United States Visa Advisory

The United States has updated its visa policy for increased security. As a result, it now takes longer to obtain a visa. Advance planning by travelers is essential to avoid frustration and disappointment.

  • Review your visa status to find out if you need a U.S. visa or a visa renewal.
  • Plan to submit your visa application well in advance of your intended departure date.
  • Contact your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for current time estimates and recommendations.
  • Visit the embassy or consular section website to find important information on how to schedule an interview appointment, finger scanning – if required - and pay fees. An interview is required as a standard part of processing for most visa applicants.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of 36 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. The program was established to eliminate unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they prefer to do so. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on VWP, and therefore, some travelers from VWP countries are not eligible to use the program. VWP travelers are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel, are screened at the port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.

Currently, 36 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, as shown below:

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

For more information, see http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html

Passports

A passport with a validity date of at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the U.S. is required. If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must make a separate application. Please check with the website, https:/www.cbp.gov, to confirm that your passport is compliant. Temporary Passports will likely merit special scrutiny. To avoid complications, check with your local US consular offices, well ahead of your intended departure dates.

Visa Letters

A visa support letter can be provided for authors and registered attendees upon request. Please submit your requests for letters of support well in advance of your interview dates to allow sufficient time for processing. Spouses and guests requiring visa assistance must be registered for an IMS Guest Program Event (information to be posted shortly).

Please submit your requests for letters of support well in advance of your interview dates to allow sufficient time for processing.

For additional visa assistance, please contact Dr. Zaher Bardai at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Disclaimer

This information is provided in good faith but travel regulations do change. The only authoritative sources of information are the U.S. Government websites at www.unitedstatesvisas.gov and http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html.