Visitors to the university who will not be employees and will pursue the allowed activities listed below for short periods may enter the U.S. as visitors for business.


According to the Foreign Affairs Manual (the document that guides U.S. Consular Officials), the following general activities are appropriate uses for the B-1 or WB visa:  

  1. Engage in commercial transactions which do not involve gainful employment in the U.S.
  2. Negotiate contracts.
  3. Consult with business associates.
  4. Litigation.
  5. Participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars.
  6. Undertake independent research.* 
  7. Observe business or vocational operations and activity.

Medical doctors can come to observe or consult with colleagues, but there can be no patient contact or care.

*“Independent research” has been interpreted as research that has no direct benefit to the institution where the research takes place.  There is some risk that the visitor could be denied entry if U.S. Customs and Border Protection interprets their activity differently.  A J exchange visitor visa would avoid that risk.  

Invitation Letters

Invited visitors applying for a visitor for business visa or entering the U.S. as visitor for business need a letter of invitation from the host unit. Use the templates below:

B-1 Visitor for Business Templates

Visa Waiver (WB) Templates