Honoraria and Reimbursements for Non-U.S. Citizens

Payment to Non-U.S. Citizens

UNH is enriched by foreign visitors involved in diverse activities, including teaching and research, lectures, seminars, workshops and consultations. Under U.S. immigration law, the employment and/or compensation of persons who are not U.S. citizens is governed by the specific immigrant or non-immigrant visa category or status held by the individual. In order to ensure that the University will legally be able to compensate its international visitors, OISS and other offices must be notified well in advance of the proposed activity. You will find information on the following pages about offering visitors an honorarium payment or reimbursing them for their travel expenses.

Employing or Compensating Canadian Citizens

Although Canadian citizens do not need to obtain a visa to enter the United States, they are subject to the same employment and compensation laws as citizens of all other countries. Canadians travel freely to the U.S. and are seldom questioned about the intent or purpose of their visit. However, the U.S. government considers these entries to be for tourism purposes only. Tourists are not permitted to work in the U.S. There is no exception to this law for citizens of Canada.

The University is prohibited by federal law from issuing payments of any kind without documentation of a foreign national's legal immigration status. We are also required to verify that the foreign national entered the U.S. in a visa category which permits employment, payment of honoraria, or reimbursement of travel expenses.

In order for a citizen of Canada to be employed in the U.S. he or she must be admitted in one of the visa categories which permit employment such as the J-1 Exchange Visitor, the H-1B Temporary Worker, or the TN.

Activities Which Require Payment of Honoraria or Travel Expenses

If a UNH department wishes to invite a Canadian citizen to campus to participate in a "usual and customary academic activity" for which honoraria or reimbursement of travel expenses will be offered, the Canadian visitor must enter the U.S. as a B-1 Visitor for Business. This will require the Canadian visitor to present him/herself to an immigration officer at the port of entry and to declare the business nature of the visit (consultation, short-term lecture, collaborative research, attendance at a meeting or conference, etc.).

At the port of entry, the Canadian citizen must also request to be issued Form I-94 (Record of Arrival and Departure) as a B-1 visitor.

For the university to issue payment to the Canadian visitor, s/he must present Form I-94, Record of Arrival and Departure, to the UNH department. The department should make a copy of Form I-94 and attach it to the request for reimbursement along with copies of travel and other expenses receipts. Form I-94 marked B-1 will serve as documentation that the visitor has entered the U.S. in an appropriate visa category for payments of this nature. Under no circumstances is the Canadian visitor permitted to be paid a salary or wage while in B-1 or B-2 visa status.

If a department wishes to employ a Canadian citizen (or a foreign national from any other country), it must contact OISS in advance to discuss visa options which permit employment.

B-1/B-2 Visa

The B-1 and B-2 visa categories represent two very separate and distinct visa types. Each is used to enter the U.S. as a visitor for a short period of time.

B-1 Temporary Business Visa

The B-1 is used to enter the U.S. to engage in such business activities as: negotiating contracts for an overseas employer, consulting with business associates, attending professional conferences, giving lectures, or conducting independent research. The B-1 visa may not be used for employment purposes, as immigration law does not permit a B-1 visitor to engage in any form of employment in the U.S. This includes salaried work or services performed on an independent basis.

A B-1 visitor may be paid honoraria for "usual academic activities" lasting not longer than nine days at a single institution, providing that the services performed are for the benefit of the academic institution. However, the law stipulates that a B-1 visitor is not permitted to accept honoraria from more than five institutions within a six month period. Reimbursement for travel and reasonable incidental expenses, such as accommodations and meals are also allowed under the same conditions.

B-2 Temporary Tourist Visa

The B-2 visa is used to enter the U.S. as a tourist, permitted only to engage in activities related to tourism such as travel and recreation. The B-2 visitor is prohibited from engaging in any employment-related activities. However, the law does provide for the payment of honoraria and reimbursement of incidental travel expenses for "usual academic activities" provided that the activity is for the benefit of the academic institution and does not last longer than nine days. The B-2 visitor is permitted to accept honoraria from no more than five institutions within a six month period.

Reimbursement of Expenses

The U.S. Government recognizes the value of short-term academic exchanges and permits international scholars entering the U.S. in "business" or "tourist" visa classifications to receive payment of honoraria for "usual academic activities". Reimbursement for travel and reasonable incidental expenses, such as accommodations and meals, are also permitted under the same conditions.

While academic institutions may pay honoraria and/or to provide reimbursement of expenses to foreign nationals who enter the U.S. as tourists (B-2/VWT) or visitors for business (B-1/VWB), there are certain conditions for payment.  Not everyone in B-1/B-2 or VWB/VWT is eligible.

A foreign national is allowed to receive an honorarium or a reimbursement if he/she is in the U.S. in valid "B1/B2" status and will be at UNH to engage in a "usual academic activity" lasting no longer than 9 days.  Examples of "usual academic activities" include giving seminars/lectures/workshop, demonstrating techniques, conducting master classes, collaborative research, attending meetings, consulting, etc.

The foreign national is prohibited from receiving more than six such payments from academic institutions or non-profit research institutes within a six-month period.  These rules also apply to foreign nationals in the U.S. with "VWB" or "VWT" notation on the Form I-94.

When an international visitor in "B" status arrives at UNH, the department must make copies of:

  • The identification page of the passport
  • The expiration date of the passport (may not always be on the ID page)
  • The Form I-94
  • The "B1/B2" visa in the passport (Note: Canadians do not receive a visa)

Assist the visitor in completing the Visitor Declaration Form to confirm that s/he is eligible to receive payment. UNH departments should send the completed, signed declaration form (along with supporting documentation) with the request for payment to their Business Services Center representative. No payment will be issued unless the declaration form is completed properly and submitted with appropriate documentation.

For more information on procedures for these types of payments, please contact:

UNH Payroll

Phone: (603) 862-1400

Email: payroll@unh.edu

Foreign nationals in B1/VWB (visitors for business) status who are no longer eligible for honoraria may still be reimbursed for expenses.  Note that this is not the case for individuals in B2/VWT (visitors for tourism) status.  These individuals may not be reimbursed for expenses or paid honoraria once the permissible length of activity and number of payments has been reached.