International Staffing and Contractor Policy

Summary of Policy

Procedures for international work by employees, independent contractors, and volunteers, including international hires, business travel, and remote work.

Reason for Policy

Engaging individuals (whether employees or independent contractors) to work outside the U.S. (including remotely) can be complex. International work may pose special challenges in finding talent, supervising work, setting compensation and benefits, complying with host-country regulations and grant requirements, managing intellectual property, and upholding Dartmouth's values and reputation. If these issues are not properly managed, they may impede a program or expose Dartmouth and the worker to taxes, liabilities, legal penalties, or reputational risk.

Therefore, Dartmouth ordinarily limits overseas hires as well as extended international work by U.S.-based employees. However, Dartmouth also recognizes that some international work is essential to its teaching and research mission. The Institution has developed multiple strategies to support overseas staffing, while maintaining equity, fulfilling our responsibilities to workers, and managing other legal obligations. This policy defines when overseas staffing is permitted, sets a review process for evaluating individual cases, and ensures that each case is documented with clear expectations for the paying department and the worker.

This policy is administered by Dartmouth's International Staffing Committee (ISC). The ISC is appointed by the Provost and Executive Vice President, with representatives from the Controller's Office, Human Resources, Office of Sponsored Programs, and other offices as applicable. The Office of the General Counsel will operate as an advisor to the ISC as needed. 

Affected Parties

All Groups

Policy Statement



This policy applies to most individuals who perform work for Dartmouth while physically outside the U.S. ("international work"), including individuals hired abroad, traveling on business, or working from personal travel. In this policy, "work for Dartmouth" means services provided as an employee or independent contractor that are paid by or benefit Dartmouth.

In addition to having support from divisional leadership, all work outside the US for Dartmouth must follow the General Guidelines below. Depending on the length and nature of the work, it may also require advance review by the International Staffing Committee (ISC), as described below.

Individuals covered by this policy:

  • All Dartmouth employees, including faculty, staff, researchers, fellows and other non-faculty academic positions
  • Dartmouth students, when performing compensated work to benefit Dartmouth
  • Independent contractors paid by Dartmouth, including freelancers and other individuals providing services such as consultants, data collectors, instructors, translators, writers, etc.
  • Individuals paid via a staffing agency, PEO, payment agent, or other third party, whose day-to-day work is overseen by Dartmouth

Individuals not covered by this policy:

  • Dartmouth students receiving only a student stipend in support of their course of study
  • Personnel of other companies and organizations (e.g., vendors, service providers, subrecipients, and partner organizations), which oversee their day-to-day work1 

Work and travel that is not covered by this policy may still be covered by other Dartmouth policies, such as the Travel Safety Policy and the Business Expense Policy.


(full criteria in next section)
Dartmouth employees
•    Business travel for 90+ days*
•    Remote work for 30+ days*
•    Positions that start or spend majority of time outside U.S.
•    Licensed work (e.g. medical)
Non-employees and students
•    Student work for 90+ days*
•    Independent contractors (may qualify for fast track)
•    Anyone paid via a third party, if Dartmouth oversees their work

International work may be requested by the individual or by Dartmouth. In either case, the supervisor or department administrator should evaluate the request in accordance with departmental practice and with this policy, following these steps:

  1. Apply the Criteria below (summary at right) to determine if a work situation requires ISC review.
  2. In all cases, follow the General Guidelines. 

Remaining steps apply only if ISC review is required.

  1. Request divisional support if applicable.
  2. Complete and submit the ISQ at this link. Submit ISQ at least one month before international work begins or an individual is proposed to perform international work.
    1. More extensive research is typically required for requests involving more than 180 days of international work by a Dartmouth employee. Please notify the ISC as soon as possible in such cases. 
  3. ISC will review compliance requirements and other institutional risks presented by the international work, as follows:
    1. Most ISQs require ISC review and approval, according to the Review Principles section below. Response time is typically 2 weeks or less. If ISC review identifies significant risks or obligations, it will consult with the requestor and/or Divisional leadership to ensure their awareness and acceptance of potential impacts and responsibilities, including appropriate risk mitigation. 
    2. Certain short-term independent contractors require only limited review, with response time within 1 week. Limited review applies to contractors whose international work for Dartmouth (a) will occur within one 30-day period2, (b) is part of a business that regularly performs similar work for other clients, and (c) does not present unusual risks.
    3. Faculty sabbaticals that meet the review criteria do not require ISC approval, however, the ISC will advise on potential international responsibilities and obligations affecting Dartmouth and the faculty member. The ISC will identify support to address any responsibilities that may arise. Response time is typically 2 weeks or less.

ISC may request additional information to inform its review. In unusual or complex cases, ISC may also request or require due diligence from local counsel or other advisors to understand host-country compliance requirements. This due diligence will be conducted in coordination with the program and may be a program expense.

  1. ISC will respond via email with the ISQ attached, and the relevant finance center and Procurement copied as needed. The response will indicate approval (if applicable), and a guidance note with any conditions or recommendations, such as particular contract terms, limits on duration, etc. In addition, ISC may require particular staffing options for the international work, such as Dartmouth payroll, independent contractor, employment via a program partner organization, or employment via a PEO. (See Definitions below.) If the request cannot be approved, ISC will provide a reason.
  2. Upon receipt of ISC review (and approval, if applicable), the supervisor or department administrator must complete relevant Dartmouth processes, with ISC assistance as needed:
    1. For remote work, a Non-US Working Agreement must be completed.
    2. For independent contractors, the standard process in CMS must be followed. Attach the ISQ (in lieu of an ICQ), together with ISC's guidance note indicating any conditions or recommendations, to the Contract Record in CMS. 
    3. For employment via a partner, a side letter to the MOU or other agreement with the partner must be completed.
    4. For employment via a PEO, Dartmouth's PEO process must be completed, facilitated by the ISC coordinator.
    5. For other situations, other processes as identified by ISC.


Local discretion. The following situations usually do not meet the review criteria and are therefore a matter of local discretion, provided the General Guidelines are followed.

  • Business travel under 90 days* for an individual not part of a program or group
  • Remote work under 30 days* with a certain end date
  • Faculty travel on sabbatical under 90 days*
  • Student employment under 90 days*

ISC review criteria. International work that meets one or more of these criteria must be reviewed by the ISC.
Dartmouth employees

  • Business travel for 90 days* or more in a 12-month period
  • Remote work for 30 days* or more in a 12-month period, or of indefinite duration (e.g. because the employee is awaiting a U.S. visa)
  • Faculty on sabbatical who are outside the U.S. for 90 days* or more in a 12-month period
  • Any position beginning work outside the U.S.
  • Any position working outside the U.S. at least half the time
  • Any work that requires a professional license

Non-employees and students

  • Any international work for 30 days* or more in a 12-month period (90 days* for enrolled Dartmouth students)
  • Any independent contractors (but abbreviated review for contractors whose international work for Dartmouth (a) will occur within one 30-day period3, (b) is part of a business that regularly performs similar work for other clients, and (c) does not present unusual risks)
  • Non-employees representing Dartmouth or making commitments on Dartmouth's behalf
  • Anyone paid via a staffing agency, PEO, payment agent, or other third party, whose day-to-day work is overseen by Dartmouth

For faculty sabbaticals and certain short-term independent contractors, the ISC's role is advisory-only, as described above. 

*Count both working and non-working days spent outside the U.S. because this is how most countries apply their thresholds for immigration and tax compliance.


These guidelines apply to all international work covered by this policy, including short-term work for which local discretion applies. Unless otherwise indicated, these guidelines cover both employees and non-employees.

  • Travel safety. All travel by Dartmouth community members must follow the Travel Safety Policy, including the requirement to register international travel and to request a "travel exception" for certain high-risk locations. The policy also describes Dartmouth resources available to travelers. See: 
  • Equity. Ensure equitable treatment to similarly situated individuals in applying this policy. Consider only relevant, non-discriminatory factors, such as differences in job responsibilities, compliance requirements, job performance, length of service, timing of the request, or other opportunities for flexible work.
  • Sponsored funds. Consult with the Office of Sponsored Programs regarding international work on sponsored funds that was not part of the original grant proposal, to determine whether there are notification or approval requirements for work occurring outside the U.S.
  • Personal info and likenesses. Consult with the Office of the General Counsel if the individual will be collecting or using third-party personal information (e.g. data, photos, etc.) while outside the U.S., which may trigger host-country privacy regulations. 
  • Intellectual property. Consult with the Office of the General Counsel if the individual will create intellectual property that should be owned by Dartmouth or a Dartmouth faculty member.
  • Exports & imports. Consult with the Director of Research Integrity regarding export control and customs requirements if an individual will transport equipment (other than an ordinary laptop), biological materials, pharmaceuticals (other than their own prescribed medication), or controlled technology.
  • Sanctions. Review Dartmouth Export Controls website and consult with the appropriate person to review possible sanctions. Consult with the Director of Research Integrity and the Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects prior to international work in countries with extensive sanctions.
  • Contracts & bank accounts. While outside the U.S., employees and contractors must not represent Dartmouth or act as an agent for Dartmouth to negotiate or sign a contract, open a bank account, or similar official act.
  • Flexible work policies. Remote work must follow relevant Dartmouth policies on flexible work. If an employee is not eligible for remote work in the U.S., they are not eligible for remote work under this policy.
  • Independent contractor policies. Independent contractor engagements must follow relevant Dartmouth policies and processes, found here: 
  • Host-country laws. Individuals are responsible for following all U.S. and host-country laws pertaining to their activities. Departments are expected to provide oversight with respect to business travel and any employees (including PEO employees) based outside the U.S. Be particularly mindful of the following:
    • Visas and work permits; in many countries, tourist visas are inappropriate for research or other Dartmouth work
    • Tax compliance; individual may have host-country tax responsibilities even if Dartmouth is not obligated to withhold taxes
    • Clinical activities, which ordinarily require host-country licensing
    • Host-country export control and customs rules
    • Anti-bribery and anti-corruption rules
    • Foreign influence rules

If in a particular situation, it seems infeasible to follow these General Guidelines, please consult with the ISC. Any exceptions to the General Guidelines require ISC and Divisional leadership approval.

Review Principles

Individuals work Dartmouth for outside the U.S. for a variety of reasons, in a variety of jobs. Dartmouth employees and other workers are generally expected to work from the Upper Valley, except when traveling for business reasons.

Therefore, ISC considers the reason for the international work when evaluating a request, as follows. These considerations apply only for situations that meet Criteria for ISC review.

  • Business reasons. ISC will ordinarily permit business travel and other international work for business reasons, provided that Dartmouth can responsibly manage compliance and mitigate significant risks.
  • Remote work by traveling employees. Remote work outside the U.S. for 30 days or more while on personal travel may be permitted on an exception basis, with Divisional support, if Dartmouth can responsibly manage compliance and mitigate other risks. ISC will consider Dartmouth's Flexible Work Policy in assessing eligibility. If the employee is not expected to return, ISC will ordinarily require a plan to transition work to a U.S.-based Dartmouth employee or to a host-country partner organization.
  • Remote work by traveling students. ISC will ordinarily permit remote work by students, with Divisional support, provided that Dartmouth can responsibly manage compliance and other significant risks.
  • Faculty sabbaticals. International work on a formal sabbatical leave does not require ISC review, whether or not there is a clear business reason for the travel. However, ISC will advise on compliance requirements and responsibilities affecting Dartmouth and the faculty member, and provide support to mitigate those risks.
  • Independent contractors and other remote work. ISC ordinarily requires evidence that the remote work is truly necessary, e.g. because the worker has special skills or talents that are unique or not commonly found in the U.S., because of an unavoidable travel delay impacting time-sensitive work, or because continuity with the individual's prior work is critical. In addition, Dartmouth must be able to responsibly manage compliance and mitigate other significant risks.

Effectiveness of Policy, Amendments and Dispute Resolution

This Policy is effective as of May 1, 2023 and replaces all previously effective versions. This Policy may be revoked or amended by Dartmouth, in whole or in part, from time to time, via the Provost and the EVP (or their designees), acting jointly, who are authorized to make revocations or amendments on behalf of Dartmouth. Any such revocation or amendment shall become effective upon adoption by the Provost and EVP or their designees, or as of such other time as such persons shall specify. Questions or disputes regarding the application, interpretation or implementation of this Policy shall be resolved by the Provost and the EVP, or their designees, acting jointly, and the decisions of such persons on the matter shall be binding on Dartmouth and all individuals subject to this Policy. 

Additional Guidance/Contacts

For additional support, please contact the International Staffing Committee at

Sample International Staffing Questionnaire to assist in gathering information for the online form.  



  1. Dartmouth generally should have an agreement with the company or organization, specifying that the company or organization is solely responsible for employment and related tax compliance. This issue is addressed in Dartmouth's standard terms and conditions.
  2. The 30-day work period may be repeated after 12 months.
  3. The 30-day work period may be repeated after 12 months.


The following definitions are specific to this policy:

  • Business reason:  International work has a business reason if the individual's interaction with the people or places at the work location directly supports their Dartmouth work, and the duration is consistent with the support provided.
  • Business travel:  Travel for a Dartmouth business reason. 
  • Dartmouth work:  Services provided as an employee or independent contractor that are paid by or benefit Dartmouth. Includes paid student employment that is not part of the student's course of study, and employment by third parties if day-to-day work is overseen by Dartmouth.
  • Independent contractor:  A worker paid as an individual for goods or services provided to Dartmouth, and not treated as an employee under host-country law. Ordinarily an independent contractor is engaged only for particular deliverables, has other clients or a full-time job, and Dartmouth does not have the right to control the details of how the worker's services are performed. Some countries treat certain independent contractors (sometimes called "independent workers") as quasi-employees, subject to tax withholding and/or certain employee benefits.
  • International work:  Work performed while physically outside the U.S. Work in U.S. territories (e.g., Puerto Rico) is considered international work.
  • PEO:  Short for "Professional Employer Organization", a commercial firm that employs staff on behalf of its clients and takes responsibility for HR and tax compliance in the host country, passing through salary, payroll taxes, and benefits costs and charging a fee. Dartmouth has engaged Mauve Group as its primary PEO. Sometimes called an EOR or "Employer of Record" service.
  • Program partner organization (or "partner"):  A U.S. or foreign organization that already operates in the host-country and has some relationship with Dartmouth, which might employ individuals on Dartmouth's behalf and take responsibility for HR and tax compliance in the host country, with Dartmouth providing funding for the employee's salary, payroll taxes, benefits, and related costs. 
  • Remote work:  Work during personal travel or by a person living outside the U.S. for personal reasons, i.e., there is not a Dartmouth business reason for the individual's work location.
  • U.S.:  The 50 states and the District of Columbia, excluding territories.
  • Worker:  Any individual performing paid international work, such as an employee or independent contractor.

Policy ID


Effective Date

November 25, 2019

Last Revised Date

May 1, 2023


Finance & Administration

Office of Primary Responsibility


Last Reviewed Date

May 1, 2023

Next Review Date