According to the IRS there are five dependency tests that must be met in order to define a dependent. One of these tests is the Citizen or Resident Test.
There are two key factors of this test:
- You may not claim an exemption for a dependent, unless the person is a US citizen, resident alien, national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico for at least part of the tax year.
- If you are a US citizen or national who has legally adopted a child who is not a US citizen, resident alien, or national, this test is met if the dependent lived in your household for the whole tax year.
Please also note that foreign students who stay in your household as part of an international education exchange program would not qualify as dependents.