Visa information & invitation letter
The organizers of the Third International Workshop on Biological Soil Crusts encourage you to familiarize yourself with visa and travel requirements well in advance of the conference. Visitors to the United States must have a valid passport. A visa is also required for citizens of countries that do not participate with the Visa Waiver Program. The process may take 3 to 4 months to obtain a visa.
Visa waiver program
The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of 38 participating countries to visit the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, if they meet the program’s requirements. Information about the Visa Waiver Program, including a list of the 38 participating countries and program requirements, can be found on the U.S. Department of State’s website. Travelers using the Visa Waiver Program must also have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval before they travel.
Tips for successful visa applications
- Visa applicants are expected to provide evidence that they are intending to return to their country of residence. Applicants should provide proof of “binding” ties to their residence abroad such as documentation of the following: family ties in home country or country of legal permanent residence, property ownership, bank accounts, employment contract or statement from employer showing that position will continue after the visit to the United States;
- Visa applications are more likely to be successful if done in a visitor’s home country than in a third country;
- Applicants should present their entire trip itinerary, including travel to any countries other than the United States, at the time of their visa application;
- Include a letter of invitation from the meeting organizer or the U.S. host, specifying the subject, location and dates of the activity (Request a Letter of Invitation;
- Provide specifics on how travel and local expenses will be covered;
- If completion of travel plans is contingent upon early approval of the visa application, specify this at the time of the application; and
- Provide proof of professional scientific and/or educational status (students should provide a university transcript).
NOTE: The proof of purchase of an airline ticket is not an item requested by the embassy to document your trip itinerary. No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance, so the purchase of a non-refundable airlines ticket should be made after a visa has been issued and you are in possession of a passport.
- Visa appointment and wait times for interview in your home country
- Frequently asked questions
- Find U.S. embassies and consulates
Please note that the information provided here is given in good faith, but that the regulations may change and the only authoritative sources of information are the U.S. Government websites.