Customs & Visas

Visa Waiver Program

If you are a citizen of one of the 38 countries currently participating in the Visa Waiver Program you may travel to the United States without a visa, provided that you have the correct type of passport and fulfill the other requirements of the program. You must still get travel authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). There is currently a US $14 fee, payable with a credit card. The authorization is good for 2 years, or until your passport expires (whichever time is shorter). It is recommended that you obtain your ESTA authorization at least 3 months before your trip, so that you have sufficient time to apply for a visa in case your ESTA application is denied.

Please make sure that you obtain your ESTA authorization through the official U.S. Customs and Border Protection website; there are quite a few unauthorized third-party websites which charge extra fees on top of the official $14 ESTA fee.

Canadian citizens need neither a visa nor ESTA travel authorization.

Visas

Participants who are citizens of countries not participating in the Visa Waiver Program, and those who are unable to get an ESTA travel authorization must apply for a B-1 visa. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State web site for further information.

In most cases, you will need to visit a U.S. consulate for a visa interview. During the interview, you must demonstrate that you have strong ties to your home country (e.g. stable employment, possession of property, family) that will compel you to leave the United States at the end of your temporary stay. Insufficient ties to the applicant’s home country are the most common reason for visa denials.

Please note that it is the sole responsibility of the attendee to take care of his/her visa requirements. Please allow adequate time for the application procedure. It is highly advisable to apply for your visa at least 3-4 months in advance, and to book a flight only after the visa has been granted. Estimated wait times for interview appointments and visa processing can be found here.

Visa Support Letters

Visa support letters, designed to support your visa application, will be sent upon request. IEEE policy requires that you must have an accepted or invited presentation, or have fully paid the registration fee before the letter can be issued. It must be understood that such letters do not represent a commitment on the part of the Organizing Committee or Conference to provide any financial assistance. All expenses incurred with relation to the Conference are the sole responsibility of the attendee.