Speaker/Lecture Exception under the VWP

Many management consultants enter the United States for short term engagements as speakers or lecturers. I have represented many management consultants for TN visas that routinely speak in the United States in their area of expertise for clients. One of the main factors in determining whether a TN visa is needed as a speaker/lecturer is compensation. In most cases, when a salary is being paid by a U.S. source to the management consultant, a TN visa will be required. In some instances, a TN visa is not needed to fulfill a speaking engagement within the United States as a speaker lecturer. Under the Visa Waver Program (VWP) a B-1 visa may be appropriate when:

If you are traveling to the United States in connection with a speaking engagement you may travel on a B-1 visa or visa free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) provided there is NO REMUNERATION from a U.S. source, other than expenses incidental to the visit. Speaker/lectures who will receive honorarium in addition to incidental expenses may still be eligible for the B-1 visa or travel under the VWP provided all of the following are met:

  • the activities will last longer than nine (9) days at a single institution;

  • the institution is a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization, or an institution of higher education, or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity.

  • such activities are conducted for the benefit of the institution or entity; and

  • the speaker/lecturer has not accepted such payment or expenses from five (5) such institutions during the previous six (6) month period.

It is possible to conduct business activities on behalf of a foreign employer, but NO SALARY may come from a U.S. source. In some cases, however, you may receive reimbursement from a U.S. source for reasonable incidental expense incurred while in the United States.

The exceptions available for a speaker/lecturer under the VWP are limited to short term engagements, with qualifying institutions, where NO SALARY or REMUNERATION will be received from a U.S. source. The majority of the time, management consultants being paid to speak or lecture within the United States will require a TN visa.

My office is located within minutes of the U.S. Canadian border and I have extensive experience assisting management consultants obtain TN visa status . Contact me today to discuss your qualifications for TN visa status and to prepare for your TN visa application.

Email: jr@richardskruger.com or Call: 1-716-832-2222