B-Visas (Visitor Visas)
The B visa category is used for citizens of a foreign country who wish to visit the U.S. temporarily for business (B-1), for pleasure/ tourism (B-2), or a combination of both (B-1/B-2). B-1 business visa are allowed for business or professional activities related to their employment or business abroad. The main intent for B-1 visa type is for business purposes. B-1 visitors are not permitted to engage in employment of any kind while in the U.S.
B visitors can remain in the U.S. for up to 6 months. All visitors coming to WKU who will need travel reimbursement must enter the U.S. in B-1 status. Engagement of a B-2 visitor can only be made if the intent of the business purpose was made after the individual had already arrived in the U.S.
Payments to B-1/ B-2 or Visa Waiver participants
In November 1998, Congress passed the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA) granting academic institutions the authority to pay honoraria to visitors in B nonimmigrant status who enter the U.S. to provide usual academic services to the university. B visitors are now permitted to receive honoraria, speaker fees, travel reimbursements and other incidental payments for legitimate academic activities. Please note that all payments for travel, incidental expenses or per diems must meet the requirements set forth in WKU's Travel Reimbursement policy.
It is important to keep in mind that this law does not change any existing tax provisions. B visitors who will receive an honorarium will need to have either a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Certain other documents are necessary in order for the University to make these payments, and may need to be obtained while the visitor is in the U.S. Additionally, for honorariums there is normally a 30% tax withholding applied unless the guest is eligible for a tax treaty which allows waiver of the 30% withholding requirement.
To determine if the B visitor is eligible for a tax treaty, the individual must meet with the Tax Compliance Accountant and if eligible, complete international tax registration.
The information above is only a brief summary. For more information about requirements for B Visitor VISAS, please contact the International Legal Affairs Specialist.
Further Immigration Information
Department Specific Information