Today, as in the past, many travelers to the U.S. must obtain a visa, and this requirement is generally mandatory for international participants at American Nuclear Society (ANS) National and Topical Meetings. The visa process includes application forms and face-to-face interviews, as well as collection and cross-checking of names in a highly sophisticated U.S. Government inter-agency database.

These name checking and registration processes are necessary and crucial elements that protect U.S. citizens and visitors, so please allow for extra time in your planning to invite international participants to ANS meetings.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended that your meeting planning, with respect to invitation of international participants, be especially timely, in order to allow your international participants a minimum of three to four months to obtain their visas. Note that some countries will require at least three to four months, so your international meeting participants need to submit their visa applications as soon as possible. Please emphasize the need to APPLY EARLY!!

Suggested Actions for Meeting Organizers

  1. Send an individual invitation letter to your international participants at least five months prior to the meeting. Invitation letter content should include: name of meeting; inclusive dates and location; description of the meeting's purpose and how the recipient will help achieve this purpose (present a paper, etc.); brief description of the event's sponsor and the role of the meeting volunteer who sends the letter; an appropriate statement that the participant will be responsible for the payment of all expenses, including meeting registration; a request to apply for his/her visa application as soon as possible; and an appropriate close that welcomes each international delegate to participate at the meeting.
    Also include a reference to these websites:
  2. Further, it is recommended that the preceding information be included on your conference website.

  3. In addition to sending the invitation letters via the mail service, it is helpful to also to send confirming copies via telefax or via e-mail.
  4. Follow up with selected international participants via e-mail and/or telefax a minimum of every four weeks to check on the status of their visa applications.
  5. For international meeting participants from China, please inform them that they are now eligible for longer stays in the U.S. Beginning January 15, 2005, eligible Chinese nationals who wish to visit the U.S. temporarily for business (which generally includes meeting attendees) will be able to get visas that are valid for up to 12 months and for multiple entries. Previously, U.S. visas for Chinese were limited to terms of six months.

    The U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs exchanged diplomatic notes on this agreement in December 2004, and the text of the agreement was posted on the U.S. Department of State's website on January 13, 2005. As a result, frequent Chinese travelers receiving longer validity visas will need to visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in China less often to renew visas. Please encourage your Chinese meeting participants to request the longer visa validity and multiple entries.

Last modified October 7, 2022, 9:11am CDT