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tcokyasar44
New Member

There are some waivers for the health insurance. I just wonder, if my wife is eligible for a waiver under the category of "Not a legal U.S. resident".

I am a J-1 Visa holder exchange student. My wife is a J-2 Visa holder dependent. We are both on the status of Non-Immigrant/Alien. I had my insurance for the whole 2016. However, my wife didn't have an insurance at all. I worked on campus and she worked out of campus with her EAD (Employment Authorization Document). We are filing jointly. There are some waivers for the health insurance. I just wonder, if my wife is eligible for a waiver under the category of "Not a legal U.S. resident".
1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
bine22
Level 7

There are some waivers for the health insurance. I just wonder, if my wife is eligible for a waiver under the category of "Not a legal U.S. resident".

as a J1-student you are exempt from counting days for the substantial presence test for the first 5 calendar years, so 2016 would be your 3rd year as a non-resident alien. Assuming you are staying until 2021, 2017 would be your fourth and 2018 the last. In 2019 you would start using the substantial presence test to determine residency. The 5 years are a lifetime exemption, so once they are used up, you cannot use them again (it's different, if you switch to a J1 nonstudent visa, as a postdoc for example). 

As a nonresident alien you need to file form 1040NR plus form 8843 (plus a state return). You cannot file a joint return as nonresident aliens. You would both file as married filing separately. 

Turbotax does not support these forms, so you cannot use Turbotax. You can download all forms from the IRS website. Some universities provide access to tax preparation software for their foreign students.

Have a look at publication 519: https://www.irs.gov/publications/p519/


For tax purposes, you are not required to have health insurance. But it might be advisable to get health insurance for your spouse, health care is very expensive in the US.

View solution in original post

7 Replies
bine22
Level 7

There are some waivers for the health insurance. I just wonder, if my wife is eligible for a waiver under the category of "Not a legal U.S. resident".

when did you both come to the US?
tcokyasar44
New Member

There are some waivers for the health insurance. I just wonder, if my wife is eligible for a waiver under the category of "Not a legal U.S. resident".

We came to US in 08/2014 and stayed almost 1 year left 07/2015. Then, we got another visa and came back in 08/2015. Before Jan 2016, we both did not have any taxable income.
bine22
Level 7

There are some waivers for the health insurance. I just wonder, if my wife is eligible for a waiver under the category of "Not a legal U.S. resident".

please list the periods you stayed in the US and the visas for each period.
tcokyasar44
New Member

There are some waivers for the health insurance. I just wonder, if my wife is eligible for a waiver under the category of "Not a legal U.S. resident".

08/2014 to 07/2015, J1 and J2 (No Taxable Income, lived in GA).  08/2015 to 12/2016, J1 and J2 (Income Obtained from 01/2016 to Present, have been living in TN). We recently extended our last visas to 05/2021.
tcokyasar44
New Member

There are some waivers for the health insurance. I just wonder, if my wife is eligible for a waiver under the category of "Not a legal U.S. resident".

08/2014 to 07/2015, J1 and J2 (No Taxable Income, lived in GA).  08/2015 to 12/2016, J1 and J2 (Income Obtained from 01/2016 to Present, have been living in TN). We recently extended our last visas to 05/2021.
tcokyasar44
New Member

There are some waivers for the health insurance. I just wonder, if my wife is eligible for a waiver under the category of "Not a legal U.S. resident".

08/2014 to 07/2015, J1 and J2 (No Taxable Income, lived in GA).  08/2015 to 12/2016, J1 and J2 (Income Obtained from 01/2016 to Present, have been living in TN). We recently extended our last visas to 05/2021.
bine22
Level 7

There are some waivers for the health insurance. I just wonder, if my wife is eligible for a waiver under the category of "Not a legal U.S. resident".

as a J1-student you are exempt from counting days for the substantial presence test for the first 5 calendar years, so 2016 would be your 3rd year as a non-resident alien. Assuming you are staying until 2021, 2017 would be your fourth and 2018 the last. In 2019 you would start using the substantial presence test to determine residency. The 5 years are a lifetime exemption, so once they are used up, you cannot use them again (it's different, if you switch to a J1 nonstudent visa, as a postdoc for example). 

As a nonresident alien you need to file form 1040NR plus form 8843 (plus a state return). You cannot file a joint return as nonresident aliens. You would both file as married filing separately. 

Turbotax does not support these forms, so you cannot use Turbotax. You can download all forms from the IRS website. Some universities provide access to tax preparation software for their foreign students.

Have a look at publication 519: https://www.irs.gov/publications/p519/


For tax purposes, you are not required to have health insurance. But it might be advisable to get health insurance for your spouse, health care is very expensive in the US.

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