What is B-1/B-2 and WB/WT Status?

The B-1 visa is suitable for short-term visits, less than 90 days, with no salary, for the purpose of lab observation, business meetings and conferences, training, medical clerkships, or one-time lectures. If the foreign national will conduct research, the B-1 is not appropriate. Note: Honorarium or reimbursement for incidental expenses may be possible; check with your HR generalist for details. In accordance with immigration law, UCOP disallows honoraria and/or incidental expenses from more than five institutions or organizations in the previous six-month period.

The B-2 visa is generally for pleasure, tourism, or medical treatment; or for visiting a friend or relatives for a short period of time. This visa is NOT appropriate for activities while at UCSF.

WB/WT status allows citizens of a limited number of countries (see list here) to visit the United States for up to 90 days without a B-1 visa under the Visa Waiver Program. Visitors entering for business purposes are admitted in WB status and visitors entering for pleasure are admitted in WT status. It is not appropriate for WTs to participate in UCSF activities.

Though similar, the B-1/B-2 and WB/WT categories have some important differences that should be noted: visitors in WB/WT status cannot extend their stay in the United States beyond 90 days and they may not apply within the USA for a change of status. They must also fulfill certain passport and pre-screening requirements.  Please note that denial of a recent U.S. entry visa application could result in an inability to meet these requirements. 

Who May Come to UCSF on B-1 or WB?
Anyone who comes to UCSF for less than 90 days to engage in the following activities without a salary or income, may consider B-1 or WB option:

  • An individual who will be coming to UCSF for observation only, such as a scientist or student coming to observe a technique in the lab.
  • An international medical student pursuing a medical degree at a foreign institution coming to the U.S. to engage in a medical clerkship or clinical elective required by the foreign institution to obtain the medical degree*.
    For more information about this program, please refer to the “Application for Clinical Elective” available from the School of Medicine Dean’s Office, Student and Curricular Affairs website.

*Note: The dean of the international medical school, or other authorized official, must confirm in writing that the student is in the final year of medical school, is in good standing, pays tuition at the medical school, and is authorized to take the elective. International medical students must carry malpractice insurance, personal health insurance, a record of specific immunizations, and complete mandatory HIPAA certification.

For information on how to get a B-1 or WB visa, visit the following pages:

NOTE: In light of recent changes in Congressional oversight and Federal security concerns, the policy governing B-1 visitors is currently under review by the ISSO Advisory Council.

Any questions related to this topic should be sent to Brian Groves, Director, International Students and Scholars Office at brian.groves@ucsf.edu.