visa application GUIDANCE
FOR The 9th International Temperature Symposium
Thank you for your interest in traveling to the U.S. to participate in the ITS9. The U.S. visa application process is significantly different than the process in many other countries. The following guidance is intended for attendees from countries that are not currently part of the US Visa Waiver Program. The information is for guidance only, which we hope will help applicants gain a better understanding of the application process.
Step One: Be informed
We urge you to carefully review all the information on procedures for non-immigrant visa application provided by the U.S. State Department. The following online location provides an official source of information about
U.S. visa policy and procedures:
Please follow all instructions provided on the website for your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate General website to avoid costly delays
U.S. visa policy permits citizens of certain countries to travel to the U.S. without a visa. For information about whether you may require a visa, please find such information at the following location online:
Please remember that your application must be submitted through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General that has jurisdiction over your place of residence. The following is a link to the list of all U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide:
Step Two: Apply Early
Due to potentially long wait times for a visa interview and possible requirements for additional processing, applicants are encouraged to begin the visa application process as early as possible – no less than 30 days and ideally at least 90 days in advance of the intended travel.
In some cases, in particular for those attendees coming from China, a 180 day advance start is recommended (e.g. begin the process by October 2011).
Wait times for a visa interview can range from a few days to several months, depending on location and time of year.
Applicants who are engaged in certain sensitive scientific or technical fields may be subject to additional administrative processing procedures, which can add additional time to the visa application procedures, in some cases up to 120 days.
Step Three: Obtain your visa invitation letter from the ITS9 Program Committee Chair
Once your abstract has been accepted, you are eligible to receive a visa invitation letter from ITS9. This letter is generated automatically via the EDAS system using your normal account as an author of an ITS9 accepted abstract. :
Log into EDAS and bring up a paper for which you are an author
Locate the EDAS Visa Icon labeled ‘Visa Letter’ and click there.
You will then need to fill in your address in your home country which will be used to generate some of the text fields in the letter. After completing the information, then click on the ‘Request Visa Letter’ Icon. A custom pdf file of the invitation letter will be generated for your use.
After completing the information, then click on the ‘Request Visa Letter’ Icon. A custom pdf file of the invitation letter will be generated for your use.
Be sure to generate the visa letter pdf file prior to uploading your full manuscript to EDAS. The Orange envelope icon is only available during the time your paper status is “abstract accepted”.
In the event of an address change the letter can be regenerated as needed as long as the paper status remains “abstract accepted”.
The visa invitation letter is used to provide evidence that you have a legitimate business purpose for entering the United States. It is just one piece of a visa application as required by US consulates.
Step Four: Be Prepared
Applicants for U.S. visas should come to the visa interview with a thorough understanding of their travel plans and logistics. They should bring their invitation letter, copies of meeting agendas, travel itineraries and other documents on official letterhead, as well as documentation to help demonstrate “strong ties” to their home country. For information on what constitutes “strong ties”, please see:
Step Five: Inform the ITS9 organizers of Issues as Early as Possible
Should you encounter any issues in the visa application process, please contact the ITS9 secretary as soon as possible. While ITS9, NIST and MSC have no authority to influence consular decisions, it may be possible to provide guidance on additional steps that could be taken, or otherwise be of assistance.
Applicants may also report visa problems to the US National Academies International Visitors Office by completing the questionnaire on their website. To help the Int’l Visitors Office to identify you as a participant, please be sure to include the name of our meeting (9th International Temperature Symposium) in the "Purpose of Visit" field on the questionnaire. The International Visitors Office can inquire at the Department of State about the status of visa applications that have been pending for more than 20 days.