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International Travel

San Diego, CA is the location of the 2018-2019 International Soils Meeting. Make plans to join us! The official language of the International Soils Meeting is English.

Travel to the United States

Most travelers to the United States must hold a valid visa and a passport that is valid six months longer than the intended visit. Please visit the International Visitors Office (IVO) to determine if you require a travel visa to attend the International Soils Meeting.

Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of 38 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.  Currently, 36 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, as shown below:

Andorra Denmark Hungary Liechtenstein   New Zealand Slovenia
Australia Estonia Iceland Lithuania Norway South Korea
Austria Finland Ireland Luxembourg Portugal Spain
Belgium France Italy Malta San Marino Sweden
Brunei Germany Japan Monaco Singapore Switzerland
Chile Greece Latvia the Netherlands Slovakia Taiwan

Czech Republic                                                                                                                                               United Kingdom

Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015

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.

These individuals will still be able to apply for a visa using the regular appointment process at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 

Visa Process
If you require a visa, please recognize that the visa application process may take several months. An interview appointment is required for a visa application at all embassies and consulates.The wait time for this appointment varies, but may be as long as three months, with processing taking an additional month or more. The wait time for visa applications is available on the State Department's Website. You should begin this process as soon as you make the decision to attend the International Soils Meeting.

In compliance with the executive order "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States," signed March 6, 2017, the International Visitors Office (IVO) will not, at this time, be able to report any new or pending visa application cases from the following countries: 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:

Letter of Intended Participation

Request a Letter of Intended Participation.

Experiencing a Delay in Travel Visa Processing?
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has developed a page on its website to collect detailed information about international scientists experiencing significant visa delays. This could prove useful to scientists still trying to cope with the many changes in protocol brought on by the SEVIS student-tracking system and the enhanced security of the US VISIT program. Visa applications that are delayed by more than 60 days will be reported to the State Department. Please visit the NAS web site at

Crossing the Border: Documents needed

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)
All persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air or land between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America,
the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport. 
For more information, see the State Department and Homeland Security's travel requirements. 

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
Visitors from visa waiver countries are required to carry a machine-readable passport. Newer passports may also require a digital photograph and integrated chip with information. If your passport does not meet the requirements, you must obtain a travel visa. For additional details and updates on the Visa Waiver Program, see the State Department's Visa Waiver Program Website.

US-VISIT Program
The United States has made some important changes to the US-VISIT program, which was instituted in 2004. The program now requires most foreign visitors to have fingerprints of all their ten fingers and a digital photograph taken to verify their identity at the consulate as well as the port of entry. Most Canadians are currently exempt from US-VISIT. A departure confirmation program, as part of US-VISIT, is also now currently in place. This program applies to all visitors, including those from visa waiver countries.


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