For general information regarding visas and whether or not you need one, please consult the Business Visits to Fermilab page.
The following is a summary of the instructions relevant for INSS2017 attendees who require a visa, including what is required once the attendee arrives:
1). Fermilab must issue an Invitation Letter to each attendee. The Letter must confirm the general reason for the invitation (to attend meeting) and the general duration of the attendance. The invitation letter will refer to the meetings as a symposium. To get this letter, send us an email requesting a visa invitation letter as instructed on the application form.
2). The visitor's home institution also should issue a letter. The letter MUST explain who the vistior is, and briefly, his/her credentials. The letter must confirm tha the individual's connections to the home institution (title, job, tenure, nature of appointment, etc.) and confirm that it is anticipated that the individual will return to the home instituion at the conclussion of the school. If possible, the letter should say that the home institution wants the individual to attend the meetings because the information and discussions will be valuable to the continued work the individual will perform for the home institution upon return back home after the meetings.
3). The visitor then can apply to the consulate in their home country of current residence for a B-1 visa, or enter without a visa using the Visa Waiver Program. If they cannot get a visa appointment soon enough, they should look into the consulate's "expedite" procedures, or call back frequently as appointments will open up due to cancellations.
4). During the interview at the Consulate, they should ask when a decision might be made. If the decision will be made too late to enable the individual to come to the schoool, then they should explain this during the interview so the consular officer knows. If it appears that the decision will be too late regardless, they should contact us and we will see what we can do. If the "anticipated" decision date passes and there is no news, again they should contact us and we will see what we can do.
5). When the visitor enters the U.S. it is EXTREMELY important that the immigration officer at the airport write "WB" or "VWB" or "B-1" on the I-94 card. Whatever is written should not have a "T" in it. The "T" represents tourist status and we cannot let visitors into the Lab facilities if they hold a tourist status. If the "T" status is issued we would have to send the visitor back to the Chicago airport to get this corrected.
Should you have visa questions related to INSS2017, please contact us.