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IAVCEI 2017 SA – VISA information and Letters of invitation

IAVCEI 2017 SA – VISA information and Letters of invitation

The organizers of the IAVCEI 2017 Symposium encourage you to learn the US visa and travel requirements long before the conference. Visitors to the United States must have a valid passport. A visa is also required for citizens of countries that do not participate with the Visa Waiver Program. It can take 3 to 4 months to obtain a visa.

Letter of Invitation

Whether you are applying for the B-1/B-2 visa or traveling here as a citizen of a Visa Waiver country, you will need a letter of invitation to attend the IAVCEI 2017 Symposium. Please email to request our official letter of invitation. Please use the name shown on your passport when requesting the letter of invitation. The letter validates the purpose of your travel to the United States.

The US Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of 38 participating countries to visit the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less.  They must meet the program’s requirements. Information about the Visa Waiver Program, with a list of the 38 participating countries, can be found on the The U.S. Department of State Visa Waiver Program site. Please note that to use the Visa Waiver Program, you must have an e-Passport. An e-Passport is an enhanced, secure passport with an embedded electronic chip. Travelers using the Visa Waiver Program must also have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval before they travel.

Passport Expiration

The United States requires foreign visitors to hold a passport that will remain valid for six months after their departure form the US. There is an exception to this rule for citizens of the “Six Month Club”. Citizens of the “Six Month Club” countries may enter the US with a passport that is valid through the time of their visit. You will find a list of these countries here: Month Club Update_0.pdf.

Suggestions for Visa Applications

Visa applicants are expected to show that they intend to return to their country of residence. Applicants should provide proof of binding ties to their foreign residence such as documentation of the following: family ties in home country or country of legal permanent residence, property ownership, bank accounts, employment contract or statement from employer showing that position will continue after the visit to the United States.

Visa applications are more likely to be successful if they are done in a visitor’s home country.

Applicants should present their entire trip itinerary, including travel to any countries other than the United States, at the time of their visa application.

Applicants should include a letter of invitation from the IAVCEI 2017 Symposium.

Applicants should provide specifics on how travel andlocal expenses will be covered.

If completion of travel plans depends on early approval of the visa application, applicants should specify this at the time of the application.

NOTE: The proof of purchase of an airline ticket is notrequested by the embassy to document your trip itinerary. Purchase of a non-refundable airlines ticket should be made after a visa has been issued and you are in possession of a passport.

If you are not a citizen of a country included in the Visa Waiver Program, the process for obtaining a visa can be lengthy.  Please begin your application for the B1 visa as soon as possible. You should request your letter of invitation at least 10 weeks in advance of your planned departure from home. Final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable air tickets should not be made until you have been approved and have received your visa. Go to to find your US Embassy or Consulate and to determine the time required for visa processing.

Entry into the United States: Please note that neither possession of a valid passport nor meeting the basic requirements for traveling visa-free on the Visa Waiver Program guarantees admission to the United States. As with most countries, immigration officials at the port of entry make the final determination of admissibility.

Steps to Follow for the Visitor Visa B1 Business

  1. Read the complete information about the B1 nonimmigrant visa
  2. Find the US Embassy or Consulate website for your location and review their specific steps for a B1 visa application:
  3. Complete the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application:
  4. Print your DS-160 with a legible bar code and retain the confirmation page.
  5. Pay the visa application fee and retain the payment receipt.
  6. Schedule your visa interview appointment at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy.
  7. Bring your passport, letter of invitation, DS160 confirmation page and the receipt for the visa applicationfee to your scheduled appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate.
  8. After you have obtained your visitor visa please feel free to purchase your round trip air travel.
  9. Retain your letter of invitation, and your passport for review by immigration authorities upon arrival and departure at your port of entry.

Steps to follow for U.S. Visa Waiver Program

  1. To see if your citizenship grants you the ability to enter the U.S. without a visa, visit the U.S. State Department website: Ifso, complete the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
  2. After completing payment for your registration, contact to request a letter of invitation.Please include the name on your passport when requesting the letter.
  3. Having confirmed your eligibility to travel under the Visa Waiver Program, please feel free to purchase your round trip airline ticket.
  4. Bring your IAVCEI 2017 Symposium letter of invitation and your passport with you for your arrival and departure from your planned port of entry in the United States. Border Control will request these essential travel documents.
  5. If your port of entry is on a land border you will be issued an I-94 card. Safeguard your I-94 card with your passport. You must present both upon departure from the United States.

Please note the following:

“Under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

  • Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).
  • Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.

These individuals will still be able to apply for a visa using the regular appointment process at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  For those who require a U.S. visa for urgent business, medical, or humanitarian travel to the United States, U.S. Embassies and Consulates stand ready to handle applications on an expedited basis.”

Individuals who fall into either of these two categories may not use the Visa Waiver Program to attend the IAVCEI 2017 Symposium, but rather will use the standard B1/B2 travel visa as described above. For all other nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries, the procedures for travel to the Symposium under the Visa Waiver Program remain the same. More information on this change is available at

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine Visa Assistance

The National Academy of Science has a program that monitors foreign visitors to the US who attend scientific meetings in the US. The NAS collects information on visa-related issues to tract trends and to report urgent visa cases to the US Department of State. The IAVCEI 2017 Scientific Assembly is registered with the NAS, and the NAS notified the State Department of the meeting. If you experience a visa processing delay of one month of longer, you can use this questionaire to report the problem to the NAS. The NAS may be able to help resolve your problem. You will find the questionnaire here:

Canadian citizens

For the purposes of participating in the IAVCEI 2017 Symposium, most Canadian citizens can travel to the United States with a valid passport and without a visa. Landed immigrants (Canadian permanent residents) must apply for a visa based on the country that issued their passport. Canadian permanent residents should follow the steps outlined above for the B1 visitor visa and if entering the U.S at the land border retain the paper I-94 card issued to you, which is required for your reentry.

Mexican Citizens

The United States government requires Mexican citizens to request admission to the United States. If entering the U.S at a land border retain the paper I-94 card issued to you, which is required for your reentry.

Useful Links

If you find errors on this page or need clarification, please contact


The information provided here is based on US State Department policies described on State Department websites on April 10, 2017. These policies may change in the future without notice to the IAVCEI. Please check the State Department websites for the most current visa procedures.

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