You can claim an exemption for your nonresident alien spouse on your separate return, provided your spouse has no gross income for U.S. tax purposes and is not the dependent of another U.S. taxpayer.
You can also claim exemptions for individuals who qualify as your dependents. To be your dependent, the individual must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, U.S. resident alien, or a resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the calendar year in which your tax year begins. taxmap/pubs/p54-015.htm#en_us_publink100047562
Children usually are citizens or residents of the same country as their parents. If you were a U.S. citizen when your child was born, your child generally is a U.S. citizen. This is true even if the child's other parent is a nonresident alien, the child was born in a foreign country, and the child lives abroad with the other parent.
If you have a legally adopted child who is not a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident, or U.S. national, the child meets the citizen requirement if you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. national and the child lived with you as a member of your household all year.taxmap/pubs/p54-015.htm#en_us_publink100047563
You must include on your return the social security number (SSN) of each dependent for whom you claim an exemption. To get a social security number for a dependent, apply at a Social Security office or U.S. consulate. You must provide original or certified copies of documents to verify the dependent's age, identity, and citizenship, and complete Form SS-5.
You do not need an SSN for a child who was born in 2008 and died in 2008. Attach a copy of the child's birth certificate to your tax return. Print "Died" in column (2) of line 6c of your Form 1040 or Form 1040A.
If your dependent is a nonresident alien who is not eligible to get a social security number, you must list the dependent's individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) instead of an SSN. To apply for an ITIN, file Form W-7 with the IRS. It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to get an ITIN. Enter your dependent's ITIN wherever an SSN is requested on your tax return.taxmap/pubs/p54-015.htm#en_us_publink100047564
For more information about exemptions, see Publication 501.