I will travel to the USA in October to attend a friend's wedding. I will also be visiting a lab afterwards on the same trip (I was invited to collaborate without any remuneration). The total duration will be 30 days (2 weeks wedding/vacation, 2 weeks lab visit). I can provide evidence of my invitation to both the wedding and the university.

I am a UK citizen with a valid ESTA. When going through the CBP check what do I say the primary reason for my visit is? Do I apply for the W-T or W-B waiver? Or is it possible to do both?


  • Note that some places require W-B status for reimbursement. (Though this doesn't seem to be relevant here.) – npl Aug 14 '18 at 2:35

Yes you can do both. It’s quite normal to combine business and pleasure. Give the true primary reason as the primary reason. (If your lab isn’t paying for the flights, I would surmise pleasure.) If asked verbally, give both reasons (“going to a friend’s wedding, and visiting some colleagues at xyz university” is probably sufficient unless further questioned).

  • I also visited the US for 89 days this year (another collab), I left August 8th. Since I'm going back only 56 days later, do you think they'll be okay with this visit? I just don't see the point in going for the wedding, leaving, then going back again. – Jimmy H Aug 14 '18 at 9:06
  • @JimmyH If you are a British citizen who has a permanent professional job outside the US, a permanent home elsewhere, and your visits are largely work or tourism related, and you always leave on time, in my experience US CBP are not bothered about multiple entries in a year. Probably you are not a high threat. – Calchas Aug 14 '18 at 10:09
  • Brilliant, thanks! That puts my mind at ease. I'm a PhD student, but my course doesn't finish until 2020 and I have a long term lease. I think that gives me a pretty strong tie back here. I was only concerned because I definitely will be going back for conferences and so on. – Jimmy H Aug 14 '18 at 10:51

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