Visa Information

Before you confirm your attendance to a workshop or program, please take a look at local consulate wait times to see if you are able to obtain a visa; if you are unable to obtain one before your scheduled arrival date, please email Janell Rodgers at Do not book any flights until you are sure you can enter the U.S. 

** Please note that our department has no way of speeding up the visa application process. 

Visa Information

If you are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident, you will need to determine the best visa option for your visit to the Simons Center.

If you are not sure which visa you need, please see the chart below.

You may also find the following links helpful:

Honorarium Rule (“9-5-6”)

Foreign nationals in B-1, B-2, WB, and WT status may accept an honorarium under the following conditions:

  • For “usual academic activity or activities”
  • 9 days or less at Stony Brook University
  • The individual has accepted such payment from no more than 5 educational or research institutions (including Stony Brook University) in the previous 6-month period.

For reimbursement of travel expenses: The “9-5-6” rule does not apply.

Visa Type Travel Expenses Honorarium Additional Info
B-1 (“business visitor”) YES YES* Please be sure to declare your U.S. visit as “Business,” not “Tourism.” If you have a visa, be sure the immigration official marks B-1 (not B-2) on your I-94 card/visa entry stamp.
*If you are receiving an honorarium: The “9-5-6” rule applies. Consider getting a B-1 visa if you will be here for more than 3 weeks. 
B-2 (tourist) YES YES max nine (9) working days You will not be able to receive an honorarium for more than nine (9) working days if you have a “B-2” mark on your I-94 card/visa entry stamp. Please see ‘9-5-6’ rule. Programs (not workshops) require our visitors to come for a minimum of 2 weeks and therefore, we suggest requesting the B-1 visa.
WB (WB mark)”waiver of business” YES YES* *For honorarium – max 9 (nine) working days.
WT (WT mark)”tourist status” YES *max nine (9) working days  YES *max nine (9) working days Please note: you will not be able to receive travel reimbursement for more than nine (9) working days if you have a “WT” mark on your I-94 card/visa entry stamp. Please see “9-5-6” rule. Programs (not workshops) require our visitors to come for a minimum of 2 weeks and therefore a “WT” is not the appropriate visa to visit on. Coming on a “WT” for a program visit will prevent you from receiving travel reimbursement.
F-1 Student YES NO Travel expenses only
J-1 YES* YES* *Will need a letter from sponsoring agency, signed by a “Responsible” or “Alternate Responsible Officer” granting permission for specific activity and payment.
**J-1 (“Exchange Visitor, Short Term”) is needed for payment for more than 9 working days.
H-1B/O-1/TN YES NO Travel expenses only
“9-5-6” rule: Visitor will not perform services for more than nine (9) working days, and will not receive such payments from more than five (5) institutions in a six (6) month period.


** Important things to remember when entering the U.S. **

– Please bring your invitation letter with you during your travels so that you may establish your Simons Center visit dates should you be asked by an immigration official.

– If you applied for a B-1 visa, you may notice that your visa says B-1/B-2 when you receive it from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. When you arrive in the U.S., please be sure that the Immigration official marks your I-94 card or entry stamp for business (B-1).

– If you are planning on entering the U.S. through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP or ESTA), please see the information below regarding the Visa Waiver Program. Please be sure the immigration official marks your I-94 card or entry stamp WB “business waiver.”  It is crucial that you do not get the WT “tourist waiver” if your Simons Center visit exceeds nine (9) working days as there is a restriction on the WT tourist status for the period of reimbursement.

Please note: Due to the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, previous visa rules have changed.

If you have traveled to Syria, Sudan, Iran and/or Iraq within the past 5 years, you may require a visa and an interview from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy, in addition to applying through ESTA (some exceptions apply on a case by case basis).

Please see the link below for more information (be sure to click the “Important Notice” link). Should this Act affect you, please be sure that you leave yourself ample time to make an appointment with a U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

Visa waiver program information (VWP/ESTA)

With stays of 90 days or less, visitors from participating countries may be eligible to enter the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program. This means it is not necessary to obtain a visa stamp from an American Consulate. For a list of participating countries, please click here. You may be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program if:

  • your total visit does not exceed 90 days
  • you have a valid passport
  • you have a return trip ticket (to any foreign destination other than a territory bordering the U.S., unless you are a resident there).

If you are eligible to enter the U.S. under the terms of the waiver program, then the Simons Center is able to reimburse you for travel and local expenses for a period of up to 90 days without a visa as long as your I-94 card/visa entry stamp is marked for business status (WB).

Please be sure to visit the waiver program website above as there are certain requirements that must be met and you may need to have ESTA authorization before your visit.

If you have any further questions in regards to visas, please contact Melissa Wessler (