Non-U.S. Citizens Working Abroad

Roles and Responsibilities

Employees who will work remotely are responsible for:

  • Working with unit staff to ensure compliance with applicable laws, policies and procedures.
  • Making any necessary adjustments for their personal income taxes and benefits.

Unit staff are responsible for working with the Office of General Counsel and Business and Finance Departments to ensure compliance.

Call the SSC Contact Center at (734) 615-2000 or (866) 647-7657 (toll free) with specific questions.

Employment Law

Before hiring employees, contact the Office of General Counsel. General Counsel will retain attorneys with the necessary expertise as needed. The department will be required to pay for the attorneys.

Offer/Appointment Letter

Offer letters must specify that payments to employees will be issued in U.S. dollars. Requests to have payments converted through wire transfer as foreign currency are handled separately through the wire transfer process.

  • Offer letters may need to contain notification language regarding export control.
  • Unit staff must work with their Employment Process Coordinator for special processing.

International Travel

The University International Travel Policy applies to all faculty, staff and students traveling outside of the U.S. for university-related purposes.

Telecommuting Agreement

A telecommuting agreement helps to ensure a safe work environment, compliance with applicable University policies and procedures, agreed upon standard work hours, communication methods, and work expectations.

Contact the Office of General Counsel to review the telecommuting agreement to ensure compliance with local laws as applicable.


Provider networks are the primary consideration with respect to off campus benefit enrollment. Employees should select a health plan that will provide them with the desired level of coverage and provider network flexibility in their area.

Personal Tax Liability

Employees who are not U.S. citizens or are resident aliens of the United States must submit an Alien Certificate. Nonresident aliens, unlike U.S. citizens and resident aliens, are only subject to tax on income that is considered U.S. Source Income by the IRS. The university is not obligated to withhold income or FICA taxes or report income to the IRS for a foreign national who will be performing all services outside of the U.S.

For guidance on determining U.S. Source or Foreign Source income, contact the Tax Department.

Direct Deposit/Wire Transfer

If the employee does not have a U.S. bank account, contact Finance about requesting a wire transfer. 

The department may need to submit the request for each payment and will be required to pay the fee associated with each wire transfer.

Travel and/or Moving Expenses

Whenever staff members are required to establish a temporary residence at a remote work location for extended periods of time, they may be eligible for remote location compensation and/or reimbursement for transportation costs incurred.


Not eligible for unemployment from the State of Michigan or United States.

Worker's Compensation and Liability

Consult Risk Management regarding coverage for potential losses or liability. U-M must comply with the laws of the country in which the employee works. Contact Risk Management for support with managing those cases.

University Standard Practice Guide Applicability

The Standard Practice Guide is a compendium of the university's general operating policies and procedures. The policies that are contained in the SPG are approved by university leadership and typically apply to the entire institution. Please consult with the Office of General Counsel to ensure compliance with local employment law.