B-1 Visitor for Business / WB Visa Waiver for Business

The information below is taken directly from UMMS policy on B-1 Visitors for Business & WB Visa Waiver for Business Visitors.

The B-1 and WB visa classifications allow temporary visitors to the United States for professional/business purposes. These classifications may be used for professionals coming to UMMS for short stays to participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions/conferences, or to undertake independent research. B-1 / WB visitors may not accept full-time, part-time, or temporary employment for which they are paid by the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS).  At UMMS, a B-1 or WB visitor may only have short-term (generally one month or less) and non-salaried contingent worker affiliations and must be cleared by employee health before entering the lab. B-1 and WB visitors are not required to register with the Immigration Services.

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Visa Waiver Program- WB Classification

Certain individuals who meet the criteria above can enter the United States without getting a visa stamp in their passport under the Visa Waiver Program. They must, however, apply for authoriziation from ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) prior to traveling to the United States.  Citizen of the following countries are eligible to enter the United States in the WB category:




New Zealand















San Marino

United Kingdom






Czech Republic



Slovak Republic









The Netherlands

South Korea


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Medical Electives at UMMS

The B-1 or WB category is considered acceptable for use by individuals who are students at foreign medical schools who are selected for medical electives at UMMS. The intent of this is to afford practical experience and instructions in the various disciplines of medicine under the supervision and direction of faculty physicians at UMMS as an approved part of the student's foreign medical school education. The B-1 / WB options does not apply to graduate medical training. All students interested in a medical elective at UMMS must apply and be accepted through the Division of Student Affairs. Individuals accepted into a medical elective are not required to register with Immigration Services

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Reimbursements / Honorarium Payments

UMMS may provide B-1 or WB visitors with an expense allowance (per diem) or reimbursement for incidental expenses. In certain circumstances, an honorarium may be paid to an individual in either B-1 or WB visa status for ‘usual academic activities'. For the honorarium payment to be permitted, the academic activity must not last longer than nine days and the individual may not have accepted similar payments from more than five institutions during the previous six months.

The Office of Finance is required to withhold 30% of the honorarium payment for tax purposes. If the individual wishes to claim tax treaty benefits, he/she must have a social security number or tax identification number.

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Invitation Letter

The inviting UMMS department should provide an invitation letter stating the purpose of the visit, the dates of the visit, and also that no salary will be paid by UMMS*. In addition, documentation from the visitor's employer is recommended to complement the UMMS invitation letter, particulary if the employer will be financing the visit to UMMS.

*If UMMS will provide the WB or B-1 visitor with an expense allowance or reimbursment of incidental expenses, this should be included in the letter. If the visitor will be receiving an honorarium, the letter should include a statement such as “In order to receive this honorarium you have indicated that you have not accepted similar payments from more than five institutions in the past six-month period, per INA Section 212(8 U.S.C. 1182)(q)” and the UMMS visit should not exceed 9 days.

Individuals requiring B-1 classifcation must schedule an appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to obtain a B-1/B-2 visa stamp prior to traveling to the United States.  The letters must also be presented to the immigration inspector at the point of entry into the United States, and the visitor must request entrance as a B-1 Business Visitor or as a WB Visa Waiver for Business (if eligible).

The immigration inspector will decide the appropriateness of the visa classification and will note “B-1” or "WB" on the individual's entry permit (Form I-94). The notation on the Form I-94 is important as B-2 Visitors for Tourism (or “WT” under the Visa Waiver Program) may not have any kind of professional affiliation or receive any payment while in the United States .The B-2 and WT are strictly tourist classifications.

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