International Participants

The Plant Biology meeting welcomes participants from approximately 50 countries each year. Below are some of the resources you need to help make your travel and meeting experience as convenient as possible.

Apply Early For Your Visa!

Advance travel planning and early application are important, since visa applications are now subject to greater degree of scrutiny that in the past. Applying for a visa can be lengthy process. We recommend that you begin the application process at least 4 to 5 months before your scheduled departure date. It is very important to start this process early!

For the most current requirements and those specific to your situation, please check with your local U.S. consulate or embassy or the U.S. Department of State Visa Services Information.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is collecting information on visa-related issues from the scientific community. Click here if you are interested in more information, or to check your eligibility to complete the questionnaire. The data collected through the questionnaire will be used to track trends and report urgent visa cases to the U.S. Department of State.

Letter of Invitation

ASPB offers assistance should you need a letter of invitation to facilitate the visa application, process, or obtain authorization for your attendance to the conference. Please request a letter of invitation as soon as possible. ASPB recommends that this is done at least 4-6 months in advance. According to the U.S. State Department, an electronic letter should be acceptable for visa purposes. In the rare case where the U.S. Embassy to which you are submitting your visa insists on a hard copy letter, we can mail you a copy of the letter. If you require additional assistance obtaining a visa, please email


Some, but not all visa applicants must have an interview. Attendees from some countries, such as Mexico, must schedule an interview with their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

It is advised that you provide the following information at your interview:

  • Your entire trip itinerary, including travel to any countries other than the United States. (If completion of travel plans is contingent upon early approval of the visa application, specify this at the time of the application.)
  • Proof of scientific status.
  • Letter of Invitation.
  • Evidence that you are intending to return to your country of residence. This includes items such as:
    • Family ties in current country of residence.
    • Property ownership.
    • A bank account.
    • An employment contract or statement from employer showing that position will continue after the dates of the meeting.

Some consulates may have backlogs in scheduling visa interviews so applicants should first contact the consulate to find out how long the wait is for an interview. More information is available at Visa Wait Times – for Interview Appointments and Processing.