Honoraria Payments

An honorarium is a gratuitous payment of money or other thing of value to a person for the person's participation in a usual academic activity for which no fee is legally required for others to participate or observe. An honorarium is provided as a token of appreciation for participation in an activity or event, and not as a contractual obligation to pay for services rendered. 

Usual Academic Activity” means activity conducted for the benefit of the honorarium-paying institution and includes lecturing, teaching, consulting, conducting research, attending meetings, symposia or seminars, or otherwise sharing knowledge. Readings and performances are included academic activities, so long as the activity is open without charge to the public and/or students.

Honoraria Payments to Foreign Nationals
Foreign nationals may be paid honoraria IF:

  • The activity lasts no more than 9 days. The non-resident may be at the institution longer than 9 days, however the number-of-days limitation applies to the event, and

  • The services conducted are of direct benefit to the University, and

  • The visitor has not accepted payments from more than 5 institutions in the previous six months



Visa Type






Travel Reimbursements


Visitor for Business




Visitor for Tourism




Exchange Visitor




*B-2's are not eligible for expense payments or reimbursements EXCEPT as incidental to

honorarium activities. If a B-2 with no honorarium-covered purpose, travel expenses

are not permitted.

If a B-2 with an honorarium-covered purpose, travel to and from is permitted, B-1's may

always accept payments for expenses, whether in the context of honoraria or not.

**In order to pay a J-1 visitor sponsored by another university, you must obtain written

permission from that school's "responsible officer."



The following documents must be submitted to the International Services Office before a department or office can invite an individual that is anticipated to receive an honoraria:

  • Foreign Visitors Honoraria Eligibility Certification Form

  • Honorarium Information Form

  • Copy of passport bio page

  • If J-1, authorization from sponsoring institution and copy of DS-2019

  • Copy of Social Security Card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Under the Social Security Administration regulations governing social security numbers, only individuals authorized to work in the United States under the immigration laws are authorized to obtain a SSN. Individuals in B status are not authorized to work and, therefore, cannot obtain a SSN, and must obtain an ITIN.*

*Please note that it is the department's responsibility to obtain a Social Security Numberor ITIN from the individual. Without a U.S. taxpayer identification number, Southeasterncould possibly be charged a $50 fee by the IRS for reporting income on a 1042-Swithout a TIN. 

IRS Rules and Regulations
  • 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 foreign nationals will be taxed at a 30% rate, unless exempted by a tax treaty. If the visitor does not provide a SSN or ITIN, treaty benefits cannot be applied.

  • If an individual wishes to claim a tax treaty, they must do so no later than the last day of their visit and BEFORE they are paid.