Information for International Travelers

Airline tickets must be from a U.S. Air Carrier

All airline tickets must be issued by a U.S. Air Carrier in order to be reimbursed by the MBI. It is a requirement of the U.S. federal government that a U.S. air carrier must be used when being reimbursed with federal grant money. If the flight is code-shared, the ticket MUST BE issued by a U.S. carrier and the U.S. air carrier’s code must be on the ticket or it CANNOT BE REIMBURSED. While it is important to find the best rate possible it is more important to make sure you are paying a US carrier. More about travel requirements can be found on the MBI website and you can also visit the Ohio State University travel webpage for more information: (*ADDITIONAL NOTE about flying U.S. air carriers: If you are flying internationally use caution when booking on Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc. as the federal regulation of using a U.S. air carrier isn’t taken into account. To assure that your money is flowing through a U.S. carrier, it might be best to go directly to a U.S. carrier’s website to book the flight. Some examples of U.S. carriers are Delta, American Airlines, US Airways, Continental, Northwest, etc.).


Workshop participants and short-term visitors who will be receiving travel and local expenses will need to obtain a B-1 (business) visa at their U.S. Consulate or obtain the "WB" business waiver if your country belongs to the Visa Waiver Program (described in detail below). The B-1 or WB classification allows only for the reimbursement of travel and local expenses; no salary or honorarium can be paid under the B-1 or WB. At the port of entry in the inspection area, the immigration official will write the appropriate visa classification on the white I-94 card which you filled out on the airplane. You must speak up and ask the official for the B-1 designation. Make sure you carry your letter of invitation to the pertinent MBI function with you as evidence of your intent to do business in the U.S. Check your I-94 card for the B-1 classification before you leave the inspection area.

The B-2 and WT tourist waiver are strictly tourist classifications and they do not allow for any expense reimbursement at all. If you come to an MBI function on a B-2 or a WT, the MBI will be unable to reimburse you for any expenses related to your trip.

Special information for Canadians:

An I-94 is not required to enter the United States and you will be able to receive reimbursement for expenses if your stay in the U.S. is less than 9 days. If your stay is longer than 9 days and you expect to receive reimbursement, you must request an I-94 card marked with a B-1 business classification at the land border or point of entry. If you stay longer than 9 days and do not have the B-1 marked on your I-94 card, you will be assumed to have the B-2 tourist classification and will receive no expense reimbursement from the MBI.

Visa Waiver Program

If you are from Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, or Uruguay, and will be staying for 90 days or less, you may be eligible to enter the United States on the visa waiver program. You will not have to obtain a visa stamp from an American Consulate. Rather you will be required to present: (a) a passport valid for 6 months beyond your intended visit, and (b) a round trip ticket to any foreign destination other than a territory bordering the U.S. (unless you are a resident there) at the American port of entry. The green I-94 card for the visa waiver program (in contrast to the white for the B-1 classification), issued onboard the airplane, will be stapled into your passport by the immigration official at the inspection point and needs to be marked with the "WB" designation in order to receive reimbursement for travel and local expenses. Check your I-94 card for the WB classification before you leave the inspection area.

Please note that there are several limitations connected with the visa waiver program and include:

  1. no extensions or changes of your visa status is permitted;
  2. no payment of salary or honorarium is permitted; and
  3. you waive your right to challenge the decision if admission is denied.

ESTA travel authorization for Visa Waiver Program

If coming to the U.S. for the workshop on a visa, you need to arrive on a B-1 or on the WB business waiver if your country belongs to the visa waiver program.

ESTA is Required: Effective January 20, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security is transitioning to enforced compliance of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) requirement for VWP travelers. Therefore, VWP travelers who have not obtained approval through ESTA should expect to be denied boarding on any air carrier bound for the United States.

As of January 12, 2009, a valid ESTA approval is required for all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to travel to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a free, automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the VWP. It collects the same information as the paper I-94W form that VWP travelers fill out en route to the United States. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel. An ESTA authorization generally will be valid for up to two years. Authorizations will be valid for multiple entries into the United States. DHS recommends that travelers submit an ESTA application as soon as they begin making travel plans.

Learn more about ESTA on the DHS Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website, ESTA applications may be completed online at the official DHS website, which is: Review the important DHS Advisory Warning about unauthorized third-party ESTA application related web sites.

Nonresident vs. Resident Alien Tax status

If already in the U.S. as a Resident Alien (F-1, J-1, H-1B visas and Permanent Residents), you must submit an AP Payment Compliance form (for tax purposes) to be reimbursed. This form will be provided when you arrive at the MBI or you can print it from the following link: If residing in the U.S. as a Nonresident Alien for tax purposes then I will need a copy of your passport photo, visa page, AP Compliance form (with US address), and address in your home country. Ohio State is required to keep this address on file for all Nonresidents who receive payment from the University. To determine your tax status you can use the Substantial presence test which is described in the next section.

Substantial Presence Test

You will be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes if you meet the substantial presence test for the calendar year. To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States on at least:

  • 31 days during the current year, and
  • 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:
    • All the days you were present in the current year, and 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.

You were physically present in the United States on 120 days in each of the years 2007, 2008, and 2009. To determine if you meet the substantial presence test for 2009, count the full 120 days of presence in 2009, 40 days in 2008 (1/3 of 120), and 20 days in 2007 (1/6 of 120). Since the total for the 3-year period is 180 days, you are not considered a resident under the substantial presence test for 2009.

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