Special Travel Information for International Participants

Disclaimer: This information is for the convenience of participants only. Vanderbilt University does not assume responsibility for changes in regulations or special circumstances that may apply to your country. Please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for additional information.


Visa requirements for travel to the United States are continually changing. Visa applications can take from three to four months to process and may require a personal interview, as well as specific personal information. International participants should view the important information about traveling to the U.S. found at the following web sites:


Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

If you are a citizen of one of the 27 countries listed below, you generally do not need a U.S. visa for business or tourism visits of less than 90 days if your passport meets the requirements described at the end of this subsection. (In this case, please make sure that you are issued a WB visa at the point of entry.) In addition, there may be other circumstances that require you to obtain a visa. Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for any special conditions that may apply to your country.









San Marino














The Netherlands



New Zealand

United Kingdom

In order to enter to the United States without a visa, VWP travelers must meet these passport requirements:

All VWP travelers must have a machine-readable passport;
All new passports issued by VWP countries after October 26, 2005 must include a digital photo;
All new passports issued by VWP countries after October 26, 2006 must be e-Passports (includes a computer chip that stores biographic and biometric data).

Participants from Canada or Mexico

Participants from Canada or Mexico please refer here for further details.

If You Discover You Do Need a Visa

The National Academies website (see above) provides these tips for successful visa applications:

* Visa applicants are expected to provide evidence that they are intending to return to their country of residence. Therefore, applicants should provide proof of "binding" or sufficient ties to their home country or permanent residence abroad. This may include documentation of the following:
    - family ties in home country or country of legal permanent residence
    - property ownership
    - bank accounts
    - employment contract or statement from employer stating that the position will continue when the employee returns;
* Visa applications are more likely to be successful if done in a visitor's home country than in a third country;
* Applicants should present their entire trip itinerary, including travel to any countries other than the United States, at the time of their visa application;
* Include a letter of invitation from the meeting organizer or the U.S. host, specifying the subject, location and dates of the activity, and how travel and local expenses will be covered;
* If travel plans will depend on early approval of the visa application, specify this at the time of the application;
* Provide proof of professional scientific and/or educational status (students should provide a university transcript).

This list should not be considered complete. Please visit the web sites above for the most up-to-date information.