Per the US Tax Code, the following classes of nonimmigrants and nonresident aliens are exempt from U.S. Social Security and Medicare taxes as follows:
Employees of foreign governments are exempt on salaries paid to them in their official capacities as foreign government employees.
- The exemption does not automatically apply to servants of employees of such foreign governments.
- The exemption does not apply to spouses and children of A nonimmigrants who are employed in the United States by anyone other than a foreign government.
Crew members of a ship or aircraft may be exempt if the vessel is a foreign vessel and the employer is a foreign employer, or if the services are performed outside of the United States
- Crew members of an American vessel or aircraft who perform services within the United States ARE subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes.
- Crew members of an American vessel or aircraft who perform services outside the United States ARE subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes if the employee signed on the vessel or aircraft in the United States; or the employee signed on the vessel or vessel outside the United States but the vessel or aircraft touches a U.S. port while he is employed thereon.
3.F-visas, J-visas, M-visas, Q-visas.
Nonresident Alien students, scholars, professors, teachers, trainees, researchers, physicians, au pairs, summer camp workers, and other aliens temporarily present in the United States in F-1,J-1,M-1, or Q-1/Q-2 nonimmigrant status are exempt on wages paid to them for services performed within the United States as long as such services are 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.
4. Exempt Employment includes:
These refer to on-campus student employment up to 20 hours a week (40 hrs during summer vacations). The IRS has specifically included the following categories that are eligible for exemption as follows;
- Off-campus student employment allowed by USCIS.
- Practical Training student employment on or off campus.
- Employment as professor, teacher or researcher.
- Employment as a physician, au pair, or summer camp worker
5.Limitations on exemption:
The exemption does not apply to spouses and children in F-2, J-2, M-2, or Q-3 nonimmigrant 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,M-1, or Q-1/Q-2 nonimmigrants who change to an immigration status which is not exempt or to a special protected status.
The exemption does not apply to F-1,J-1,M-1, or Q-1/Q-2 nonimmigrants who become resident aliens.
Employees of international organizations are exempt on wages paid to them for services performed within the United States by employees of such organizations.
- The exemption does not automatically apply to servants of employees of such international organizations.
- The exemption does not apply to spouses and children of G nonimmigrants who are employed in the United States by anyone other than an international organization.
Certain nonimmigrants in H-2 and H-2A status are exempt as follows:
- An H-2 nonimmigrant who is a resident of the Philippines and who performs services in Guam.
- An H-2A nonimmigrant admitted into United States temporarily to do agricultural labor.