Visa Information
General Info
Planning Steps
U.S. Dept. of State
Visa Services Info
Important Websites
Travel Grants
Request Letter of Invitation

Visas

The Planning Steps

Advance planning by foreign travelers is critical, including these planning steps for your visa (as provided by the U.S. Department of State):

  • Request a Letter of Invitation to attend the GSA Annual Meeting and Exposition
  • As soon as travel to the United States is contemplated, foreign travelers should identify whether a visa is needed. If the traveler has a U.S. visa, check the expiration date to make sure that the visa will not expire before the planned travel date. For visa waiver countries, citizens of those countries meeting the visa waiver criteria will not need a visa. Some foreign participants may not need a visa if they are citizens of any of the countries on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). However, after October 26, 2004, all citizens of VWP countries must have a Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) in order to travel to the United States without a visa. If you do not have an MRP, you will need to apply for a visa. For further information on the Visa Waiver Program or if you do not know whether you can travel without a visa, using this program, review the Visa Waiver Program information on the Internet at:
    > www7.nationalacademies.org/visas/Traveling_to_US.html or
    > www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html
  • Information about visitor visas, and what a person needs to apply, is available on the Department of State's Visa Services website at travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html
  • After identifying that a visa is needed, foreign travelers should contact the Embassy Consular Section in their country to determine visa-processing timeframes. We recommend contacting the Consular Section via Internet at usembassy.state.gov/. Look for posted timeframes on the Internet or call the Consular Section to hear recorded information about visa processing timeframes.
  • The Department of State's recommended first source of up-to-date visa information is their Internet site at travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html

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