PANIC11 - Rutherford Centennial

TRAVEL & LODGING—Visa

Information for Foreign Nationals Regarding Visas and Travel

Please be aware that visa issuance cannot be guaranteed. Visa decisions are made solely by the US Department of State.

* The US Department of State has the authority to request special security clearances before issuing a visa. These clearances can take from 1 week to 2 months. Do not be alarmed if you are told that a security check will be done. In most cases, they are completed within a week or two.

* It is not possible for the conference organizers to expedite visas for conference participants.

Therefore, if a visa is required, you must plan ahead and apply for your visa as early as the US Consulate allows (but no more than six months in advance of your travel date). Each Consulate has rules about how early you may apply. Please follow the instructions of the Consulate where you plan to apply for the visa.

  1. Visa Waiver countries
  1.  If you hold a passport from one of the countries below, you do not need a US entry visa to come to the US. for a one-week conference. This is called the Visa Waiver Program. For more information see: travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html

Andorra

Hungary New Zealand

Australia

Iceland

Norway

Austria

Ireland

Portugal

Belgium

Italy

San Marino

Brunei

Japan

Singapore

Czech Republic

Latvia

Slovakia

Denmark

Liechtenstein

Slovenia

Estonia

Lithuania

South Korea

Finland

Luxembourg

Spain

France

Malta

Sweden

Germany

Monaco

Switzerland

Greece

the Netherlands

United Kingdom

 

  1. However, you must register in the US Government Electronic System for Travel Authorization http://cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/ ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an online application system developed by the United States government to pre-screen travelers before they are allow to board an airplane or ship bound for the United States. Starting on January 12, 2009, any person entering the United States under the visa waiver program is required to hold an approved ESTA Travel Authorization. Due to heightened security regulations, the same visitors must apply for a Travel Authorization in advance.
  1. Although U.S. Regulation does NOT require you to present a printed copy of the ESTA authorization page in order to travel, we recommend that you do.

When you arrive at the US immigration inspection point (airport or border crossing), you must show your conference invitation letter and/or conference registration materials and a valid passport. We suggest that you also present your ESTA authorization page. Be sure to have these documents available to present to the immigration inspector. Do not pack them in a suitcase. When asked your purpose for entering the US, you should respond “to attend a professional conference.”

  1. Countries whose nationals require a visa to enter
    the US

    If your country is not on the list above, you must apply at a US Consulate for a US entry visa. You may apply for a B-1 or B-2 visa. B-1 is for a business visitor. B-2 is for a tourist. The Consulate will grant whichever it decides is appropriate for you.  Both of them are fine for the purpose of attending a conference. To apply for the visa, you must submit your conference invitation letter and/or conference registration materials, a valid passport, and all additional material listed in the instructions provided by the US Consulate.

When you arrive at the US immigration inspection point (airport or border crossing), you must show your invitation conference invitation letter and/or conference registration materials, and a valid passport. Be sure to have these documents available to present to the immigration  inspector. Do not pack them in a suitcase. When asked your purpose for entering the US, you should respond “to attend a professional conference.”

  1. One of the options above (1 or 2) should be appropriate for all conference attendees.
    The conference organizers cannot provide individual pre-conference, pre-visa application advice to attendees. However, if the US Consulate refuses to accept your application for a B-1/B-2 visa or denies your application, or tells you personally that you must apply for some other visa in order to travel to the conference, contact [Elsye Luc, 617 452-2556 or email elsye@mit.edu]  immediately. It may be possible for us to provide you with additional visa advising on a case-by-case basis. Individual advice will not be provided unless you have been told by a Consulate that they will not grant a visa or if you have been denied a visa.

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