We need to verify if you are a resident alien OR a nonresident alien for tax purposes.
Generally - if you are living and working in the US - you are classified as a resident alien because of teh physical presence test and should use form W9.
But in some circumstances - based on your visa or other issues - you might be considered as a nonresident alien.
See pages 5-6
Exempt individual. Do not count days for which you are an exempt individual. The term “exempt individual” does not refer to someone exempt from U.S. tax, but to anyone in the fol-lowing categories.
-- A teacher or trainee temporarily present in the United States under a “J” or “Q” visa, who substantially complies with the requirements of the visa.
Teachers and trainees. A teacher or trainee is an individual, other than a student, who is temporarily in the United States under a “J” or “Q” visa and substantially complies with the requirements of that visa. You are consid-red to have substantially complied with the visa requirements if you have not engaged in activities that are prohibited by U.S. immigration laws and could result in the loss of your visa status.
Also included are immediate family mem-bers of exempt teachers and trainees. See the definition of immediate family, earlier, under Foreign government-related individuals.
You will not be an exempt individual as a teacher or trainee in 2016 if you were exempt as a teacher, trainee, or student for any part of 2 of the 6 preceding calendar years. However, you will be an exempt individual if all of the fol-lowing conditions are met.
You were exempt as a teacher, trainee, or student for any part of 3 (or fewer) of the 6 preceding calendar years,
A foreign employer paid all of your com-pensation during 2016,
You were present in the United States as a teacher or trainee in any of the 6 prior years, and A foreign employer paid all of your compensation during each of the preceding 6 years you were present in the United States as a teacher or trainee.A foreign employer includes an office or place of business of an American entity in a foreign country or a U.S. possession.
If you qualify to exclude days of presence as a teacher or trainee, you must file a fully completed Form 8843 with the IRS
So - if all these conditions are satisfied - you are a nonresident alien and - in this case - you are correct to use form W8BEN.