B1/B2 visitor information

Please read our information on the B1 and B2 visitor categories if you are visiting for business or pleasure.

B1 category

The B1 category may be appropriate for foreign scholars wishing to visit Northern Arizona University for short periods of time for professional activities. These activities may not constitute employment. Appropriate activities include:

  • Consultation with professional associates
  • Participation in scientific, educational, or professional conventions or seminars
  • Independent research

B2 category

The B2 category is intended for those coming to the United States for travel and tourism. For additional information, visit the U.S. Department of State website. 

Receiving payment

Visitors in the B1/B2 classification are not permitted to engage in any form of employment in the United States. They are allowed to receive reimbursements and honoraria as long as:

  • The academic activity is no longer than nine days
  • The visitor has not accepted honoraria from more than five institutions or organizations within a six-month period

Admission period

The admission period for visitors in the B1/B2 category is based on the amount of time needed to accomplish the purpose of the visit. Visitors are usually admitted for six months or less depending on the purpose for the visit. B1/B2 visitors may request extensions of stay by filing Form I-539 and supporting documentation with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Admission without a visa

The United States provides two exceptions to the requirement for a visa.

Exception 1: Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

The first exception to the visa requirement is for citizens of countries participating in the VWP, which allows citizens admission for business or tourism for up to 90 days without a visa.

For a list of participating countries and for additional information about VWP, please visit the Visa Waiver section of the U.S. Department of State website. 

Exception 2: Canadian citizens

The other visa exception applies to Canadian citizens who are not required to obtain a visa for admission to the United States in any immigration (visa) category.

B1/B2 Information for departments

The following steps are suggested for departments intending to invite B1 visitors:

  • Contact an International Scholar Adviser if you have any questions regarding whether or not the B1/B2 category is the most appropriate.
  • Contact the Northern Arizona University Human Resources office if your department intends to pay the visitor an honorarium or reimbursement of expenses.
  • Issue an invitation letter which includes the following information:
  • Purpose of the visit
  • Dates of the visit
  • Funding information