Policy Steward: 
Director of Vendor Payment Strategies
Format Updated: 
University Policy & Standards Converted: 
Revision Date: 
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

This information replaces FIS 413-01 NRA Services and Travel


The American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 provided the ability to pay reimbursements for expenses and honoraria to international visitors engaged in academic activities. In addition to work authorized visa types, we can now pay visitors in a "B" status. Payments for services are considered taxable income to a foreign national and will be subject to federal income tax unless your visitor is eligible for tax treaty benefits.  In order to file a reduced rate of withholding certificate, they must have a federal tax reporting identification number.

Honorarium Services - Foreign nationals with a B-1, B-2, Visa Waiver Business (VWB), and Visa Waiver Tourist (VWT) may accept a payment for services and/or travel reimbursement under the following conditions:

  • For “usual academic activity or activities” These activities include lecturing, teaching and sharing of knowledge or performance.
  • 9 days or less at OSU.
  • The individual has accepted such payment from no more than 5 educational or research institutions (Including OSU) for the previous 6-month period.

Note: The 9/5/6 rule does not apply to those who are only reimbursed for receipted expenses and not receiving honorariums.

Required Forms necessary to process payment for an honorarium to a Foreign National.

  • Visitors that enter the US with Visa Status B1or a combination of B1/B2will need to submit an International Visitor Data Sheet.
  • Your visitor may apply for an ITIN by mail using Form W-7.  Start the process early as it can take up to six weeks before an ITIN card will be issued. Note: if the tax treaty benefit is to be applied for an ITIN will be required.
  • Payments for honorariums must be processed as Personal Professional Service Contracts (PPSC). Submit the completed PPSC to Procurement & Contract Services, attach copy of passport and I-94 Visa. Payment will be subject to 30% withholding. It is also important to indicate on the PPSC where the services will be provided (United States or Country of Origin). After contract is approved, submit the following documents to Financial Accounting & Analysis (FA&A) within Business Affairs:
    • copy of the signed PPSC
    • W- 8 (or form 8233 if applicable)
    • Copy of Identification page of the passport
    • Copy of I-94 Departure Card (official documentation of immigration status)
    • International Data Sheet.
    • If your visitor is already in the United States in a J or H status, teaching at another institution or working for another entity: If visitor has H type visa, OSU cannot pay honorarium, can only reimburse travel expenses.  H type visa is tied to the visitor’s sponsored institution.
    • If visitor has J type visa, and the service provided to OSU is in line with service provided to visitor’s institution, visitor must provide a letter of authorization from sponsor’s International Program office, allowing him/her to perform this service for OSU.
  • After services are rendered, send payment request to the appropriate Business Center for approval. The payment will be processed through FA&A.

Caution: US law significantly restricts what employment foreign nationals may accept. Before committing to an honorarium for a foreign national, departments must ensure the person has the appropriate visa that allows such a payment. For short-term visits made for the purpose of delivering a lecture or speech, only certain visa classifications are authorized to accept an honorarium. An individual already in the US may not necessarily be here in the correct visa classification. Do not assume that an international visitor holds the correct visa classification, especially if he or she is already in the US You must look at additional sources of information that could include the individual's passport visa or stamped I-94 card to determine visa classification. 

Travel reimbursements with proper documentation and receipts are not subject to tax withholding - includes airfare, rental car, ground transportation, meal per diems, lodging, etc. (refer to OSU Travel Policy FIS 411  for guidance).

Payment for Services and Travel

Supplemental Information