Global Assignments for NYU Employees

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It is possible for NYU Employees to work abroad on an global assignment under certain circumstances.

It is important to review the visa options for employees on assignment with NYU's Office of Global Services (OGS). In situations where NYU does not have a legal entity and the employee requires sponsorship of a visa, the viability of obtaining a work visa may be difficult. OGS can also review the tax impact an international assignment may have on the individual employee to determine whether there would be any added cost to the employee or to NYU for engaging in an international assignment.

View a summary of the key considerations for each type of trip for NYU global business travel, teaching, research and administrative assignments. It is important to review the visa and immigration entry options for employees on assignment with OGS.

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Hiring Local Employees

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Hiring local personnel requires careful review of the host country’s labor and tax laws and practices and should be documented in a written agreement. Please contact Global Support at if you would like to hire a local employee.

Hiring local personnel may be more cost effective and sustainable than sending U.S. personnel abroad but it requires the creation and management of a local payroll. It is important to consider local employment laws, benefits (e.g., retirement, payments into a social welfare fund, health), allowances and taxes, as well as the operational details of managing a foreign payroll. In most cases, hiring local personnel is only an option when NYU has a registered legal presence in the foreign country. In some cases, the administrative burden of hiring employees, including payroll and taxes, can be outsourced.

  • Hiring personnel in a location typically requires registration with the local authorities for payroll tax purposes and sufficient administrative capacity to withhold, remit, pay and report payroll taxes. NYU may be able to subcontract with a third party to perform some or all of these functions.

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Consultants and Independent Contractors Abroad

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Engaging the services of an independent contractor rather than hiring them as an employee can ease the administrative efforts associated with payroll and human resources overseas. Independent contractors may include consultants, researchers, translators, drivers, and other resources. The risks need to be evaluated in light of the particular circumstances and local law. Please contact Global Support at if you would like to engage an independent contractor abroad, even if you plan to use a University approved template.

This type of arrangement is most often appropriate when a project is limited in length and scope. Contractors can be paid a fixed rate per project, on a monthly or weekly schedule, or for reported hours worked. Some countries may require independent contractors to register as businesses with tax or other authorities, or may be required to collect taxes from NYU for their services. Additionally, some countries apply certain employment obligations (e.g., statutory vacation or tax withholding) even to those who engage independent contractors.

In most countries, a worker is assumed to be an employee unless he or she qualifies as an independent contractor by meeting certain criteria. The criteria vary from country to country, but generally focus on how much control the University maintains over the day-to-day working conditions.

  • If an independent contractor is later found to be a de facto employee, NYU could be liable for retroactive payroll taxes, tax withholding, vacation, severance, and penalties.

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Receiving Services Through a Third Party Entity

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Especially where the international work involves a local partner, it may be the least burdensome to contract for services with this partner. Those services can be for the partner’s existing employees, employees hired by the partner to provide the additional services or a combination of both. The local partner should have the local employment requirements in place, including payroll, policies and benefits. These agreements are helpful so that local operations do not need to be developed but there is a risk that an employee of the third party entity would claim that NYU is a joint employer under local law. Please contact Global Support at if you would like to engage a third-party service provider.

Although this scenario may be most simple from a contracting perspective, if the partner is treated as a subaward or subcontract it may need to be articulated in the grant proposal, if applicable.

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