Payroll Services Employing or Compensating Canadian Citizens

Employing or Compensating Canadian Citizens

Although Canadian citizens do not need to obtain a visa to enter the United States, they are subject to the same employment and compensation laws as citizens of all other countries. Canadians travel freely to the U.S. and are seldom questioned about the intent or purpose of their visit. However, the INS considers these entries to be for tourism purposes only. Tourists are not permitted to work in the U.S. There is no exception to this law for citizens of Canada.

In order for a citizen of Canada to be employed in the U.S. he or she must be admitted in one of the visa categories which permits employment such as the J-1 Exchange Visitor , the H-1B Temporary Worker or the TN.

Activities Which Require Payment of Honoraria or Travel Expenses

If a WSU department wishes to invite a Canadian citizen to campus to participate in a “usual and customary academic activity” for which honoraria or reimbursement of travel expenses will be offered,
the Canadian visitor must enter the U.S. as a B-1 Visitor for Business. This will require the Canadian visitor to present him/herself to an immigration officer at the port of entry and to declare the business nature of the visit (consultation, short-term lecture, collaborative research, attendance at a meeting or conference, etc.).

The Canadian citizen must also request the INS to issue Form I-94 (Record of Arrival and Departure) as a B-1 visitor. There is a small fee for issuance of this document (currently $6.00).

In order for the university to issue payment to the Canadian visitor, he/she must present Form I-94, Record of Arrival and Departure, to the department . The department should make a copy of Form I-94 and attach it to the request for reimbursement along with copies of travel and other expenses receipts. Form I-94 marked B-1 will serve as documentation that the visitor has entered the U.S. in an appropriate visa category for payments of this nature. If the Canadian visitor does not obtain Form I-94, you will have to submit proof of Canadian citizenship with the check request in order for payments to be made. Under no circumstances is the Canadian visitor permitted to be paid a salary or wage while in B-1 or B-2 visa status.