2018 Annual Symposium Travel Information Visa Information

 

General Information

For citizens of some countries, your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States. Countries whose citizens are exempt from this requirement are listed on the US Customs and Border Protection page linked here. Citizens of the listed countries need only have a passport valid for their intended period of stay.

In general, citizens of countries other than the USA will require a B1 visa (Business Visitor Visa) to travel to the symposium, which is considered by US immigration policy to be a business activity, rather than tourism. Accompanying persons who are not taking part in the symposium may need a B2 visa (Tourism Visa). Some countries participate in a visa waiver program (VWP) but their citizens must complete an online application to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) in order to determine their eligibility and obtain authorization to enter without a visa. There is a fee of US$14. To be eligible for the VWP and ESTA, you must have an e-passport, which is an enhanced security passport with an embedded electronic chip. E-passports have a unique international symbol on their cover, as shown below. If you do not have an e-passport, you will need a visa, even if your country is part of the VWP.

If your country is not part of the VWP, you will need to apply for a B1 visa at your local US Embassy, Consulate or Diplomatic Mission. It will be necessary to make an appointment, attend an interview, and pay a fee in order to receive a visa.

Unfortunately, citizens of some countries are currently not permitted to apply for a B1 visa and so are unlikely to be able to attend the symposium. These countries are: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, please accept the apologies of the Organizing Committee. You may click on this link to read the latest statement from the US State Department about the regulations that currently restrict entry by citizens of your country.

Citizens of Canada and Bermuda do NOT need a B1 visa, nor do they need to apply for ESTA. Please click here to see the US State Deparment page on entry requirements for citizens of Canada and Bermuda.

Links are provided below to relevant US government websites with information on visa applications, the VWP, and ESTA.

 

Visa Information Links

US State Department general information page on visas
US State Department information sheet on B1 and B2 visas
US State Department page on how to apply for a B1 or B2 visa
US State Department page to find your local US Embassy, Consulate or Diplomatic Mission

 

Visa Waiver Program and ESTA Links

US State Department page on the Visa Waiver Program (includes a list of the participating countries)
US Customs and Border Protection page on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
US Customs and Border Protection online application page for ESTA

 

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