The U.S. government requires residents of some countries to obtain a Visa before entering the U.S. Recent changes to the Visa application process have increased the length of time required to receive your Visa. The information below provides important links and details that help to make the process easier.
- Review the U.S. Department of State web site (http://www.travel.state.gov) for changes to the Visa process that may affect you.
- Apply early for your Visa.
- Obtain a letter from the WSA.
- Check your passport for expiration date.
- Register for the WSA Show after obtaining your Visa.
Visa Application Process
Recent changes to the Visa policy and procedures are expected to increase the amount of time it takes to obtain a Visa. It is VERY important to apply for your Visa early. We recommend that you start the Visa application process as soon as possible. The Department of State provides the approximate wait times on their web site at www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/tempvisitors_wait.php.
Requesting a Letter from the WSA for Your Visa Application
Important Facts: Only requests meeting our eligibility requirements will be processed.
Requirements for Requesting a Letter from the WSA for Visa Application
- Complete one request for each person requiring a Visa.
- Submit each request only once.
- Your e-mail address is REQUIRED.
- We do NOT send letters by express mail. If you wish to pay for your letter to be sent via International UPS or FedEx, you must have your own account with either of these couriers. Absolutely NO exceptions are made to this policy.
- A copy of the letter will be faxed if you provide a fax number on the form.
- In order to register and attend the WSA Show, you must provide two forms of proper business credentials. You must present 2 of the following forms of proof:
- Business license
- Business card
- Lease with your business name
- Resell number/tax id number
- Bank statement with your name and your business name
- Letter from a manufacturer stating that you have a confirmed appointment at the show (must be on manufacturer's letterhead.)
- Invoice from a manufacturer
Important Visa Information for International Media
Foreign members of the media should have an I-Visa. Using the Visa waiver program to work as a journalist in the U.S. does not guarantee entry. Visit the U.S. State Department's web site for the U.S. Embassy's web site in your country for more information about the I-Visa program.
A personal appearance interview is required as a standard part of this process. This can increase the processing time. It is expected fewer waivers will be granted for the interview portion of the process. The WSA cannot assist you with the interview process, nor can anyone representing the WSA call the embassy of consulate on your behalf to provide support for granting a Visa. If you are denied a visitor Visa, you may reapply if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. In the absence of new evidence, consular officers are not required to re-examine such cases.
How to Find the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Your Country
Please visit www.travel.state.gov/travel/tips/embassies/embassies_1214.html to find the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.
Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a Visa. Not all countries participate in the VWP. Visit the U.S. Department of State's web site at www.travel.state.gov to find the complete list of participating countries.
Important Change to the VWP: Machine-readable passports - The Secretary of State has granted a postponement until October 26, 2004, as the deadline whereby Visa waiver program travelers from 21 VWP countries must present a machine-readable passport (MRP) at the U.S. post of entry to enter the U.S. without a Visa, otherwise a U.S. Visa is required. Starting October 1, 2003, Visa waiver travelers from five countries must present either a machine-readable passport or a U.S. Visa. To learn more, read What I Need to Know About the VWP and the Required Machine-Readable Passport at www.travel.state.gov/vwp.html. Citizens of Andorra, Belgium, Brunei, Liechtenstein and Luxemburg who with to travel to the U.S. under the VWP must present a machine-readable passport (MRP) effective May 15, 2003.
What is a Machine-Readable Passport (MRP)?
A machine-readable passport has biographical data entered on the data page according to International specifications. The size of the passport and photograph, and arrangement of data fields, especially the two lines of printed OCR-B machine readable data, meet the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization, Cid 9303, Part 1 Machine Readable Passports. OCR-B means the type is Optical Character Reader size B. If there are questions about your passport, after carefully reviewing this information, and any information that may be available to you from your country, you may want to contact the passport issuing agency or authority in your country of citizenship www.travel.state.gov.
What Do I Need to Enter the United States Under the Visa Waiver Program?
- You must be a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country.
- You must have a valid passport issued by the participating country.
- Your passport must be a machine-readable passport.
- You must be seeking entry for 90 days or less, as a temporary visitor for business (participating in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences or seminars is permitted as a business visitor) or pleasure. You will not be permitted to extend your visit or change to another Visa category under the VWP.
Representatives of the foreign press, radio, film or other information media require a nonimmigrant media (I) Visa and cannot travel to the U.S. using the Visa waiver program. Visit www.travel.state.gov for more details.