B-1/B-2 Visitors & WB/WT Visa Waiver

PROVOST’S VISITING SCHOLAR REQUEST FORM & HR NEW FACULTY/STAFF SETUP FORM

If a Visiting Scholar will not be paid by the sponsoring department, departments must separately complete the Visiting Scholar Request Form and submit it to Carolyn Boshell, cmboshel@aalan.ua.edu, in Academic Affairs for Approval.  Paid employees will be entered in the UA payroll system as they would for any other new hire, and the Visiting Scholar Request Form is not required.

Additionally, in order to give an unpaid Visiting Scholar access to Email, WiFi, UA Libraries and other campus facilities, the sponsoring department must complete a “New Faculty/Staff Setup” Form and submit it to Human Resources Payroll Input (payrollinput@fa.ua.edu or Box 870128) for processing into the Banner system.

B1 POE Stamp

B-1 VISITOR FOR BUSINESS AND WB VISITOR VISA WAIVER PROGRAM

Purpose of B-1/WB
The Visitor for Business category is appropriate for visitors who wish to come to the United States to engage in temporary commercial, business, or professional activities related to their employment or business abroad.  This activity may NOT constitute “employment” as defined by the U.S. Department of State: The term “business,” as used in INA 1-1 (a) (15) (B), refers to conventions, conferences, consultations, and other legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature.  It does not include local employment or labor for hire.

The Department of State and Department of Homeland Security agencies limit the purposes for legitimate use of the B-1 visa or WB Status.  Following are examples that are directly applicable to academics:

1. Consult with business associates;
2. Participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars;
3. Undertake independent research;
4. Litigate;
5. Negotiate contracts;
6. Engage in commercial transactions which do not involve gainful employment in the U.S. (such as a merchant who takes orders for goods manufactured abroad)

The first three examples are particularly useful in the academic setting.

Eligibility for B-1/WB Classification
Eligibility for B-1 classification must be established to the consular officer when applying for a B-1 visa (WB Visitors must pre-register their visit through ESTA and are restricted to a maximum of 90 days per visit) and for B-1/WB status by the port of entry officer when applying for entry to the U.S.  Submit evidence of the purpose of the trip, intent to depart the U.S., and the arrangements made to cover the costs of the trip.

This requirement can be satisfied with a letter from the U.S. business/corporation indicating the above information along with documentation from the visitor’s business/corporation abroad which complements the information given by the U.S. business/corporation.

Observing Business or Vocational Operations and Activity
A person coming to the U.S. exclusively to observe the conduct of business or other professional or vocational activity may also eligible for B-1/WB classification provided the visitor pays his/her own experience.

PAYMENTS TO B-1/WB VISITORS  – PLEASE SEE HONORARIA PAGE

• Reimbursements and Per Diem Expenses (per 9 FAM 41.31 N11.1).
B-1/WB visitors may not accept part-time, full-time, or temporary teaching or research positions paid by a U.S. institution.  However, B-1/WB visitors may receive reimbursements or per diems for incidental expenses related to their activity.  The total amount of payment cannot exceed the actual reasonable expenses of travel to and from the event, lodging, meals, and other basic services.

• Academic Honorarium (per INA § 212 (q))
B-1/WB visitors may accept an honorarium payment as well as reimbursement for incidental expenses for a usual academic activity or service conducted for the benefit of the institution provided the activity lasts no more than 9 days and the visitor has not received payments or expenses from more than 5 institutions/organizations in the previous 6 months.

NOTE: If the service to UA will be longer than 9 days and payment of an honorarium is involved, departments should look at the J-1 Short-term Scholar visa category.

B-2 VISITOR FOR PLEASURE AND WT VISITORS VISA WAIVER PROGRAM

Purpose of B-2/WT Visitor Category
The Visitor for Pleasure (or Tourism) category is appropriate for visitors who wish to come to the United States to engage in a variety of activities “for pleasure.”  The term pleasure, as used in INA 101(a)(15)(B), refers to legitimate activities of a recreational character, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature.

Eligibility for B-2/WT Classification
Eligibility for B-2 or WT classification must be established to the consular officer when applying for a B-2 visa (WT Visitors must pre-register their visit through ESTA and are restricted to a maximum of 90 days per visit) and for B-2/WT status by the port of entry officer when applying for entry to the U.S.  Submit evidence of the purpose of the trip, intent to depart the U.S., and the arrangements made to cover the costs of the trip.

PAYMENTS TO B-2/WT VISITORS FOR PLEASURE – PLEASE SEE HONORARIA PAGE

• Reimbursements, Per Diem & Academic Honorarium (per INA § 212 (q))
B-2/WT visitors may not accept part-time, full-time, or temporary teaching or research positions paid by a U.S. institution.  However, B-2/WT visitors may accept an honorarium payment as well as reimbursement for incidental expenses for a usual academic activity or service conducted for the benefit of the institution provided the activity lasts no more than 9 days and the visitor has not received payments or expenses from more than 5 institutions/organizations in the previous 6 months.

• NOTE: If the service to UA will be longer than 9 days and reimbursement of expenses or payment of an honorarium is involved, departments should look at the J-1 Short-term Scholar visa category.  IF THE ACTIVITY AT UA EXCEEDS 9 DAYS, NO REIMBURSEMENTS, PER DIEM OR HONORARIUM ARE POSSIBLE FOR A PERSON IN B-2/WT STATUS.

STUDY RESTRICTIONS FOR B-1/B-2 AND WB/WT VISITORS

B-1 visitors for business and B-2 visitors for pleasure are prohibited from “enrolling in a course of study” unless they apply for and USCIS approves a change from B status to F-1 or J-1 student status. [8 C.F.R. § 214.2(b)(7) and 8 C.F.R. § 248.1(c), as amended by 67 Fed. Reg. 18062 (April 12, 2002)].

WB/WT Visitors are likewise prohibited from enrolling in a course of study by the same provisions, and Change-of-Status to F-1 or J-1 student status is not possible under the WB/WT categories.  Those in WB/WT status would have to exit the country and apply for an F-1 or J-1 student visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad.