UCI International Center

Visitor Visa

Section 1

B-1 and B-2 Visas

Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1), tourism, pleasure (B-2), or a combination of both (B-1/B-2).

Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows tourists from some participating countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business without obtaining the B-1 or B-2 visa in their passports. These visitors are required to have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to visit the U.S. without a visa. Upon entering the U.S. these visitors obtain either WB or WT status.

Use of Visitor Visa

This category is used for individuals who are at UCI for a short visit whose activities might include presenting at or attending a scientific, educational, professional conference; attending a meeting, or giving a talk. It is not intended for use by an individual accepting a formal academic appointment.

Honorarium payments and associated incidental expenses may be possible for "usual academic activity."  Refer to Honorarium Payments to B-1/B-2 Visa Holders and Certification of Academic Activity.

If you have questions regarding the "Certification of Academic Activity" form, please contact the Disbursement Office.

For general information please see https://www.policies.uci.edu/specialtopics/honoraria.php and https://www.accounting.uci.edu/travel/resources/foreign.html .

Restrictions of the Visa

This visa category should not be used for individuals that will be performing services for UCI, conduct research or teaching. These visits require an official UCI appointment and the individual will require a visa appropriate for the activity at UCI.

If the university is benefitting from the visit, if equipment and facilities used are owned or operated by the university, the contents of the visit and/or research activity undertaken might result in the form of a published work, patent or discovery at a later date, and/or the visitor is involved in a formally structured program, use of the B1/B2/WB/WT visa will contradict U.S. Department of State guidelines. The Department of State has made clear that any visitor to a U.S. academic institution who engages in a collaborative activity or research, and whose activity will benefit the hosting institution, should be sponsored for an appropriate visa.

Contact the International Center if you have questions or need assistance in determining the appropriate visa.