Traveling to the US

Attendees from many countries will be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. If you do need a visa, apply as early as possible. Further information on visas is given below.

Visiting under VWP

To take advantage of VWP, you need to register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before your trip.

Consumer Protection Notice: ESTA is an inexpensive official service of the US government and provides everything you need. Third parties who charge money for a related "service" are not capable of expediting approval. The link shown above takes you directly to the official Government site, which explains the process and allows you to enroll online if you are from a Visa Waiver Program country.

In general you will need a machine-readable passport in order to visit the US without a visa. Most countries have been issuing that kind of passport for the last several years. Here is an illustrated guide to the eligible generations of passports and when they came into use.

Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda

The US has special arrangements with adjoining nations and Bermuda.

How do you get a visa?

Citizens of countries not participating in the Visa Waiver Program will need to request a Business (B-1) visa at their U.S. Consulate. Call the consulate to set up an appointment. When you go there, take a copy of your Conference-registration confirmation, along with your valid passport. We urge you to apply as soon as you can.

Usually you would apply for a B-1 visa as a nonsponsored attendee of an international scientific conference. A B-2 visa is for tourism; this might apply to a companion who is not attending the conference.

The Travel site at the U.S. Department of State is the official source for information on visas and everything else you should know about visiting the US.

Visa Letters and Other Helpful Documentation

Official visa letters will be sent on request—write to us at na-pac13@lists.lbl.gov. Paid delegate registration is required first. The letter will reflect your status as known to us at the time (abstract submitted; abstract accepted and a place in the program assigned; paid registration received, etc.) These letters do not imply financial support or invitation by the conference.

Besides the visa letter, copies of your round-trip itinerary, a printout of registration for NA-PAC'13, evidence of your stature as a scholar (such as your curriculum vitae, including publications list), and evidence of your binding ties to your home country are also known to be helpful in obtaining a visa. Apply as soon as you can.

Further helpful advice may be found on the National Academies website.

When requesting a visa letter, please do not send us sensitive information such as bank account, credit card, driver's license/identity card, or passport numbers by e-mail. We do not need that information for a visa letter, and do not consider e-mail to be a suitably secure way to send and store it.