In general, ISSS recommends that non-employee individuals from abroad who will come to Temple to engage in research, lecture, etc. should enter the US as a J-1 Exchange Visitor. Our office has seen too many instances of individuals being turned away at the border when they try to enter with a Tourist Status.
However, if a department wishes to invite an individual to Temple but they do not qualify for an official Temple approved appointment, the individual can consider coming to the US on a B1/B2 Tourist visa. If this is the case, they will not go through the ISSS Office at all, and they would be responsibly for applying for the visa on their own. The department can write them an invitation letter however this visa category doesn’t actually require any kind of formal invitation letter because of it’s touristic nature.
B-1 visitors for business can:
- Engage in commercial transactions (no gainful employment in the US);
- Negotiate contracts;
- Consult with business associates;
- Participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars;
- Undertake independent research (cannot benefit Temple University)