Tip 117: Visas for International Visitors

Having trouble getting your international attendees and exhibitors into the country?  Based on a session at this year's IAEM Annual Meeting, here are some recommendations on how to make it as easy as possible for your international visitors to obtain visas:

  1. Start your international promotion much earlier - say 9 months out. Post on your web site a checklist re how your international prospects should go about applying for a visa (IAEM is working up standard wording for this).

  2. If you have a history with the individual, offer to send a letter of invitation (if needed). Send this letter directly to the individual (not the consular officer) which the individual will attach to his visa application. Issuance of a visa depends on whether the consular officer believes the individual is likely to return to his country after attending your show. Thus, the letter should:

  3. If you do not have a history with the individual, be careful about vouching for him. Suggest you have him prove to you his sincere/legitimate interest in your show. If this convinces you, then send the letter of invitation. But do not go beyond what you know to be true about the individual.