International Students

This page is meant to contain information relevant to International Graduate Students.  We are still working on compiling this. If you have questions that you think our list should address, if you have information that we should include, or if you would like to help us compile this information, then please contact the GSA.

Obtaining or Changing an I-9 Form

The most up-to-date information can be found at

Please be aware of the time it takes for changes to be made to your paperwork. In December 2012, we received the following announcement:

All requests must be in to the Student Affairs office one month before new documents are needed. If you have an emergency, then contact Lilian Armijo immediately (; the Student Affairs office will do their best to accommodate students who are just finding out that more time is required, but there are limits to what can be done in the short term.

The International Office has hired a new person, Titia Barham. She started the position at the beginning of January 2013. While this will eventually shorten the amount of time needed for new or revised paperwork, please still allow 30 days for processing.  The International Office has a “Request Form” that can be submitted to initiate these changes:

Filing Taxes

You are responsible for filing your own tax returns with the State of New Mexico and the IRS (federal income tax). To file your taxes you have several options:

  1. Prepare the state and IRS tax forms online, if you are a US citizen or a resident alien for tax purposes. (Non-res aliens cannot use the standard deduction that is embedded in the on-line tax return for the State of NM. And they are required to mail in paper versions of the tax return to the IRS processing center in Austin, Texas)
  2. Use the free tax return service provided by Tax Help New Mexico. They support both US citizens and students who are non-resident aliens (NRA’s)  for tax purposes. This is an IRS funded program established in Socorro in 2014 (also called the VITA program in some states). The location and operating hours are on this web page: . Do a location search for “Socorro”. No appointment is needed.
  3. If you are a non-resident alien for tax purposes you may purchase a software license from Glacier Tax Prep on their web site: to complete your federal tax return. The license fee was $34 as of Spring 2014. You still must print a paper version and mail it to the IRS processing center in Austin, Texas. The IRS does not allow on-line transmission of an NRA tax return.
  4. Regardless of whether you had a job or not, all non-resident aliens for tax purposes on F or J type visa’s are required to file IRS form 8843 to document their days of presence in the US. The Federal Tax Compliance Manager in room 100 Brown Hall can generate a completed form 8843 for you to mail to the IRS processing center in Austin. The due date is April 15th if you are also mailing a tax return, and is June 15th if you are only mailing the 8843 report.

If you plan to file your taxes on your own, then you might find this tax guide from UNM This should help you start up or remind yourself how to file your own tax return. Note that NMT, GSA, and UNM are not responsible for giving out tax advice; each graduate student is responsible for filing their own taxes. International students should be extra vigilant to file their taxes correctly; otherwise one can have issues in future immigration procedures.

Please use caution with certain “Do It Yourself”-type tax services. Many of these tax services force you to use a “Standard Deduction”, for which non-resident aliens are not eligible. The IRS website has all of the most accurate and up-to-date information about filing your taxes, and pdf versions of the tax forms that you can complete. Note that international students who are classified as “Residents for Tax Purposes” are eligible for all the income deductions and tax credits that US citizens are eligible for, including the education tax benefits.

If you have a question on whether you are classified as a resident or non-resident for tax purposes, contact The Federal Tax Compliance Manager in room 100 Brown Hall. If you did not receive a 1098-T from NMT and you are a citizen or a resident alien for tax purposes, contact the Assistant Controller in the Business Office in Wells Hall.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is only intended to make students aware of the general requirements for filing taxes. Some of the information on this web page may be out of date or otherwise incorrect. Please consult the IRS publications and instructions for accurate information ( Also, please verify that the information you find is for the correct tax year as tax policies often change year-to-year.