Applying for Visitor Visas
- Visas Website of the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State
We encourage our foreign attendees to apply for your visas as early as possible—we are recommending at least 3 months before the event. Some consulates may have backlogs in scheduling visa interviews therefore applicants should first contact the consulate to find out how long the wait is for an interview.
Foreign travelers coming to the United States to conduct temporary business, for example business meetings and consultations, attending conventions and conferences, or negotiating contracts, need visitor visas unless they qualify for entry under the Visa Waiver Program.
Visitor visas are non-immigrant 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).
Information for Visitors from Certain Countries
- Citizens of Canada and Bermuda generally do not need visas for tourism and visits.
- Citizens and permanent residents of Mexico generally must have a nonimmigrant visa or Border Crossing Card (also known as a "Laser Visa"). For ease of travel, the B-1/B-2 and the Border Crossing Card have been combined into one document (DSP-150). Select Border Crossing Card to learn more about this card.
- All applicants who are citizens of designated State Sponsor of Terrorism countries Iran, Sudan, and Syria must be interviewed by a consular officer. Interviews are required, and, therefore, cannot be waived. Applicants may apply for nonimmigrant visas.
Further information on business visas can be found at the U.S. Department of State Business Visa Center website, and at the International Visitors Office (IVO) website.
Letters of Invitation
We offer our attendees a letter of invitation once they have registered to help the visa application.
Please contact Anh Lay at the GRC firstname.lastname@example.org to request a letter of invitation only after you have registered.
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, when they meet all requirements. Travelers must be eligible to use the VWP and have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel.
For more information, visit the VWP program website.
The following 38 countries are Visa Waiver Program participants:
Help With Visa Delays
The GRC has registered the Annual Meeting with the Board on International Scientific Organizations of the U.S. National Academies. Through this association, visa applicants can fill out a visa survey if they experience visa delays. The association will follow up with the U.S. Department of State to inquire about their visa status.
You are eligible to complete the questionnaire if:
- You are a student, scholar, or professional in the sciences.
- You have applied for a non-B1 visa to come to the United States for science-related activities and your application has been undergoing administrative processing for 60 days or longer. OR
- You have applied for a B1 visa to come to the United States for science-related activities and your application is pending 14 days prior to the U.S. event’s start date (by September 15).
If you are experiencing significant visa delays, please fill out a visa survey provided by the Board on International Scientific Organizations. They will follow up with the Department of State and inquire about your visa status.