Hosting Visitors at Emory

Emory's engagement with the international academic community is critical in strengthening the university's leadership in teaching, research, scholarship, and social action. Our partnerships and exchanges with foreign colleagues and institutions abroad enhance our programs, create new collaborative research opportunities, and enrich our community.

It is often appropriate to provide travel reimbursements, honoraria, and other payments to our distinguished guests. However, in order to be able to process these payments to non-U.S. citizens (or nonresident aliens for tax purposes), Emory is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to obtain specific information. Review guidance on expense reimbursements for international visitors and foreign payments to discern whether and how to pay or reimburse your visitor.

If your visitor will be a Fulbright Scholar, review the guidance on Hosting a Fulbright Scholar.

If you have any questions about hosting a visitor at Emory, please reach out to Global Services.


For students, scholars or visitors whose visas will be sponsored by Emory, please contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). For more information on Emory-sponsored visas (such as F-1, H-1B, J-1), the ISSS website can guide you through the visa process and your departmental responsibilities.

Learn more about short-term visitors on business or tourism visas (B-1, B-2, WB, WT)

In some cases, Emory may host visitors but will not be the sponsors of their visas. Fulbright visitors to Emory are an example of such an arrangement. While Emory will not manage the visa process for such visitors, Emory will manage numerous other aspects of their stay. Learn more about hosting Fulbright visitors here.

Travel and Lodging

Any department arranging travel for international guests may utilize Emory’s Travel resources. For Emory short-term guests, Emory has discount rates with several Atlanta-area hotels, which can be accessed through CTM as well as Emory's other travel agencies.

For longer-term guests, options available for lodging include:

To reimburse visitors for allowable expenses during their stay, please refer to our guidance on Visitor Expense Reimbursement. Please note, if you are paying your visitor an honorarium or service payment in addition to reimbursing expenses, those payments must be issued separately.

Paying third-party travel vendors on behalf of international visitors

If a department will be paying third-party travel vendors for international visitors’ allowable travel expenses (e.g., flight, hotel, transportation), the preferred method of payment is the Emory corporate card. These charges will be reconciled as an expense report in Compass (not as a Payment Request). 

Please keep in mind that some payments to vendors on behalf of foreign nationals are subject to additional taxes. If you have any questions, please contact Nonresident Tax Services in the Controller's Office.

Travel Funds and Per Diem for Visitors

If additional cash is needed for a visitor’s travel costs, have your department administrator or business manager request a Travel Cash Advance, indicating the person for whom the request is being made, the expenses it is intended to cover (e.g., meals and incidental expenses), and the extenuating circumstances that prevent the use of other payment options. Estimate the costs for meals and incidentals based on U.S. government rates (check the current rate for Emory by searching zip code 30322). Travel advances are reconciled as expense reports in Compass. 

Since only Emory employees are eligible to receive travel advances directly, the advance will be issued to the department administrator or business manager submitting the request (who will also be responsible for submitting related expense reports and associated documentation to reconcile the advance). Ask your visitor for a written acknowledgement that they received the funds. In the case of direct reimbursement of expenses rather than a daily per diem, original receipts must be collected. You should also collect from your guest any cash that was not accounted for through receipts. If you elect to provide your visitor with a flat per diem for daily travel expenses, review the “Per Diem for Guests” section of the Emory Travel Policy (2.90) to ensure your per diem application is compliant. Check the current GSA rate for the Emory area by searching zip code 30322.

Generally, these costs cannot be charged to a sponsored contract or grant. Consult with your RAS unit on the allowability of charging to a grant or contract.

In terms of taxability, these payments are treated the same as direct expense reimbursements. Note that if the advanced funds are spent on items that are subject to tax, the department will be charged for the taxes.


Health Insurance

Emory encourages all international scholars and visitors arriving under partnership agreements to invest in health insurance, and valid health insurance is a legal requirement for J-1 exchange visitors.

Learn more about health insurance

Some MOUs include a requirement that visiting scholars have valid health insurance for travel to Emory. Please consult with your program’s administrator regarding the requirements of the partnership agreement.

Emory does not have a preferred vendor for visitor health insurance, but the following resources may be helpful:

Liability Insurance

To mitigate risk, it is in Emory’s best interest for sponsored visitors to carry liability insurance either through their home institutions or through stand-alone commercial insurance programs. If neither option is feasible, departments should contact Office of Insurance Services to determine coverage needs and arrange for temporary coverage. While general liability insurance can typically be provided at no cost, a charge may be required for professional liability coverage longer than two months.

To request liability coverage for international visitors, you can reach out to Kevin Wysner in the Office of Insurance Services to discuss further. In your outreach, it is helpful to provide the details of the program, dates of your visitor's stay, and what locations they will visit.

Please keep in mind that Emory policies can only cover Emory property, and if your visitor will visit non-Emory sites like Grady Hospital, it will be necessary to contact Grady for permissions, liability coverage, etc. 

Paying Emory tuition, fees, scholarships, or wages

All foreign nationals receiving income from U.S. sources are subject to special U.S. tax withholding and reporting regulations. Any international visitor or employee in H-1B, TN, O-1, or J-1 status who is receiving any type of remuneration from Emory University for services offered should contact Emory’s Nonresident Tax Services team to start the process for determining proper tax treatment and any available tax treaty benefits.

Knowing tax liabilities for visitors hosted by Emory will allow sponsoring departments to appropriately plan project budgets. Employee wages can only be paid to foreign nationals who have been granted appropriate employment authorization and visa immigration status by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

For fees or honoraria paid to your visitor, please review our guidance on foreign payments.

For reimbursing travel expenses for your visitor, please review our guidance on expense reimbursements for international visitors.

Compliance Considerations

Conflict of interest waivers

Please review conflict of interest information and requirements for any international visitors hosted by Emory through a partnership agreement or who will be conducting research or working on a sponsored grant.

Visiting Scholar and Visiting Students policy

Learn more about the Visiting Scholar and Visiting Students policy (7.12) here to determine if hosting your visitor will entail any additional steps or permissions. Contact the Export Control team with any questions. Read the policy here

Campus Resources


Nonresident Tax Services

International Student & Scholar Services