Living Allowances

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Faculty sponsors and departments that wish to provide a Visiting Scholar (VS) or Visiting Student Researcher (VSR) with funding to supplement living expenses may do so. Per UCOP APM-430 policy, visitors are not eligible for salary or wages, but may be provided with supplementary support in the form of a living allowance. These payments are reviewed and approved by the VSPA. 

A request for a living allowance may be made once the scholar’s appointment is approved in the VSPA Gateway system, the University Services Fee has been paid, and local residency has been confirmed by VSPA staff.

  • Payments must be scheduled to be paid during the scholar’s appointment dates.
  • Scholars or students must reside locally and have an active appointment. Confirmation of local residency in the Berkeley area must be received before a stipend will be issued.
  • Retroactive payments are not allowed, and written confirmation of the scholar’s local residency is required before approval is granted. Scholars who reside outside of the San Francisco Bay Area are not eligible for living allowances.
  • The limit for living allowances is $20,000 per appointment year. Requests for exceptions to the limit may be submitted in writing by submitting an exceptional request letter in Gateway. The letter must include the request date, reason for the exception, amount of living allowance, and be addressed to VSPA Senior Manager Cecilia Fura. 
  • Please allow for ample review time when submitting a request, and do not submit a request for payment on the same day.
  • If the visiting scholar or visiting student researcher is a visa holder, we advise that they register with the GLACIER/Foreign Tax Compliance System. Foreign national visiting scholars and visiting student researchers will need a GLACIER record if the faculty host will provide them with a living allowance payment. 

If you do not currently have Disbursement Preparer access in Gateway, your supervisor should send an email request to vspa@berkeley.edu authorizing the access. New users can refer to our stipend user guide for assistance.

Changes to approved living allowance request payment schedules or amounts may be made by the BRS Human Resources partner before the request is approved. Once the request is approved, requested changes may be sent to vspa@berkeley.edu and the VSPA will make the change.