All International Students Studying In Canada may have to file a Canadian income tax return. They must determine their residency status to know how they will be taxed in Canada. For the purpose of income tax, international students studying in Canada are considered to be one of the following types of residents:
- Resident (includes students who reside in Canada only part of the year)
- Deemed resident
- Deemed non-resident
Residency status is determined by the residential ties you have with Canada.
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What are residential ties?
Residential ties include the following:
- Having a home in Canada
- Having a spouse or common-law partner or dependants who move to Canada to live with you
- Social ties in Canada
Other residential ties that may be relevant include:
- A Canadian driver’s licence
- Canadian bank accounts or credit cards
- Health insurance with a Canadian province or territory
Determining your residency status
In general, you probably have not established significant residential ties with Canada if you:
- Return to your home country on a periodic basis or for a significant amount of time in the calendar year
- Move to another country when not attending university in Canada
However, many international students who study or carry our research in Canada do establish significant residential ties with Canada.
Resident of Canada
If you establish significant residential ties with Canada, you are considered as a resident of Canada.
Non-resident of Canada
You are considered a non-resident of Canada for tax purposes if you do NOT establish significant residential ties with Canada and you stay in Canada for less than 183 days during the year.
Deemed resident of Canada
If you do not establish significant residential ties with Canada, you may be a deemed resident of Canada for tax purposes if you meet all of the following conditions:
- Stay in Canada for 183 days or more in a calendar year
- Are not considered a resident of your home country under the terms of a tax treaty between Canada and that country
Deemed non-residents of Canada
If you establish significant residential ties with Canada and are considered a resident of another country with which Canada has a tax treaty, you may be considered a deemed non-residentof Canada for tax purposes.
You are considered as a deemed non-resident of Canada when your ties with the other country become such that, under the tax treaty, you are considered a resident of that other country.
As a deemed non-resident, the same rules apply to you as a non-resident of Canada.
Your tax obligations
Your residency status determines your income tax return filing requirements in Canada:
- If you entered Canada during the year and have established significant residential ties with Canada, follow the filing requirements for newcomers to Canada
- If you have not established significant residential ties and are not deemed to be a resident of Canada, follow the filing requirements for non-residents of Canada
- If you are a deemed resident of Canada, follow the filing requirements for deemed residents
- If you are a deemed non-resident of Canada, the rules that apply to non-residents of Canada also apply to you
You can also see the tax facts for international students in Canada.