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International Travelers' Assistance

U.S. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

As part of U.S. efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, several Presidential proclamations have suspended and limited entry into the U.S. of all noncitizens who were physically present within specific countries during the 14-day period preceding their entry into the U.S.

National Interest Exceptions

Some travelers subject to these Presidential proclamations may qualify for a National Interest Exception (NIE) that allows them to travel to the U.S. For information on the NIE process, please check with your in-country U.S. Embassy or Consulate offices, which will have the most recent information about eligibility details.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

A U.S. visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port of entry and request admission into the U.S. from a U.S. Immigration Inspector.

Travelers from 35 countries in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) may be able to visit the U.S. for tourism or business purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. For information, visit the Visa Waiver Program website. Please note, however, that many countries participating in the VWP are currently subject to the COVID-19 travel restrictions mentioned above.

If you are eligible to travel under the VWP, you must have a machine-readable passport and are subject to enhanced security requirements. You must apply online for authorization by going to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization Web Site. The Department of Homeland Security recommends that travel authorization applications be submitted at least 72 hours prior to travel.

Applying for a Visa

If you are from a country that does not participate in the VWP, you will need to apply for a visa and make an appointment with your U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a visa interview as soon as possible.

Advance travel planning and applying for your visa early are essential to receiving your visa in time, since visa applications are subject to a greater degree of scrutiny now than in the past. The timeframes for visa processing today are difficult to predict with accuracy for any individual applicant and could vary significantly by country.

We recommend all travelers consider the following when making plans to travel to the U.S.:

  • Apply at the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate at least 5 months before intended travel.
  • Check online for the wait times or appointments.
  • Be accurate and specific in completing your application. Avoid mistakes. If needed, attach an explanation letter.
  • Attach evidence of your previous visits to the U.S.
  • Attach evidence of your intended return trip to your home country.
  • Acquire a police clearance, if possible.
  • Bring all documentation proving that you have binding or sufficient social and economic ties to your home country or permanent residence abroad. Suggestions include:
    • past visas
    • bank accounts
    • family
    • professional position
    • employment (contract or letter from your employer specifying length of employment, position, and salary, for example)
    • home and property ownership
    • marriage license
    • the entire trip itinerary, including travel to countries other than the U.S.
  • If appropriate, bring copies of correspondence confirming you are:
    • presenting a paper
    • speaking at the meeting
    • receiving an award or grant
  • Bring your letter of invitation from AACC.

ENTRY TO THE U.S.

A Visa only allows you to travel to the U.S. You still have to establish your admissibility to the satisfaction of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at your point of entry. Please visit the following websites for more information:

Be prepared to allow inkless fingerprinting and digital photographs upon entry to the U.S.

RESOURCES