On-boarding Nonresident Students & Employees

Incomming international student tax presentation

I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification

All employees paid by Northwestern through Payroll must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 no later than their first day in paid status.  Section 1 must be completed on-line, no later than the end of the first day of employment. Section 2 must be completed no later than the end of the third day of employment.  Section 2 requires the employee to bring their acceptable documents to a Northwestern representative (department or HR Ops/Payroll). 

USCIS issues a List of Acceptable Documents that employers can accept for Section 2 of the I-9.  Generally, that includes the foreign passport, I-94, and immigration document or Employment Authorization Card.  More information about the I-9 and Northwestern’s participation in E-Verify can be found here.  

I-9 Tips for New Employees

Login at https://northwestern.i9servicecenter.com/Login.aspx

Please make sure to list your name exactly as it appears on your Social Security Card or immigration documents/visa.  On the I-9 you will have to attest to your citizenship status, which should be "an alien authorized to work" if you are in the U.S. on a visa or other temporary work status.  You will need to enter your passport number, your A/USCIS number, or your I-94 number and the expiration date from your immigration document or I-94 (I-20, DS-2019, or I-797A), or Employment Authorization Card. 

-  Please see the tip sheet if you are on a F-1, J-1, H-1B, O-1, E-3, or TN visa for assistance completing section 1 of the Form I-9.

-  Please see the tip sheet if you are on an Employment Authorization Cards (including those for optional practical training/OPT) for assistance completing section 1 of the Form I-9.  

Foreign National Information System (FNIS)

FNIS is an electronic system that determines the tax status and treaty eligibility of new employees.  It is required of all foreign national individuals paid through myHR (FASIS payroll system).  This includes teachers, researchers, temporary employees, and students receiving assistantship or scholarship income (stipends).  It is NOT required for unpaid individuals.  All steps in this process must be completed within 10 days of starting at Northwestern, and no later than 5 business days before the first paydate or pay will be delayed. 

Steps for NEW Employee
Foreign National Information System (FNIS) process:

1- Complete FNIS request form and submit to the Payroll Office or email to payroll@northwestern.edu. You will receive an email within 48 hours with your userid, password, and instructions on the process.

2- Complete your data entry at https://fnis.thomsonreuters.com/northwestern/
Use the tip sheet if you have any questions about completing your FNIS data entry.  There is also a help features in the system (you will see them marked with a question mark ?).  If you still have questions, you can call or email your nonresident specialist that sent your FNIS welcome email.  If you’d like to speak with a representative in person, you can stop by the Payroll Office during the walk-in hours listed below.

3- Once you submit your data electronically, you will receive an email within 48 hours stating your forms are ready for printing. 

4- Bring your FNIS tax forms, data summary page, immigration document (I-20, DS, 2019, or I-797), passport, visa, and I-94 to the Payroll Office to complete the process.  We have printers available in our office.  We are located at 720 University Place, 2nd floor.  

Steps for EXISTING Employee- Extending Immigration Status/ Work Authorization or Change in Status
Existing employees must reverify work authorization no later than the end of their current authorization.  Once the new work authorization/immigration document (I-20, DS-2019, I-797) is issued, existing students and employees must present their I-94 and immigration documents to an authorized Northwestern representative (Payroll Office or administrative department). 

Updating FNIS might be required depending on employee’s tax status.  The nonresident tax specialist will email specific details outlining the extension requirements.    

Social Security Numbers and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers

Please view this website for instruction on applying for and receiving your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).  All non-resident receiving employment income from the University must apply for a Social Security Number and start the process as soon as they enter the U.S.  Individuals only receiving scholarship/fellowship payments are not eligible for the SSN, but will instead apply for the ITIN.