Every international visitor should check with his or her local consulate regarding visa and entry regulations for the United States (U.S.).
If you need a travel visa, begin the visa application process now. Wait times for a visa interview can be several weeks or more in many countries, especially during peak travel periods. With this in mind, we strongly urge you to place your request for a letter of invitation to attend SEMICON West as soon as possible. See links below for more information about visa and passport requirements for travel to the United States.
Visitors to the U.S. from visa-waiver countries are required to register online, screened and authorized for entry. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) was ordered by the Department of Homeland Security to identify visitors who might be a threat. Authorization is good for two years or until one's current passport expires. For more information contact your local U.S. consulate regarding visa and entry regulations for the United States.
Letter of Invitation
Certain countries such as China, Vietnam, and Russia may require a hand-signed letter of invitation from SEMI in order to process travel requests. During the registration process, we ask if a letter of invitation is needed and if a hand-signed document is required. Attendees from other countries can download a PDF-generated form in the Registration Resource Center. Attendees requiring a hand-signed document will be contacted individually to arrange.
Visa Interview Tips
Request your letter of invitation, and make your appointment for a visa interview early! Wait times for a visa interview can be several weeks or more in many countries, especially during peak travel periods. With this in mind, we strongly urge you to place your request for a letter of invitation to attend SEMICON West 2016 as soon as possible. These helpful tips may make your visa interview process easier:
Request a Letter of Invitation
The sooner you request your letter of invitation the better. With recent changes in the immigration laws, it may take longer to apply for a visitor visa. During the registration process you will be asked if you need a letter of invitation. On completion of the registration process you will have a link that will produce a custom letter for you to provide to your embassy. If you have any questions, please send an email to Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-508-743-8532 for direct assistance.
Complete all information requested by SEMI to process your letter of invitation.
Schedule an appointment with your embassy as soon as you receive your visa letter. Make your appointment early as wait times can be long in some countries. Please request your letter of invitation before making your appointment and have your letter available during your interview.
Travel with an official embassy delegation.
Traveling with a delegation organized by your local embassy can improve your chances of receiving visa approval. Many embassies organize official delegations through their commercial sections. If you are interested in joining a delegation, contact your local embassy and ask if the commercial trade specialist is organizing a delegation. Locate your nearest embassy or consulate here.
Verify fees and requirements.
Go to U.S. Department of State and go to Visitor Visas to find out about visa fees and the methods of payment accepted by the embassy or consulate. The website also contains information on other requirements such as photographs.
Be sure to complete all official documents.
Answer all questions completely. Do not use ‘n/a’, ‘not applicable’, on your forms. If the answer is in the negative, use ‘no’, ‘nil’, or ‘none.’
Show proof of ‘strong ties’ that bind you to your country of residence.
The Consular Officers conducting interviews look for proof that you will return to your country. Evidence of ‘strong ties’ includes proof of business ownership or employment, social, and family relationships.
If you have traveled to the U.S. previously, provide documentation demonstrating you returned to your country on time.
Show proof that you returned within the timeframe you stated. For example, you can share an airline ticket stub or boarding pass that shows your return flight or meeting materials that confirm your attendance at a business conference.
With your application, include any materials SEMI may have sent you.
Include with your application any printed conference materials, official booth confirmation letter, etc. you receive from SEMICON West to prove the show is a legitimate business event. As part of the visa interview, quick inkless fingerprint scans should be expected. Some visa applications require additional administrative processing, which requires some additional time. Applicants are advised when they apply
Getting a visa is easy if you are prepared. Interviews typically last no more than 5 minutes, and the questions are related to confirming your travel plans and ties to your home country. But remember, wait times can be long for visa processing. Register for SEMICON West 2016, get your letter of invitation, and make your appointment as soon as possible.