Visa Information

Obtaining a Visa

If it is necessary for you to obtain a visa to attend the WAAVP 2019 Conference, you can find relevant information about the application process on the following website:

US Department of State Business Visa Center

It is encouraged that all delegates apply for their visa at least 4 months in advance of the conference.  

Some consulates may have backlogs in scheduling visa interviews. Therefore, applicants should first consult the U.S. Department of State’s visa appointment and processing wait times website.

Visiting the United States

  • There are currently 38 Visa Waiver countries that, as of January 12, 2009, require an approved ESTA Travel Authorization to visit the United States via air or sea. Individuals holding a passport from any of these countries may visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Program under certain conditions. Travelers with a passport from any other country must obtain a B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa in advance. Note that a travel authorization (ESTA) must be applied for online in advance, while Form I-94W is normally completed while flying or at the U.S. port of entry.  See below for more information. 
  • The National Academy of Sciences maintains an International Visitors Office (IVO) which will assist all others who need to apply for a visa in advance of entry but who may be having difficulty doing so
  • Please note: Recent changes to the visa-waiver program will impact dual nationals of, and recent visitors to, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan

Invitation Letters

  • Invitations should only state what issuing group (i.e. us) can verify
  • If you are being funded by an Institution, it may be necessary to obtain a letter from them verifying how your stay is being funded
  • Invitations should be sent as early as possible
  • Invitations should include the following:

Names, dates, location and purpose of meeting;
Name, date of birth and passport number of the attendee;
Information on how transportation and local expenses are to be funded;
Information on the organization sponsoring the meeting and relationships to the attendee; and
Name, title, contact information (phone, fax, email, meeting Website) of person responsible for the meeting, in case the consular officer has further questions.

If Problems Arise:

  • Participants should fill out the IVO Questionnaire. This will collect information on visa-related issues and report urgent visa cases to the State Department.
  • Participants are eligible to complete the questionnaire if: they are a student, scholar or professional in the sciences AND
  • They 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 longer OR
  • They have applied for a B1 visa to come to the United States for science-related activities and your application has been pending for 30 days or longer 
  • The IVO strongly recommends that applicants contact their consulate or embassy to begin the visa process as early as possible: at least four months prior to the event start date (i.e., in March, 2019 or earlier).


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