Per IRS Publication 519 U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, nonresident aliens cannot claim the standard deduction. However, a special rule applies to students and business apprentices from India who are eligible for the benefits of Article 21(2) of the United States-India Income Tax Treaty. They can claim the standard deduction if they do not claim itemized deductions. Except for certain charitable contributions and casualty and theft losses, only deductions and losses allocated and apportioned to income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business may be taken.
Allowed Itemized Deductions
You may use the following items as itemized deductions:
Students and business apprentices from India
To claim the standard deduction:
For more information on other expenses and deductions, see the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040-NR) U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return
Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.