International Checks and Foreign Currency

Foreign Currency

Departments should not accept foreign currency or coin, but rather request payment via alternative methods. If payer requires foreign currency, individuals should convert the currency to USD before returning to Iowa City. Due to regulatory requirements and processing fees, departments should not make foreign currency and coin deposits to University bank accounts.

International Check Definition

Any check, draft, cashiers check or money order that meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Item issued in any currency other than US dollars (USD)
    • including Canadian dollars
    • including items drawn on a U.S. bank but payable in a foreign currency
    • item drawn on or payable through any bank not physically located in the US, including Canada (Check could be in US Dollars)

Important Notes

  • Due to the cost and manner in which International checks clear, please be aware that they may be returned unprocessed and/or may result in a loss to your department
  • The collection process may take from several weeks to several months
  • If you have frequent international payers, you should encourage them to wire the funds to you instead of issuing a paper check. Please contact for more information on how to provide wiring instructions to your payer

Departmental Process

  • Endorse all check(s) with a restrictive endorsement stating "For Deposit Only", the department name, the four digit department number, and "University of Iowa"
  • Complete FileInternational Check Deposit Form.xlsx in lieu of an eDeposit
  • Send check(s) and completed International Check Deposit Form in a sealed envelope via campus mail or personally deliver to: Scott Godsil, University Billing Office, 5 Calvin Hall

Deposit Process

  • University Billing Office will deposit the check(s) at the University’s bank
  • The University’s bank submits the check(s) to the foreign bank, either directly or through an intermediary bank
  • If necessary, the collected funds are then converted to US Dollars using a foreign currency exchange rate
  • The international bank may assess a fee for processing the check
  • The University’s bank also assesses a fee for its role in the collection process. 
    In total, fees may exceed $100 per check
  • Remaining funds are then deposited in U.S dollars to the University's bank account
  • University Billing Office will create the eDeposit and the net amount will be posted to your MFK(s). A copy of the eDeposit will be sent to you for your records