Skip Navigation

Inviting B-1 & Visa Waiver (VW) Visitors

The B-1 visa (including the visa waiver program) permits persons to come to the US to engage in short-term, temporary professional activities related to their employment abroad; for example, consulting with peers, participating in conferences or seminars, lecturing or speaking, training, and independent research that provides no benefit to a US institution.

The B-1 business category is not appropriate for visitors engaging in collaborative research with SBU faculty or research which will benefit the University in any way. If collaborative research is involved or the University will benefit from the research, a J-1 visa should be requested. If you are unsure which visa would be appropriate, please direct your questions to

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

  • Initial Period of Stay: 1 to 6 months; 6 months is the maximum
  • Extension of Stay: Up to 6 months; maximum total amount of time permitted in B-1 status on any one trip is generally 1 year.

Permissible Academic Activities

  • Lecturing/Guest Teaching
  • Conduct Independent Research
  • Attend Conferences
  • Medical Observation
  • Medical Clerkship

Honorarium & Reimbursement Payments

Foreign nationals in B-1 status may be permitted to accept honorarium and/or reimbursement of travel expenses under the following conditions:

  • The individual is engaged in academic activities at an academic institution or nonprofit research institution
  • The activities last no longer than nine days at any single institution or organization;
  • The individual has has not accepted such payment or expenses from more than five institutions  or organizations (including SBU) over the last six months.

To invite a B-1 visitor

Notify Export Controls so they can determine if the business visitor is on a federal restricted party list, associated with a restricted entity, or if there are other export control concerns related to the visit. This step is required for all prospective foreign national visitors including those who qualify under the visa waiver program.

Provide the visitor with an invitation letter which includes:

  • Specific dates of the visit
  • Description of the activity
  • Where the visitor will return after their visit, and for what purpose (i.e., to continue studies, to resume University position)
  • That there is neither salary nor benefits associated with this invitation
  • If travel expense reimbursement or an honorarium will be offered

General Invitation Letter Template