Visa info for workshop participants

The following is important information about U.S. visa catagories for foreign nationals visiting Stony Brook University. Because of federal regulations, certain regulations must be followed in order for foreign visitors to receive travel-related expenses. Similar regulations apply at other institutions and universities with federal funding.

B2, W/T (Waiver/Tourist): NO!

If you visit Stony Brook with one of these visas you cannot be reimbursed for any travel expenses.

W/B: Yes, but limited to a maximum stay of 90 days.

Your travel agent will give you information about the W/B (Waiver/Business) visa. With stays of 90 days or less visitors from participating countries may be eligible to enter the U.S. on the visa waiver program. This means it is not necessary to obtain a visa stamp from an American Consulate. Citizens of the following countries qualify: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

In addition, you must arrive on an airline that has a waiver agreement with the U.S. government. You must also have a nontransferable round-trip ticket which is refundable only in your home country, or in the country where the ticket was issued. Make certain that when you pass immigration inspection upon entry to the U.S. that your passport is stamped W/B.

B1: Yes

If you do not meet the conditions for a W/B visa, then you must get a B1 visa. This requires a trip to the U.S. Consulate, to whom you must show a letter of invitation to visit from your U.S. host. If you have an active multiple-entry B-1 visa, then you will not need to attend a U.S. Consulate. The B-1 visa limits a single stay to 6 months.

Important for both B-1 ("Business Visitor") or WB ("Waiver of Business"): You must declare your visit as "Business", not "Tourism", when entering the country --- In the inspection area of the American port of entry (or land border, e.g. Canada) you will be required to show a valid passport and a round trip ticket. Whether you are a visitor with a visa or have a visa waiver, the Immigration official will mark the I-94 card (arrival/departure record, green colored for waiver program), which is usually issued onboard the airplane and stapled into your passport at the port of entry inspection, to indicate your classification. Make sure that you tell him your visit is on business, not tourism: If you have a visa, he must write B-1 (not B-2) on the I-94; if you have a visa waiver, he must write WB (not WT). Check the card for the correct mark (B-1 or WB) before leaving the inspection area. This is crucial: You must get the correct classification, and this is absolutely the only time you can get it for this visit; otherwise, we can't pay you honoraria.

J-1: Yes

Yes, but you must have a current Form IAP-66 that covers your association with a U.S. institution. Your J-1 sponsor must provide a letter of concurrence to BNL before you can receive any travel-related expenses.

Permanent residents: yes

If you have been in the U.S. during the past year, you will generally be able to enter as a Permanent Resident. But watch out, there can be problems upon arrival if the immigration inspector thinks your U.S. ties are weak.