The U.S. Visa Waiver Program
Many countries are part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. If your passport issuing country is on the list of visa waiver countries, and you meet all the requirements below, you will not need a visa to enter the United States.
Requirements for the Visa Waiver Program
- The traveler must apply for and receive approval from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
- The traveler must present the appropriate type of passport valid for six months past his or her expected stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). This is a requirement in addition to other passport requirements for all categories of passports
- Notice: Foreign media representatives planning to engage in that vocation in the United States are not eligible for VWP travel, as the purpose of their stay does not qualify as “business.” These professionals must obtain a nonimmigrant media (I) visa.
- If arriving by air or sea, the traveler must be traveling on an approved carrier (See the approved carriers list) and have a return trip ticket to any foreign destination
- The traveler can demonstrate the intent to stay 90 days or less in the United States and demonstrate sufficient funds to support him- or herself while in the United States
Countries Enrolled in Visa Waiver Program
How to Apply for a Visa
If you are NOT eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, you MUST obtain a visa to attend the IGAC Science Conference in the United States. Because you will be attending a conference on specific dates, you should apply for (B-1) type visa. Further information on business visas can be found at the U.S. Department of State Business Visa Center website and the IVO website.
There are specific requirements that must be met by applicants to qualify for a visa under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The consular officer at your local embassy or consulate will determine whether you qualify for the visa. For a listing of US embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions, see usembassy.gov.
Visa applications are now subject to a greater degree of review than in the past, so it is important to apply for a visa and schedule your interview well in advance of your travel departure date. Learn more by contacting the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will apply for detailed “how-to” instructions.
The U.S. State Department recommends that applicants traveling to conferences apply for a visa no later than 90 days in advance of travel.
If the interview appointment date provided is not early enough for the visa applicant’s intended travel, applicants may contact the US embassy or consulate to request an expedited appointment. The applicant should check the embassy website for the “how to” procedures for requesting an expedited appointment. (Some embassies may use slightly different wording, such as how to request urgent or emergency travel, as examples.)
If you require require an official letter of invitation to the IGAC Science Conference to submit as part of your visa application, please email Jill Reisdorf the following information:
In the email please include:
- Full legal name as is appears on your passport.
- The name, address and phone number of the organization you work for.
All visa letters will be emailed to the requestor unless other instructions are given. Letters issued before that abstracts status letters have been sent (before 15 May 2016) will include the title of your abstract and indicate that status of the abstract (accepted, waitlisted, declined) as not yet been determined.