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International Visitor Links

International Visitor Guidelines

  • To enter the United States legally you MUST have a Visa.
  • I94 Card-visa status of individual.

    Admission Classification Stamp

    As of May 2013, the US Customs and Border Protection Agency is implementing an electronic system to replace the paper I-94 Card. All Non-U.S. Citizens entering the country by air will no longer receive an I-94 card. Only persons entering by land (Canada or Mexico) will be issued I-94 cards.

    Upon entrance into the U.S., an Immigration Officer will stamp an Admission Classification, entry date and admitted until date in the individual’s Passport. A copy of this information stamp is what the University will need to authorize any payment to a Non-U.S. Citizen, replacing the previous requirement of a copy of the I-94 card.

    Some Admission Classifications allow for a stay of only 90 days. Others will show a designation of D/S, which means the Non-U.S. Citizen may stay in the U.S. for the Duration of Status. If so, as long as the individual remains in compliance with their current status, they may remain in the U.S. Duration of Status is usually seen for F-1 and J-1 students.  If there is a specific date on the Admission Classification stamp, the University cannot make any payments for expenses incurred after that date.

    The Admission Stamp must be legible. The date of entry, status at entry and authorized duration of stay are all needed to approve any payment to the Non-U.S. Citizen. Remember, your copy will probably then be faxed into the ERS system and must continue to be legible for the approver to view.

    The Admission Classification stamp must be obtained from the Non-U.S. Citizen, with the exception of residents of Canada or Mexico. Without a copy of the stamp, the University cannot make a payment to, or on behalf of, the Non-U.S. Citizen. The individual may retrieve the Admission (I-94) Number for verification at

  • Important questions to ask department head/faculty members prior to visitor coming to Penn State-What will this person be doing? Purpose of visit? Needs of department or college? Length of time the visitor will be needed for?
  • Plan for your visitor 6 to 8 months prior to coming to the United States.
  • Send visitor the Non-Employee Information Form to start process.
  • Conduct interview-Confirm with visitor that they can work when in the United States.
  • 956 Rule-allows you to pay visitors & tourist honorariums; B1 & B2 and WB & WT can be paid if they meet all the qualifications in Part IV of the Non-Employee Information Form.
  • 30% tax held on visitors earnings, to avoid complete Form 8233 (must have Tax ID#/SS# and a treaty with the country to complete this form).
  • Preferred visa classification is J1-Exchange Visitor (1 week turnaround for forms/paperwork and visitor will return to their country).
  • Enormous currency penalty for completing forms/paperwork incorrectly.
  • Scholars-advise that they will be fingerprinted when entering the United States and photographed when departing.
  • Student visitors-contact the University Office of Global Programs.
  • Retention period for forms/paperwork is current + 3 years.
  • Retention period for I9 Forms is 1 year after leaving date.