Guest Lecturers and B-1 Business Visa

Overview | Eligibility | Visa Waiver Program | Resources | Visitor Support


Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism, pleasure of visiting (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2). Guest Lecturers to Oregon State University usually come on a B-1 Business Visa.

Who is eligible for a B-1 Business Visa?

  • Visitors who are either a professor, scientist, university president, business executive, etc.
  • The purpose of the visit is to attend a scientific, educational, or professional conference or to engage in independent research (not collaborative with OSU in any way--this requires a J-1 visa)
  • Visitors who will not receive salary/income or be employed by OSU
  • It is very important to realize that the B-2 visa category (Visitor for Pleasure), is not suitable for official visits to the university. OSU cannot pay visitors on a B-2 visa.

Visa Waiver Program

Travelers coming to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less from qualified countries may be eligible to visit the U.S. without a visa if they meet the visa waiver program requirements. Select Visa Waiver Program to learn more, and find out if your visitor meets the visa waiver requirements.


How do I…


Invite a B-1 visitor to OSU?

Prepare a letter of invitation which includes the pertinent information your visitor will need to apply for a visa. View a b-1 sample invitation letter (Word). 


Help a visitor get a B-1 Business Visa?

Provide a clear letter of invitation for your visitor (see above question). The visitor will then take that letter, along with a valid passport and supporting documents to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that serves closest to the visitor's place of residence.

Pay a visitor?

The United States government permits academic institutions to provide honoraria and stipends to foreign nationals who enter the U.S. in B-1 (short-term business) status. However, there are several restrictions within the law. Federal law requires that:

  • the visitor is present in the U.S. in B-1 visa status

  • the academic activities at OSU must not exceed nine days;

  • the visitor has not accepted similar payments from more than five other U.S. institutions during the six-month period immediately preceding his/her visit to OSU.

Important: If the scholar will require an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), it is recommended that the scholar apply for the ITIN well before their arrival to the U.S. as it can take 6 weeks or longer to receive the ITIN.  Information on applying for an ITIN can be found on the IRS Form W-7.

Additional Assistance:


Get library access for my visitor?

Complete and submit the Visiting Scholar OSU Libraries Account Application (PDF) to the Valley Library Reference Desk to sponsor library privileges for your visitor


Get an OSU ID for my visitor?

Visitors in B-1 status are not eligible for OSU ID numbers or cards.  

Get more information?

For more information regarding the B1 Visa visit the US Department of State’s Business Visa Center and its Visitor Visas - Business and Pleasure page.