply for an ITIN using a completed W-7.

2. Attach a declaration saying that my wife was a nonresident alien in 2019 and I was a resident alien.

3. Attach the W-2 from my employer to the return.

4. File for federal by mail and attach the W-7 form plus supporting documents.



1. File state simply by mailing the completed and signed forms from Turbotax and say "ITIN applied for" in the SSN part.


I have a few questions in this process:

1. Foreign income for my wife: there is no such thing as W-2 in Romania. We calculated the income based on what she earned each month and did the conversion from RON to USD based on the conversion rate at the date of receiving the paycheck. I added the total amount on Turbotax in the Foreign Earned Income section of Income section. Do I need any supporting documents attached to the return? Where does this income go on the final form? I do see it added in Box 1 in the wages section, but how does the IRS know this is coming from foreign sources if my W-2 only includes the US ones.

2. "Attach a declaration saying that my wife was a nonresident alien in 2019" - Does anyone have an example of a declaration, does this needs to be certified by a notary or just our signature will do?

3. W-7 supporting documents: My wife's Romanian passport would be just great for the supporting documents, but she doesn't want to stay without an ID for 60 days, so I was looking for alternatives. It looks pretty hard to get a certified copy, so I was looking at the National Identification Card. Do you think a Romanian National Identification Card would be acceptable? We could send the original one, it has a photo, issue and validation date, Date of Birth is not explicit (it is in the unique id number of the card, for example if the id starts with [social security number removed], means the person is a female, born on 21st of August 1992). Do you think sending the original Romanian National ID would work?

4. Filing online is much easier, as I don't have to worry about supporting documents. But with filing by mail, do I need to provide any supporting documents with the state and federal return? Things like my wife's worldwide income calculations, my W2, 1099 documents, etc.


Thank you,



3 Replies
Expert Alumni

H1B and H4 spouse with worldwide income

One correction on the steps:

  • You would attach your return to the Form, W-7 requesting the ITIN for your wife and mail to the instructions on the W-7 Form.

To answer your questions:

Question 1:

You would not need to send in any supporting documentation with your return but should maintain the calculations for your records.

To enter your foreign income, you should:

  • Enter foreign income in the Search Magnifying Glass in the upper right hand corner of your screen.
  • Select Jump to foreign income.
  • Answer the questions on the screens.

Question 2:

Attach a statement, signed by both spouses, to your joint return for the first tax year for which the choice applies. It should contain the following information.

  • A declaration that one spouse was a nonresident alien and the other spouse a U.S. citizen or resident alien on the last day of your tax year, and that you choose to be treated as U.S. residents for the entire tax year.
  • The name, address, and identification number of each spouse.
  • The statement does not need to be notarized just your signatures.

Question 3:

There three ways to have submit your W-7.

  1. You can mail in the W-7 return with your wife’s passport.
  2. You can look up the address of Certified Acceptance Agents on the IRS website. The can certified that the passport and Visa is legitimate. They will make a copy of the passport and they will mail the W-7, your return, and a copy of the documents to the IRS. See CAA Listing.
  3. You can schedule an appointment with your local IRS office for them to review the documents.

Question 4:

You will need to mail in your return and all documents that have withholding on the form. These would be W-2, 1099-R, etc.  You do not need to send in any documents on your calculations. You need to keep the calculations in your tax records.



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Level 1

H1B and H4 spouse with worldwide income

Thanks for your answer.


Re: #1 - I followed your steps, I can see the income being added in the total wages, but how will the IRS know it comes from foreign income, since the number doesn't get printed in any form and I don't have any W-2 to show that.


Re: #3 - On the second suggestion, I am wondering if it will be accepted given that it says on the IRS website that they only accept certified documents that are issued only by the original issuing agency. "Certified document is one that the original issuing agency provides and certifies as an exact copy of the original document and contains an official stamped seal from the agency"

      #3 - IRS is close for the public and I don't want to mail the original document and getting a certified document from the original issue agency is hard around these times, do you think I can mail a Romanian National ID?


Thanks for your clear answers.

Expert Alumni

H1B and H4 spouse with worldwide income

RE# 1: If you enter through the link I gave you the questions are for foreign income. Internal coding will let the IRS that the income is from a foreign source.


RE#3: If you use a Certified Acceptance Agent in your area they should be able to help you. The Certified Acceptance Agents are located in local Tax offices.


The IRS is closed during the Covid-19 shutdown. When it is over they will accept appointments. The Certified Acceptance Agents are located in local Tax offices.



The document(s) that you provide must prove your foreign status and identity. See the chart to see what documents you need:


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