B-1 Status for Visitors

The "visitor" visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1), for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2), or combination of both (B-1/B-2) purposes.

Business Visitor Visas (B-1) - If the purpose of the visitor is to consult with business associates, travel for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or conference on specific dates, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract, then a business visitor visa (B-1) would be the appropriate type of visa .  Further information on the B1 and other visitor's visas can be found on the Department of State's visa website.  

Information for University Departments bringing in visitors on B Visas:

B1 or WB visitors are usually granted to foreign nationals who will:

  • visit Florida Tech for a brief period
  • not be employed by the university
  • be reimbursed for travel/living expenses, given a subsistence allowance and/or paid an honorarium
  • perform services/be reimbursed for a period of nine days or less

Visitors whose passports must have visa stamps to make brief trips to the United States enter in B-1 status. Citizens of countries that have reciprocal agreements with the United States to enable citizens to make brief visits to each other's countries without passport visa stamps may enter the United States in WB status under the Visa Waiver Program. B-1/ WB visitors cannot legally accept employment of any kind—including full-time or part-time teaching or research positions. The university would be in violation of federal law if it employed a B-1/WB visitor.

In order to invite a foreign national as a B-1/WB visitor, the Florida Tech department must issue a letter of invitation that outlines the purpose, terms and dates of the visit on letterhead stationery. The letter must state that the individual will not be employed by the university. If the visitor will be reimbursed for expenses, given a subsistence allowance or paid an honorarium, the letter should clearly state the particulars.

The nationals of approximately 30 countries do not need visa stamps for brief visits to the United States. The prospective visitor can inquire at a U.S. consular post abroad to determine eligibility.

Foreign nationals who need visa stamps take the Florida Tech letter to a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas to apply for a B-1/B-2 visa. Upon arrival in the United States, they show their Florida Tech letter to the immigration officer at the U.S. port of entry and request B-1 status. The status will be stamped on the visitor's I-94 card. Foreign nationals eligible for the Visa Waiver Program do not need to go to a U.S. embassy or consulate but must show the Florida Tech letter to the immigration officer at the U.S. port of entry and request WB status. The status will be stamped on the visitor's I-94 card.

Note: Foreign nationals are limited to five nine-day visits in B-1/ WB status within each six month period.