Letter of Invitation
If you are giving a presentation, we will include instructions in your acceptance email that allow you to download an invitation letter from our website. This email will be sent April 14. If you are not presenting, you must first register for the meeting. Then you may request a letter of invitation by emailing email@example.com.
The visa application process to enter the United States has become subjected to greater degrees of scrutiny than in the past. For this reason, the application process can take up to six months or more. You will need to apply for your visa as early as possible, but no later than three months before you wish to enter the United States.
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism, pleasure or visiting (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).
There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply.
Visa Waiver Program
There are 38 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program. If your country is on this list, and you are traveling to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less with a valid passport that meets U.S. requirements, and the listed conditions do not apply to you, you do NOT need a visa. Otherwise, you need to obtain a visa. Travelers must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel. If you prefer to have a visa in your passport, you may still apply for a visitor (B) visa.
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
As of January 12 2009, all nationals and citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries will be required by law to obtain a travel authorization prior to initiating travel to the United States under the VWP. This authorization may be obtained through the Electronic System for Travel. For VWP passport requirements, see VWP-eligible passport.
Visa Application Guidelines:
Complete the Online Visa Application
Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160.
You must please:
- Complete the online visa application;
- Print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
- Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160.
(Your photo must be in the proper format.)
Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a nonimmigrant tourist visa. If you do choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember that it is not one of the factors that we use in determining whether to issue or deny a nonimmigrant tourist visa.
- Application: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english.html
- U.S. Customs and Border Information
- Visa Waiver Program Frequently Asked Questions
- U.S. State Department Visa Information
- Department of Homeland Security
- National Academies International Visitors Office
ESA is not able to contact U.S. embassies in support of an individual attempting to gain entry into the host country to attend the conference.
If your visa is delayed or denied, please contact the consulate where your application is being processed. Review Visa Denials for detailed information about visa ineligibilities, denials and waivers.