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Travel Reimbursements: B-1/WB


Visitors who wish to enter the U.S. for business purposes can visit a U.S. embassy or consulate and apply for a B-1 visa. They show this visa to the immigration inspector as they enter the U.S. and are given a status on their I-94 card of B-1. Visitors from countries that are a part of the Visa Waiver Program do not need to obtain a visa before entering the U.S. These visitors complete a green I-94 card and are awarded a status of WB on their I-94.

Business purposes include activities such as lecturing, consulting, workshops, and conferences. Visitors in B-1 or WB status may not become Indiana University employees. WB status is valid for 90 days. B-1 status may be valid for up to a year, but will be limited upon entry to a period that is fair and reasonable for the purpose of the trip. The official expiration date is indicated on the I-94 card.

Visitors who are in B-1 or WB status and who are conducting IU business may be reimbursed for travel expenses for the duration of their status (as indicated by the I-94 card). Reimbursements will be determined according to the standards of IU Travel Management Services.

Even though visitors in B-1 and WB status may receive reimbursement for travel for a period longer than nine days, they may not receive an honorarium for an activity longer than nine days. Please see the section on honoraria for B-1 visitors.

Payment Procedures
Travel reimbursements are not considered taxable income and are not subject to income tax withholding if the payment is made under an accountable plan. Accountable plan rules require the following criteria to be met:
  1. Substantiation of lodging, airfare, and other expenses within a reasonable time
  2. Travel was incurred in order to conduct business away from home
  3. Purpose of travel, times and dates of travel are identified

When payment for travel expenses are paid for an individual who is not conducting business for the university, or when the payment is made under a nonaccountable plan, that payment will be considered fellowship income. If the recipient is an international visitor, the IU tax department may be required to withhold taxes from this payment.

In order to pay travel expenses on behalf of a B-1/WB visitor, the department must submit the following documentation with the travel payment request:

  1. Tax Cover Sheet-International Short-Term Visitor
  2. Copy of I-94 Departure Card
  3. Form W-8BEN, Part I, questions 1-6 and Part IV.

Block IU Last Updated 5/14/2008
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