We look forward to your participation as an exhibitor in an upcoming Emerald Exposition show (“Show”). In order for you to enter the United States to attend a show, however, it is your responsibility to obtain a visa if the United States requires it for entry from your country. While the United States is “import friendly” and encourages business visitors, you must be sure that you have the required documentation in advance.
Consular officers are under no obligation to grant a visa application. In fact, if there is any doubt about the validity of your request, they will refuse you. We therefore offer the following thoughts and suggestions to assist you in the process:
- You must apply early. Consular officers know that trade shows set dates well in advance. A professional business person would not wait until the last moment to apply, and hence you lessen your chance of securing a visa if you apply late. We recommend applying at least 90-120 days prior to your trip.
- You will need, and we can provide you, a letter of introduction from us to take with you on your personal interview. Our letter will confirm your participation and payment, but we will need to have received your full deposit payment for exhibit space and your signed Exhibit Space Agreement. We will also need to include in the letter the name and address of your company, the booth number(s) assigned to you, your full name, job title, sex, date of birth, passport number/personal identification number, date of issue and expiration, and the number of days you wish to be in the United States. Also, if possible, the address of the Embassy or Consulate at which you are applying should be included. (Please note that we will send our letter to you, not to the Consular Office where you have scheduled your interview.)
- You will need documentation to prove that you have a valid reason to visit the U.S. This should include a copy of your Exhibit Space Agreement signed by both parties, and an invoice showing you have made your payments. Also, if available, you should provide records of previous visits abroad to attend trade shows, particularly visits to U.S-based shows.
- You must be prepared to present solid reasons why you must and will return to your country after the show.
- If refused, you can reapply as many times as you like, but each time you will need to supply more supporting information than at previous interviews.
We also recommend that you do not attempt to have too many people from your company apply for visas. As a rule of thumb, no more than three company employees should apply for each contracted 10 ft. x 10 ft. (3m x 3m) booth.