Visa resources

International Visitors to the United States

To travel to the United States to attend APS and unit events, you will likely need to obtain a visa. APS has compiled resources to assist you in the process of obtaining a visa.

APS looks forward to welcoming international attendees to our meetings and events, such as the March and April Meetings and Division events. We make every attempt to keep this information up-to-date, but please note that regulations may change. The best resources for accurate information about the visa application process are US government websites.

APS cannot intervene with US Embassies or consulates abroad or with the US State Department on behalf of any member or APS meeting attendee.

Visa application process for non-US citizens and residents

Generally, non-US citizens/residents must obtain a nonimmigrant B-1/B-2 visa to enter the United States for a temporary visit.

Review visa visitor information

Visa Waiver Program

Under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), citizens of certain countries may travel to the United States for stays of 90 days or less without a visa, if they are traveling for tourism or business purposes. Anyone traveling under VWP must apply for authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

Find VWP information

Electronic System for Travel Authorization

Anyone traveling under the VWP must apply for travel authorization online using the the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Travelers must apply for travel authorization at least 72 hours before travel to the United States.

Learn more about the travel authorization process

Visa interviews

If you are not eligible to travel under the VWP, you may be required to appear at a US embassy or consulate for an in-person interview prior to visa approval. There may be long waits to schedule an interview, so start the application process as early as possible.

See estimated visa appointment wait times

Prepare for your visa interview

To be prepared for your visa interview, you should bring:

  • A valid passport, which the US Consulate Office should not need to retain
  • The online nonimmigrant visa application (Form DS-160) confirmation
  • Specific and detailed explanations related to your purpose for travel, such as your APS visa invitation letter
  • Complete travel itineraries and schedules, if appropriate, which does not require an airline ticket proof of purchase
  • Proof of an existing relationship with your inviter, APS, or other US entities, such as your APS meeting registration
  • An explanation of how your visit will be funded
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV)

Visa problems & delays

Through our visa resources addressing potential visa problems and delays, we hope you can easily prepare for your visit to the United States. Please review our resources to avoid visa delays or find resources if your visa has been delayed. You can also review our information about visa applicants not needing to have their passports retained by US Consulate Offices.

Avoid visa problems and delays

Entering the United States

International attendees to APS events should prepare for their trip to the United States by familiarizing themselves with policies and procedures for entering the country.

Office of Biometric Identity Management

The Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), formerly US-VISIT, analyzes travelers to the United States by collecting biographic information and biometrics (i.e., digital fingerprints and photographs).

Learn more about OBIM

US Customs & Border Protection

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provides information for international visitors to the United States, including travel tips, prohibited and restricted items, what to declare at customs, and online arrival/departure forms.

View CBP resources for international visitors to the US

Department of Homeland Security's Travel Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP)

DHS TRIP is a central point of contact for international travelers "who experience repeated referrals for security screenings or who believe that they have been denied boarding or entry into the United States because of inaccurate or incorrect information."

Review the DHS TRIP website

Temporary visits

When making a temporary visit outside of the US, visitors currently in the United States who plan to temporarily visit their home country and reapply for a US visa should make some of their return preparations before leaving the United States.

US government resources

The following US government resources provide additional information to assist those visiting the US:

List of US Embassies and Consulates


A visa document

APS provides visa resources to help international physicists easily prepare for a visit to the United States.

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Find information for US citizens, US visitors, and residents about traveling outside of the US.

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APS provides general visa and related information for physicists traveling internationally to attend scientific meetings and other events.

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Through our international outreach activities and worldwide membership, APS serves as a welcoming global hub for physicists from around the world.

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