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United States Entry Requirements

Since September 11, 2001, applicants have been subject to a greater degree of scrutiny than in the past. The timeframes for visa processing today are difficult to predict with accuracy for any individual applicant, and could vary significantly by country. Participants are encouraged to check their visa status, and if a visa is needed apply for a visa as early as possible, but not later than three months in advance of the travel date. An interview will be required at a U.S. embassy or consulate, as part of the visa application process.

All international visitors who are traveling on the Visa Waiver Program are required to register in at least 72 hours in advance with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This program was implemented by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security in January 2009. For more information on ESTA, please see the CBP website at

Important Notice:

As of April 1, 2016, you must have an e-passport to use the VWP (Visa Waiver Program An e-Passport is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip. You can readily identify an e-Passport, because it has a unique international symbol on the cover.

Valid passports are required for EVERYONE

Must be current – make sure that your travel will be completed six months before the listed passport expiration date. If you do not have a current passport, you should contact your Ministry of Foreign Affairs for application materials. Please also read carefully the information regarding Machine Readable Passports for visa waiver travelers eligible to enter the United States without a visa (

Entry visas may be necessary depending on your nationality. for visa guidance. Applicants should apply at the American Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. It is recommended that PICES 2016 Annual Meeting visa applicants include the following with their application background materials:
- copy of the Conference announcement;
- copy of the Conference registration acknowledgement; and
- curriculum vita.
In addition, applicants are encouraged to inform the consular officer in their interview if they will be making a presentation, serving as a member of a panel or committee, or filling another role at the Annual Meeting.

Visa applicants should also refer to the Embassy Consular Section web site ( to determine visa processing timeframes and instructions, learn about interview scheduling, and find out if there are any additional documentation items required.

Countries of Origin and Visa Requirements

Canada NO Visa required
China, Russia
Visa required
Japan, Korea
NO visa required IF stay is less than 90 days, and the traveler meets the conditions to travel under the visa waiver program
Other Countries Passport and visa required, unless the traveler is a citizen from one of the visa waiver program countries

Foreign Government Officials - Ministers and Delegations

Heads of government Ministers, and other government officials generally do not require interviews when applying for visas, if their travel is official. However, a consular officer can request an interview. Ministers, delegates, and government officials supporting the delegation must present a diplomatic note from their governments requesting a visa for the purpose of the meeting. There is no fee for these visas. Travelers should apply as soon as possible to the U.S. Embassy in their country of residence.

Official letter of invitation (3-5 days)

Those in need of official letters of invitation from the U.S. Government should send their:
- name, as it appears on passport;
- date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY);
- nationality;
- passport number; and
- city of visa interview



Laurie Mukai
Northwest Fisheries Science Center
2725 Montlake Blvd E
Seattle, WA 98112
United States
FAX: 206-860-3217