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B-1/B-2 Business or Visitor Visa

B-1/B-2 Visitor Guide Snapshot

B-1/B-2 visas holders are eligible to temporarily enter the U.S. for the purpose of business, tourism, pleasure or visiting.

To be eligible for a B-1 Business, the purpose of your trip is to:

  • consult with business associates
  • attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention, conference or workshop
  • engage in independent research that will not benefit UMCP

To be eligible for a B-2 Tourism and Visit, the purpose of your trip is:

  • tourism
  • vacation (holiday)
  • visit with friends or relatives
  • medical treatment
  • participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
  • enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree and is less than 18 hours per week; for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation

Length of Stay in the U.S.

B-1/B-2 visitors are generally admitted for six months or less, but may not exceed one year.  The period of stay is determined by the U.S port of entry official at the airport.  


Visitors are not allowed to receive a salary.

  • Reimbursement for incidental expenses (such as travel, accommodations, and meals) is allowed.
  • Honorarium payments are allowed as long as the academic activity at UMCP is no longer than 9 days, and the visitor has not accepted honoraria from more than five institutions or organizations within a 6-month period.

B-1/B-2 Visa Process

  • The department will prepare a letter of invitation with the dates and purpose of the visit.  If the department will provide an honorarium or incidental expenses, please include this in the letter.  The invitation letter will be emailed to you.
  • Upon receipt of the letter, you will schedule a visa interview appointment at a U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country.
  • Once the visa is obtained in your passport, your travel plans can be finalized to come to UMCP.
  • Upon your arrival, please provide the following documents to your department.
    • Passport
    • Visa
    • Immigration stamp or electronic I-94 record

Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less.  If you are eligible to use the VWP, you will apply for approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to your trip.

ESTA Authorization Process

In order to travel without a visa on the VWP, you will apply for authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to your trip.  ESTA is the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) automated web-based system to determine eligibility to travel without a visa to the United States for tourism or business.  

  1. Check to see if you are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program.
  2. Apply for ESTA approval at least 72 hours prior to travel.  ESTA approvals are typically granted for a two year period or until your passport expiration date, whichever is sooner.
  3. Pay the fee: $4 processing fee, $10 authorization fee.  Payment may be made by credit card or debit card.
  4. Verify the status of your application on the ESTA website


  1. Possess the correct type of passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your planned stay in the U.S. (unless exempt by country-specific agreements).
  2. Plan to travel on an approved air or sea carrier.

Travel with the Following Documents

  1. Passport valid
  2. Print out the ESTA application number
  3. A round trip ticket


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