Travel Passport and Visa Requirements
If you plan to attend the ATS 2013 International Conference and will be traveling to Philadelphia from countries other than the United States, please be aware of the U.S. passport and visa policies for citizens and visitors.
Regulations require all persons traveling to the U.S. by air to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter the United States. Likewise, citizens of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central or South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda traveling to ATS 2013 by land or sea must present a valid passport to enter the U.S. For more information on these travel regulations, please click here.
Many citizens of Canada and of the 36 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) (see box below) can travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa, as long as they meet certain requirements, which now include an approved authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). ESTA applications may be completed online and can be submitted at any time prior to travel.
If you are not a citizen of these countries or are not eligible to participate in the VWP, please click here, to find out how to obtain a visa. If you do not have access to the Internet, contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for further information.
Most countries will require visa applicants to provide supplementary information explaining the purpose of their travel. In this regard, providing a letter of invitation to ATS 2013 may be useful. Generate a customized letter or request that one be mailed to you by emailing your name, address, passport number, and arrival and departure dates to email@example.com.
Remember that having a U.S. visa allows you to travel to a port-of-entry—an airport, for example—but does not guarantee entry into the U.S. Once you arrive in the U.S., an official will need to interview you and verify your paperwork in order to grant you admittance to the country.
In an effort to assist international attendees, the ATS has posted the 2013 International Conference on the U.S. Department of State’s Intranet Listing for Conferences in the U.S.
Visa expediting companies like Safe Travels International can also be of assistance to the international members and potential attendees who need to secure a visa and entry into the U.S.
“We have had tremendous success with assisting in the processing for U.S. entry of citizens from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries and citizens covered under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, as well as those arriving with permanent residence from countries that require a visa,” said Doug K. daCosta, of Safe Travels International. “No matter where you are from, Safe Travels will provide you with the guidance to complete all required documentation, including a Non-Immigrant Visa Application or the new Online Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Application.”
For more information about Safe Travels, please click here.
Visa Waiver Program Participants If you are a citizen of the following countries, you may not need a visa to travel to the United States for ATS 2013. As of January 12, 2009, however, all travelers from these countries are required to register online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. And in January 2010, the Department of Homeland Security transitioned to enforced compliance of the ESTA requirement for VWP travelers. This means that travelers who have not obtained approval through the ESTA “should expect to be denied boarding on any air carrier bound for the United States.As the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program are subject to change in the coming months, the ATS encourages attendees to regularly check the ESTA Web site for updates.