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U.S. Business or Pleasure Visitors  Visas Overview

Visitor are needed for foreign visitors invited by the Institute to engage in temporary academic, educational, or professional activities. The visa type can be one of the following categories:

  • Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - No need to apply for visa at the embassy if you are a have a passport of one of the member http://travel.state.gov  You will receive a WB (Business) or WT (Tourism) Visa at the airport. There is no application form or fees for the VWP. However you need to apply for online Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)  http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/
  • B-1 Business
  • B-2 Pleasure or Tourism (Also used for B1- Dependents)

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

Visa Waiver visitors must demonstrate that:

  • The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or tourism
  • They plan to remain for a specific, limited time period
  • They have a residence outside the U.S., as well as other binding ties to their home country, which will ensure they leave the U.S. at the end of the visit
  • They have adequate financial arrangements to travel to, sojourn in, and depart from the U.S.

WB/WT Eligibility

  • The foreign visitor must be a citizen of VWP country to be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program.
  • If the foreign visitor is entering the U.S. for business, the visitor will receive WB status upon entry (eligibility same as B-1 visa).
  • If the foreign visitor is entering the U.S. for pleasure or tourism, the visitor will receive WT status upon entry (eligibility same as B-2 visa).
  • All visitors requesting entry under the Visa Waiver Program must have a machine-readable passport

Length of Stay in the U.S.

In order to adhere to the requirements of the Visa Waiver program, the visit must be no longer than 90 days. If the visit will be longer, the visitor should obtain a B-1 or B-2 visa stamp or perhaps another visa classification.

For more information, go to the official U.S. Department of Homeland Security Visa Waiver Program web site.

B-1 Business Category

B-1 visitors must demonstrate that:

  • The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business but does not entail local employment or labor for hire
  • They plan to remain for a specific, limited time period (for example making reservations for 2-way tickets with specific arrival and departure dates)
  • They have clear intent to maintain a residence outside the U.S., as well as other binding ties to their home country, which will ensure they leave the U.S. at the end of the visit (such as property, family, apartments, schooling, etc.)
  • They have adequate financial arrangements to travel to, sojourn in, and depart from the U.S. On an average must provide evidence of credit card, travelers checks, or bank statement account of about (Euro 10,000 for 6 months, or Euro 5000 for 3 months)

B-1 Eligibility

Standard uses for academic business include:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Participating in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences, or seminars
  • Undertaking independent research
  • Participating in a required, unpaid medical clerkship (applies to medical students pursuing a medical degree at a foreign institution only)

NOTE: If a department has any intent to offer gainful employment to an individual, contact the IIM at career1[at]www.iim.education . An H1B visa is required for non-immigrant workers.

Length of Stay in the U.S.

B-1 visitors are admitted to the U.S. for the length of time which is deemed by U.S. port of entry officials to be fair and reasonable for completion of the purpose of the trip. Generally this is for a period of 6-months or less with the possibility of extension. The length of stay for a B-1 visitor cannot exceed one year.

Honoraria/Reimbursement

  • Visitors are not allowed to receive a salary.
  • Reimbursement for incidental expenses (such as travel, accommodations, and meals) is allowed for certain projects via our academic and non-profit research partners. Source: Section 431 of American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act.

Dependents

There are no derivative visas for B-1 visitors. Their dependents must each apply for a B-2 visa (see information about B-2 visas below). Dependents on B-2 visas must follow the regulations for that visa. B-2 visa holders are not eligible for employment and are not permitted to enroll in a course of study in the U.S. Visitors may be eligible for casual, short-term classes such as an English Language Class or an arts and crafts class. Incidental classes such as these would not violate the terms of their legal immigration status as a B-2 visitor. For more information, contact the IIM International Center.

B-2 Pleasure or Tourism Category (or dependents)

B-2 visitors must demonstrate that:

  • The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for pleasure or tourism or as dependents of a B-1 visa holder
  • They plan to remain for a specific, limited time period
  • They have clear intent to maintain a residence outside the U.S., as well as other binding ties to their home country, which will ensure they leave the U.S. at the end of the visit They have adequate financial arrangements to travel to, sojourn in, and depart from the U.S. On an average must provide evidence of credit card, travelers checks, or bank statement account of about (Euro 10,000 for 6 months, or Euro 5000 for 3 months)

B-2 Eligibility

Standard uses for the B-2 category include:

  • Tourists
  • Social visits to friends/relatives
  • Participants in conventions of social organizations
  • Accompanying B-1 aliens

Length of Stay in the U.S.

B-2 visitors are usually admitted for a standard period of 6 months. If more time is needed an application for an extension must be made to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), but admission cannot be extended for longer than 1 year. The admitting immigration official will record the length of stay allowed at the port of entry on the I-94 card. If an extension within 1 year is needed, an application for extension must be made to USCIS prior to the expiration of the current status.

How to Apply for a B-1/B-2 Visa

  1. Receive the completed invitation letter (on IIM letterhead) to your visitor.
  2. The foreign visitor schedules a visa interview appointment at a U.S. consulate or embassy in his or her home country.
  3. The visitor presents the IIM letter of invitation at the U.S. consulate or embassy. It is at the discretion of the U.S. consulate or embassy to grant a visa.

Processing Times

Visa processing times vary, depending upon the circumstances of each U.S. embassy and if the individual is required to schedule a personal interview as part of the visa process. For many applicants, a personal appearance interview at the U.S. embassy is required as a standard part of visa processing. If an interview is required, the visitor will need to set up an appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate. The actual interview may be very short, maybe even less than five minutes. If additional processing is needed after the appointment, visa applicants will be informed at the time they submit their applications. While most additional processing takes 30 days or less, a small percentage may take considerably longer.

  • To find the web site for a specific consulate or embassy, refer to the U.S. Department of State List of Embassies.
  •  NOTE: B-1/B-2 visitors should plan to obtain their visa stamp well ahead of their visit to the U.S. it is recommended that a visa is obtained prior to booking an airline flight.

Fees

Visitors are required to pay up to two fees: the visa application fee and the visa issuance reciprocity fee.

  • A U.S. Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fee is required for all visa applicants.
  • A Visa Issuance Reciprocity Fee may be required, depending on the visitor's country of citizenship.

Documentation Needed

To apply for a B-1 or B-2 visa, you will need to provide the following documentation for each applicant:

  • Proof that an applicant is properly classifiable as a B-1 visitor for business or a B-2 visitor for pleasure.
  • Evidence of financial ability for all expected expenses for the duration of the visit
  • Proof of residence in foreign country and intent to return to the home country (i.e. employment to return to, house mortgage, etc.)
  • Compelling evidence of economic and social ties abroad
  • Passport or travel document valid for 6 months beyond the visitor's intended period of stay. If more than one person is included in the passport, a visa application must be made for each person.
  • Electronic Form DS-156 Nonimmigrant Visa Application: completed, printed (including barcode page), and signed.
  • Form DS-157 Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application if applicable. This form provides additional information about the individual's travel plans.
  • One 2x2 photograph of each applicant.

There may be additional documentation requirements established by individual U.S. embassies. Refer to the U.S. Department of State List of Embassies to determine specific requirements.

What to Do When the Visitor Arrives at IIM

  1. Review the visitor's passport and I-94 Arrival/Departure card.
    • If the individual entered using a B-1 or B-2 visa stamp, the I-94 card (small white card) should have “B-1/B-2” or “B-1” or “B-2” written on it.
    • If the individual entered under the Visa Waiver Program, the I-94 card (small green card) should have “WB” or “WT” written on it.
  2. Confirm that the name on the I-94 card matches the name on the passport.
  3. If the visitor will receive payment for incidental expenses or an honorarium:
  4. If the visitor does not already have a U.S. Social Security number, he or she will need to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to ensure that the payment is reported to the U.S. Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service.

Travel Outside the U.S. and Re-entry

If a foreign national in B-1 or B-2 visa status wishes to leave the U.S. temporarily and return, he or she must carry appropriate documentation to gain re-entry to the U.S. Re-entry documentation generally includes:

  • Passport with validity 6 months beyond end of proposed visit and with valid U.S. visa stamp.
  • Evidence of financial ability to stay for the period of the visit in the U.S. and to return to their home country after the visit.
  • Invitation letter from the IIM.
  • Travelers' I-94 cards will be collected by US Customs/Immigration/Airline Host at the airport prior to departure and visitors will be given a new one upon re-entry to the U.S.

 

 

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 Last Updated: November 22, 2018.