WELCOME INTERNATIONAL GUESTS TO EXPO 2017!
APTA's EXPO 2017, with more than 800 global suppliers expected, has the most comprehensive marketplace of innovative products and services for public transportation worldwide. A “one-stop shop” for the public transportation industry’s products, services, technologies, innovations and ideas, EXPO occurs only every three years and connected more than 12,000 industry professionals from more than 75 countries.
If you're interested in bringing a delegation to EXPO 2017, please contact Dick Willard, International Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-527-1768.
APPLY EARLY! If you require a visa to enter the United States to attend APTA's EXPO 2017, you need to apply early. U.S. regulations now require security checks for most visitor visas, resulting in a process that may take three months or more. Citizens of certain countries must have an invitation in hand before they can obtain a passport from their government, and then apply for a U.S. entry visa.
- Review general information on the U.S. visa application process and U.S. visa policies and procedures at the U.S. Department of State website.
- To receive your Visa Letter of Invitation, first you will need to register. An attendee must register online for EXPO 2017 before receiving the visa letter.
- Complete the required information in the EXPO registration site.
- On the registration confirmation page, select the "Print Visa Documents" button.
- Fill out your personal information as well as information from your passport (your date of birth, your passport place of issue and your passport number.)
- Print the visa letter.
- Apply for your visa. Visa applicants are advised to apply as soon as they decide to travel to the United States and at least 90 days in advance of the departure date.
If you have any questions, please contact Carol Johnson at email@example.com.
Scheduling a Visa Interview
As a standard part of the visa process, the U.S. State Department is now requiring that consular officers interview almost every applicant. For this reason, it is very important to plan your travels to the United States as early as possible. Wait times for visa interviews vary depending on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Find estimated wait times and specific procedures here. Because of the number of visa applications and the need for thorough security reviews, the process can take several months. Websites for U.S. Embassies and Consulates depending on location can be viewed at www.usembassy.gov.
Tips for Successful Visa Applications
Visa applicants are expected to provide evidence that they are intending to return to their country of residence. Therefore, applicants should provide proof of “binding” or sufficient ties to their home country or permanent residence abroad. This may include documentation of the following:
- family ties in home country or country of legal permanent residence
- property ownership
- bank accounts
- employment contract or statement from employer stating the position will continue when the employee returns
Visa applications are more likely to be successful if done in a visitor’s home country than in a third country. Applicants should present copies of the event confirmation, hotel, and flight itinerary. Include the EXPO 2017 letter of invitation, which specifies the subject, location and dates of the activity. You will also need to provide information on how travel and local expenses will be covered.
Arrival to the U.S.
All travelers arriving in the United States are met by an immigration inspector who examines each passport and visa, validates the Arrival-Departure (I-94) card, and determines the length of time the visitor may stay in the United States. While the visa issued by the consulate allows a visitor to apply for admission to the United States, the final decision is made by the immigration inspector. Visitors should be prepared to explain what they will be doing during their visit, where they will stay, and when they plan to return to their country.
The Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of 27 countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. VWP travelers must present a machine-readable passport (MRP) at the U.S. port of entry to enter the U.S. without a visa. Otherwise, a U.S. visa is required. Not all countries participate in the VWP. To obtain the complete list of exempt countries and learn more, visit the Visa Waiver Program website.
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