B-1 Business/B-2 Tourist (WB/WT)

General Information

  • People who enter the United States with a B-1 or B-2 visa may not be employed.
  • B-1’s or B-2’s may be reimbursed for travel and living expenses and may be paid an honorarium, but may not be paid a salary.
  • Honorarium payments to B-1’s and all payments to B-2’s are limited to a maximum nine-day stay.
  • The nine-day stay starts on the day that the visitor arrives at the University of Wisconsin and is being paid for the services, not when they arrive in the United States.
  • It is important to note that the visa stamp in the passport indicates both B-1 and B-2; it is at the port of entry into the United States where the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) inspector determines which classification applies.
  • If the person will be receiving travel reimbursement and/or honorarium, it is necessary to have an invitation letter from University of Wisconsin detailing the activities in which the person will be engaged and the expenses that will be reimbursed and/or amount of honorarium.  This letter should be presented by the visitor at the United States embassy or consulate for visa issuance and at the United States port of entry to apply for B-1 rather than B-2 designation if necessary.
    Important Note:  It is the responsibility of the visitor to ensure that the B-1 classification is assigned by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) official at the border. This should be clearly stated in the invitation letter.  If the incorrect visa status is obtained or written on the passport or I-94 the payments allowed by the University of Wisconsin will be limited to those for the visa with which the visitor entered the United States at the port of entry as written on the passport or I-94.
  • Individuals from many countries do not need a visa if they are coming to the U.S. for business or pleasure for less than three months.  These visitors are from Visa Waiver Countries and are granted WB (business) or WT (tourism) at the port of entry, and the same criteria apply as for the B-1 and B-2.  See Visa Waiver Program and Waiver Program Countries and Documentation Requirements.

Type(s) of Payment Allowed

  • B-1/B-2 reimbursement of travel expenses and/or honorarium (receipts required for travel reimbursement).
  • B-1/ B-2 participant support for attendance at a conference.
  • B-1 or B-2 visa holders may not be employed.

Special Conditions/Requirements

  • Payments are limited to travel reimbursement, participant support for attendance at a conference, and honorarium only.
  • Individual may not accept honorarium payments from more than six institutions in a six-month period.
  • Change of status from B-1 or B-2 to any other non-immigrant status is very difficult to obtain; change from WB or WT is prohibited

Required Documents Summary

  • Invitation letter from the department detailing activities and reimbursement and/or honorarium.
  • IRS Form W-8BEN for tax reportable payments

Forms Needed for Non-Payroll Payments (Non-employees paid through Accounting Services)

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Policy

If payment involves travel related expenses/reimbursements please make read and follow Policy and Procedures: 318 Payment for Services and Travel and Expense Reimbursement for Non-employees.

Honorarium

  • IRS Form W-8BEN for tax reportable payments.
  • Social Security Number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or copy of completed/signed/filed ITIN application required.

Participant Support

  • IRS Form W-8BEN for tax reportable payments.
  • Social Security Number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or copy of completed/signed/filed ITIN application required.

Travel Reimbursement

For campuses using E-Reimbursement (UW-Madison):

For campuses not using E-Reimbursement:

Tax Liability/Withholding

Social Security

  • No FICA withholding since no employment is permitted

Federal

  • Documented travel expenses are considered business expenses of the UW and thus no federal tax is withheld

State – None for State