Visa Requirements

Conference participants should familiarize themselves with visa requirements well in advance of the conference. The 2009 Cryogenic Engineering Conference and International Cryogenic Materials Conference (CEC-ICMC 2009) 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

CEC-ICMC 2009 CANNOT INTERVENE with U.S. Embassies abroad or the State Department in Washington, D.C., on behalf of any participant.

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

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

Your letter will be faxed 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 an CEC-ICMC 2009 Guest/Companion.

NEW AS OF JANUARY, 2009 FOR TRAVELERS FROM VISA WAIVER PROGRAM COUNTRIES

A new requirement for International travelers arriving from Visa Waiver Program countries began January 12, 2009. Those travelers will need to have advance travel authorization from U.S. Homeland Security before their trip.

PASSPORTS
The U.S. State Department allows Canadian citizens to enter the United States without visas; they will need to show passports and proof of residence, however.

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.

Effective January 9, 2009, foreign travelers to the U.S. intending to use the Visa Waiver Program ("VWP") will be unable to enter the U.S. unless they have been "pre-authorized" by the new online "Electronic System for Travel Authorization" (ESTA). (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/)

Travelers may log into ESTA as far in advance of their travel as possible but it is recommended no less than 72 hours before departure. The ESTA application asks for biographic, passport and other personal data, information about their proposed travel and stay in the U.S., and answers to questions similar to those on the I-94 document every visitor to the U.S. must complete prior to arrival. On submission, an ESTA tracking number is assigned. Travelers must log into the system to see the status of their case. In most cases authorization to travel is issued almost immediately. In some cases, authorization might take two or three days. A very small percentage of cases might be denied, based on patterns of answers, personal circumstances, or for random quality control measures. If the ESTA application is denied and the traveler still wants to enter the U.S., a visa application must be made at an appropriate U.S. Consulate before departure. In such instances the usual visa application process applies, which sometimes can be lengthy.

An ESTA authorization for travel to the U.S. will generally be valid for 2 years or until the applicant's passport expires, whichever comes first. During this time, a new ESTA authorization is required if the traveler (1) changes his or her name; (2) changes his or her gender; (3) changes country of citizenship; or (4) should change any other answer to ESTA questions.

We urge Users who travel to the U.S. on the VWP to become familiar with ESTA and to accommodate this new process in their U.S. travel plans. Arrangements to travel to the U.S. should be finalized as early as possible and the ESTA application should be submitted as early as possible to allow time for a conventional visa application in the event of an ESTA denial so minimizing the possibility of travel delays.

E-Passports contain computer chips capable of storing biometric information, such as the required digital photograph of the holder. (You can identify an e-Passport by the symbol on the bottom center cover of your passport.) If your passport doesn't have this feature, you can still travel without a visa if it is a valid passport issued before October 26, 2005, and includes a machine-readable zone, or between October 26, 2005, and October 25, 2006, and includes a digital photograph. 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.

Citizens of all other countries than Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom must have (1) a valid passport that expires at least 6 months later than the scheduled end of their visit to the United States, and (2) a tourist visa, which may be obtained without charge from any U.S. consulate.
For an up-to-date, country-by-country listing of passport requirements around the world, go to the "Foreign Entry Requirement" website of the U.S. State Department at http://travel.state.gov. International visitors can obtain a visa application at the same website.

U.S. Entry: Passport Required -- New regulations issued by the Homeland Security Department now require virtually every air traveler entering the U.S. to show a passport -- and future regulations will cover land and sea entry as well. As of January 23, 2007, all persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda are required to present a valid passport. Similar regulations for those traveling by land or sea (including ferries) are expected as early as January 1, 2008.

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.
As of January 2004, many international visitors traveling on visas to the United States will be photographed and fingerprinted on arrival at Customs in airports and on cruise ships in a program created by the Department of Homeland Security called US-VISIT. Exempt from the extra scrutiny are visitors entering by land or those (mostly in Europe) that don't require a visa for short-term visits. For more information, go to the Homeland Security website at www.dhs.gov/dhspublic.
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.
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.

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 CEC-ICMC 2009 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

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 (2009 Cryogenic Engineering Conference and International Cryogenic Materials Conference, CEC-ICMC 2009) 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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