Paying an International Visitor

Once an international scholar obtains a visa that allows payment of an honorarium or salary at Puget Sound, the scholar will need to file tax paperwork with the university. In most cases, tax paperwork can only be filed after the international visitor is present on campus. IRS regulations require that the university examine and file the appropriate paperwork before any payment can be processed for our international visitors.

Honorarium Payment

Once the visitor has arrived, the host department escorts the visitor to Allyson Lindsley in International Programs (Howarth 215) with the following documents for review.

  1. front page of the passport and arrival stamp in passport
  2. the visa
  3. print-out of I-94 card from CBP website
  4. the invitation letter clearly specifying the date and location of the activity and permission letter (if applicable)
  5. the DS-2019 document (for J-1 visas)
  6. completed tax forms

The actual payment is initiated by the department via a disbursement form. All vouchers for the payment of honoraria to non-immigrant aliens must be approved by Accounting and Budget Services. Advance payments for short-term, non-immigrant alien visitors will not be made.

Travel Reimbursements

For the university to legally reimburse a foreign national for travel expenses, the department must submit the following documents to Accounting and Budget Services:

  1. a copy of the picture page of the passport
  2. U.S. visa and
  3. documented arrival information, through passport entry stamp or I-94 print-out from CBP website.

In order to be reimbursed, the visitor must be present in the U.S. on a B-1, B-2, WB, WT or J-1 visa. Unlike honorarium payments, short-term visitors may be reimbursed for travel expenses without having a SSN or ITIN number. The process for reimbursing travel expenses follows standard university travel reimbursement procedures.

It is important to note that federal regulations must be followed so that the university does not put at risk the ability to host international visitors, faculty, and students. The forms and documents that must be filed prior to any payments to ensure that the university remains in compliance with federal regulations.

Caution: University policy does not allow faculty, staff, and students to pay an independent contractor directly because it puts the university at risk of non-compliance with IRS tax reporting requirements. In order to establish accurate and complete payment and tax reporting documentation, the university must make payment directly to the independent contractor.

For faculty and staff hiring questions, please contact Cindy Matern in Human Resources: cmatern@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3116.