B-1/B-2 & WB/WT Visitors

ISSS provides guidance based on current regulatory information and is not a substitute for legal counsel.

The "temporary visitor" status is a nonimmigrant classification for those desiring to enter the US temporarily for business (B-1 or WB), for pleasure (B-2 or WT), or combination purposes. The US Department of State (DOS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers have wide discretion in granting B-1 and B-2 visas or entry to the US. 

  • Travelers coming to the US for tourism or business from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) may be granted permission to enter for 90 days only and may not extend their stay. The list of VWP countries and requirements, including Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), can be found on the US Department of State website.

  • See a helpful visual guide for ESTA 

  • DOS/DHS will most likely not view B-1/WB or B-2/WT Visitor status as appropriate for someone coming to the university to study, conduct research, consult, or lecture. Another immigration category, such as F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor, is probably more appropriate for such purposes. The B visa could be refused or entry to the US in B status could be denied in such cases.

  • It's the foreign national’s responsibility to obtain a visa and to gain admission to the US as a B-1/WB or B-2/WT visitor. S/he also assumes any risk associated with the decision to attempt entry to the US in this category.

  • See the DOS’s information on Visitor’s Visas for Pleasure and Business for further information and requirements