Sample Invitation Letter for B-1 or VWP Visitors Receiving Expense Reimbursement Only

July 28, 2019

Dear Rahul Gupta,

We are delighted that you have accepted our invitation to visit the Department of Computer Science at Zorby University from October 5 to October 11, 2019. Your lecture is scheduled for October 8 at 3:00 p.m., and the graduate student seminar for October 9 at 4:00 p.m. Zorby University will cover your airfare to and from Dallas, Texas, as well as reimburse you for your living expenses.

As you will not be employed at Zorby and your stay is of short duration, you should enter the U.S. in B-1 or VWP status (visitor for business). To qualify for this status and to ensure that Zorby University will be able to reimburse you for your expenses, your status and activities must meet certain criteria. The basic requirements to qualify for reimbursement of expenses are:

  • The visitor may be reimbursed for expenses for a period of time not to exceed the limit of his or her lawful B-1 or VWP status (as noted on the I-94 form), but may not be paid an honorarium.
  • You must be present in the U.S. in visitor status as B-1, B-2, or VWP per the notation on your I-94 Form.

Canadian and Mexican citizens who cross the border without obtaining a form I-94 are presumed to have been admitted to the U.S in B-1/B-2 status. Canadians are exempt from the visa requirements. If traveling by air, you must have your passport to enter the United States. Citizens of Canada entering the U.S. by land or sea will need to present a passport or a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, plus proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. Citizens of Mexico must present a U.S. Border Crossing Card or a Mexican passport with a valid B-1/B-2 tourist visa.

If you do not have a valid B-1/B-2 visa stamp in your passport, it will be necessary to apply for one at an American Embassy or Consulate. You should present this letter with your application for a visa. At the port of entry to the U.S., you should again present this letter along with your passport and visa. You will be issued an electronic I-94 form that you can print later from the CBP website. You will need to present a copy of the I-94 card and copies of the visa and identity pages from your passport once at Zorby in order to receive your reimbursement of expenses.

If you are from a country that participates in the visa waiver program with the United States, you need to carry your passport, but you do not need to obtain a visa for entry to the U.S. You will, however, be required to go online and register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to entering the U.S. Follow the instructions at DHS recommends that travelers print out the ESTA application response to serve as confirmation of their ESTA registration upon boarding their air carrier. You will need to present a copy of the electronic I-94 card and copies of the identity pages from your passport once at Zorby in order to receive your reimbursement of expenses.

If you believe that you cannot meet one or more of these requirements, or if you have any questions about the immigration requirements of your visit, please call me or Zorby’s Office of International Students and Scholars at (972) 123-4567 or [email protected].


Michael Jones

1 Visa Waiver countries: Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom

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