B-1 or 2 Visa Category

Attention: Individuals in B-1 or B-2 are not eligible to enroll in classes.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services guidelines can be found here.

B- Visa Category Information

The B visa category has two major categories of entry into the U.S.: B-1 (Business) and B-2 (Pleasure/Tourist). Employment is not authorized under either B visa category and payments that may be received are extremely limited in nature. 

Under current U.S. immigration regulations, there is no provision for people to enter the U.S. during the summer for the purpose of taking summer school classes without enrolling in a full course of study.  Study incidental to the B-1/B-2 status may be allowable if it is less than full time and not the primary purpose for entering the U.S.  Courses should be avocational and/or recreational in nature.

Entry into the U.S. in the B- visa category may be accomplished by obtaining the appropriate B- visa from U.S. embassies or consulates or under the visa waiver program. Information about the visa waiver program (ESTA) and a listing of participating countries may be obtained on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Visa Waiver Program Requirements page.  Stays are limited to no more than 90 days.  Application should be made at least a few days before entering the U.S.

The purpose and general use of the B-1 (Business) category is for people wishing to come to the U.S. to engage in temporary commercial, business or professional activities related to their employment or business abroad as long as the U.S. activity does not constitute “employment” in the U.S. Employment in the U.S. cannot be accepted, to include temporary teaching or research positions.

Standard usage of the B-1 can include:

  • Contract negotiation
  • Consult with business associates
  • Participate in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences or seminars
  • Undertake independent research
  • Certain medical clerkships and medical doctors coming to observe and/or consult with colleagues
  • Observe business or vocational operations and activities
  • Certain entertainers (Professional entertainers: No public performances)

Eligibility for the B-1

Individuals must be able to satisfy the consular officer, at the time of visa application, and immigration inspector, at the point of U.S. entry, that they qualify under the immigration regulations.

UAF departments wishing to invite individuals to come to participate in authorized activities should provide a letter of invitation including

  • The purpose of the trip
  • Intended length of stay
  • Any travel costs provided or reimbursed

Because the regulations governing payment and/or reimbursement are very specific, please contact UAF Financial Services if you have questions or concerns regarding the permissibility of the payment.

The purpose and general use of the B-2 (Pleasure/Tourist) category is for people traveling to the U.S. for

  • Tourism or social visits to relatives and/or friends
  • Medical and/or other health reasons
  • Participate in conventions, conferences or convocation of fraternal, social or service organizations
  • Prospective students (The intent to study must be made known at the time of application for the U.S. B-2 visa and at the time of entry into the U.S. ) Enrollment in courses of study is not permitted.

Questions or Additional Information

This information is provided to give basic information regarding this U.S. immigration category. If you need additional information or assistance, please contact the International Advisor