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B-1 visas are for business visitors, and B-2 visas are for tourists.
I.N.A. § 101(a)(15)(B) describes a person who qualifies for B status as: "An alien (other than one coming for the purpose of study or performing skilled or unskilled labor or as a representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media coming to engage in such vocation) having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning and who is visiting the United States temporarily for business or temporarily for pleasure."
The Code of Federal Regulations gives the following definition for business:
"The term 'business,' as used in INA 101(a)(15)(B), refers to conventions, conferences, consultations and other legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature. It does not include local employment or labor for hire."
Students coming to the United States for a short-term stay for activity related to educational programs may be required by a U.S. consular officer to use a J visa, which is designed partly for educational exchange. Any visitor conducting activity such as research, consultation or observation that generally is appropriate for a B-1 visa may require a J visa if the applicant is a student. The consular officer makes the decision.
Students coming to the U.S. for a long-term stay related to their educational programs must apply for student (J) visas.
The visitor must go to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad to apply for an entry visa stamp. The U.S. Department of State recommends that visa applicants apply in their home countries. If the entry visa is granted, the visa stamp is placed in the applicant's passport.
A Canadian citizen, instead of going to the U.S. embassy or consulate, can go to the U.S. border and request entry into the U.S. as a visitor for business. At the U.S. border, the Canadian citizen should present:
Criteria for appropriate payment to visitors with B visa status
Note: These steps do not apply to Canadian citizens.
Step 1. Visitor receives a letter of invitation from the MU department (sample letter). The letter of invitation must include:
Step 2. Visitor goes to the U.S. embassy or consulate outside the U.S. to apply for B-1 or B-2 visa. The visitor must bring:
Step 3. Visitor arrives at the U.S. border. The visitor needs to present to the customs official:
For more information about claiming tax benefits, tax treaties, payment for B/VWP visitors, etc., consult the MU Office Cashiers.
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