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

Click here for GLACIER updates due to COVID-19. 



UC Merced coordinates with UCLA Payroll Services on 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 secure web-based Nonresident Alien (NRA) tax compliance system that foreign visitors can use to provide their immigrant and tax data to UCLA 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 employee is a nonresident for tax purposes and works 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 Initial GLACIER Form described below. If unsure of who to contact, you may contact UC Merced’s Tax Services department via e-mail at  for further guidance. 

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

If you are one of the individuals listed above and you have an existing GLACIER record, follow the instructions below under How does the GLACIER Process work? and update your record.

Foreign national students may receive a variety of payments from UC Merced. If they receive the following types of payments from UC Merced, they will need a GLACIER Record; 

  • Scholarship and fellowship payments 
  • Income as a student employee 

If you do not have a GLACIER Record, your department contact will need to fill out the initial GLACIER Form as discussed below. 

Note: The information and forms must be provided 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. 

For All Non-employee Relationships

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?

The process starts with the UC Merced department.

  • The Department completes the Initial GLACIER Information Form online and reviews with the foreign visitor (i.e. the nonresident student or nonresident employee).
  • The Department should provide the foreign visitor with a copy of the Initial GLACIER Information Form to be used for entering information on GLACIER. 
  • The Department, by entering the form online, will automatically be sent to UCLA Payroll Services for updating into the GLACIER system. 
  • The Initial GLACIER Form will initiate the process of creating a user ID from UCLA's GLACIER Administrator, Mike Sattin. 

Once the payee (nonresident student or nonresident employee) receives a user ID and temporary password, s/he must complete the following GLACIER Information Process: 

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 the timeframe is critical. 

  • STEP 1: Logon to your GLACIER record at (you should have received a login ID and temporary password via e-mail)    
  • STEP 2: Review your information and make any updates, if necessary 
  • STEP 3: Print the GLACIER Tax Summary Report and any other forms that GLACIER generates for you. 
  • STEP 4: Sign and date the Tax Summary Report and any other applicable forms. 
  • STEP 5: Attach the required document copies to the Tax Summary Report (there is a list of required documents on the Tax Summary Report). 
  • STEP 6: Send the Tax Summary Report and supporting documentation to UCLA to the address below:

UCLA Payroll Services – GLACIER 
10920 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 620 
Los Angeles, CA 90024 

Or fax the documents to Michael Ruan at (310) 794-8751. If GLACIER generates forms 8233, W-9, W-8BEN, and/or their respective attachments, please be aware that they may NOT be scanned or faxed. You must mail those forms.

Additional information

Additional information about GLACIER can be found at UCLA’s GLACIER Online Non-resident Alien Tax Compliance System website.