What Whitman College can pay an international visitor is limited by the visa status of that visitor when he or she enters the United States. If a visitor enters the United States with the wrong visa status, U.S. law may prevent Whitman College from fulfilling promises made to the individual by the hosting department. Such situations are embarrassing and most can be prevented if departments prepare before the visitor enters the U.S.

Departments that wish to host international visitors should begin planning for the visit as early as possible. It is the responsibility of the hosting department to assure that the visitor has the right documents and instructions to enter the United States. Departments must insure that no payments of any kind are made to international visitors unless they have been granted the appropriate authorization and visa status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) before they come to Whitman College.

It is often necessary to send a document abroad that the visitor can use as part of an application for a visa at a US consulate and for US immigration inspection. The hosting department may not make an contractual arrangements with a visitor until it has been advised of what kinds of payments may be permitted under the circumstances of the visitor’s entry to the United States.

The hosting department must provide the visitor with the documents and instructions on what status to request upon entering the United States. The visitor is responsible for presenting the documents and obtaining the correct visa status. If the visitor is not awarded the correct visa status, it may be impossible for Whitman College to make payments. Whitman College cannot make exceptions to USCIS and IRS decisions, and cannot reimburse the cost of obtaining the proper visa status.

When the visitor arrives, the hosting department must review the visitor’s departure card (I-94) usually stapled to the passport. The I-94 form must be marked with a visa status that allows payment. The hosting department should copy the I-94 form, the current US visa in the passport, and the visitor’s travel documents.

If payments are made in violation of immigration law, Whitman College could be assessed substantial fines. The international visitor could be refused entry or deported.