Travel Visas

Delegates attending the ATRIP Congress 2012 from abroad the United States must either (1) qualify for Visa Waiver for Business (WB) status through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) or (2) have a valid B-1 or B-1/B-2 visa in their passport.

Process for Entry into the United States

  1. Delegates should determine whether they qualify for the VWP (see qualification details below) or have a valid B-1 or B-1/B-2 visa.
  2. If the delegate qualifies for the VWP or has a valid B-1 or B-1/B-2 visa, upon registration, the Chicago-Kent IP Department will mail an Invitation letter to the delegate for use in entering the U.S.
  3. However, if the delegate does not qualify for the VWP and does not have a valid B-1 or B-1/B-2 visa, the Delegate should immediately contact the Chicago-Kent IP Department at ipconference@kentlaw.edu. Please include your name, date of birth, affiliation, and address in the email. The Department prepares an Invitation letter for the delegate and secures a Support letter from the IIT (University) International Center. After securing the Support letter, the Chicago-Kent IP Department mails the Invitation and Support letters to the delegate for use in acquiring a B-1 visa from a U.S. Consulate abroad (see details below).

(1) Attendees Who Qualify for Visa Waiver

The Visa Waiver Program enables citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States for business (WB) or tourism (WT) for 90 days or less without obtaining a U.S. visa. To determine your eligibility for the visa waiver program and the necessary documentation, please refer to the U.S. State Department checklist. Eligible delegates must have a machine readable passport and pre-register themselves in the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). See below for additional details for entry into the U.S in WB status.

ESTA Pre-Authorization for Visa Waiver Program Participants

All VWP passengers traveling to the United States by air or sea must register online and obtain a travel authorization with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before they begin travel to the United States under the VWP.After submitting an ESTA application, three responses are possible:

A response of Travel Not Authorized means that the traveler cannot enter the United States under the VWP. To enter as a visitor, he or she would then have to apply for a B-1 visa at the nearest U.S. Consulate abroad.

Documents Needed for Admission in Waiver Business (WB) status*

*There is no need to apply for a B-1 visa stamp prior to entering the United States. Visitors from visa waiver countries will be admitted to the United States by the port official upon arrival in the United States.

(2) Attendees Who Must Obtain a B-1Visa

Delegates from countries not participating in the visa waiver program (see participating countries) or who are otherwise not eligible to enter under the Visa Waiver Program must have a valid a B-1 or B-1/B-2 visa in their passport as of the date of entry into the U.S.

Application for a B-1 or B-1/B-2 visa must be submitted to the U.S. Consulate nearest you in your home country or country of permanent residency. Please check the website of your nearest U.S. Consulate for information on how to obtain a B-1 visa.

Delegates applying for a B-1 or B-1/B-2 visa will receive a Letter of Invitation from the Chicago-Kent Intellectual Property Department and a Letter of Support from the Illinois Institute of Technology International Center to provide to the U.S. Consulate abroad.

Documents needed for applying for a B-1 visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate*

*Upon arrival in the United States, the immigration officials at the port of entry will inspect the visitor’s B-1 visa, passport, letters of invitation from the IP department and the InternationalCenter, and proof of financial support.