The College of Wooster has a long history of global engagement. We actively seek diverse perspectives and want to welcome members of communities from throughout the world. This guide is designed to help you navigate the process of working with international visitors and vendors as efficiently as possible.
Accepting services (including volunteer services) from or providing any type of payment or in-kind benefit (such as a room, meals, other travel costs, or waived fees) to an international speaker, visitor or other vendor is a complex process because of immigration and tax laws. We will need additional information from the visitor or vendor in order to determine the impact of those laws.
It is important to have an early review of the activities in which an international visitor will be participating so that we have time to plan for minimizing taxes and revising the work relationship if necessary. As soon as there is any indication a visitor or vendor might be international, please follow the process described below. Such indications include but are not limited to: a foreign address, a flight originating in a foreign country, a biography that says the person was born in a foreign country, information that a visa was used to enter the U.S. or that the visitor is not U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holder). Arranging a contract with an agent does not change our responsibilities—this process also applies to international visitors represented by an agent, even when all payments are made in the agent’s name.
Step 1. Please ask individuals to complete an “International Visitor Information Form” (available on the Business Office site) and vendors to complete the W-8BEN-E. The form is used to gather preliminary information so we can tell whether the visitor’s immigration status will allow them to participate in the intended activity and how their payments will be handled for tax purposes. If you prefer, the Assistant Controller will work directly with the visitor to obtain the necessary information.
Step 2. Please send the completed “International Visitor Information Form” to the Assistant Controller, along with a draft of the contract, a description of exactly what the international visitor or vendor will be doing for the College, a list of everything the College will be paying or providing, and details on travel expenses that will be reimbursed. This should be done as early as possible—before contracts are signed, promises are made, or costs are paid on behalf of the potential visitor.
Step 3. The contract will be reviewed for the type of visa a visitor intends to use to determine whether the proposed activity would be permitted under immigration laws. In some cases it will be immediately evident that the activity would be allowed as planned. In other situations we may have to negotiate a contract with the employer or sponsor of the individual (rather than with the individual him/herself), ask if it would be possible for the visitor to enter the U.S. under a different visa, or ask the visitor to obtain an employment authorization document before working for the College. These changes take additional time, and the earlier we review the work relationship, the more options we have available.
Step 4. If the activity is allowed under immigration laws, the “International Visitor Information Form” will be used to determine whether a visitor would be a “U.S. person” or “foreign person” for tax purposes, whether any taxes have to be withheld, and whether there are any ways to minimize taxes.
Step 5. Any missing documents and forms should be obtained as soon as the visitor arrives on campus and before any work is done for the College. If you desire, the Assistant Controller will meet with the visitor during regular business hours to help gather all the information needed.
Global Engagement is a strategic priority for the College and we want to work with you to make the process as transparent, easy, and efficient as possible.