Honoraria Payments to Foreign Visitors
On October 21, 1998, President Clinton signed into law the American Competitiveness
and Workforce Improvement Act ("ACWIA").
AS LONG AS the visitor will be participating in the activity at USA no longer than nine (9) days, Section 431 of the ACWIA law permits educational and nonprofit research institutions to pay reimbursements for expenses and honoraria to international visitors engaged in short-term academic activities holding either B-1 or B-2 visas or admitted into the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program classification WB or WT.
An Invitation for Visitors Engaged in Academic Activities form must be sent to the
visitor prior to his or her trip to the University.
For visitor in the United States in B-1, B-2, combined B-1/B-2, WB, WT, and combined WB/WT status, a Declaration by Visitors Engaged in Academic Activities Form must be completed.
|Select Appropriate Form|
|5C-Application for SSN|
Frequently Asked Questions
- As part of the invitation to the visitor, send him or her the "Invitation for Visitors Engaged in Academic Activities" and the "Declaration by Visitors Engaged in Academic Activities".
- At least 20 days before the date payment to the visitor will be made, IRS Form 8233 must be completed and sent to the USA Business Office. Failure to submit Form 8233 before that date could result in United States federal income taxes in the amount of 30% of the payment being withheld from the payment. Also, the Business Office will review a claim of treaty benefits on Form 8233, with the possibility that a denied claim will result in 30% withholding.
- Before the visitor arrives, if the visitors do not have social security numbers, you will have to help them apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). It is advisable that the visitor applies for the ITIN at least two months before leaving the foreign country, because the Mobile, Alabama IRS office does not issue ITINs. Payment of the honorarium and expenses will not be made until either the SSN or ITIN are furnished to the USA Business Office. See SSN and ITIN application procedures section.
- When the visitor arrives, make a photocopy of
- The identification page of the passport (If Canadian, see Question 5)
- The expiration date page of the passport(may or may not be the same as the ID page)
- The page of the passport with the visa on it (certain countries are not required to obtain a visa for entry to the US but this will be noted on the I-94 card)
- The Form I-94, front and back
- When the visitor arrives, help the visitor complete the form entitled "Declaration by Visitors Engaged in Academic Activities" sent to them as part of their invitation.
- Send copies of the items and forms in 3 (if available), 4, and 5, along with USA Form 99615 "Authorization to Provide Services," to the USA Business Office in an envelope labeled "Foreign Visitor Information."
You are right. It is never as easy as it looks. Problems can occur in the following situations.
- This only works for the "B" visa classification. Someone coming from another university in another classification is not eligible. Diplomats, employees of foreign governments, military personnel or others on foreign government representative visas do not qualify. For example, employees of the World Bank or a political officer attached to foreign embassies in the US hold visa classes specific to the duties of their posts. They are not permitted to earn additional income through activities such as speaking engagements. Similarly, those who hold H-1B or J-1 status at another school are not eligible for this kind of honorarium payment.
- If we don't get copies of the Form I-94, we have no evidence that they were in an eligible status.
- If they don't have a SSN or ITIN, then you cannot pay them. Pay would have to be delayed until they could file for a number from the home country, a process that can take a number of weeks.
- Nine days is the absolute visit limit, no exceptions. Any activity lasting longer than nine days does not qualify.
- The academic butterflies flitting from school to school may exceed their limit of six schools in six months. If USA is school number seven, the visit does not qualify and we cannot pay.
Foreign nationals entering in B-1/WB status may ONLY be reimbursed for expenses. No honorarium may be paid. Individuals in B-2/WT status CANNOT be reimbursed for expenses or paid honoraria.
The University's Form PR 99615 "Authorization to Provide Services" must be completed and sent to the Business Office.