B-1/B-2 Visitor

The most common visa categories are the B-1 Visitor for Business and the B-2 Visitor for Pleasure. Depending on each country’s reciprocity schedule, these visas may be granted for up to ten years. While the visa may be valid for up to ten years, periods of admission to the U.S. are normally authorized for only six months. Extensions may be granted for an additional six-month period. Individuals holding visitor visas must be careful not to confuse the validity of the visa with the authorized period of stay.

A visa will automatically be invalidated if the visitor overstays for even one day. B-1 business visitors are usually admitted only for the period required to conduct their business. In order to observe at UCLA, a B-1 business visitor must have an invitation letter issued by a UCLA faculty member and must check in with the UCLA Department upon arrival for additional processing. UCLA has additional restrictive policies concerning B-1 visitors and reimbursements. Visitors are generally prohibited from working in the United States. Although the visitor visa may appear to be an expedient way to enter the United States, we advise UCLA J-1 and H-1B candidates to NOT enter the United States on a visitor visa in the hope of obtaining a change of status to another visa category, since a change of status in the United States can take from 6 months to one year to obtain through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.


Visa Waiver Program

Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of certain countries to enter the United States without a visa, as a business visitor or tourist. Visa waiver visitors must register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization Web Site (ESTA) before traveling to the United States.

Canadian citizens are exempt from the general requirement to have a U.S. visa. Citizens of Bermuda are also visa exempt under certain circumstances.


E-3 Category

The E-3 nonimmigrant classification allows citizens of Australia to perform services in a specialty occupation in the US. Please contact the Dashew Center for questions regarding E-3 visa types.