The United States has updated its visa policy for increased security. As a result, it now takes longer to obtain a visa. Advance planning by travelers is essential to avoid frustration and disappointment.
•    Review your visa status to find out if you need a U.S. visa or a visa renewal.
•    Plan to submit your visa application well in advance of your intended departure date.
•    Contact your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for current time estimates and recommendations.
•    Visit the embassy or consular section website to find important information on how to schedule an interview appointment, finger scanning – if required - and pay fees. An interview is required as a standard part of processing for most visa applicants.


The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of 36 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. The program was established to eliminate unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they prefer to do so. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on VWP, and therefore, some travelers from VWP countries are not eligible to use the program. VWP travelers are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel, are screened at the port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.

Currently, 36 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, as shown below:

Andorra Hungary   
New Zealand
Australia Iceland   
Belgium Italy San Marino
Brunei Japan Singapore
Czech Republic Latvia Slovakia
Denmark Liechtenstein Slovenia
Estonia Lithuania South Korea
Luxembourg Spain
France Malta Sweden
Monaco Switzerland
Greece The Netherlands United Kingdom

For more information, see


A passport with a validity date of at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the U.S. is required. If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must make a separate application. Please check with the website, https:/, to confirm that your passport is compliant.  Temporary Passports will likely merit special scrutiny. To avoid complications, check with your local US consular offices, well ahead of your intended departure dates.  


A visa support letter can be provided for authors and registered attendees upon request. Please submit your requests for letters of support well in advance of your interview dates to allow sufficient time for processing.  Spouses and guests requiring visa assistance must be registered for an EMC Companion Program Event.


This information is provided in good faith but travel regulations do change. The only authoritative sources of information are the U.S. Government websites at and