Rice Unconventional Wisdom

One Time Visitors

Click here to submit One-Time Visitor information to OISS.

Please note that for the survey you will need to have the following information from the Visitor: 

  1. Visitor's name and contact information
  2. Copy of offer / invitation letter or invitation email
  3. Visitor's country of citizenship and current U.S. visa status (if applicable)
  4. Information on Visitor's past visits to the U.S. from within the last six months, where the Visitor has been paid for services rendered (if applicable) 

Often foreign visitors are invited to Rice for only a short visit with the purpose of presenting a lecture or workshop, a short consultation, or attending a conference, etc. There are several important steps the department hosting the visitor must take in order that the foreign national receive the proper payment. This can be a complex process. However, if the proper steps are taken well in advance of the arrival of the visitor, there should be no problem with the payment process.

Most importantly, the visitor must come on the proper visa, in order to receive payment of any kind. The visitors may be paid in the form of honorarium (with or without reimbursement), or reimbursement for expenses only. Requirements for foreign nationals who are coming from outside the USA are different from those already in the U.S. Please note that these instructions apply only to foreign visitors on non-immigrant visas, and not to U.S. Permanent Residents or U.S. citizens.

Our hope is to bring foreign one-time visitors to Rice on a B-1 or B-1/B-2 visitor visa, or on the Visa Waiver Program, as these options are easier for the foreign visitor. However, if the visitor is ineligible to enter the U.S. on one of these visas, then they must usually enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa. (See instructions for applying for the J-1 visa.)

Procedure for Paying Honoraria to One-Time Visitors

Department: Department notifies the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) of intent to invite foreign national to Rice by completing an online survey. Through the survey the Department provides OISS with: 

  1. Visitor's name and contact information
  2. Copy of offer / invitation letter or invitation email
  3. Visitor's country of citizenship and current U.S. visa status (if applicable)
  4. Information on Visitor's past visits to the U.S. from within the last six months, where the Visitor has been paid for services rendered (if applicable)
OISS: Upon receipt of the information, OISS makes determination of appropriate visa status foreign visitor needs in order to be paid an honorarium. OISS advises foreign visitor, the department, and Payroll of the appropriate visa determination for honorarium. If the visitor is currently in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa, OISS will advise what is the proper immigration documentation the visitor needs to present.

Department: Upon notification as to the appropriate visa type, the Department works with Payroll for proper paperwork.

Special Note: Proof of the proper immigration visa status must be presented when the visitor arrives.

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In all cases, it is best to contact OISS prior to making the terms of agreement with the foreign visitor in order to ensure proper payment can be made.

If the visitor is ineligible to receive an honorarium, they may elect to leave the country and re-enter the U.S. on the appropriate visa. Another option is to consider eligibility for reimbursement for expenses only. In sum, honoraria may be paid only to visitors who are in the U.S. with a visa granting proper authorization for payment.

All honoraria carry mandatory 30% taxation for services performed in the U.S. Exceptions include a few countries with which the U.S. has a tax treaty. However, you must contact Payroll a minimum of one month prior to the payment in order to file appropriate tax benefit forms.

Special Note: For those who will get a reimbursement only, this process is not required.

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