SRA International welcomes all international attendees and hopes to make your experience in San Francisco, CA as easy as possible. Whether this is your first time coming to the United States or you are a seasoned traveler, some things you should note from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are included here.
Important Information on Traveling to the US
The US government requires residents of many countries to obtain a temporary visa before entering the United States. Recent changes to the visa application process may have increased the length of time required to receive your visa, so it is very important to apply for your visa at least 90 days prior to your departure. The information below provides important links and details to help make the process easier for you.
Helpful Hints & Applying for Your Visa:
- Visit the US Department of State Website for information or changes to the visa process.
- Register online for the 2019 SRAI Annual Meeting and then request your Letter of Invitation from SRA International.
- Apply for your visa as early as possible and at least 90 days prior to your departure date.
- Check your passport expiration date to make sure it will be valid for at least six more months.
- If you already have a visa, check the expiration date to make sure it will not expire before your trip is completed.
- Complete one request for each person requiring a Letter of Invitation through SRAI.
- Obtaining a Letter of Invitation will NOT guarantee that you will be approved for a visa. The letter is merely supplementary information that explains a visa applicant's intended purpose to travel. US Embassy officers look at the totality of an applicant's personal situation in determining visa eligibility.
Scheduling Visa Interview Appointments
Specific wait times vary for visa interview appointments for each US Embassy/Consulate. Wait times depend on location and time of year, but you can find out specific procedures and estimated wait times by checking your US Embassy/Consulate's Website. Many visa interviews last only 35 minutes. It is very important that you have all the necessary documentation with you to ensure a successful interview.
Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of participating 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 machinereadable passport (MRP) at the US post of entry to enter the US without a visa. Otherwise, a US 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.
Electronic System for Travel Authorization
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a fully automated, electronic system for screening passengers before they begin travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel to the United States, and VWP travelers are encouraged to apply for authorization as soon as they begin to plan a trip to the United States. Click here for more information about the ESTA.
Contact Your Consulate
Please visit the official page for more information on how to find the US Embassy and Consulate(s) in your country.
Visiting from Abroad
Health Insurance: Medical care in the United States can be very expensive. All visitors are advised to carry valid health insurance for the duration of their stay.
Driving in the United States
Visitors who wish to rent cars must have a major credit card and a valid driver's license from their home country. In some cases, an international driver's license may be required. Contact the car rental company directly for specific information.
Please contact Virginia Cunigan with any questions or for any assistance.