A key part of the foreign national payroll process is submitting data via the secure Foreign National Information System (FNIS) website.
The purpose of FNIS is to determine tax status and whether tax exemptions or treaties are available. You will be asked to provide information about your employment at Washington University in St. Louis, your foreign and local addresses, and your visa/immigration status history. The information entered into FNIS is for WashU use only and is not shared outside of the University. Please note this information must be provided before paychecks can be issued.
Once the appropriate OISS international coordinator receives word that you will be receiving monies from WashU, you will be sent an email about FNIS. This email will contain the URL, username and password needed to access the FNIS site. If you receive this email before you arrive in the U.S., you will be unable to provide all of the information; however, we encourage you to complete as much as possible, to speed the process after you arrive.
Follow these steps to prevent delays in receiving your check
- Before going to the FNIS website, gather the following documents:
- Entry Visa
- Admission Record or I-94 (this is electronic and can be printed at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94)
- Social Security Card (if you do not yet have one, you can still complete the data entry)
- Eligibility Document (I-20, DS-2019, I-797 or employment authorization card)
- Use the website address, password and username given in the e-mail to enter the site. If this is your first time going to the website, you will be asked to change your password.
- Under IRS Form, select “Consent” and check the appropriate boxes to allow us to load your IRS forms on the FNIS website. When the forms are ready, you will receive an email from Payroll Services indicating they are available.
Note that data entry must be completed before the required forms can be loaded.
- Back on the welcome page, select “Data Entry”. Complete the questions in as much detail as possible. There are help buttons to assist you if you have any questions on a field. You can “save with errors” if necessary, but, you must answer all of the required fields, including your visa information. At least one visit must be entered.If you have not previously been to the U.S., you would only enter your program at WashU. If you are entering information before you arrive at WashU, you may use estimated arrival and departure dates. If a change occurs it can be updated after you arrive.
- When all information has been entered, check the confirmation box and then select “Finish”. For faster processing, select the option on the next page to create an e-mail notifying the OISS international coordinator that you have submitted your data.
- The appropriate OISS international coordinator will review your data and either approve it or send you an e-mail requesting additional information. Once the data is approved, it will be forwarded to Payroll Services, who will calculate withholding and generate the required tax forms. When those forms are ready, they will send you an e-mail with instructions to return to FNIS, print your tax forms, sign them, and return to Payroll Services.
Please be aware that failure to return tax forms in a timely manner could cause your tax rate to increase.
Download the FNIS Guide for Foreign Nationals (PDF) for step-by-step instructions for submitting your FNIS record.