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Reviewer Travel Guide

Visitor Travel Reimbursement Policies

The University's policy is to pay for necessary and reasonable travel expenses incurred for authorized University business by employees and approved non-employees. The intent of this policy is that such payments be fair and equitable to both the traveler and the University and consistent with federal regulations. Individuals traveling on business are responsible for complying with University travel policy, and should exercise the same care in incurring expenses as they would in personal travel.

Please submit receipts to Lynette Williams (lynettew [at] (lynettew[at]stanford[dot]edu)) as soon as possible after the conclusion of travel (within 10 days).  On average, the reimbursement process can take 21-30 business days for expenses to be fully approved by Stanford’s auditors and payments disbursed.  

Instructions and Limitations:

Dated original receipts or invoices for expenses must be provided to the department for reimbursement or payment. In accordance with IRS rules, the documentation must support the cost and business character of the transaction, and, for a reimbursement, must show evidence of payment. Credit card statements are proof of payment, but are not considered to be itemized receipts, and generally do not constitute sufficient documentation alone. If proof of payment by check is required, a copy of the cancelled check or bank statement may be sufficient.  Stanford University does not offer per diem for University visitors, and will only reimburse from receipts which conform to the University’s reimbursement policies. Any receipts deemed excessive by the University will not be reimbursed.


  • Airfare: Stanford University reimburses airfare at the lowest available Standard Economy rate (including carry-on luggage). Securing Basic Economy fares is generally discouraged. An invoice, itinerary, and/or receipt listing all times of departure, flight numbers, class of service, fare basis, ticket number/confirmation number, costs, and proof of payment (i.e., card being charged) is required at the conclusion of travel. Additional legroom for international flights may be reimbursed only if the following conditions are met: (a) the international flight duration exceeds 8 hours of continuous flight time, and (b) the visitor provides documentation from the Department pre-authorizing the payment of the additional legroom (before travel occurred). Ancillary airline fees (e.g. convenient or early boarding, seat location, baggage, in-flight meals) should be incurred responsibly and should not be excessive. In-flight wi-fi and other entertainment expenses will not be reimbursed.

  • Ancillary Airline Fees: Ancillary fees (e.g. convenient or early boarding, seat location, baggage, in-flight meals, Wi-Fi service) should be incurred responsibly and should not be excessive. 

  • Car Rentals: The University will pay the traveler for the cost of renting a compact or standard size car and for the automobile-related expenses, if use of the rental vehicle is the most economical mode of transportation. Before renting a car, the traveler should consider shuttle services and taxis, particularly for transportation between airport and lodging. If the traveler rents a car, the traveler must provide the department with the original car rental agreements or invoices showing proof of payment for reimbursement. 

  • Additional Insurance: The University’s insurance policy does not cover visitors.  Travelers should opt for LDW, CDW, theft, etc.  Refueling and roadside assistance are not reimbursable.  

  • Other Transportation Tickets: Visitor copies of public transportation tickets, taxi fare, or Uber/Lyft receipts may be submitted for reimbursement. Documentation must contain date of transaction, fare, and payment information. 

  • Lodging: An itemized lodging bill indicating the cost of the room and payment information is required. University guests are expected to use lodging accommodations that are necessary and reasonable. As such, the University will only reimburse the lowest standard room rate available. 

  • Meals & Alcohol:  Both the itemized receipt and the credit/payment authorization receipt are required documentation for meal purchases. Payments for alcohol and related taxes and tips must be clearly identified. If the supporting documentation for a meal is not itemized, then the cardholder must note either “No Alcohol” or state the cost of any alcohol that was included in the purchase.  

  • Meal & Alcohol Limits: The University will pay the cost of meals and alcohol up to $75 per day. 

  • Other Expenses: Receipts for other expenses may be submitted for reimbursement, provided the receipts support the cost and business character of the travel.  These expenses will be reviewed and reimbursed on a case-by-case basis.