The B-1/B-2 Visa For Short-Term Visitors
The B-1 and B-2 visa categories represent two very separate and distinct visa types. Each is used to enter the U.S. as a visitor for a short period of time, but for different purposes.
The B-1 is used to enter the U.S. to engage in such business activities as: negotiating contracts for an overseas employer, consulting with business associates, attending professional conferences, giving lectures, or conducting independent research. The B-1 visa should be used by foreign visitors to enter the U.S. to participate in these types of activities within the University System. The B-1 visa may not be used for employment purposes as immigration law does not permit a B-1 visitor to engage in any form of employment in the U.S. including salaried work or services performed on an independent basis.
A B-1 visitor may be paid honoraria for "usual academic activities" lasting not longer than nine days at a single institution, providing that the services performed are for the benefit of the academic institution. However, the law stipulates that a B-1 visitor is not permitted to accept honoraria from more than five institutions within a six month period. Reimbursement for travel and reasonable incidental expenses, such as accommodations and meals are also allowed under the same conditions.
In order for the University to pay honoraria or to provide for reimbursement of expenses, the B-1 visitor must present proof of entry into the U.S. in B-1 status and to submit receipts for expenses incurred. The department hosting the visitor should request a copy of the visitor's I-94 entry document (a small white card given to the visitor by the immigration officer upon admission to the U.S. -- stapled or placed in the passport). The copy of Form I-94 should be submitted to the Accounts Payable Department along with receipts for expenses.
The B-2 visa is used to enter the U.S. as a tourist, permitted only to engage in activities related to tourism such as travel and recreation. The B-2 visitor is prohibited from engaging in any employment-related activities. However, the law does provide for the payment of honoraria and reimbursement of incidental travel expenses for "usual academic activities" provided that the activity is for the benefit of the academic institution and does not last longer than nine days. The B-2 visitor is permitted to accept honoraria from no more than five institutions within a six month period.
It is recommended that foreign nationals entering the U.S. specifically to participate in short-term academic activities do so in the B-1, Visitor for Business visa category.
INFORMATION FOR UNH DEPARTMENTS:
If a department wishes to employ a foreign national, it should contact the OISS for information on appropriate employment visa categories.
Please also refer to our Frequently Asked Questions about the B-1/B-2 Visa Categories for detailed information about honoraria and reimbursement. For your convenience, we have also created a sample invitation letter for scholars to visit in B visa classification.
- General Info
- Prospective Students
- New Students
- Current F-1 Students
- Current J-1 Students
- Former Students and Alumni
- J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
- B-1/B-2 Short Term
- H-1B Employment Visa
- TN (Trade NAFTA)
- Applying for US Citizenship
- Employment & Taxes
- Applying for a NH Driver's License
- Bertram Husch International Scholarship Fund
- Employment Links
- Financial Aid
- Food & Lodging
- Guide to Currency Conversion
- Health Insurance Carriers
- Immigration Attorneys & Links
- International Friendship Group
- International Organizations
- Miscellaneous Links
- UNH Links
- U.S. Government Links
- Voltage Standards Around the World
- Getting to Know UNH