Visa Information for Travelers to the United States of
You should apply for a BUSINESS VISA to attend a
scientific conference. Unless you are traveling on a passport with a visa
waiver agreement, apply for your visa at least a few months prior to the
for particularly easy to understand information. Select from the wizard
the following choices:
[Business or Employment] // [Temporary Business]]
// Attend Meeting
The wizard will guide you through the process of
which visa you need and how to obtain it.
The following information was taken (with some minor
Visa Waiver Program
Citizens of Mexico traveling to the US have the option to secure
Border Crossing Card rather than a B-1 visa. Additionally, citizens of
Canada and Bermuda traveling for visitor visa purposes do not need a visa,
with some exceptions.
Currently, 36 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program,
as shown below:
Applying for a US Visa
Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply the U.S.
Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence.
Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be
more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent
residence. Visa applications are now subject to a greater degree of review than
in the past so it is important to apply for your visa well in advance of your
travel departure date.
As part of the visa application process, an interview at the
embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79,
with few exceptions. Persons age 13 and younger, and age 80 and older, generally
do not require an interview, unless requested by embassy or consulate. Making
your appointment for an interview is the first step in the visa application
process. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary,
so early visa application is strongly encouraged. Visa wait times for interview
appointments and visa processing time information for each U.S. Embassy or
Consulate worldwide is available on our website at
Visa Wait Times , and on most embassy websites. Learn how to schedule an
appointment for an interview, pay the application processing fee, review embassy
specific instructions, and much more by visiting the
U.S. Embassy or Consulate
website where you will apply.
During the visa application process, usually at the interview,
an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa
applications require further
administrative processing , which takes additional time after the visa
applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer.
Each applicant for a visitor visa must submit these forms and
documentation as explained below:
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic
Application, Form DS-160. Visit our
DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
- A passport valid for travel to the United States and
with a valid date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period
of stay in the United States (unless
country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person
is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must make an
- One (1) 2x2 photograph. See the required photo format
Nonimmigrant Photograph Requirements.
Tips for Successful Visa Applications
- Visa applicants are expected to provide evidence that
they are intending to return to their country of residence. Therefore,
applicants should provide proof of “binding” or sufficient ties to their
residence abroad. This includes documentation of:
- family ties in home country or country of legal permanent residence
- property ownership
- bank accounts
- employment contract or statement from employer showing that position
after the visit to the United States.
- Visa applications are more likely to be successful if
done in a visitor’s home country than in a third 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;
- Include a letter of invitation from the meeting
organizer or the U.S. host, specifying the subject, location and dates of
the activity. We issue such letters upon request after the
registration fee is paid.
- Provide specifics on how travel and local expenses will
- If completion of travel plans is contingent upon early
approval of the visa application, specify this at the time of the
- Provide proof of professional
scientific and/or educational status (students should provide a university
If the consular officer should find it necessary to deny the
issuance of a visitor visa, the applicant may apply again if there is new
evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. For additional information,
here to learn more. In the absence of new evidence, consular officers
are not obliged to re-examine such cases.
Health Insurance. Medical care in the United States can
be very expensive. All visitors should carry adequate health insurance valid for
the duration of their stay in the United States.
Driving in the United States. Visitors who wish to rent
cars must have a major credit card and a valid driver’s license from their own
country. In some cases, an international driver’s license may be required.
Contact the car rental company directly for specific information.
Required Change of Address Notice. Visitors staying in
the United States longer than six months must notify the U.S. government of any
change in their residential address within ten 10) days or face serious
notification should be made directly to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) using their required form.
Registration. Federal law requires that all non-U.S.
citizens carry evidence of their lawful status with them at all times. This is
especially important for all travel, international or domestic. It is advisable
to keep copies of all pages of the passport, visa, I-94 Arrival-Departure card,
and supporting documents such as DS-2019 forms, in a safe place in case of loss
of the original documents.