Obtaining a Visa

A foreign national traveling to the United States to conduct temporary business needs will, in most cases, require a business visa (B-1) for the purposes of attending a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference. Attendees should consult an official visa authority in their region for visa options, specific guidelines, and application procedures as they pertain to their citizenship and purpose for travel, etc.

Suggestions for Preparation, Documents & Info You May Require

The U.S. Department of State website provides helpful, yet general, information for visitors planning to visit the United States for business purposes. The link below should be used for informational purposes only. U.S. visa authorities in the visitors country of citizenship and/or residence should be consulted to determine official and necessary processes and information required to apply for an appropriate visa to enter the United States.

Confirmation of Accommodations

Hotel reservations and confirmations must be obtained from the Chase Park Plaza Hotel. To book a reservation as part of the McDonnell Academy Symposium’s special room block, please visit the Hotel Accommodations page. If you are a visiting guest who is not planning to stay at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel, confirmation of accommodations must be requested from the individual(s) or organization accommodations are provided by.

Local Contact Information in St. Louis, Missouri, USA

If a local contact in the United States is required for your application, you may provide the following name and contact details:

McDonnell International Scholars Academy at Washington University in St Louis

E-Mail: mcdonnell@wustl.edu, Phone: 01.314.935.6779

Your Washington University faculty collaborator or colleague may be listed as a contact as well.

Questions? Send us an email at mcdonnell@wustl.edu.

Requesting a Letter of Invitation from Washington University

The McDonnell Academy can issue a letter of invitation if needed for your visa application. Letters for individual travelers will be issued only. No group letters can be processed. The following information will be required in the letter of invitation request form:

  • Full name on the passport (First and Last)
  • Professional title
  • Affiliation (Institution or organization)
  • Business address
  • Country of citizenship and passport issuance, passport number, date of expiration
  • Symposium role (presenter, attendee, student participant, etc.)
  • Anticipated arrival and departure dates from St. Louis
  • Where the visitor will be accommodated during their stay
  • Will a letter with an original signature be needed? If so, provide a mailing address that accepts DHL or FedEx packages.

Letters of invitation will be sent via email within 4 business days. Original letters will be sent via DHL or Federal Express. An estimated delivery time will be determined when letters are sent.

Your request for a letter of invitation to attend the Symposium does not guarantee that you will receive a visa.

Questions? Send us an email at mcdonnell@wustl.edu.