Reimbursement of Business Expenses

Updates, 11/16/2016

  • Administrators can now better identity when a foreign vendor was previously created to only receive business expense reimbursements (BER).
  • An active foreign vendor, showing under the “BER- Foreign Individual” vendor type, can be paid multiple business expense reimbursements during his/her 90-day active period. 
  • Once inactive, a “BER- Foreign Individual” vendor can now be reactivated for additional business expense reimbursements without a GLACIER submission. Administrators will still need to collect immigration documents,  and a certification form in some cases, to verify that reimbursements have been deemed allowable under the individual’s visa status.

To determine whether a payment is actually a business expense reimbursement, please refer to the following Harvard financial policies: 

If the payment is a business expense reimbursement, and the individual has a visa type under which reimbursements may be received*, then use the following process to issue the payment:

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

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

  • Create a new vendor using the Vendor Request form in Oracle. 
    1. Select the vendor type of “Business Expense Reimbursement – Foreign Individual,” complete the remaining fields on the form, 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.  A Glacier submission is not required, as Harvard is not obligated to withhold tax or report on such payments.
    4. The vendor will be approved by Vendor Setup for payment. Once approved, vendor type will show and remain as “BER- Foreign Individual.”
    5. The vendor record will be deactivated 90 days after approval.
  • After the vendor is approved by Vendor Setup, please initiate a Payment Request in Oracle/HCOM.  
    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 approved, please be prepared to process all reimbursements as soon as possible.
    3. Submit the required immigration documentation and certification forms with the Non-Employee Payment Request, as indicated in the chart below.
    4. Income payments (fellowship, royalty, honorarium, prize, etc.) cannot be made to “BER- Foreign Individual” vendors. Income payments, including those submitted as Non-employee Reimbursements, will be cancelled and require departments to correctly resubmit after Vendor Setup has received a completed GLACIER submission.

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

  • Submit reactivation request form to Vendor Setup.
    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 Setup can further assist with these vendor updates:


*Visa types and reimbursements

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


A signed certification form, and a copy of the I-94** document
DACA YES Employment Authorization Card
F-1 YES Form I-20
H-1, G-1, O-1, O-2, or TN POSSIBLY 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** document, along with written permission from the responsible officer at the immigration office of the sponsoring institution
All Other Visa Types 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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