UAB has a large non-U.S. citizen population. Payments to non-U.S. citizens are governed by specific tax laws. For tax purposes a non-U.S. citizen may be classified as a non resident alien (NRA) or resident alien (RA).

Organizations should contact the UAB Office of Global Engagement's International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office immediately when learning that a non-U.S. citizen will be coming to the UAB campus. Additionally, the ISSS website provides valuable information regarding the paperwork necessary to ensure that a non-U.S. citizen receives the appropriate direction when applying to come to the UAB campus.

Employee/Trainee payments require a non-U.S. citizen to have a permanent U.S. identification number (e.g. SSN or ITIN). If the NRA does not have a permanent U.S. identification number, organizations may request a temporary records identification number.

Temporary identification numbers may be requested for non-U.S. citizens that are being appointed as employees or trainees as long as the assignment category is one of the following:

  • 01 Full-time Regular
  • 02 Full-time Temporary
  • 03 Part-time Regular
  • 04 Irregular
  • 06 Student Employees (must be enrolled as UAB student)
  • 07 Interns/Residents
  • 12 Three Twelve-hour-shift
  • 17 Weekend Staff Nurse
  • 20 Postdoctoral Scholar Trainee
  • 21 Postdoctoral Scholar Employee
  • 46 Trainees

Please complete and submit the following to the UAB Payroll Services via fax at (205) 975-7417 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:

  • Trainee Determination Checklist
  • Employee/Trainee offer letter
  • Copy of visa page from passport
  • Copy of work authorization documents (e.g. I-20, DS2019, etc.)

Once all documents have been reviewed and the determination made as to whether the non-U.S. citizen will need to apply for an individual tax identification number (ITIN) or social security number (SSN), you will receive instructions for processing the appointment document. ISSS will be notified of the determination and will be available to assist the employee/trainee with applying for a permanent US identification number.

Notes: Payments to non-U.S. citizens with temporary records identification numbers are subject to maximum tax withholdings. Treaty benefits, if applicable, will be granted once the permanent U.S. identification number is received. Compensation payments may not be reported under an ITIN. Should the nature of the non-U.S. citizen's assignment change from trainee or independent contractor to compensation, a temporary records identification number must be requested until the non-U.S. citizen receives a SSN.

Payments for non-U.S. citizen independent contractor services may be issued through Payroll Services or Accounts Payable dependent on the nature of the payment and the taxability of the payment.

Independent contractor payments (e.g. honorarium payments, foreign-source income payments, etc.) must be approved by a financial affairs tax accountant. To determine if services qualify as independent contractor services, organizations must submit:

  • Personal Services Authorization Form
  • Contract (payments > $2,500.00)

Documents should be submitted for approval prior to the date(s) of service. Non-U.S. citizen independent contractor payments determined payable through Payroll Services require the non-U.S. citizen to meet with ISSS for a tax analysis. Payments must be approved by ISSS.

Note: PSF forms submitted and/or approved after the non-U.S. citizen has left campus require the submitting department to contact ISSS to determine what information is required for a tax analysis. The process is the same for non-U.S. citizens that perform services in external locations at the request of UAB departments.

ISSS will assist the independent contractor with applying for a permanent U.S. identification number if necessary. However, payments may be issued using a temporary records identification number. Following the tax analysis, ISSS will notify the department and Payroll Services (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) of the results. If the non-resident does not have a U.S. tax identification number, a temporary identification number will be assigned and document processing instructions will be sent to the department.

Note: Payments to non-U.S. citizens with temporary identification numbers are subject to maximum tax withholdings. Treaty benefits, if applicable, will be granted once the permanent U.S. identification number is received.

Expense reimbursements for non-resident alien independent contractors do not require a personal services form. If the non-resident does not have a U.S. tax identification number, the department should forward a completed W-8BEN form via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or fax to (205) 934-9369. The department will be notified once the supplier number has been assigned.

Note: Travel expense reimbursement for non-resident alien independent contractors are subject to the rules of the UAB Individual Independent Contractor Accountable Travel Plan policy.

Tax Residency Tests and Qualifications

Green Card Test

The Green Card Test is satisfied if a nonresident alien individual meets each of the following requirements:

  • Lawful permanent resident status has been granted to the individual.
  • An alien registration card (i.e., a Green Card) either has been issued to or will be received by the individual.

Unless revoked or determined to have been abandoned in an administrative or judicial proceeding, lawful permanent resident status remains in effect.

When an individual satisfies the green card test during a calendar year, they are classified as a resident alien retroactively to January 1 of that calendar year.

Substantial Presence Test

The Substantial Presence Test is satisfied when a nonresident alien individual has been physically present in the U.S. for

  1. 31 days during the current calendar year (the 31-Day Test), and
  2. 83 days during the three-year period that includes the current calendar year and the two preceding calendar years (the 183-Day Test).

An individual's immigration status dictates the number of days, if any, that may be counted. Section 3.2 of the UAB Tax Policy and Procedure Guide for Payments to Alien Individuals explains how student or non-student immigration status may affect the application of the Substantial Presence Test.

To apply the 31-Day Test, count the days in the current calendar year during which the individual has been physically present in the U.S. If they total 31 days or more, the 31-Day Test is met.

To determine whether the 183-Day Test is met for the three-year period consisting of the current calendar year and the two preceding calendar years, count:

  • all of the days that the individual was present in the U.S. during the current calendar year,
  • 1/3 of the days the individual was present in the U.S. during the first preceding calendar year, and
  • 1/6 of the days the individual was present in the U.S. during the second preceding calendar year.

The Substantial Presence Test is applied every calendar year, and it requires consideration of the two preceding calendar years.

When an individual satisfies the substantial presence test during a calendar year, they are retroactively classified as a resident alien as of January 1 of that calendar year.

Note: Provided that a number of requirements are met, an individual may elect to be treated as a U.S. resident for the calendar year that immediately precedes the calendar year during which the individual meets the Substantial Presence Test. Additional information regarding this election may be obtained from the UAB office of International Scholars and Student Services.

Tax Treaties and Totalization Agreements in Effect

Country

Tax Treaty General Effective Date

Totalization Agreement Effective Date

Armenia (CIS) 1-Jan-76  
Australia 1-Dec-83  
Austria 1-Apr-98 1-Nov-91
Azerbaijan (CIS) 1-Jan-76  
Barbados 1-Apr-86  
Belarus (CIS) 1-Jan-76  
Belgium 1-Jan-71 1-Jul-84
Canada 1-Oct-84 1-Aug-84
China, People's Republic of 1-Jan-87  
Cyprus 1-Jan-86  
Czech Republic 1-Jan-94  
Denmark 1-Jan-47  
Egypt 1-Feb-82  
Estonia 1-Jan-00  
Finland 1-Feb-91 1-Nov-92
France 1-Feb-96 1-Jul-88
Georgia (CIS) 1-Jan-76  
Germany 1-Jan-90 1-Dec-79
Greece 1-Jan-53 1-Sep-94
Hungary 1-Nov-79  
Iceland 1-Jan-76  
India 1-Jan-91  
Indonesia 1-Feb-91  
Ireland 1-Jan-98 1-Sep-93
Israel 1-Feb-95  
Italy 1-Feb-86 1-Nov-78
Jamaica 1-Feb-82  
Japan 1-Jan-73  
Kazakhstan 1-Feb-97  
Korea 1-Jan-80  
Korea, Republic of 1-Dec-79  
Kyrgyzstan (CIS) 1-Jan-76  
Latvia 1-Jan-00  
Lithuania 1-Jan-00  
Luxembourg 1-Jan-64 1-Nov-93
Mexico 1-Jan-94  
Moldova (CIS) 1-Jan-76  
Morocco 1-Jan-82  
Netherlands 1-Jan-94 1-Nov-90
New Zealand 1-Jan-84  
Norway 29-Nov-72 1-Jul-84
Pakistan 1-Jan-59  
Philippines 1-Jan-83  
Poland 1-Jan-74  
Portugal 1-Jan-96 1-Aug-89
Romania 1-Jan-74  
Russia 1-Feb-94  
Slovak Republic 1-Jan-93  
South Africa 1-Jan-98  
Spain 1-Jan-91 1-Apr-88
Sweden 1-Jan-96 1-Jan-87
Switzerland 1-Feb-98 1-Nov-80
Tajikistan 1-Jan-76  
Thailand 1-Jan-98  
Trinidad and Tobago 1-Jan-70  
Tunisia 1-Jan-91  
Turkey 1-Jan-98  
Turkmenistan (CIS) 1-Jan-76  
Ukraine (CIS) 1-Jan-76  
United Kingdom 1-Jan-75 1-Jan-85
Uzbekistan (CIS) 1-Jan-76  
Venezuela 1-Jan-00  

The U.S.S.R. tax treaty remains in effect as to those former Soviet Republics that have not yet entered a tax treaty of their own with the U.S.