Paying Nonresident Independent Contractors


Before bringing an independent contractor to the University, please review the Northwestern policy on Engaging Individuals as Independent Contractors and Consultants to assure compliance. 

Independent Contractor Questionnaire (ICQ)

All payments to nonresident independent contractors for speaker fees, honorariums, as well as prizes and awards, must first complete the Independent Contractor Questionnaire (ICQ) to assure they are processed correctly to comply with federal employment law and new ACA laws. 

This form, along with the appropriate payment packet below, should follow the ICQ guidelines and, if applicable, send to Compensation for approval before sending the packet to the Payroll Office.  Please review the form for instructions to determine when additional signatures from Compensation are required. 

Independent Contractor Questionnaire (ICQ) PDF Document     

In addition to correctly identifying your individual as an independent contractor, the most important consideration is hiring a nonresident independent contractor, is assuring they have the correct immigration status required to perform and be paid by NU.  Please review the list of appropriate immigration status’s BEFORE inviting your contractor to Northwestern.  We cannot hire or pay individuals who do not have the appropriate status to be paid. 

If you have any questions or would like assistance completing these forms or which packet to complete, please contact the Payroll Office and ask for a non-resident specialist to assist you.  (847) 491-7362 or

Payment Packet

Contracted Services Payment packet PDF Document  
Please complete Page 2-3 of this packet, print and sign all pages.  The forms are connected so all the data entry is done on only two pages and the remainder of the packet only requires signatures. 

Payments to non-resident independent contractors are issued by check and mailed to the department address as indicated by the check address on the Contracted Services Form.    If your independent contractor would like an electronic funds transfer, they can fill out one of the forms below and notate this preference on the Contracted Services Form. 

Direct Deposit Form  PDF Document   Use this form for funds transfer into a U.S. bank account.

International Wire Transfer Request Form  PDF Document   Use this form for funds transfer into a foreign bank account.

If you need assistance making a determination on how to pay an individual, the reference guide below outlines the most common payment types and links to the appropriate payment forms and process. 

Purchasing and Payments Methods Quick Reference Guide PDF Document

Paying Prizes and Awards

Please see above for Independent Contractor Questionnaire (ICQ) that must also be completed and submitted with any payment requests for prizes and awards to non-residents. 

  • Payment packet for Prizes and Awards PDF Document
    Contains forms and explanation for making payments for prizes and awards for non-residents.

    Note: If services are required in exchange for the prize or award, you must use the Non-resident Independent Contractor payment packet.

Paying Royalties

Payment Packet for Royalties PDF
payments for nonresident royalties should use this payment packet.