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Accepting honorarium while on H1B

Discussion in 'General HR issues' started by Rogerreddyt, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Rogerreddyt

    Rogerreddyt Junior Member

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    Ron

    Would it be considering working illegally if you give a talk outside and accept a honorarium as a token of appreciation when one is on H1B. This of course is okay with the company I work for but would the immigration officials see it different. (The honorarium depending on the talk and audience can be few hundreds to several thousands of dollars)

    Thank you
     
  2. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    Re: Accepting honorarium while on H1B

    I've never seen this issue addressed by the CIS, but I can't believe that it would be considered a violation of status. If you were on a B1 or F1 you could do this, so I don't see why being on an H1B should cause a problem.
     
  3. Rogerreddyt

    Rogerreddyt Junior Member

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    Re: Accepting honorarium while on H1B

    Thank you Ron,

    I talked to my HR rep and she thought the same and she asked me to declare it as income while filing IRS returns and she said in the unlikely event they question you can give a proof(in form of a document stating the same) that this indeed was a honorarium from the organization that gave you the same
     
  4. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    Re: Accepting honorarium while on H1B

    That sounds reasonable.
     
  5. frukyy

    frukyy Junior Member

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    Re: Accepting honorarium while on H1B

    Technically you are not eligible to receive payments for services from another institution. It has not that much to do with IRS but with Immigration law, it is a violation of status. Also I don’t see how the sponsoring institution can pay you Honoraria payments because you are here to WORK for them not a short term visitor (B1, B2).
    Sure IRS will collect the taxes because overall it is an income but you might be in trouble if Homeland Security finds about it.
    The only way I can see this payment to be made without any problem is if the sponsoring institution sends the invoice to the organization you performed the services. They pay the invoice and then your sponsoring institution pays you wages (not honoraria) by withholding the appropriate taxes.
    Frank
    NRA Tax Specialist

    P.S. Any Immigration attorney in my opinion should know the basics of H1B! It is very important to give accurate information because I see every day people losing thier status becasue of the bad advice. In any case, I think you need to consult with a Business Immigration lawyer or accountant who has experience with nonresident aliens. And if you are not sure of something DONT GUESS, be sure becasue Homeland Security does not forgive easy.
     
  6. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    Re: Accepting honorarium while on H1B

    There is a long history of the CIS allowing visitors (B status) to accept honoraria for speaking engagements. I really don't see a problem here.
     
  7. frukyy

    frukyy Junior Member

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    Re: Accepting honorarium while on H1B

    B - status (short term visitor) within 9/5/6 rule is OK. But absoulutely not for H1B-s.
     
  8. JeffDG

    JeffDG Senior Member

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    Re: Accepting honorarium while on H1B

    You're not allowed to accept outside employment on H-1B...it says nothing about non-employment or compensation therefore.
     
  9. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    Re: Accepting honorarium while on H1B

    Let me put it another way, I have never heard of anyone ever getting into a jam for accepting a legitimate honorarium for speaking.
     
  10. frukyy

    frukyy Junior Member

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    Re: Accepting honorarium while on H1B

    I dint say that you will get into the jam if you received honorarium payment, but you might. How many of us always drive few miles above the limit without any troubles, this does not mean that the statue does not exist.
    Nevertheless my point is Honorarium = Independent Services which in essence is not employee employer relationship, consequently violation of H1B status if really IRS and DHS want to get picky and pursue the letter of the law. This might be particularly trouble if the individual performs outside of his/her hosting organization.
    Lets agree to disagree, I am just trying to explain my point.
     
  11. cristacherish873

    cristacherish873 Junior Member

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    Re: Accepting honorarium while on H1B

    I guess you are right this time Frukky. But again, Ron has the experience to prove his point. So there.
     

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