The B1/B2 visa classifications may be used by scholars who plan to pay short visits to one (or several campuses) in the United States. It is not intended for use by a scholar accepting any type of formal academic appointment for a term or longer. B visitors can receive academic appointments at Cornell but cannot receive any salary or compensation for services. Reimbursement for expenses are allowed. Honoraria are also allowed, as long as the visit to Cornell is not longer than 9 days, and the visitor has not accepted honoraria from more than five institutions or organizations within a six-month period.
Visitors from some countries can enter the United States without securing a visa from a US Consulate. Application is made through ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) and must be made at least 72 hours in advance. Both the WB/WT are limited to 3 months with no extensions or change of status possible. If the visit will be longer than 3 months, the visitor should obtain the B1/B2 visa stamp, or consider another visa classification. WB/WT visitors are also eligible for reimbursement of expenses, and/or honoraria payments as the visit to Cornell is not longer than 9 days, and the visitor has not accepted honoraria from more than five institutions or organizations within a six-month period.
B1/B2 and WB/WT visitors are not required to check in with the ISSO. As they are not eligible for payments, Form I-9 is also not appropriate.
A person requesting a B visa should present a letter of invitation from Cornell to the US Consul. The letter must state the purpose of the visit and make it clear that no salary or compensation for services will be made by Cornell. It can refer to offers of reimbursement and/or honoraria, if the individual's visit will meet honoraria guidelines described above. It is at the American Consul's discretion to grant any visa.
The same letter must be presented to an admitting official at the point of entry into the U.S. and a request made for entrance in B1 classification. The admitting official will note "B1" on the scholar's entry permit (Form I-94), although if not clear of the business purpose of the visit, B2 is issued by default. At present, either classification is sufficient for purposes of reimbursement or honoraria payments, as described above. This notation on the I-94 form is of great importance. Canadians who wish to be admitted in B status must also present their letter of invitation when entering the United States and receive a properly annotated I-94 entry document.
***Visitors entering in WB/WT present their letter of invitation when entering the United States. They will be issued an entry document (I-94 card) with the notation WB (for business) or WT (for pleasure/tourism). WT is the default, should they fail to convince the admitting officer of their business purpose.
If the scholar is going to receive reimbursement or an honoraria payment of any kind from Cornell, they must fill out the Foreign National Honoraria Attestation Form. They should also complete the Foreign National Questionnaire. Both are available on the Cornell Tax compliance web page on paying foreign nationals. The Foreign National Questionnaire must be printed and sent to the Tax Compliance Office with copies of the visitor's immigration documents.