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Nonresident Alien Payments

The University is required by Federal law to document and report all payments made to Nonresident Aliens. The documentation process includes the collection of information regarding a payee's foreign status. Beginning in 2008, the University is using GLACIER, a secured web-based Non Resident Alien tax compliance system that foreign visitors can use to document their immigration and tax data.


  • GLACIER helps determine tax residency, withholding rates and income treaty eligibility.
  • GLACIER helps manage required documentation, maintains a record of disbursements and prepares certain tax forms and required statements.
  • GLACIER provides the Non-Resident Alien with options that may be available to them under a tax treaty between the U.S. and their country of tax residency.
  1. Determine whether the foreign visitor is not a U.S. Citizen. These individuals tend to have the visa status with letter and number combinations such as B1, B2, WB, etc. All foreign visitors who are not U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, Refugees, or nonresidents working outside of the U.S., are required to complete a GLACIER record. The department payroll/personnel specialist will nominate them for a Glacier account.

  2. For department payroll/personnel specialist complete the Glacier Nomination Form.

  3. An account will be established in GLACIER and an email will be sent to the foreign visitor. The email will include a temporary UserID and Password that will allow access to the GLACIER system.

  4. GLACIER will prompt the foreign visitor to answer a series of questions. Once completed, GLACIER will generate forms and provide instructions on how to complete the registration process. In addition, GLACIER will identify whether payments to the foreign visitor will be subject to income tax withholding.

  5. Once Accounting has received the signed documents and has determined that the registration process is complete, payments to the foreign visitor can proceed.

Foreign visitors are asked to review and update the information on GLACIER on an annual basis and as changes occur in their foreign status.

Payments to Nonresident Aliens are subject to 30% Federal withholding and up to 7% California withholding on all non-payroll payments subject to income tax reporting.

Withholding Exemption

Payments to certain Nonresident payees with a valid U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN or ITIN), and applicable international tax treaty article, may be exempt from withholding. The University determines eligibility for withholding exemptions after payees have completed the Tax Reporting Registration Process (GLACIER) as outlined above.

Guidance For Visitors Subject to Income Tax Withholding

Visitors subjected to income tax withholding will be required to file Federal and or State Income Tax Returns in order to claim a refund of taxes. Visitors can find more information regarding obtaining an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number at the following sites:
Publication 1915, Understanding Your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (U.S.)

Minimizing Taxes for Non-Resident Alien Graduate Students

View a guide to minimizing taxes for UCSB Scholars/Fellows here.

  • UC Accounting Manual
  • T-182-27 - Taxes: Federal Taxes of Aliens
  • T-182-37 - Taxes: Income Tax Information Found in the Accounting Manual
  • T-187-77 - Taxes: Taxation of Scholarship and Fellowship Grants and Educational Assistance

Visit the California Franchise Tax Board forms website and search for Form 540NR Instructions - Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Booklet

If payee is unable to satisfy both the documentation and status requirements federal and state income tax withholding is mandatory. Withholding and tax reporting are discussed in the following tables (Note: Accounting can no longer process IRS Form W-7):