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The GLACIER System: Guidance for Nonresident Alien Tax Compliance for students and employees


UC Merced coordinates Nonresident Alien tax compliance through the use of an online system known as GLACIER. The system is used to calculate the tax withholding for all payments made to a foreign national.

GLACIER is a secured web-based Nonresident Alien (NRA) tax compliance system that foreign visitors can use to provide their immigrant and tax data to UC Merced via the internet 24 hours a day. GLACIER helps determine tax residency, withholding rates and income tax treaty eligibility. GLACIER also manages NRA's paperwork, maintains NRA's data and prepares tax forms and required statements.

If an individual is a nonresident for tax purposes and performs services outside of the U.S., no GLACIER tax record is required.

Who is this process applicable to?

If you are one of the following types of individuals listed below, please contact department personnel to initiate the GLACIER Initial Record Request in ServiceNow.

  • New foreign national student who received a scholarship, fellowship award, or endowment
  • New foreign national who has entered an employment relationship with UC Merced
  • A foreign visitor who is receiving payment for services or honorarium from UC Merced

If you are one of the individuals listed above and you have an existing GLACIER Record, please login and ensure your GLACIER record is up to date and make any updates if necessary.

GLACIER records are not required for US Citizens, Permanent Residents, Asylees, Refugees, or DACA recipients.

Note: All GLACIER required information and forms must be completed and provided to UC Merced Tax Services prior to any payment so that the correct tax withholding and reporting decisions are made; failure to do so may result in the maximum rate of tax withholding and/or delayed payment.

Foreign Visitors and Visiting Scholars

Foreign visitors who are not U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, Refugees, Asylees, or nonresidents working out of the U.S. are required to complete a GLACIER record. These individuals tend to have the visa statuses with letter and number combinations such as B1, B2, WB, etc. 

How does the GLACIER Process work?

  1. For new employees: Payroll Services submits a GLACIER Initial Record Request ticket in ServiceNow online. For all others, Tax Services will initiate the creation of the GLACIER record.
  2. The GLACIER Initial Record Request initiates the process of creating a GLACIER user ID.
  3. Once the foreign payee receives a user ID and temporary password, they must complete their GLACIER record.  For instructions on how to complete your GLACIER record, please refer to the GLACIER End User Guide.

Note: You must access GLACIER and provide the requested information within 10 days of receiving this message. If you do not provide the requested information within 10 days, the maximum amount of U.S. tax will be withheld from any payments made to you so performing the below steps within that timeframe is critical.

Additional information

For additional information about GLACIER please contact UC Merced Tax Services at