Onboarding Nonresident Students & Employees

I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification

Foreign National Information System (FNIS)


I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification

All employees paid by Northwestern through Payroll must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9.

I-9 steps for NEW Employee

  1. Complete section 1 of the I-9 no later than the first day of employment/paid status. https://northwestern.i9servicecenter.com/Login.aspx Create UserID/Password under New Employees.  Tip sheets are below.
  2. Present acceptable documents (passport, I-94, I-20, DS-2019, I-797, or EAD) to a Northwestern representative (department or HR Ops/Payroll) no later than third day of employment/paid status.

 I-9 tip and tools

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. Do not use your visa end date.

  • 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 5 days of starting at Northwestern or pay may be delayed. 

FNIS 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.  If you have already received your FNIS login details, skip this step.  
  2. Complete your data entry at https://fnis.thomsonreuters.com/northwestern/on page 1-5 and submit on page 6. 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. 
  3. Once you submit your data electronically, you will receive an email within 48 hours stating your FNIS tax forms are ready for printing. 
  4. Once your forms are ready, come to the Payroll Office with your passport, visa, immigration document (I-20, DS-2019, I-797, and/or EAD), and I-94 to the Payroll Office to submit your paperwork.  We have printers available to print your FNIS tax forms and immigration status data summary.  We are located at 720 University Place, 2nd floor or Abbott Hall, room 850.  

Steps for EXISTING Employee- Individuals extending Immigration Status/ Work Authorization or changing status 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). 

You do not need to update FNIS with immigration extensions.     

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.