Visas & Letters of Invitation

Gaining Entry to the United States

Visa Waiver Program

Currently, foreign nationals entering the United States must have valid visas unless they qualify for travel under the Visa Waiver Program.

Citizens of the following countries; Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom may be eligible to travel to the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program if they are traveling for business, pleasure or are in transit and they meet all of the following requirements.

Citizens of the following countries; the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia the Republic of Korea and from November 1, 2012, Taiwan*, may be eligible to travel to the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program if they are traveling for business, pleasure or are in transit, they are in possession of an electronic passport (e-passport) and they meet all of the following requirements.

International travelers who are seeking to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are subject to enhanced security requirements and are required register under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before boarding an air or sea carrier; those entering by land from Canada or Mexico are not required to register. You can apply for an ESTA on the official ESTA website.

Applying for a Visa

If you are a foreign national from a country not covered by the Visa Waiver Program, you will require a Business B-1 visa to participate in our conferences.

You can apply for a visa by completing an Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) on the U.S. Department of State website. The visa application costs 160 USD. Further details about applying for a visa are here.

As part of the visa application process, you may be required to submit a Letter of Invitation from the ERI Conference Programme Committee.

Letters of Invitation

A Letter of Invitation is an official document that confirms payment of registration fees and extends an official invitation to the paid registrant to attend and participate in the upcoming conference. In other words, it provides the holder with an official reason to come to the US. It may be required by your university for administrative purposes, and will likely form one of the documents required for visa application if you are from a country that does not have a visa exemption agreement with the US.

In order to qualify for a Letter of Invitation, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be registered as an author of an accepted abstract and/or paper
  • Have paid the conference registration fee in full
  • A verifiable email address from an institution (.edu, .org, .ac) is required. We are unable to accept a personal address (gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc.).

IAFOR will not, under any circumstances, provide a Letter of Invitation or visa application paperwork to any interested party who does not meet the two criteria listed above.

If your application for a Letter of Invitation is successful, your Letter of Invitation will be sent to you by email as a PDF attachment. In addition, a hard copy will be mailed to your residence or place of work.

Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your application to be processed.

Letters of Guarantee

Please note that a Letter of Guarantee is different from a Letter of Invitation. Depending on your professional situation, background and nationality, you may be required to submit a Letter of Invitation and/or Letter of Guarantee.

A Letter of Guarantee is a letter in which an individual or body agrees to be legally and financially responsible for you during your stay in the United States. You may know an individual or institution in the US willing to act as a guarantor, or, if you have no connection with the country, US immigration authorities may find that it is acceptable to have your university act as the guarantor. IAFOR cannot provide Letters of Guarantee.

Further Visa Assistance

All questions/concerns regarding the status of your visa should be directed to the US immigration authorities or the US Embassy in your home country.

If your visa application is denied, please note that IAFOR will not be able to change the decision of the US immigration authorities, nor will IAFOR engage in discussion or correspondence with the US immigration authorities or the US Embassy on behalf of the applicant.

IAFOR is not authorised to assist with the visa process beyond providing a Letter of Invitation.

Letter of Invitation Application Process

To apply for a Letter of Invitation you must to complete the Letter of Invitation Form. To do this you will require the following:

  • Details of your planned itinerary (all daily activities while staying in the US)
  • Tentative flight arrival/departure information including flight time, flight number, etc.
  • Your planned hotel name, address, phone number
  • The title and address of the embassy/consulate in your country you are using to secure your visa
  • All passport information
  • An ability to use correct English spelling, punctuation, grammar and capitalisation

Please complete all three pages of the Letter of Invitation form. Replace the red text with your personal information. Please take great care to ensure that this is completed accurately, and is free of typographical and spelling errors, as this will form the basis of an official document used to secure entry into the US. Providing all the information we receive is correct, the Letter of Invitation process will usually take between 7 and 21 days.

Please allow ample time for the Letter of Invitation application process.