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DIS Title Divider Administrative Staff Title Divider B-1/WB Temporary Visitors
Administrative Staff
B-1/WB Temporary Business Visitors

Visitors may enter the United States temporarily in either B-1 or WB status to engage in legitimate business activities of a commercial or professional nature. Authorized "business" activities refer to participation in scientific, educational, professional or business conferences and seminars, or undertaking independent research.

B-1 or WB Status Eligibility at NIH

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A visitor may come to NIH campus in B-1 or WB status if the individual is:


  1. Eligible for B-1 status and can obtain a B-1 visa OR eligible for WB status via the Visa Waiver Program,
  2. AND


  3. Meets any of the criteria outlined in the NIH B-1/WB Statement.

Inappropriate Use of B-1 or WB Status

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There are several instances when B-1 or WB status is inappropriate for a prospective NIH visitor:


  1. U.S. Employer - B-1 and WB status do not allow for an employment relationship with a U.S. employer. The visitor must not be coming to provide services or engage in business activities that are primarily for the benefit of a U.S. employer. In many cases, visitors in B-1 or WB status are admitted to the United States to conduct business on behalf of a foreign employer.

  2. Intention to Change Status – It is inappropriate to invite a visitor in B-1 or WB status if they have the intention of changing immigration status (e.g. to J-1 Exchange Visitor) during their stay.

  3. Previous J-1 Exchange Visitor – A visitor who recently completed their J-1 Exchange Visitor program at NIH should not return in B-1 or WB status to engage in their previous program activities unless they have an employer in the home country who will be the principal beneficiary of the research.

  4. Displacement of U.S. Worker – The B-1/WB visitor cannot conduct activities that will displace a U.S. worker. 

NIH Designations

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Common NIH designations for visitors in B-1 or WB status are Guest Researcher, (Non-Clinical) Research Collaborator, and Clinical Rotator.

B-1/WB Delegate Program

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The B-1/WB Delegate Program at NIH allows appointed administrative staff members, or "Delegates," within an Institute/Center (IC) to coordinate the short-term stay of foreign national scientists (visitors at NIH for fewer than 90 days) without sending a case to DIS. For more information, refer to our B-1/WB Delegate Program webpage.

If a B-1/WB visitor will be staying at NIH for longer than 90 days or if your IC does not have a Delegate, a case must be prepared and sent to DIS.

Duration

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Upon entry to the United States, a Customs and Border Protection officer will authorize the visitor's period of stay necessary to carry out the business activities. The authorized period of stay will be reflected on the visitor's Form I-94.

Visitors in B-1 status may be admitted into the U.S. for a maximum period of six months, while those in WB status may only be admitted for up to 90 days. If a B-1/WB visitor will be staying at NIH for longer than 90 days or if your IC does not have a Delegate, a case must be prepared and sent to DIS.

Pre-Arrival

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B-1 Visitors

Scientists planning to come to NIH in B-1 status must obtain a B-1 visa stamp in their passport from Department of State at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad. Guidance on applying for the B-1 visa can be found on the Department of State website.

                 

WB Visitors (ESTA)

Citizens of participating countries in the Visa Waiver Program may be eligible for WB status, which does not require a visa before entering the United States. Visitors in WB status must meet Visa Waiver Program requirements and have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval at least 72 hours prior to travel.

                 

Citizens of Canada and Bermuda

Citizens of Canada and Bermuda often do not require visas to enter the United States for temporary business travel purposes. For more information, see U.S. Embassy Ottawa website and the U.S. Consulate Hamilton website.

                 

Citizens of China

Citizens of China must have valid B-1 visa and Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) approval prior to travel.

Funding

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B-1 or WB visitors may not receive a salary or other payment from a U.S. source other than reimbursement for expenses incidental to the individual's temporary stay (e.g. per diem and travel) and honorarium in limited circumstances.

Any honorarium payments must meet strict guidelines. If an honorarium is paid, the NIH Institute or Center (IC) needs to complete a Declaration of Honorarium at the time of the scientist's arrival.

Patient Contact

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Patient contact is generally not permitted. See the B-1 section of our webpage on Patient Contact for more information.

Leaving NIH

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B-1 and WB visitors must depart the country on or before the expiration date on the Form I-94 (unless they are in B-1 status and have filed an application for an extension of stay). There is no grace period for individuals in B-1 or WB status.

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DIS Info 
Office Hours:
8:30am - 5:00pm
Check-In Hours:
9:00am Mondays
Walk-in Hours:
1:30pm - 3:30pm Mon-Thurs
Badge Clearance:
9:00am - 11:00am
Tuesday & Thursday
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