HELPFUL HINTS ON APPLYING FOR A VISA TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES TO ATTEND THE FLOHET CONFERENCE
A most informative and useful article has recently appeared in C & E News: Understanding The U.S. Visa System.
1. Type of Visa
Most participants at our conference who require a Visa (many European countries have Visa agreements with the United States such that their citizens do not need Visas to enter) will come in on a B1/B2 Visa. A B1 Visa is for business purposes whereas a B2 Visa is for pleasure/tourism. Participants at our conference are considered to be here on business because it is connected with their profession. Therefore the application will probably be processed as a B1 even though B1/B2 is eventually stamped in their passport. You should emphasize that you will not receive any remuneration while you are in the United States or be employed in any way.
2. Intent to return
It is very important that when you apply for a Visa if you attend a visa application interview you should provide evidence that you intend to return to your home country and not stay in the United States after the period of the conference. Examples of evidence which you could produce are (i) proof of ongoing employment, (ii) proof that you own property or at least that you have a place of permanent residence, for example utilities bills, (iii) other ties to your country such as spouse, children, elderly parents and so on.
3. Security Check
As you know the United States, in common with many countries, carries out security checks on persons before they are admitted to the United States. There is not much that you can do to prove that you are not a security risk but if you are told by the embassy that a security check will have to be carried out on you, please inform us immediatly because we may be able to reduce the waiting period.
4. When to apply for your Visa
If you need a Visa it is smart to apply at least 3 months before travel. In fact, if you apply 5-6 months before traveling that is even better (most consular offices are not allowed to issue Visas more than 6 months ahead).
5. Please contact us if you feel that we could help you
There are some signs that it is becoming slightly easier to get Visas although it can still take a long time especially from Asia and some South American countries.