B-1 Visitor and Visa Waiver Program (VWP) for Business

Individuals traveling to the United States to participate in professional conferences, conventions, seminars, or to pursue independent research at Brandeis University may be eligible to utilize the Visa Waiver for Business or a B-1 Business Visitor visa. Employment, whether it's full-time or part-time, is not permitted, and individuals may not collect a salary or stipend. Avocational study is permitted but must be short-term and for recreational purposes. Please note that teaching is not an appropriate activity for the visa waiver (WB) or B-1 visa.

A researcher attempting to enter the U.S. as a business visitor can only be coming to do independent research. There can be no benefit to a U.S. institution. Any mention of collaborative research or a joint research project could result in the visitor being deemed ineligible for admission to the U.S. as a business visitor.

Visa Waiver for Business (WB)

Citizens and nationals from participating countries are eligible to enter the U.S. for a period of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. You will need to present a letter of invitation to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. This letter should include the purpose of the visit, dates of the visit and include a statement that there will be no salary paid by Brandeis University. Upon entry, please be sure that the CBP officer has stamped your passport with the designation “WB.” Travel documents particular to WB:

B-1 Business Visitor

Scholars who are not eligible for a visa waiver may apply for a B-1 non-immigrant, visitor visa. Citizens of China must also enroll in the Electronic Visa Update System. The duration of a B-1 visa is not permitted to exceed 6 months. When you apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate, you will need to present an invitation from the Brandeis University department that you are visiting. This invitation should include the purpose of the visit, dates of the visit and that there will be no salary paid by Brandeis University.

Considerations for Artists, Dancers, Actors, Musicians, Filmmakers, or other Entertainers

Please note that an individual may enter the U.S. on a B-1 visa or through the VWP only if the individual is coming to the US for non-commercial purposes. Please visit the 9 FAM 402.2-5(G)(1) (U) Participants in Cultural Programs and 9 FAM 402.2-5(G) (U) Entertainers and Artists. The performer may enter the US on a B-1 or VWP if he/she/they:

Please consult the ISSO or an immigration attorney if your trip to the U.S. will involve activities other than those mentioned above.

Reimbursement of Travel Expenses

Brandeis University is permitted to reimburse visitors for travel expenses incidental to the visit. Reimbursement may be per diem or for individual expenses.


A scholar may be permitted to receive an honorarium payment for usual academic activities if the activity meets the following criteria:

General Travel Tips

When traveling into the U.S. as a visitor, be sure to bring: