Information for Foreign Speakers Visiting the U.S.

Non-immigrant visas are issued to allow a foreign national to come to the U.S. for a short period of time for a specific purpose. If you are traveling to attend a conference or convention, you may be able to apply for a B-1 business visitor visa.

Key Points for International Speakers:

  1. Purpose and Duration: The B-1 visa is typically used for business-related activities such as attending conferences, meetings, or conventions. It allows you to stay in the U.S. for a limited time, usually up to six months.
  2. Restrictions on Payment: Generally, speakers from foreign countries are not permitted by U.S. law to be paid for their services. However, there are exceptions:
    • Expenses: You can receive reimbursements for expenses incidental to the visit, such as travel, lodging, and meals.
    • Honorarium: If you are to receive an honorarium, the following conditions must be met:
      • The activity must not last more than nine days at a single institution or organization.
      • Payment must be offered by an institution or organization described in INA 212(q) (such as educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, or research institutions).
      • The honorarium is for services conducted for the benefit of the institution or entity.
      • You must not have accepted such payment or expenses from more than five institutions or organizations over the past six months.
  3. Additional Details: For comprehensive information about business visas and specific guidelines for speakers, you can visit the official U.S. Department of State Business Visa Purpose Listings flyer.

SpeakerMatch's Focus

SpeakerMatch caters almost exclusively to both meeting planners and speakers within the United States. While we support international speakers visiting the U.S., it’s important to be aware of and comply with all relevant visa and immigration regulations.