A "visitor" status in the US through a B-1 or B-2 visa or the Visa Waiver Program is a non-immigrant status for individuals coming to the US temporarily for business or pleasure. For example, this status would be used for tourism, visiting friends or relatives (B-2 or WT) or to attend a conference or consult with colleagues (B-1 or WB status).
B entries are generally admitted for under six months, at the discretion of the CBP officer. Individuals entering on the Visa Waiver Program are generally limited to an entry of 90 days.
Departments might invite an individual to come to UVM on one of these statuses for a short-term visit in which the visitor will not be paid (except for an honorarium and/or reimbursement of expenses; see rules below, including time limits to activities which include honoraria or reimbursements) nor have an academic appointment. These statuses might be appropriate for attending a conference or workshop at UVM, for consulting on research, etc.
These statuses are not appropriate for:
- Visiting students who are engaging in a project at UVM that is meeting a degree requirement at home
- Musicians or athletes
- Individuals coming to UVM to engage in research that provides a benefit to UVM
Please email the OIE before relying on this visa category to confer on wheter or not it might be appropriate. US immigration officers at Customs and Border Protection have discretion around permitting entry, and a consultation with us could help avoid an attempt at entering the US for reasons not appropriate for the B-1, B-2, WT, and WB statuses.
Invitation Process and Entry into the US
All visitors coming for a visitor status as outlined on this page should be provided an invitation letter which will specify the nature of their visit and whether any reimbursement will be provided. A template for such a letter is available here.
Individuals coming on a B-1 or B-2 status will use the invitation letter to apply for a B-1/B-2 entry visa at a US consulate or embassy outside of the US. They will need to show their visa, passport, and invitation letter to enter the US.
Citizens of some countries will not require a visa and can enter the US on the Visa Waiver Program. The countries that participate in the visa waiver program are listed on the State Department website and all visa waiver participants MUST pre-register using a system called ESTA. Individuals coming in on the WB/WT status through the Visa Waiver Program should still bring their invitation letter when they come into the country, in addition to evidence of their approved ESTA status and their passport.
Honorarium payments and/or reimbursement of expenses for individuals in these statuses are subject to specific rules. Activities at UVM cannot exceed nine days, and the visitor must not have accepted payment of expenses and/or honorarium from more than five US institutions or organizations in the previous six months. If any of these conditions is exceeded the individual may NOT receive any honorarium nor honorarium plus reimbursement for expenses.
The UVM business processes for honorarium payments and/or reimbursement of expenses is outlined on the website of UVM Tax Services. In particular, see the following: