Information for International Travelers

TACC 2016 welcomes international participants; this page gives some practical information. Please familiarize yourself with travel requirements well in advance — and if you need a visa, apply early!

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: Third parties who charge money for a “service” related to ESTA are not actually capable of expediting approval. The link shown above takes you to the official US Government site, which explains the process and lets you enroll online in ESTA for a small fee.

As of April 1, 2016, you must have an e-passport containing a chip in order to visit the US under the VWP. 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.

Related information on US government websites:

Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda

The US has special arrangements with adjoining nations and Bermuda.

  • Most Canadian citizens will not need a visa; they may enter the US using their passport, along with their Conference Registration Notice. (A passport is technically not the only acceptable document for Canadian citizens; however, we recommend it as the surest and smoothest means of entry and return.) Please request, at the port of entry, status as a Visitor for Business (B-1).
  • Mexican citizens would usually apply for a Border Crossing Card or “laser visa,” and bring their passport and Conference Registration Notice. Please request, at the port of entry, status as a Visitor for Business (B-1).

How do you get a visa?

Citizens of countries not participating in the Visa Waiver Program would 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 non-sponsored attendee of an international scientific workshop. The B-2 visa is for tourism and might be appropriate for companions who are not attending the conference.

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!