Meeting attendees from countries that require a visa to enter the United States are reminded that the process of obtaining a visa may take several months. You are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and begin the application process early. Please note that the MS&T’11 event organizers do not have any influence over the issuance of a visa. The determination is at the sole discretion of the Embassy/Consulate. Should your application be denied, the MS&T’11 event organizers cannot change the decision of the governmental agency. If you have any questions, please contact Doreen Cary, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Effective January 20, 2010, inbound travelers to the United States from Visa Waiver Program countries may be denied boarding by the airlines if they haven’t complied with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization program.
ESTA, introduced in January 2009, requires all international travelers from VWP countries to register in an online database. Previously, international travelers had to fill out an I-94W form before each trip, but ESTA seeks to streamline and update the process. Now, international travelers to the United States must go to the ESTA Website and fill out an application before entering the country by air or sea. If approved, the authorization is good for two years and can be renewed. Travelers no longer have to fill out an I-94W form before each trip. U.S. officials say ESTA will speed up the process for travelers, enable customs officials to screen passengers in advance, and improve security.