International Student Taxes

All international students receiving scholarships or who are working are subject to US income tax. Scholarship taxes will be added to the student’s account each semester.  These taxes can not be paid by increasing the scholarship.  If you have questions on how this amount is determined, please contact Jason Rankin in Student Accounts.  In general, scholarships covering room/meals and certain health fees are taxable.

Each year, international students must file Federal And State Income Tax Returns for the previous year.  This must be done whether the student worked or not.  This is a requirement of the student visa.

Ashley Pettingill  in the Office of International Engagement is our tax coordinator.  She will be able to assist you with tax questions you may have. She can be reached by phone (501)450-3445 or email (

The Division of International Engagement provides software each spring to assist students with filing income tax returns.  We will notify everyone by UCA email when the software is available.


There are specific requirements for international students when filling out the W-4 form.  Click here to print out the instructions.



In many cases, F-1 students are exempt from withholding of Social Security and FICA from their paychecks.  Here are the rules to see if you qualify:

· 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.

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.
  • Employment as professor, teacher or researcher.
  • Employment as a physician, au pair, or summer camp worker

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.

If you believe that these taxes have been held from your paychecks in error, here is information regarding requesting a refund.