Visa Guidelines for Invited Speakers & Sponsored Fellows Seeking Travel Reimbursement

PPer University of Southern California guidelines, any payments made to foreign nationals must include documentation that the payee had a valid visa while conducting university-related business. Below are some guidelines specific to invited speakers of this event.

The following types of visas may be reimbursed for travel expenses: B-1, B-2, F-1, H-1B, J-1, O-1, O-2, Green Card, TN, WB and WT.

For visa types not listed here, please contact Grace Liang-Franco.

The following visa types are NOT eligible to receive any travel payments for expenses incurred in the United States: F-2, H-4, O-3 and P-4.

Citizens of Canada traveling to the United States do not require a nonimmigrant visa, except for the travel purposes described on the U.S. Department of State website. Canadian citizens entering the United States without a formal visa or status are required to present specific documents. The link for Canadians enter the US explains the requirement in more detail.

Visitors who are citizens of Japan, Australia and Korea can enter on the Visa Waiver Program.  Please note that there are new requirements for visitors from a Waiver country (see info on ESTA on their website).  

Visitors from China (or Chinese nationals residing in other countries) should enter on a B1/B2 visa. 


Please note the actual status B1 or B2 or WB or WT is determined by immigration when the visitor enters the US.  This is indicated on the I-94 stamp in the passport (with the exception of visitors from Canada).  Foreign visitors must provide a copy of the I-94 stamp before departure. Meeting staff will be onsite during the meeting to make copies of your passport. However, it is your responsibility to seek out event staff and present your passport for photocopying.


    To be reimbursed for travel expenses, you must provide: 
  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of the I-94 documenting your status (see above for Canadian citizens)
  • Copy of DS-2019 (J-1 only. If USC is not the sponsor, must provide sponsor approval letter.)
  • Copy of I-20 (F-1 only. If USC is not the sponsor, must provide sponsor approval letter.)
  • Non-Employee Short Term International Visitor Questionnaire PDF
  • Certification of Academic Activity PDF
  • Original receipts of what is being reimbursed showing amount paid and method of payment. Please note that hotel receipts must show a balance of $0.00 (indicating that you paid) and the method of payment. Airfare receipts must show the complete itinerary, cost, taxes and fees, total paid and method of payment.

Anyone on a B1 or WB should be able to be reimbursed. If you enter on a WT or B2, you can only be reimbursed if your services are less than 9 days and you have not been paid or reimbursed from more than 5 US institutions in a 6-month period.

If you need an official invitation letter for visa application purposes or need additional clarifications, please contact Grace Liang-Franco via email.