Human Resources

Social Security and Medicare (FICA) Tax 

FICA is a United States payroll tax withheld from your paycheck to fund the federal Social Security and Medicare programs. Many foreign students and scholars are exempt from paying this tax if they meet certain criteria.

There are two possible FICA exemptions for employees at the University: the nonresident alien exemption and the student exemption.

If you believe that FICA tax has been withheld from your paycheck in error, please feel free to contact the Payroll Office.

Nonresident Alien FICA Exemption

The nonresident alien FICA exemption applies to anyone who meets ALL three of the following criteria:

1. is a nonresident alien for tax purposes

2. is in F, J, M, or Q immigration status (not including dependents)

3. is performing services related to the issuance of his or her visa

Student FICA Exemption

If you do not qualify for the nonresident alien exemption from FICA, you may qualify for the student exemption. The student exemption applies to students who are enrolled at least part-time at the University. Part-time enrollment for most students at the University is 6 credits. The student FICA exemption will not be granted to students during summer session who are not also enrolled at least part-time during that summer session.