Visa Support Letter Requests

 

General

 

Unless you are a citizen or national of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (see https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visa-waiver-program.html), you must obtain a nonimmigrant B-1/B-2 visa to enter the United States for a temporary visit (see https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visitor.html).

 

If you need a visa to attend ISSCG-17 and/or the ICCGE-19/OMVPE-19 Meeting, we recommend that you apply as early as possible, as much as 4-5 months before your intended travel. Click here to request a visa letter.

 

 

 

 

Invitation Letters

 

1. Note that the individual requesting an invitation letter must be an author on a submitted abstract or have registered and paid the conference registration fee or exhibitor fee.

 

2. Each individual desiring an invitation letter must request his or her own letter and provide the needed information via the link above.

 

3. We cannot provide invitation letters to accompanying persons who will not be technical participants in the conference, such as family members or significant others.  Any accompanying family members or significant others will need a separate visa.  However, it should be easy to add a family member or significant other as part of a family or group application, when you have completed filling out the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form DS-160.  

 

From https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/forms/ds-160-online-nonimmigrant-visa-application/ds-160-faqs.html (See the question, "I am traveling with my family or as part of a group. Can I create a family or group application?” under "Family/Group Applications” on this page).


When you select “Email Confirmation” on your Confirmation Page, you will be directed to a “Thank You” page. On the “Thank You” page you will see an option to create a family or group application. When you select this option, certain information from your application, such as destination, will automatically be imported to and displayed on a new application. Please note that if you use this option you must create an individual application for each family member or for each individual within the group.

General Guidance

 

You may be required to appear at a U.S. embassy or consulate for an in-person interview prior to visa approval. There may be long waits to schedule an interview, so start the application process as early as possible.

For your visa to be approved, you must provide enough evidence to the consular officer to “overcome the presumption of immigrant intent,” per the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 214(b).  In fact, the consular officer will presume that every applicant for admission is an immigrant unless the applicant can prove that he or she qualifies for a nonimmigrant visa. 

 

Here is the statement from the U.S. government:

"The required presumption under U.S. law is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant until they demonstrate otherwise. Therefore, applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating:

  • That the purpose of their trip is to enter the United States temporarily for business or pleasure;

  • That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period;

  • Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States;

  • That they have a residence outside the United States as well as other binding ties that will ensure their departure from the United States at the end of the visit."

 

In the interview, you must present evidence that you do not intend to abandon your home country and that you have significant economic, professional, and personal ties or reasons to return home once your program or activity is completed. Strong ties are not strictly defined and vary considerably by country, region, and individual.

 

There are no definitive documents that will convince all officers of this; however, the following may be useful:

  • A valid passport.

  • Online nonimmigrant visa application (Form DS-160) confirmation page.

  • Visa application fee payment receipt.

  • A printed photograph of yourself, particularly if the photo upload failed in your application.

  • Specific and detailed explanations related to your purpose for travel. Example: Copy of your Letter of Invitation.

  • Proof of an existing relationship with your inviter. Example: Copy of your paid meeting registration.

  • Complete travel itineraries and schedules if appropriate. Note: Airline ticket proof of purchase is not a required item for documenting your trip itinerary.

  • Explanation of how your visit will be funded.

  • Your CV.

  • Proof of residing in your home country.

  • Proof of a foreign residence or property ownership in your home country.

  • Proof of current or offer of future employment in your home country.

  • Proof investments or other financial assets in your home country.

  • Proof of recent visits abroad to a developed nation (e.g., in Europe) and your subsequent return to home country.

  • Evidence of your employment, status as a student in a degree program, and/or your family or other social/cultural ties that show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. 

Visa Delays

 

We have registered our conference with the International Visitors Office (IVO), a program operated by the Board on International Scientific Organizations. The IVO serves as a resource on visa-related issues for The National Academies, Academy members, as well as scientists and students traveling to the United States for professional activities

The IVO may be able to intervene on your behalf if there are significant delays in processing your visa. If you have applied for a B-1 or combination B-1/B-2 visa to attend the ISSCG-17 and/or the ICCGE-19/OMVPE-19 Meeting, AND your visa has been undergoing administrative processing for at least 30 days AND it is 14 days prior to the U.S. event’s start date, please fill out the information at this web site, http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/biso/visas/PGA_048197.  With this information, the IVO may be able to expedite the granting of the visa.

Unfortunately, the IVO is not able to help with visa denials, as these decisions are made by individual consular officers. The IVO recommends that such applicants reapply and reschedule an interview, making sure to bring along documentation that signifies permanent residence and intent to return home.

Disclaimer: The above is for general information purposes only. The only authoritative sources on U.S. visas are U.S. government websites. Also, officials of the ISSCG-17 and/or the ICCGE-19/OMVPE-19 Meeting will not intervene with U.S. Embassies or consulates abroad or with the U.S. State Department on behalf of any meeting attendee.