Information Regarding Visas and Letters of Invitation
In general, citizens of foreign countries seeking to enter the United States must first obtain a U.S. Visa. Some international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel such as the Visa Waiver Program
International participants are strongly encouraged to check their visa status as soon as possible, and if a visa is needed apply for a visa at least 4 months before travel as the VISA process may take 3-6 months. An interview may be required at a U.S. embassy or consulate as part of the visa application process.
For information on visas please see the U.S. Department of State VISA web site https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html
. The site has a VISA WIZARD
and other resources to help determine the type and process for acquiring a VISA. In general travel to conferences is considered under the Business VISA
Some important notes:
Be sure you have a valid passport and that your travel will be completed at least six months before the passport expiration date.
There are a number of requirements for travel on the Visa Waiver Program
please check the requirements carefully including:
Visa applicants may want to include the following with their visa application background materials:
- copy of the Symposium announcement;
- copy of the Symposium registration;
- letter of invitation.
Official Letter of Invitation
Those in need of official letters of invitation from the U.S. Government local host should send a request with the following information to C. Taylor Armstrong firstname.lastname@example.org:
- name (as it appears on passport)
- date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY)
- passport number
- city of visa interview (if available)
- role in Symposium (registered participant or registered presenter)
Contact for Official Letter of Invitation:
C. Taylor Armstrong
NOAA Fisheries Service
Office of Science and Technology
Silver Spring, Maryland, United States 20910
The National Academies Web site
has additional information about visa-related issues and travel information for travelers to scientific meetings.