B-1 Visitor for Business

B-1 Visitor for Business

This nonimmigrant visa category allows short-term visitors to come to the U.S. to engage in temporary business or professional activities. The B-1 visa is not appropriate for students or long-term scholars coming to UMass Amherst.

Individuals self-petition to enter the U.S. on the B-1 visa. This means that the IPO does not formally sponsor individuals in this immigration classification. However, as described below, the sponsoring department must provide an invitation letter to describe the individual’s visit to UMass Amherst. Examples of activities permitted under the B-1 include:

  • Consult with business associates
  • Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
  • Settle an estate
  • Negotiate a contract

If you have an international visitor who plans to come to UMass for the purpose of engaging in collaborative, hands-on research or gain on-the-job training, the J-1 Scholar Visa is more appropriate and should be used. If in doubt, contact the IPO so we can help you determine the appropriate visa category for your visitor. To learn more about the B-1 or how your visitor can apply for a B-1 visa, please visit the following U.S. government websites:

Specific information for Chinese citizens using a B-1 visa: Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) for Chinese nationals

Allowable Activity on the B-1 Visa

Departments hosting an international visitor on a B-1 must ensure their activities fall within those permitted. NOTE: B-1 visitors may NOT study or work, work as foreign press, radio, film, journalists, or other information media, or gain permanent residence in the U.S. These activities include:

  • Attend and participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business seminars, meetings or conferences
  • Consult with faculty members
  • Participate in short-term training
  • Undertake independent research
  • Observe
  • Invited for a job interview or give a lecture


Temporary stays of six (6) months or less

B-1 Visitor Business

International visitors coming under the B-1 must have a letter of invitation from their host department to present to a U.S. immigration inspector at the airport when they enter the country. The invitation letter must state the purpose of the visit, the dates of the visit, and that no salary will be paid by UMass Amherst. [If the visitor will be receiving an honorarium, the visit may not exceed nine (9) days. 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)."

Prior to your visitor’s arrival on campus and to ensure that the Office of Research Compliance completes a screening and export control review, please follow the non-UMass sponsored visitor procedure below.  

Log in to UMass VIP, go to Departmental Services, add a new person to start a request, then pick the Non-UMass Sponsored International Visitor Screening Task. You will need to upload the documents below to the e-form prior to submitting it.

The IPO will send you an email after the Office of Research Compliance has completed their review and cleared the invitation so you can request a NENS account for your international business visitor. At the discretion of the U.S. immigration inspector, the international visitor’s passport will be stamped with the date of entry and marked with the notation B-1, and they will then be permitted to engage in the appropriate activity while in the United States.

A U.S. employer may legally provide the B-1 visitor with a subsistence allowance (per diem) or reimbursement for expenses incidental to the visit (travel and living expenses).
At UMass Amherst, a B-1 visitor may be given a short-term, non-salaried appointment, if the Department so desires, provided that these guidelines are followed.


  • Duration of activity eligible for honorarium: No more than nine (9) days
  • Other restrictions: the individual may not have accepted similar payments from more than five (5) U.S. institutions during the previous six (6) months. UMass Amherst's interpretation of this section of the Act [INA Section 212(8 U.S.C. 1182)(q)] is that honoraria payments are limited to a maximum of five (5) visits in a six (6)-month period, each visit lasting no longer than nine (9) days, at UMass Amherst and/or other institutions.

UMass Amherst's Controller's Office is required to withhold 30% of the honorarium payment for tax purposes if the individual does not possess a Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number. If the individual wishes to claim tax treaty benefits, he/she must have a Social Security or Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). For departments wishing to give an honorarium please visit the Controllers’ website for more information.

Departments will request university NENS credential access for their non-UMass sponsored international visitors through UMass Information Technology (IT) using this link and must select the category INTCM -International Guest on Campus from the list of NENS account types. Departments will be prompted to upload the screenshot of their initial screening approval email from IPO.

Note that if you do not have the approval email from our office (i.e. you did not complete and submit the non-UMass sponsorship screening e-form), you will be instructed to follow up with us.

Please remember to cancel or amend NENS account if your visitor experiences a delay in arriving on campus or chooses to no longer visit campus.