Notes for International Attendees

International participants, please familiarize yourself with travel requirements well in advance —and if you need a visa, apply early! send us e-mail in advance so that we can make any site-access arrangements that are needed.

FIrst: do you need a visa?

Attendees from many countries will be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program.

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 website of the US government and has everything you need. US Customs and Border Protection cautions that 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 US 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 them for the last several years. Here is the US Department of Homeland Security's 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 the nearest U.S. Consulate. Call them them to set up an appointment. When you go to the Consulate, take a copy of your Conference Registration Notice, along with your valid passport. We urge you to apply as soon as you can, because the process can take time.

Usually you would apply for a B-1 visa as a nonsponsored attendee of an international scientific conference, or a B-2 visa for tourism.

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. Be sure to apply early!

Visa Letters and Other Helpful Documentation

Official visa letters will be sent on request—write to us. 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 RT2012.

Besides the visa letter, copies of your round-trip itinerary, a printout of registration for RT2012, 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.

If you are giving a talk or poster, you will automatically receive an acceptance letter. Only the "owner" of the paper in the database will get an automatic acceptance letter. Other co-authors who wish to attend should send us e-mail.

Please do not send us sensitive information such as bank-account or credit-card numbers, driving-license or identity-card numbers, or passport numbers by e-mail. Such information should be submitted only through the secure registration website operated by IEEE.

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