Visa Information for International Delegates

U.S. entry visa services are currently limited due to COVID-19.
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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE UNITED STATES

Citizens traveling from a foreign country require a visa, or an Electronic System for Travel Authorization visa waiver (ESTA) to enter the United States as a visitor. If you have a valid ESTA visa that does not expire before December 15, 2021 you should have no problems entering the United States. If you’re applying for ESTA it is recommended that you submit your application at least 72 hours before departure to allow for processing and approval by the U.S. authorities. If approved, the ESTA authorization is valid for two years. For more information regarding application guidelines the ESTA homepage can be found here.

An electronic passport (e-Passport), valid for at least 6 months after your planned departure from the United States is also required for travel under the Visa Waiver Program.

Effective January 26, 2021, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.

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The following are not eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program:

• Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011;

• Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.

APPLYING FOR A VISA

Those not eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) will need to obtain a visitor visa. Visitor visas are non-immigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business.

Minister level government representatives should apply for a Category A1 Visitor visa; other government officials should apply for a Category A2 Visitor visa.

All other 23rd WPC delegates and visitors should apply for a Category B1 Business visa.

You can apply for your visa at your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, via their website. The website will also include information on how to schedule and prepare for an interview appointment, pay fees, and other valuable information that will guide you in the process.

Please bear in mind that U.S. entry visa services are limited at present due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. We are closely monitoring the situation and will update you if we receive any additional information.

Possible alternatives include:

• Asking your organization’s travel agency to assist with your visa application.

• Checking with your organization’s Public/Government Affairs team whether they are contact the Economic Counsellor at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, to facilitate your visa application.

• Contacting any organizational Joint Venture partner headquartered overseas, who may be able to reach out to their contacts at the nearest U.S. embassy / consulate to facilitate your visa application.

If you require an invitation letter from the 23rd WPC Organizing Committee to supplement your visa application, please contact us at registration@23wpchouston.com.

All non-U.S. visa applicants are encouraged to review the official government website, U.S. Visas (state.gov) for information on applying for a U.S. entry visa. Participants may refer to this website for information as well as current COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

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Please note: The aforementioned information is a general guideline for travel to the United States. Because travel requirements may change, the 23rd World Petroleum Congress Organizing Committee recommends that attendees contact their local U.S. embassy or consulate to ensure they have proper documentation.

Please be advised that the 23rd WPC Organizing Committee cannot directly advocate for anyone to receive an entry visa into the United States.

Starting in November, the United States will reportedly allow fully vaccinated passengers to enter the United States. If you have received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or is listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO), then you are considered to be fully vaccinated. To see the full list, click here.