Invite B-1/B-2 or WB/WT Visitors
Speakers or short-term researchers who will be at Cornell for six months or less are eligible for B visitor status. However, it is not intended for Cornell academic appointments of a term or longer. Scholars planning short visits to one or more U.S. university campuses may also use the B visa category.
B visitors can have academic appointments at Cornell, but cannot receive any salary or compensation. Reimbursement for expenses is allowed. The visitor can accept an honorarium, but only if the visit to Cornell does not exceed nine days, and the visitor has accepted honoraria from no more than five institutions or organizations within the previous six months.
B-1 status is for business visitors. B-2 is for tourists. A Customs and Border Protection officer at the U.S. port of entry will make the final determination. If the business purpose of the visit is not clear, B-2 is issued by default. (Note: B-1, B-2, WB and WT visitors are not permitted to study).
Citizens of certain countries are eligible to enter the United States as either business visitors (WB Waiver Business) or tourists (WT Waiver Tourist) without obtaining a visa. The eligibility criteria for admission are identical to those seeking admission based on a B-1/B-2 visa. Application is made through ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) and must occur at least 72 hours in advance.
WB/WT visitors should present their Cornell letter of invitation when entering the United States. An officer will issue an electronic entry record (I-94) with the notation WB or WT. If the business purpose of the visit is not clear, WT is issued by default. WB/WT visitors are limited to three months with no extensions or change of status possible. If the visit will be longer than three months, the visitor should obtain the B-1/B-2 visa stamp or consider another visa classification.
For Applicants: How to Apply for B-1/B-2
Present a letter of invitation from Cornell to a U.S. consulate. The letter must state the purpose of the visit and make it clear that Cornell will pay no salary or compensation for services. The letter can mention reimbursement or honoraria, if the visit will meet honoraria guidelines. It is at the American consul's discretion to grant any visa.
When you arrive in the United States, you will be required to request entrance at the U.S. port of entry.
Steps to Follow
Present the same letter to an admitting official at a U.S. point of entry and request entrance in the B-1 classification.
- The officer will note B-1 on your electronic entry record (I-94) if the business purpose is clear. If not, B-2 is issued by default. Either classification is sufficient for reimbursement or honoraria payments.
- Canadians who wish to be admitted in B status must also present a letter of invitation when entering the United States and receive a properly annotated I-94 entry document.
Next Up: Sponsor Permanent Residency