Honorarium Procedure

An Honorarium is a gratuitous payment of money (or other thing of value), to an individual, for the individual’s participation in “Usual Academic Activity”. An honorarium is provided as a token of appreciation for participation in an activity or event when no fee is legally required and not as a contractual obligation to pay for services rendered.

Usual Academic Activity

Usual academic activity is defined as an activity conducted for the benefit of Florida International University (FIU), the honorarium-paying institution, which can include the following activities: lecturing, teaching, consulting, conducting research, attending meetings, symposia, seminars, readings, performances, or otherwise sharing knowledge.

Honorarium payment processing for Non-Resident Aliens (NRA’s)

Except for the I-94, the following documents must be collected from the Honoraria recipient and submitted to the Controller’s Office / Tax Compliance Services, prior to the time of service, to authorize an Honoraria payment for a non-resident alien. The I-94 would only be available upon arrival. The documents must be sent to tax@fiu.edu:

  1. Foreign National Information Form – Certification Statement for Honoraria Recipients
  2. Copy of the Visa or ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) for Visa waivers
  3. Copy of the passport (Page with picture and personal information)
  4. Copy of I-94 (or I-94W if from a visa waiver country) upon arrival. *
  5. If J-1 visa, Social Security number, and Copy of the DS-2019 or IAP-66
  6. Exchange visitors (J-1 Visas) need previous authorization from the International Office of the Institution which is sponsoring their Visa (For J-1 students, the authorization from the student’s sponsor must specify that the work is to be done under Academic Training)
  7. If B-1, B-2, VWB or VWT, Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (if treaty benefits claimed). In order to access eligibility for treaty benefits’ applicants must request an appointment by emailing tax@fiu.edu.
  8. Un-Encumbered Form and Flyer or Agenda with lecture details (Invoice not required).

*  The I-94 is required for all foreign nationals traveling to the United States with the intention of receiving Honoraria payments. Visitors can also obtain the I-94 electronically before departing U.S. soil by visiting the Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security at I94 – Official Website (dhs.gov).

The honoraria recipient must also register with the Office of the Controller / Procurement Services Department using the Supplier Registration Portal and select (Honorarium – Non-Resident) as the entity type. For registration-related questions, please send an email to vendors@fiu.edu.

Honorarium Conditions for Non-Resident Aliens (NRA’s)

If all of the following conditions are met, FIU can pay an honorarium to visiting International scholars in B-1, B-2, J-1, or Visa Waiver status (VWT, VWB).

  • The Honorarium must be given for a Usual Academic Activity”
  • The Honorarium must be given for services conducted for the benefit of the institution
  • The activity or activities can last no longer than 9 days at a single institution, and
  • The international visitor other than a J-1 visa holder must not have accepted such payments from more than five institutions in the last 6-month period
  • The International scholars under J-1 visa must have a written authorization from the school or research institution’s responsible officer administrating the J-1 exchange program

Visa restrictions

Non-resident aliens invited for the purpose of carrying on usual academic activities, incidental to the University’s normal academic functions, may enter the United States as a B-1 status (visitor for business), or VWB status (visitor for business- visa waiver).

Not all non-resident aliens are eligible to receive honoraria, due to immigration restrictions. Please consult with the Office of International Students Services in advance of hosting a non-resident who is not in B-1, B-2, J-1 (Student or Non-student Visa) or VWB status.

[table responsive=”yes” alternate=”yes” fixed=”no” class=””]
Visa Type Description Honoraria Payment Travel Reimbursement
B-1 or VWB Visitor for Business Yes Yes
B-2 or VWT Visitor for Pleasure Yes No*
J-1 Exchange Visitor Yes Yes**
  • B-2s are not eligible for expense payments or reimbursements EXCEPT as incidental to honorarium activities. If a B-2 has no honorarium-covered purpose travel expenses are not permitted.
  • In order to pay a J-1 visitor sponsored by another University, you must obtain written permission from that school’s “responsible officer.”
[table responsive=”yes” alternate=”yes” fixed=”no” class=””]
Document/Visa B-1 or VWB B-2 or VWT J-1
Certification Statement
Foreign National Information Form
I-94 and Visa
Social Security Number and DS-2019 or IAP-66
Employer Sponsor Authorization
SS number or ITIN (if applicable)

Please Note:

  • All payments of honoraria to non-resident aliens who come to the University must be reported to the IRS on Form 1042-S.
  • All honoraria payments to non-resident aliens shall be taxed at a 30% rate, unless exempted by a tax treaty.
  • In order to claim a tax treaty exemption from tax withholding, the non-resident alien must be from a country, which has a treaty with the United States that has a teacher/researcher. The applicant must request appointment by emailing tax@fiu.edu in order to access eligibility.
  • J-1’s must have a Social Security Number (SSN) or must apply for one at the local Social Security Office and they must have permission from the International Office of the Institution which sponsored them
  • IAP-66 or DS-2019.
  • If the visitor does not have an SSN or ITIN, prior to the request for payment, treaty benefits cannot be applied, and the payment shall be taxed at 30%.