US visa requirements are not simple. Here's a guide with links to important official information:
Citizens and residents of most counries in the world must have a visa to enter the United States. If you travel on documents from one of those countries, you must apply for a visa long before you fly to Los Angeles. The application is online. You must pay a fee and meet with a person at the nearest US Consul General office, who will ask to see a letter that invites you to attend SIGGRAPH 2015.
The Visa Waiver Program
Travelers from 38 countries can enter the United States without a visa. But entry is not automatic. Before you depart for the United States, you must complete an online application and pay a fee (credit card payment only):
Countries That Participate in the US Visa Waiver Program
Most citizens of Canada and Bermuda also do not need a visa to enter the US as tourists.
1. To apply for a visa, you must have your own letter of invitation from SIGGRAPH 2015. You must register for SIGGRAPH 2015 before you can request or receive a letter of invitation.
When you register for the conference from outside the United States, and your country DOES NOT participate in the Visa Waiver Program (see list above), SIGGRAPH 2015 will send you a letter of invitation with your registration materials.
Please contact the SIGGRAPH 2015 International Resources Co-Chairs if you have questions about the visa-invitation procedure. See paragraphs 2 and 3 below for further instructions.
2. After you receive the letter of invitation, call your local US Embassy or Consulate to arrange an interview. For the location of the embassy or consulate closest to you, see Links to United States Embassies and Consulates Worldwide. Recommendation: visit the embassy or consulate a month before you begin the visa process, to obtain literature, forms, etc.
3. When you go to the embassy or consulate for your interview, you will be asked to pay a nonrefundable application fee and submit:
- Your letter of invitation to attend SIGGRAPH 2015.
- A signed, completed application. The application form is available at all embassies and consulates for no charge.
- A passport valid for travel to the US at least six months beyond your intended stay in the US.
- Two photographs, 1.5 inches square (37 x 37 millimeters), showing your full face, without head covering, against a light background.
SIGGRAPH 2015 cannot assist you with the interview process, nor can anyone representing SIGGRAPH 2015 call the embassy or consulate on your behalf to provide support for granting a visa. As an applicant for a non-immigrant visa, you must convince the consular officer that you are:
- Entering the US for pleasure.
- That you plan to remain in the US for a specific, limited period.
- That you have a residence outside the US as well as other binding ties (employment, family, home, bank account) that will ensure your return when you complete your visit to the US.
- And that you have the funds to pay for your entire trip.
If you are denied a visitor visa, you may re-apply if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. In the absence of new evidence, consular officers are not required to re-examine such cases.
Due to the fact that an application for a visa can be a lengthy process, SIGGRAPH 2015 recommends that you start your visa application process early: 90 to 120 days prior to the conference. If you have specific questions that are not covered here, please see US Department of State Visa Information or contact the SIGGRAPH 2015 International Resources Co-Chairs.