Important information regarding Visa Invitation Letters (please read):
- Plan ahead. It is the responsibility of each participant to confirm and meet all travel requirements for entry into the meeting host country from his/her country of origin. Use reputable websites for current information, such as the United States State Department, to understand any travel restrictions from your originating country of departure.
- Your name must be listed exactly as it appears on your passport. Any differences between the name on your passport and the name on your invitation letter or other documentation could lead to a delay and/or denial of your visa.
- ESA reserves the right to request further information regarding the company or affiliation of the attendee to ensure the validity of requests.
- ESA is unable to contact U.S. Embassies in support of an individual attempting to gain entry to attend a meeting.
Apply early for your Visa
The visa application process to enter the United States has become subject to greater degrees of scrutiny than in the past. For this reason, the application process can take up to six months or more. You will need to apply for your visa as early as possible, but no later than three months before you wish to enter the United States.
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.
Visitor visas are nonimmigrant 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).
There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply.
Visa Waiver Program
There are 38 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program. If your country is on this list, and you are traveling to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less with a valid passport that meets U.S. requirements, and the listed conditions do not apply to you, you do NOT need a visa. Otherwise, you need to obtain a visa.
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Authorization via ESTA does not determine whether a traveler is admissible to the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers determine admissibility upon travelers’ arrival. The ESTA application collections biographic information and answers to VWP eligibility questions. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, though it is recommended that travelers apply as soon as they begin preparing travel plans or prior to purchasing airline tickets.