Meetings & Events

international-travel-image

MRS meetings and workshops draw attendees from around the globe. This page includes information and links to help ensure smooth travel to an MRS meeting. Follow this link for information on travel bans and the existing state of travel to the United States: U.S. State Department Alert.

The 2018 MRS Spring Meeting is registered with the National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine.

The International Visitors Office (IVO) is a program operated by the Board on International Scientific Organizations. The IVO serves as a resource on visa-related issues for The National Academies, Academy members, as well as scientists and students traveling to the United States for professional activities.

VISA Questionnaire

The IVO Questionnaire collects information on visa-related issues from the scientific community. The data collected through the questionnaire will be used to track trends and report urgent visa cases to the U.S. Department of State.

You are eligible to complete the questionnaire if:

  • You have applied for a B-1 or combination B-1/B-2 visa to attend a scientific conference, symposium, workshop, or other event related to professional development in your subject area, AND your visa has been undergoing administrative processing for at least 30 days and it is 14 days prior to the U.S. event’s start date.

    OR

  • You have applied for an F-1, J-1, H1-B, O-1, or other visa related to scientific work or study for science-related activities in the United States, AND your application has been undergoing administrative processing for 60 days or longer.

Please note that individuals who have applied for a tourist visa (B-2) or a dependent visa (such as F-2 and J-2) should not complete the questionnaire. Individuals with a visa case that was denied, rather than delayed, also should not complete the questionnaire. Note (Updated March 27, 2017):  The IVO is currently reporting new or pending visa application cases from nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The IVO recommends that interested parties check the Department of State's webpage on U.S. Visas for continued updates: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html

U.S. Visa Waiver Program

Under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

  • Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).
  • Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.

Request Your Visa Letter Early

Note: If you have submitted an abstract for an upcoming meeting or workshop, please request your invitation letter as soon as possible so that you have enough time for the visa application process. MRS does not recommend waiting for abstract status notification before requesting an invitation letter. Learn more about requesting a letter.

International Travel Resources

  • Electronic System for Travel Authorization
    ESTA requires all international travelers from Visa Waiver Program countries to register in an online database. The online travel authorization is easy to use and available in more than 16 languages. Applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel; however, DHS recommends that applications be submitted no less than 72 hours prior to travel.
  • Invitation Letter
    International attendees of MRS meetings often need a letter of invitation from MRS in order to obtain a visa to visit the U.S. Learn how to request a letter from MRS.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa
    Instructions on applying for a nonimmigrant visa from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and U.S. Embassies in China
  • Visa Information
    Information on applying for a visa to visit the United States
  • Other International Travel Resources
    A list of resources aimed at ensuring international attendees are familiar with the very latest U.S. passport and visa regulations

General Travel Resources