在银行账户申请的细则里(比如最近大热的 Discover Checking Account),经常会见到一些词让大家一头雾水,例如 “Under penalties of perjury, I certify that: I am a U.S. citizen or other U.S. person.”。什么是 U.S. Person?什么是 Resident Alien?跟 Permanent Resident 有什么区别?这些词语在报税的意义下,都是有严格定义的,我们将在此文中按照 IRS (Internal Revenue Service) 给的官方说明向大家尽量解释清楚这些身份之间的区别与联系。注意本文谈论的是信用卡/银行账户相关的定义,因此讨论的其实是W9/W8表格中的定义,即联邦税,州税的resident定义有所不同,大家在报州税的时候请不要参考本文。
几种身份的关系示意图

1. U.S. Citizen(美国公民)

这个我想不太需要解释,自己是否是美国公民大家应该都很清楚。需要强调的一点是,如果你并非美国公民,而在办信用卡/银行账户的时候勾选上了我是美国公民的选项,是严重的谎报身份,可能会影响到绿卡的申请,大家一定要谨慎。

2. Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) (绿卡持有者)

这几个词都是绿卡的意思,自己是否持有绿卡我想大家也都很清楚。

3. Alien

只要不是 U.S. Citizen,你就是 Alien。Alien 分为两种:Resident AlienNon-resident Alien

4. Resident Alien

若你是绿卡持有者,或者满足以下条件(substantial presence test),你就是 Resident Alien:
  1. 31 days during the current year, and
  2. 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:
    • All the days you were present in the current year, and
    • 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
    • 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.
重要的是上述判据要排除掉一些情况:

Definition of Exempt Individual

    • Employee of Foreign Government
    • Employee of International Organization
    • Usually on A or G visa;
    • Does NOT include students on J or Q visas;
    • Does include any alien on a J or Q visa who is not a student (physicians, au pairs, summer camp workers, etc.);
    • must wait 2 years before counting 183 days; however if the J or Q alien has been present in the U.S. during any part of 2 of the prior 6 calendar years in F, J, M, or Q status, then he is not an exempt individual for the current year, and he must count days in the current year toward the substantial presence test;
    • Quality of being an Exempt Individual applies also to spouse and child on J-2 or Q-3 visa;
    • must wait 5 calendar years before counting 183 days;
    • the 5 calendar years need not be consecutive; and once a cumulative total of 5 calendar years is reached during the student’s lifetime after 1984 he may never be an exempt individual as a student ever again during his lifetime;
    • Quality of being an Exempt Individual applies also to spouse and child on F-2, J-2, M-2, or Q-3 visa;
其中对很多人最重要的一条是,F1/F2身份的前5年一定是 Non-resident AlienJ1/J2身份的前2年一定是 Non-resident Alien

5. U.S. Person

U.S. Person 的定义包括 U.S. Citizen 和 Resident Alien,不包括 Non-resident Alien!
Discover Checking Account 开户的时候有一条细则是让你确认你是 U.S. Person 的,不勾选上则无法申请。如果谎称身份Discover应该不会查,但是对于可能存在的未知风险请自负。
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