International travel

If you are not a U.S. citizen and require a visa for travel to the ARVO Annual Meeting, ARVO strongly encourages you to request a letter of invitation as soon as possible. Visit the U.S. Department of State Visas webpage for further details.

Members may print a personalized letter (we have provided fields at the bottom of the letter for you to complete after printing) or request an invitation letter by sending an email to: Include your full name and the address to which the letter should be sent.

ARVO would like to hear from you if you have experienced any difficulties obtaining a visa in order to attend the Annual Meeting. ARVO wants to ensure that we are providing the necessary documents and information to assist in the visa process. Send us an email to report any difficulties or to request additional documentation beyond the letter of invitation. Under some circumstances, including inability to obtain a visa for travel to the U.S., you may request a substitute presenter for your abstract. Please see the Abstract Withdrawal and Substitute Presenter Policy.

Citizens of the countries on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to complete mandatory online registration prior to travel as part of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Learn more about the ESTA program.

Please note:

Effective Jan. 20, 2010, inbound travelers to the U.S. from VWP countries may be denied boarding by the airlines if they have not complied with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program.

ESTA requires all international travelers from VWP countries to register in an online database. Previously, international travelers had to fill out an I-94W form before each trip, but ESTA seeks to streamline and update the process. Now, international travelers to the U.S. must go to the ESTA website and fill out an application before entering the country by air or sea. If approved, the authorization is good for two years and can be renewed. Travelers no longer have to fill out an I-94W form before each trip. U.S. officials say ESTA will speed up the process for travelers, enable customs officials to screen passengers in advance and improve security.

The ESTA requirement does not affect U.S. citizens returning from overseas, people from VWP countries traveling on a valid U.S. visa or travelers from non-VWP nations.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires U.S. citizens and citizens of Canada, Mexico and Bermuda traveling by air between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda are required to present a valid passport to enter (or re-enter) the U.S. All citizens of the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Bermuda are now required to present a valid passport when entering the U.S. at any airport. Additional information is available regarding passports and visa requirements.

More information