Business Expense Reimbursement - Foreign Individual (BER Vendor)

Process Overview:

  • Detailed handout for BER Vendor Process is available through Harvard Training Portal
  • Foreign Individuals who do not have a prior payment relationship with Harvard, and are only being reimbursed for legitimate business expenses (e.g., travel expenses), may be set up through the Buy-to-Pay Supplier Portal using vendor type “Business Expense Reimbursement – Foreign Individual (BER)”.
  • As always, prior to any formal agreements being offered, departments must confirm any foreign individual is legally allowed to be paid by Harvard. See Most Commonly Seen Visa Types of Foreign National Guest Speakers for guidance.
  • Use of this vendor type does not require the individual to complete GLACIER; however, the paying department must instead obtain from the individual a copy of the required documentation as listed in the chart below. Additionally, B-2 visa holders or individuals on a Visa Waiver for Tourism must also submit a signed certification form. Signed certification forms and required copies of immigration documents must be submitted with each Non-Employee Reimbursement (NR) Payment Request. Payments cannot be processed without this information. Do not send documents to Vendor Set-up for this process
  • An active foreign vendor, showing under the “BER- Foreign Individual” vendor type, can be paid multiple business expense reimbursements during the 90-day active period.
  • Once inactive, a “BER- Foreign Individual” vendor can be reactivated only for additional business expense reimbursements without a GLACIER submission. Administrators must collect required documentation, as indicated below, to submit with each Non-Employee Reimbursement Payment Request (and a certification form in some cases) in order to remain compliant with federal regulations


Determine whether a payment is actually a business expense reimbursement. Please refer to the following Harvard Financial Administration Policies: 

If the payment is a business expense reimbursement, and the individual has a visa type allowed to receive payments from Harvard*, then use the following process to issue the payment:

A. If the individual already exists as a 1042S vendor:

B. If the individual is receiving a business expense reimbursement and is not an established 1042S vendor in Oracle: 

  • Create a new vendor in the Buy-to-Pay Supplier Portal
    1. Select the vendor type of “Business Expense Reimbursement – Foreign Individual,” complete the remaining fields, and submit the request.
    2. Include details in the “Notes to CRT” field confirming the nature of the payment you intend to process, such as “for business expense reimbursement.” 
    3. Selecting this vendor type will NOT result in a GLACIER email being sent to the recipient.
    4. The vendor will be approved by Vendor Set-up for payment. Once approved, vendor type will show and remain as “BER- Foreign Individual.”
    5. The vendor record will be active for 90 days after approval.
  • After the vendor is approved by Vendor Setup, please initiate the Non-Employee Reimbursement (NR) Payment Request in the Buy-to-Pay Supplier Portal.  
    1. Check the box to certify that the payment is a Non-Employee Reimbursement, for valid University business expenses.
    2. Since the vendor will only be active for 90 days, once the vendor is approved, please be prepared to process all reimbursements as soon as possible.
    3. Submit the required immigration documentation, certification forms (if necessary), and permission letters with the Non-Employee Reimbursement Payment Request, as indicated in the chart below. Reimbursements cannot be processed without this required information included. Do not send documents to Vendor Set-up for this process.
    4. Income payments (fellowship, royalty, honorarium, prize, etc.) cannot be made to “BER- Foreign Individual” vendors. Income payments submitted as Non-Employee Reimbursement Payment Requests, will be cancelled. Departments must correctly resubmit as a Payment Request after Vendor Set-up has received a completed GLACIER submission.

C. To reactivate an inactive “BER- Foreign Individual” vendor:

  • Submit reactivation request to Vendor Set-up.
    1. Indicate in “Notes to CRT,” the type of payment to be processed (“business expense reimbursement”, “honorarium”, “fellowship”, “prize”, “royalty”, etc.).  If making an income payment, include an email address in the reactivation request so the payee can access GLACIER.
    2. Vendor Set-up can further assist with these vendor updates:

*Visa types and reimbursements

Visa Type Allowed Reimbursement Documentation required with payment request
B-1, ESTA, WB (Visa Waiver Business) YES A copy of the I-94** document
B-2 or WT (Visa Waiver Tourism)


A signed certification form, and a copy of the I-94** document
DACA YES Employment Authorization Card
F-1 YES Form I-20
H-1B, G-1, O-1, O-2, or TN POSSIBLY A copy of the I-94**AND, written permission must be obtained from the responsible officer at the immigration office of the sponsoring institution
J-1 or J-2 YES Form DS-2019
TN POSSIBLY A copy of the I-94**AND, written permission must be obtained from the responsible officer at the immigration office of the sponsoring institution
All Other Visa Types (such as A-1 or A-2) NO Please contact the NRA Tax Compliance Team to determine whether payment to any other visa type would be allowed

** If the most recent I-94 is required, as indicated above, this may be accessed and downloaded by the individual from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.



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