The word "otherwise" is often seen in some law or treaty provisions. I am not sure about the use of otherwise and how it is actually used in these contexts. I am not a native speaker of English, and the use of "otherwise" seems different in law or treaty provisions than the use in casual occasions. Can someone explain if it is indeed different and how can I rephrase the "otherwise" to help understand it?

An example from a US tax treaty is like this:

This article is excepted from the "saving clause" of paragraph 2 of the Protocol, so its benefits are available to persons who otherwise qualify even if they become U.S. residents.

"Saving clause" is commonly seen in tax treaties. My understanding is that with the "even if" coming later, it basically means the same thing even if without the "otherwise". Am I correct or wrong in this context?

1 Answer 1


The "even if" clause might be removable and the interpretation would be the same, though without the full context it's hard to say. The crucial question is whether US resident are not eligible for the benefit but non-residents who meet qualifications A, B, C are. If the rule is that you have be a non-resident A,B,C, then "even if" means that becoming a US resident does not make you non-qualified.

  • Can I rephrase the part after the comma like this? ..., so its benefits are available to persons who previously qualify when they are not U.S. residents, but those benefits remain available to them even if they later become U.S. residents.
    – nanjun
    Mar 30, 2017 at 17:28

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