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Visa Requirements


Conference participants should familiarize themselves with visa requirements well in advance of the conference. The 2008 Applied Superconductivity Conference (ASC 2008) organizers encourage you to apply for your visa as early as possible, at least 3 to 4 months prior to this conference.


Some consulates may have backlogs in scheduling visa interviews so applicants should first contact the consulate to find out how long the wait is for an interview. Visa wait times are available at: http://travel.his.com/visa/tempvisitors_wait.php

ASC 2008 CANNOT INTERVENE with U.S. Embassies abroad or the State Department in Washington, DC, on behalf of any participant.

However, if you need a personal letter of invitation to attend the Conference, contact Centennial Conferences (email: asc@centennialconferences.com or fax: (001) 303-499-2599) and provide the following information:

Full Name
Complete Mailing Address (including phone and fax numbers)
Passport Number / Country Issued
Date, City and Country of Birth

Your letter will be emailed (pdf format) and MAILED TO YOU, so request it well in advance of when you expect to need it.


Further, spouses requiring visa assistance must be registered as a ASC 2008 Guest/Companion.

SECURITY UPDATES
The U.S. has updated its visa policies to increase security for its citizens and visitors. It will likely take you longer to get a visa than it used to, and you will find that a few new security measures have been put into place. For details that may apply specifically to your country, see information posted by your nearest consulate or embassy.


Effective the first quarter of 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in conjunction with the U.S.-Visit program, the organization responsible for the technology and analysis of fingerprints, will transition from collecting two fingerprints to collecting 10 fingerprints from foreign travelers to the U.S. Chicagoís OíHare International Airport is one of 10 U.S. airports taking part in this pilot program.

This policy has been changed to ensure the safety of both international visitors and U.S. citizens. Records are kept on file for 75 years due to the likelihood of frequent visits to the U.S. over the course of a personís lifetime. A comprehensive privacy policy can be found on the DHS website by visiting http://www.dhs.gov/xtrvlsec/programs/editorial_0693.shtm.

This transition will not make the process any longer for those travelers who need to be scanned. Smaller, faster and higher quality next generation scanners are now in place to improve the security of our country. See pdf files: 10-Fingerprint Collection Fact Sheet and 10-Fingerprint FAQs.

Another change that will affect international attendees is the passport requirement. As of October 26, 2006, any passport issued on or after this date by a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country must be an e-Passport for VWP travelers to be eligible to enter the U.S. without a visa. The most common way of visiting the U.S. without a visa is through the VWP. The 27 participating VWP countries can be found online at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html.


Passports issued on or after October 26, 2006 must be e-Passports, which include an integrated computer chip capable of storing biographic information from the data page and the digital photograph of the holder.

Older, but still valid passports issued by VWP countries between October 26, 2005 and October 25, 2006, must include a digital photo printed on the data page or the traveler will be required to obtain a visa.


IMPORTANT WEBSITES
U.S. Visa Policies
http://travel.state.gov/
US Embassies
http://www7.nationalacademies.org/visas/Traveling_to_US.html
Temporary Visitors to U.S.
http://www.dhs.gov/US-Visit

Step-by-Step Process to Obtain a U.S. Visa (pdf file)

US-VISIT:
These notes presume that non-U.S. citizens/residents traveling to the U.S. for attendance at the ASC 2008 do so for this reason only. The guidance offered may not be appropriate for plans, which include visits to other institutions,vacations or other objectives.

INTERVIEW PREPARATION

  • Applicants should be able to answer specific and detailed questions related to their purpose of travel, business dealings with the inviter, and their general business relations (as appropriate, depending on their job responsibilities).
  • Applicants should be able to provide complete travel itineraries and (if appropriate) training schedules.
  • Applicants who claim to have existing relationships with their inviters, or other U.S. entities, should provide clear proof of these relationships, for instance through purchase orders, correspondence, etc.
  • Applicants should be able to explain how the applicant's visit will be funded.
    NOTE: Proof of purchase of an airline ticket is not an item requested by the embassy to document your itinerary for your trip. No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable ticket should not be made until a visa has been issued and you are in receipt of the passport.


PROBLEMS?
Any problems encountered in visa applications or in the admission process should be reported to the International Visitors Office by completing the questionnaire on their website at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/visas/Visa_Questionnaire.html

To help the Intíl Visitors Office to identify you as a participant, please be sure to include the name of our meeting (2008 Applied Superconductivity Conference, ASC 2008) 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.

DISCLAIMER
Please note that this information is given in good faith but that the regulations may change and the only authoritative sources of information are the U.S. Government websites.

 
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