Skip to main content

Onboarding Nonresident Students & Employees

All teachers, researchers, temporary employees, and students receiving assistantship or scholarship income (stipends) are required to complete Form I-9 and FNIS/ Foreign National Information System in order to be paid.


All employees paid by Northwestern through Payroll must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9.

I-9 steps for NEW Employees
  1. Complete section 1 of the I-9 no later than the first day of employment/paid status:
    • Create a UserID and Password under the New Employees section (see Tip Sheets below).
  2. Present acceptable documents (passport, I-94, I-20, DS-2019, I-797, or EAD) to a Northwestern representative in your department or HR Operations no later than third day of employment/paid status.
 I-9 tip and tools

Please make sure to list your name exactly as it appears on your Social Security Card or immigration documents/visa.  On the I-9 you will have to attest to your citizenship status, which should be "an alien authorized to work" if you are in the U.S. on a visa or other temporary work status.  You will need to enter your passport number, your A/USCIS number, or your I-94 number and the expiration date from your immigration document or I-94 (I-20, DS-2019, or I-797A), or Employment Authorization Card. Do not use your visa end date.

  • Please see this tip sheet if you are on a F-1, J-1, H-1B, O-1, E-3, or TN visa for assistance completing section 1 of the Form I-9.
  • Please see this tip sheet if you are on an Employment Authorization Cards (including those for optional practical training/OPT) for assistance completing section 1 of the Form I-9.  
Social Security Numbers and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers

Please view this webpage for instruction on applying for and receiving your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).  All non-resident receiving employment income from the University must apply for a Social Security Number and start the process as soon as they enter the U.S.  Individuals only receiving scholarship/fellowship payments are not eligible for the SSN, but will instead apply for the ITIN.   


FNIS is required of all foreign national individuals paid through myHR. This includes teachers, researchers, temporary employees, and students receiving assistantship or scholarship income (stipends). It is NOT required for unpaid individuals. All steps in this process must be completed within 5 days of starting at Northwestern or pay may be delayed.

Steps for NEW Employees
  1. Complete the FNIS request form and submit to the Payroll Office or email to  If you have already received your FNIS login details, skip this step.  
  2. Complete your data entry at on page 1-5 and submit on page 6.
    • See the help features (marked with a "?") for additional assistance. 
    • If you still have questions, call or email the non-resident specialist that sent your FNIS welcome email. 
  3. Submit your data electronically.
  4. Visit the Payroll Office with your passport, visa, immigration document (I-20, DS-2019, I-797, and/or EAD), and I-94 to the Office of Human Resources to sign your paperwork and present your documents. We are located at 1800 Sherman Ave, Suite 1-100, Evanston.
Steps for EXISTING Employees

Individuals extending Immigration Status/ Work Authorization or changing status must reverify work authorization no later than the end of their current authorization. Once the new work authorization/immigration document (I-20, DS-2019, I-797) is issued, existing students and employees must present their I-94 and immigration documents to an authorized Northwestern representative (Office of Human Resources or administrative department).

You do not need to update FNIS with immigration extensions.