A joint filing tip for non-resident aliens (NRAs) with spouses who are either a US citizen or a resident alien (US person).
The married couple may be able to elect to file married filing joint filing status (MFJ) even if one spouse is an NRA.
For some types of visa, however, this election is not available. For example, J-visa holders.
This can work out a far better outcome than if the US person files married filing separate for a whole raft of different reasons.
The NRA will need a taxpayer identification number to file a joint return.
Both spouses will need to declare their worldwide income for the entire year.
It is very pleasing to obtain a better outcome using MFJ status by using this particular technique where one spouse is an NRA and the other a US person.
In saying that, the outcome can differ vastly, depending on a number of variables, notably income levels, and it may not be advantageous for some married couples.