This resource is intended for any foreign national receiving funding from Washington University, such as salary, hourly wages, stipends, fellowships and assistantships. Foreign nationals newly hired by WashU or who will receive a payment from WashU must complete these steps.

Step 1:

Know your work authorization start & end dates

U.S. employers must verify that all foreign nationals are legally authorized to work or receive payment in the U.S. It is crucial that you know the specific type of immigration status you hold. Your status determines whether you are allowed to work or receive payments while at WashU. Additionally, be aware of your work authorization start and end dates, as these dates dictate when you can legally begin and end work or receive payments, such as stipends.

Starting work or receiving a stipend before or after your authorized dates will violate your immigration status. Therefore, it is essential to know these dates before accepting a position or completing any paperwork with WashU. To ensure compliance, verify your work authorization dates and understand your immigration status. If you have questions or need assistance, consult with OISS.

Step 2

Complete immigration check-in with OISS
F-1 & J-1 international students sponsored by WashU

Complete the immigration check-in process in MyOISS within 5 days of arrival to campus. You must upload your most recent I-94 Record and a JPEG or PDF of both the biographical page of your passport and the F-1 or J-1 visa page in your passport.

J-1 exchange visitors in scholar categories sponsored by WashU

Complete the immigration check-in by emailing the following to

  • Most recent I-94 Record
  • JPEG or PDF of the biographical page of your passport
  • JPEG or PDF of the visa page of your passport
  • JPEG or PDF of your DS-2019
H-1B, E-3, TN employees

Complete the immigration check-in by emailing the following to the Associate Director for Scholars:

  • Most recent I-94 Record
  • JPEG or PDF of the biographical page of your passport
  • JPEG or PDF of the visa page of your passport
Foreign nationals employed by WashU but not sponsored by WashU

If your immigration record is not sponsored by WashU, you do NOT need to complete immigration check-in with OISS. However, you will need to complete the I-9 and the FNIS process.

Step 3:

Activate your WUSTL Key & create your WashU email

Every student, faculty, and staff member has a WUSTL Key credential (login ID & password) for use of university systems.

For students: The process of getting your WUSTL Key starts with an activation email that is sent to you from Office of the University Registrar. It will allow you to create your WUSTL Key and WashU email. You will use your WUSTL key to login to WebSTAC and all other WUSTL Key enabled applications.

For new foreign national employees who are not WashU students: Once your department initiates your hire in Workday and your offer is accepted, Identity Management System (IDM) sends a system generated email that has WUSTL Key instructions. Full onboarding instructions can be found on the Workday New Hire Onboarding page.

Check your WashU email regularly. All university communications are sent to your WashU email address.

Step 4:

Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

Your SSN never expires. Foreign nationals who already have an SSN should skip this step and proceed to step 5.

Only apply for an ITIN if you are NOT eligible for an SSN. See the OISS Social Security resource to determine if you are eligible.

Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)

See complete instructions and required documents at Apply for an SSN.

After you receive your Social Security Card:

  • Update your information in Workday. Review this Workday tutorial for details.
  • If you have not completed the I-9 by the time you receive your card, start Section 1 of your I-9. See Steps 5 & 6 below.
Who should apply for an ITIN?

Foreign nationals who will receive a stipend, a scholarship or a fellowship, as opposed to receiving a wage or a salary from WashU will not be eligible for an SSN and must instead apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Students and scholars who receive an ITIN and later become eligible for an SSN should then apply for an SSN and cancel their ITIN.

OISS staff can assist you with your ITIN applications during certain times of the year. For more information about the application process, visit our Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) page.

After you receive your ITIN letter, update your information in Workday. Review this Workday tutorial for details.

Step 5:

Complete onboarding steps in Workday

If you are a foreign national who is hired to work at WashU, or you have been approved to receive any form of funding from WashU in a non-employee role, your hiring department or your Departmental HR Partner will enter your information in Workday, WashU’s integrated administrative system for human resources and finance.

Please reference the Workday onboarding email you will receive to complete your Workday onboarding process. You must complete all tasks including Form I-9 (if applicable), pay elections and benefit elections. You can view a complete list in the Workday onboarding tutorial.

An overview of this process for employees is online on the Welcome Staff page. Generally, this overview is designed for employees in faculty and staff roles, not student workers.

Step 6:

Complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification

This information only applies to employees who are classified as wage earners, not stipend or scholarship recipients. If you are unsure about the coding of your role in Workday, reach out to your department administrator.

Form I-9 is a federal requirement used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must properly complete Form I-9 for every individual they hire for employment in the U.S. This includes U.S. citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. The employee completes Section 1, which must be completed NO LATER THAN your 1st day of work. The employer (a representative from Wash-U’s I-9 team) must examine the identity and work authorization documents and complete Section 2.

After you complete Section 1 of the Form I-9, you will receive an email notification with instructions on how to schedule your appointment to complete the Form I-9 with a member of the I-9 team in Human Resources. Complete this step no later than your 3rd day of work.

Step 7:

Complete FNIS (Foreign National Information System)

A key part of the foreign national payroll process is submitting data via the secure FNIS website. All foreign nationals receiving funding from WashU, such as salary, hourly wages, stipends, fellowships, and assistantships, must complete FNIS. See FNIS Instructions to learn more about FNIS and to review step-by-step instructions.

You will need to review and update your FNIS information annually.

Step 8:

Confirm all necessary onboarding steps have been completed in Workday

View complete details and instructions to complete new hire onboarding in Workday (WashU’s online Human Resources platform).

Step 9:

Learn about U.S. income tax and your obligations

See the OISS resource on Filing Taxes in the U.S.