TEES

B-1 and Visa Waiver Program Business Visitors

The B-1 and Visa Waiver Program (WB) status is for foreign nationals coming to the U.S. temporarily to engage in commercial or professional activities. These activities must be related to their business abroad and must not constitute employment in the U.S. In fact, B-1 or Visa Waiver Program visitors who accept employment in the U.S. violate the terms of their status and become subject to deportation.

Professional activities associated with a visit to a U.S. university may include:

  • Negotiating contracts
  • Consulting with business associates
  • Participating in scientific, educational, professional, or business, conferences, or seminars
  • Undertaking independent research
  • Training

Use of the B-1 Nonimmigrant Visa and Visa Waiver Program to Visit Texas A&M Engineering


A visit by an international scholar to Texas A&M University may take place under the B-1 nonimmigrant visa or Visa Waiver Program, provided the proposed visit falls within the permitted business activities.  In this regard, it is paramount to understand that the B-1 classification does not allow for employment or any type of unauthorized labor. Accordingly, compensating the foreign national for services would clearly be contrary to the spirit of the classification and could amount to “local employment”. 
 
Activities that clearly apply to the visit of international scholars under a B-1 are:

  • Participation in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences or seminars
  • Undertaking independent research
  • Attending business meetings
  • Consulting with business associates
  • Exclusively observe the conduct of business, provided the foreign national pays for his/her own expenses

As a general rule, the B-1 classification is not adequate for having the visitor:

  • Engage in collaborative or guided research
  • Gain practical experience through on-the-job training
  • Provide services that primarily benefit TAME
  • Volunteer to provide services for which TAME would need to hire an individual

Payments

Educational institutions may reimburse B-1 and Visa Waiver Program (WB) visitors for their expenses that do not exceed reasonable travel and living costs.  They may even pay an honorarium provided the visit does not exceed 9 days, and the visitor has not received similar payments from more than five U.S. colleges or universities in the immediately preceding six months.

Best Practices

Before inviting a foreign national to campus, please contact Engineering Human Resources (EHR) to obtain appropriate guidance as to whether or not a visit under the B nonimmigrant category or Visa Waiver Program is advisable.  EHR will consult with Immigration Services for Faculty and Scholars (ISFS) for their determination. EHR will then coordinate all necessary forms and approvals prior to the arrival of the visitor.

Please contact Engineering HR for approval and paperwork processing: engineeringhrvisitors@tamu.edu

Please visit the Immigration Services for Faculty and Scholars (ISFS) website for additional information.

 

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