Visitor Visa Information

Please note, entry visas into the United States are issued at the sole discretion of a US consulate general. The AAOS is happy to assist with requested documentation but is unable intercede beyond the documentation. Below is some information we hope will be helpful:

Letter of Invitation
Personalize the Academy's letter of invitation (links directly to this page) to assist in your visitor visa application process.

General Visa Procedures
For those individuals who need to secure a visitor visa, the following links may be helpful:

U.S. Department of State Temporary Visitors or Visa Home page for detailed information about visa procedures.

Find the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Fill out an electronic visa application

Visa applications should be made no later than 90 days prior to travel.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business, for 90 days or less, without obtaining a non-immigrant visa.  For a list of participating countries and additional information about the program, visit the U.S. Department of State's Visa Waiver Program webpage.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated system that assists in determining eligibility to travel to the United States under the VWP. ESTA is not a visa. VWP travelers must complete an ESTA application and receive notification of his or her acceptance prior to their visit. 

A Traveler who fails to submit the authorization form at least 72 hours in advance of his or her departure to the US will not be allowed entry to board his or her plane. There may be a small fee associated with the ESTA.

Machine-Readable Passports
All VWP travelers, regardless of age or type of passport used, must present a machine-readable passport. In addition, depending on when VWP travelers' passports were issued, other passport requirements may apply.

Residents of Canada, Mexico and Bermuda
Canada, Mexico and Bermuda are not participants in the Visa Waiver Program.  The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires all travelers to and from the Americas, the Caribbean, and Bermuda to have a passport or other accepted document that establishes the bearer's identity and nationality to enter or re-enter the United States.  Visit the Department of Homeland Security's Crossing Boarders website for more information about proper documentation.

Under specific circumstances, citizens of Canada, Mexico and Bermuda may need a visa.  Consult the U.S. Department of State's website for more information about visa requirements

US-VISIT Program 
The Department of Homeland Security's US-VISIT program collects biometrics (digital fingerprints and photographs) from those that visit the United States to protect against identity theft and fraud.  The US-VISIT program currently applies to all international visitors (with limited exemptions) entering the country. This includes visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program. Consult the Department of Homeland Security's website for more information and what to expect when you arrive in the United States.  This information is also available in a variety of languages at US-VISIT Multilingual Videos and Brochures

Visa Problems
The Academy would like to hear from you if you have experienced any difficulties obtaining a visa to attend an AAOS Annual Meeting.  E-mail us to report any difficulties or to request additional documentation beyond the letter of invitation.