B Category: Visitors for Business or Pleasure
B-1 visa is
appropriate for an alien who wishes to engage in temporary commercial,
business, or professional activities related to their employment/business
B-2 visa is
for short-term visits for pleasure or tourism, medical reasons and/or
other health purposes, to participate in conventions, conferences, or
convocation of fraternal, social/service organizations or prospective
A B-1 visa holder
may stay in the US for a "reasonable" period of time for completion
of the purpose of the trip, not to exceed one year. A B-2 visa holder
is admitted for a standard period of 6 months.
No paid employment is permitted on a B-1. Visitors in B-1 status are able
to receive reimbursements for receipted expenses incidental to their B-1
activity. *Certain honorarium payments and payments for associated expenses
are possible if certain guidelines are met.
B-2 visitors are not permitted to engage in employment of any kind in
the U.S. nor are they permitted to receive any other type of payments
for reimbursement and per diem expenses. They may receive "academic
honoraria" payments and payments for associated incidental expenses
if *certain guidelines are met.
Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998" changed
this so that certain payments are now permitted to nonimmigrants admitted
to the US on a B-1 or B-2 visa. The nonimmigrant can now accept honorarium
payment and associated incidental expenses for an activity lasting no
longer than 9 days at any single institution. The payment has to be
made for services conducted for the benefit of WHOI and the nonimmigrant
cannot have accepted such payments or expenses from more than 5 institutions
or organizations in the previous 6-month period.
B-1 and B-2 status are prohibited from enrolling in a course of study
or taking other actions unless and until USCIS has changed the B nonimmigrant
status to an appropriate student nonimmigrant status.
to Obtain B-1 and B-2 status
Applicants for visitor visas should apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate
with jurisdiction over their place of residence. The visa application
should include the following:
- Proof that applicant
is properly classifiable as a B-1 visitor for business or B-2 visitor
- Evidence of financial
ability to meet expenses
- Proof of residence
abroad and intent to return
- Passport, valid
for travel to U.S. with a validity date at least six months beyond the
intended period of stay in the U.S.
- Form DS-156 "Nonimmigrant
- Form DS-157 "Supplemental
Nonimmigrant Visa Application", if the applicant is male and between
the ages of 16 and 45.
- Two photos, 1
and ½ inches square for each applicant, showing full face, without
head covering, against a light background.
- Machine Readable
- Visa reciprocity
fee, if applicable
In order to extend
B-1 or B-2 status, you must file for an extension with the USCIS before
the expiration of your current period of stay.
Although the Institution does not stand as the sponsor for this type of
visa, a letter of invitation from the Institution is needed by visitors
who apply for a B-1 visa at the US Consulate in their home country.
Last updated: October 8, 2013