Visitor Status

B-1 visas are issued to individuals granted entry into the U.S. for a limited timeframe to conduct business or research for their own benefit. Individuals can receive some reimbursements or honoraria from U.S. sources, but these situations are extremely limited.

Note: B-1 visas are not employment statuses, and visitors in B-1 or Visa Waiver status may not perform professional services for compensation from a U.S. source.

Application process

The hosting entity within NC State University may write an invitation letter stating that it wishes to invite the individual to the United States to observe our procedures or use our equipment for his/her own purposes. The letter must:

The Applicant may take the letter from NC State to the U.S. Consulate/Embassy abroad and present it to the Consular Officer. The Officer has discretion to approve or deny the application, based on whether:

  • Duties conform to B-1 regulations, and
  • The Consular Officer is convinced that applicant will return to his/her home country.

The Applicant must:

  • Be a Temporary Visitor for business
  • Have residence in foreign country that he/she does not intend to abandon
  • Seek admission to U.S. for sole purpose of engaging in legitimate activities related to business or research
  • Convince the Consular Officer that the period of time projected for visit is consistent with stated purpose of trip
  • Demonstrate to Consular Officer that he/she will return to home country (show permanent employment in the home country, business or financial connections, close family ties, etc.)
  • Not receive a salary from a U.S. source, although he/she may receive expense allowance or reimbursement for expenses incidental to temporary stay
  • Honorarium payments for lecturing or guest teaching are possible, but these activities cannot last longer than 9 days at any single institution or organization, and the B-1 visa holder must not accept such payments from more than 5 institutions within a 6 month period.

Note: A B-1 holder is NOT allowed to work or perform professional services for NC State.

Permissible activities on B-1 visa include:

  • Participation in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences or seminars
  • Undertaking independent research that benefits the B-1 holder, not the sponsoring institution (NC State) (e.g., he/she can research in the NC State library to prepare dissertation, but cannot work in NC State labs doing work that NC State would normally hire someone to do).
  • Commercial transactions
  • Contract negotiation
  • Consultation with business associates
  • Litigation