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Honoraria and Compensation for J-1 Visa Holders

J-1 status will be required for a visitor involved in activities lasting more than nine days, or if the visitor has been paid or reimbursed by more than five other U.S. institutions or organizations within the last six months. Some B-1 or WB visitors receiving travel and expense reimbursements only may not require J-1 status (see Travel Reimbursement for B-1 and WB Visa Holders).

For J-1 Exchange Visitors coming from outside the United States:

  1. Department completes the Request for J-1 Visa Certificate (Form DS-2019) and sends to International Services, with required attachment.
  2. International Services prepares the visa document (DS-2019) and returns to department (turn-around, approximately 7 days).
  3. Department sends DS-2019 with attachments to visitor (approximately 2 weeks, unless sent by Fed Ex or other special mail).
  4. Visitor takes DS-2019 to American Embassy or Consulate with his or her passport and obtains J-1 visa stamp. If visitor is Canadian, no visa is necessary (no need to go to U.S. Consulate), but visitor must use DS-2019 when entering the U.S. (Time to obtain a visa ranges from 1 day to 6 weeks and will probably involve travel to the US Consulate.)

For a J-1 Exchange Visitor already in the United States:

If she or he is on the DS-2019 (J-1 status) of another institution and is coming only for a lecture, conference, or other non-employment situation, visitor requests a brief letter of authorization from that sponsor for the visit.

Health Insurance: Federal regulations require all J-1 visitors to have adequate health insurance coverage during their stay in the U.S. A waiver of the Whitman College mandatory coverage can be given only if the specifics of the visitor's insurance coverage meet the minimum level required ($50,000 per illness or accident, $10,000 medical evacuation, and $7,500 repatriation). Advise visitors to bring a copy of their policy with relevant points in English, or insurance can be purchased at the insurance office.

Payment Procedures

All honoraria/compensation for services should be processed through the Accounts Payable office. If the individual is also receiving a travel reimbursement, it should be processed on a separate form. In order to pay a B-1/WB visitor an honorarium, the hosting department must collect the following documents:

  • Copy of I-94 Departure Card and B-1 visa (if applicable);
  • DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status;
  • Letter of permission from sponsoring institution, if other than Whitman College;
  • Form W-8BEN, Part 1, questions 1-6. Non resident aliens should not complete Form W-9.

If the visitor is from a country with a tax treaty, he or she may be eligible to receive an exemption from withholding tax. In order to receive the exemption, the visitor must do the following:

  • Have or apply for a US tax ID number. This can be a social security number (SSN) or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).
  • Complete Form 8233, Part 1 and return the original copy to Accounts Payable. This is the application for tax treaty benefits. An 8233 without a US tax ID number is not a valid application. Individuals in F-1 or J-1 visa status may be required to attach an additional statement to Form 8233 - contact Kris Barry for more information.
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