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The following lists other visa classifications that permit temporary business or professional activities in the US. Each visa has its own specific conditions and restrictions. Please contact the International Center for more information.

B-1 business visitors are persons who come to the US for short-term business visits. At Tufts, business visitors may include persons invited to participate in academic activities such as:

  • Giving an invited lecture, speech, or talk
  • Participating in an academic conference, seminar, or workshop
  • Meeting with professional colleagues*
  • Providing demonstrations to academic audiences

*The B visa is not appropriate persons participating in research collaboration with Tufts faculty or principal investigators. For these types of activities, the J-1 Exchange Visitor (Research Scholar or Short-Term Scholar) visa may be more appropriate.

9/5/6 Rule and Honoraria

B-1 visitors are not employees of the University and cannot receive salary or other forms of compensation. However, they may receive honorarium payments and reimbursement for reasonable incidental expenses associated with the business activity, provided all of the following restrictions are met:

  1. The proposed activity is related to the academic purposes and is for the benefit of the University
  2. The proposed activity at Tufts will be completed within nine (9) days
  3. The visitor has not received more than five (5) similar payments from Tufts or other institutions within the last six (6) months

Visa Process: The B-1/B-2 Visa and the Visa Waiver Program

Business visitors to the US must obtain or have a B-1/B-2 visitors visa in order to enter the US as a B-1 visitor. Certain visitors will not require a visa if they carry a passport from a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows visa-free travel to the United States for short-term visits for business or pleasure.

B-1 visitors are visitors for business, while B-2 visitors are visitors for pleasure (tourists). Persons who enter on the Visa Waiver Program are given WB (business visitors) or WT status (tourists).

Visitors do not require processing through the International Center and are expected to make their own arrangements for applying for a B-1/B-2 visa at a US consulate. Visa Waiver Program eligible visitors are similarly required to understand and comply with Visa Waiver Program rules, including having an unexpired Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) clearance.

Upon entry to the US, the B-1 visitor will be granted a period of time appropriate to the proposed activity, but the authorized stay cannot be more than six months. WB visitors are restricted to stays that cannot exceed 90 days.

Invitation Letter from Department

To facilitate visitor travel and entry into the US, the host department or sponsor may issue an invitation letter to any visitor invited to campus. The invitation letter should be on official letterhead and communicate, at minimum, the following details:

  • The name and title of the visitor
  • The expected start and end dates of the activity at Tufts
  • The academic nature and purpose of the visit (e.g., giving a lecture or talk, participating in a workshop, meeting with colleagues, etc.)
  • The visitor's department host, including contact name, email, and department address
  • Information about any specific payments that will be provided to the visitor, e.g., honorarium amounts, reimbursement for incidental expenses, etc.

Department hosts are responsible for knowing and complying with any department and school policies for inviting individuals to campus for academic activities. Consult with your department chair and/or school's dean of academic affairs for further information.

Honoraria and Expense Reimbursement

Departments should contact TSS regarding the University's procedures for requesting honorarium payments and reimbursing expenses for invited business visitors.

E-3 status is available to citizens of Australia who are offered temporary employment in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is defined a position that requires "theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum requirement." In practice, this means that the position must require the minimum of a bachelor's degree in a specific disciplinary area and that the employee must have the required educational qualifications at the time of application.

  • E-3 status is granted for up to two years and can be extended indefinitely in increments of up to two years
  • E-3 status requires a Department of Labor approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) that certifies the position will be paid the higher of the actual or prevailing wage for the specialty occupation
  • E-3 status is employer-specific; employees are only allowed to work for their E-3 sponsor
  • An E-3 employee may be accompanied by a dependent spouse and/or unmarried minor children under 21

Departments interested in sponsoring an Australian citizen who may be eligible for E-3 employment should contact the International Center at least 90 days in advance of commencement of employment for information about application procedures.

The O-1 visa classification is available to individuals who have received sustained national or international acclaim for extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, and athletics, or who have a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industries. Evidence of extraordinary ability and achievement may include, but are not limited to: receipt of national or international prizes and awards; membership in professional associations requiring outstanding achievement; and publication of original research considered to be of major significance. O-1 employees must be able to show a high level of expertise and must be recognized as having reached the top levels of their fields.

  • O-1 status may be granted for up to three years and extended indefinitely for one year increments as long as the O-1 employment continues
  • O-1 status is employer specific; the O-1 employee may only work for the O-1 sponsor*
  • An O-1 employee may be accompanied by a spouse and/or unmarried minor children under 21

Because the O-1 visa requires a complex petition accompanied by substantial levels of documentation, Tufts uses this classification to sponsor only highly qualified teachers, scientists, and artists who have extraordinary expertise. For more information, contact the International Center.

*Note that the O-1 visa also allows for an individual of extraordinary ability to be sponsored by an agent who has the ability to manage employment with multiple employers following an itinerary of professional engagements. Tufts is not authorized to act as an agent and is only able to sponsor individuals for employment with Tufts. However, O-1 visa holders who have secured O-1 status through an agent may consult with their agent and the agent's immigration attorney to see if any engagement with Tufts can be accommodated within their existing agent-based O-1 approval. Depending on the specific circumstances of the engagement, Tufts may still be required to file its own concurrent O-1 petition even if the individual already has approval for an O-1 through an agent.