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Visa Charges on Federal Sponsored AwardsSPA-11-023


This policy applies to Federal and Federal flow through assistance (e.g., grants and cooperative agreements) awarded to Indiana University. This is intended for use by Indiana University faculty and staff involved in the fiscal operations and administration of sponsored programs or otherwise with the authority and/or responsibility to identify expenses under sponsored programs.  This policy is effective December 26, 2014 for awards incorporating the OMB Uniform Guidance.

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Policy Statement

It is the policy of Indiana University that short-term, travel visa costs (as opposed to longer-term immigration visas) are generally allowable expenses that may be proposed as a direct cost. Since short-term visas are issued for a specific period, they can be identified as directly connected to participation on a Federal award. For these costs to be directly charged to a Federal award, they must:

  • Be critical and necessary for the conduct of the project;
  • Be allowable under the applicable cost principles;
  • Be consistent with the University’s cost accounting practices and policies; and
  • Meet the definition of “direct cost” as described in the applicable cost principles.

[Reference: 2 CFR Part 200.463(d)]

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Reason for Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide direction regarding the charging of visa charges as a direct cost to sponsored awards.  This policy provides guidance to ensure best practices in the fiscal management of grants and contracts at Indiana University and to meet the requirements of Office of Management and Budget Uniform Guidance Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

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Proposal Preparation and Submission:
When it is anticipated that qualifying visa charges will be incurred in the performance of a sponsored award, the estimated charges should be included in the proposal budget with an appropriate explanation provided in the budget justification.

Award Receipt:
When the funding agency issues an award to Indiana University for the sponsored project and the requested funding for visa charges is included in the award, the visa costs may be charged as a direct cost to the sponsored award. The visa charges must be allocable to the sponsored award and reasonable.

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Short-term visa: A temporary, non-immigrant visa such as, but not limited to J-1 Exchange Visitor or H-1B Temporary Working, as opposed to an immigrant or permanent residency visa (A.K.A. “Green Card").

Visa Charges: Processing fees incurred in obtaining short-term, travel visas required for personnel.

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Visa charges that are not in compliance with this policy and procedures will be considered unallowable and will be transferred to a non-sponsored departmental account.

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This policy was established in 2014.

Previous Versions:

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