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VISAS, Passports, etc.

Because the rules and process (hence the processing time) for applying for entry into the United States can change suddenly, travelers are advised to monitor the situation closely. We recommend these sites:

US National Academy Int’l Visitor’s Office
US State Department, Non-Immigrant Visas

Visas may be necessary for entry into the United States to attend the CLIVAR Conference. Citizens of certain countries may benefit from the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) if they meet the necessary qualifications (see below). Non-qualifying foreign citizens must apply for a visa at an American embassy or consulate abroad, when desiring to travel to the United States.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
Currently, 27 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Italy, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

To enter the US on the VWP, travelers from participating countries must:

• Be seeking entry for 90 days or less, as a temporary visitor.
• Be a citizen (not merely a resident) of the Visa Waiver country.
• Have a valid passport issued by the participating country. Additionally, starting October 1, 2003, the passport presented at the US port of entry must be a machine-readable passport.
• If entering by air or sea, have a round-trip transportation ticket issued on a carrier that has signed an agreement with the US government to participate in the VWP, and arrive in the United States aboard such a carrier.
• Hold a completed and signed Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival-Departure Record.
• Form I-94W, on which he/she has waived the right of review or appeal of an immigration officer’s determination about admissibility, or deportation. These forms are available from participating carriers, from travel agents, and at land-border ports-of-entry. (Travelers should consult carriers to verify which ones are participating before making travel arrangements.)
• Entry at a land border crossing point from Canada or Mexico is permitted under the VWP. Travelers who apply for entry at a land border crossing point are not required to present round-trip transportation tickets or arrive at the border entry point aboard a carrier who has signed an agreement with the US to participate in the VWP. All other VWP requirements apply to such travelers.

You can use the VWP for business and tourism. You can do things on the VWP that you can do on the B-1/B-2 non-immigrant visa. If you don’t know whether your planned activities are permitted on the VWP, please contact the consular section of the embassy or consulate that serves your area for information.


Obtaining a Visa

As soon as you contemplate travel to the US, and after identifying that a visa is needed, contact the US embassy or consulate for information about current visa processing time estimates and processes. It is important to apply very early. As of this date, visa applications should be sought at least three months in advance of anticipated travel.

All visitor visa applicants must have the following:
• Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-156, completed and signed
• Current, valid passport or travel document
• Photograph (2 x 2 inches, passport type)
• Application fees. All applicants must pay the application fee. Some applicants, according to nationality and type of visa, must also pay an issuance fee
• Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States
• Evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad
• There may be other forms and documentation. Please check the indicated web site or contact a local US embassy or consulate for further information

  Letters of Invitation
Attendees needing letters of invitation should contact the Conference Secretariat with details of their travel to the US. Letters of invitation are intended to assist travelers who need permission and are not an expression of support.

This page maintained by the U.S. CLIVAR Project Office
This page last updated October 1, 2003
Please E-mail questions or comments to usco@usclivar.org