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2012 ASCB Annual Meeting

Visa and Passport Information

An International Invitation to Attend
The American Society for Cell Biology invites scientists from around the world to attend its 2012 Annual Meeting, December 15-19, 2012. Please note that individual invitations are not required for attendance at the ASCB Annual Meeting. Since the meeting is open for scientific events, ASCB invites interested persons to register and attend.

International meeting attendees requiring visas are encouraged to apply for visas no later than Monday, August 13. Registration refunds will not be issued after November 26 for denied visas.

New Procedures for International Visitors
Visitors traveling to the United States from all countries (including the visa waiver countries) are required to register personal details online at least three days in advance of travel. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a free, automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States. It collects the same information as the paper I-94W form you usually complete enroute to the United States. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel. An ESTA authorization generally will be valid for up to two years. DHS recommends that travelers submit an ESTA application as soon as they begin travel plans. Click here for further details.

Meeting attendees requiring visas should apply for them as early as possible. Registration refunds will not be issued for denied visas after November 26. As part of security procedures, applications for visas are sent to the U.S. State Department for a security review. For further information, visit the State Department website. You can also visit the International Visitors Office website. We advise scientists traveling to the United States to apply for a visa at least three months before the visa is needed. Please check with your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to find out the earliest that you may apply for a visa. For further information and a list of your local U.S. Embassy (or Consulate), please click here.

To assist you with the visa application process (not required for countries included in the Visa Waiver Program):

  • Ask for a letter of invitation at least four months prior to the meeting to attend (see below for further information).
  • Apply for a visa at least three months in advance.
  • Provide your entire trip itinerary, including travel to any countries other than the United States, at the time of visa application.
  • If completion of travel plans is contingent upon early approval of the visa application, specify this at the time of the application.
  • Provide proof of scientific status.
  • Provide meeting brochure and letter of invitation. To request an ASCB invitation letter, please check the box on your meeting registration form.
  • Provide evidence that you are intending to return to your country of residence. This includes such things as:
    • family ties in current country of residence
    • property ownership
    • bank account information (bank name and type of account)
    • an employment contract or statement from employer showing that position will continue after the dates of the meeting

Requirements vary by passport-issuing country and citizenship.

Expedited Abstract Review for International Attendees

Expedited abstract review for visa applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are submitting an abstract for presentation at the ASCB Annual Meeting and need to know if your abstract has been accepted before September 28, 2012, for visa-related reasons, please submit your abstract and email your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by July 30, 2012. Only abstracts submitted by July 30 by non-U.S. individuals with "Poster Only, "Minisymposia Talk or Poster", or "Minisymposium Talk and Poster" as the presentation preference will be considered for expedited review and notification. We CANNOT and WILL NOT do an expedited review for people who select a presentation preference of "Minisymposium Talk." Please note that if your abstract is accepted early, the acceptance letter will not include any presentation details (date and time, board number, etc.). This information will appear in the regular notification email that will be emailed by September 28, 2012.

Requesting a Letter of Invitation from the ASCB
Letters of invitation can only be sent to individuals who have registered for the 2012 ASCB Annual Meeting. The registration site is open. The registration page offers a box to check if you wish to receive a letter of invitation. Once you have completed your meeting registration, you will automatically receive an official letter of invitation.

Note:A letter of invitation does not guarantee issuance of a visa. The decision to issue a visa is the sole judgment of the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The ASCB is unable to assist with any aspects of actual visa processing.

Visa Problems
For applications that have not been approved 30 days after interviews, individuals should complete an online questionnaire for assistance. You will be asked to name the meeting (2012 ASCB) and explain the purpose of your visit. Click here to view a step-by-step guide to the visa application process. Click here for information regarding visa wait times.

The ASCB has registered its meeting with the U.S. National Academies. The leadership of the National Academies is working with the U.S. Government to develop better visa application and processing procedures. If anyone in your group is experiencing difficulties obtaining a visa, please report the case to the National Academies by completing an online questionnaire.

Italian Delegates
Italian delegates who require government permission to attend the 2012 ASCB Annual Meeting may wish to contact Alijet & Fargo. Alijet & Fargo International S.r.l is appointed the official agency for government authorization for Italian pharmaceutical companies and the Italian Health Ministry to collect and submit legal documentation required by the Italian Legislative Order n.541 of 30 December 1992, ART.12, Para 3. This information is printed as a service and is not an endorsement. Delegates may also wish to contact other companies.

For further information, please contact:

Fawn Sarkisian
Alijet & Fargo International S.r.l.
Via Petro Marcocelli 44/46
50137 Firenze, Italy
Phone: +39 055 600 555
Fax: +39 055 609 078
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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