The ASTRO Annual Meeting is the world's premier gathering for the radiation oncology community, with more than 11,000 people attending each year. We welcome our international attendees and would like to serve as a resource for assistance with travel plans, documentation and all the details for your journey to the United States. We look forward to seeing you at the 2021 ASTRO Annual Meeting!
Plan Your Trip
International Attendees have full access to ASTRO’s Online Conference Planner
, which has a host of resources to make it easier to plan your time in Chicago. Visit the “Transportation and Parking” and “Shuttle” sections in the Online Conference Planner to learn about airport transportation options and ASTRO’s shuttle service to McCormick Place West. Be sure to use our official housing reservation system with SPARGO Housing to book a hotel room for your stay. Special hotel room blocks have been arranged. Once you register for the conference, more information on hotels will be included in your registration confirmation.
The 2021 ASTRO Annual Meeting will be hosted at McCormick Place West in Chicago. Located only minutes from downtown Chicago, McCormick Place is North America's premier convention facility, attracting close to 3 million visitors annually. For more information on Chicago attractions, restaurants and more, please visit area attractions
For travel to the U.S., please visit the U.S. State Department International Travel website
. Please be mindful of advisories prior to booking and registering for the 2021 ASTRO Annual Meeting.
For the latest travel advisories for the state of Illinois and other U.S. cities and states, please visit the Center for Disease Control
travel planner website.
International Attendee Travel Information
Most citizens of foreign countries will need a visa to enter the United States. Please note that it may take up to three months to obtain a visa. For more information about obtaining a visa, please visit the U.S. State Department
website. To receive your visa letter, you must be registered and paid in full before you can download your letter. To inquire about letters of invitation, please contact the ASTRO Registration Center
Do you need a visa?
The Visa Waiver Program
permits citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays up to 90 days without a visa. Visa Waiver Program travelers are required to apply for and obtain approval authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
prior to traveling to the United States. To learn more about how to apply for ESTA authorization, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
We encourage non-U.S. travelers who need a visa to enter the United States to begin the visa application process as soon as you register for the Annual Meeting. The application and interview process varies from country to country and can take up to 90 days to complete. After you register for the ASTRO Annual Meeting, you will be provided a link where you may download a visa letter of invitation.
On September 20, 2021, the U.S. government announced that it would lift international traveler restrictions put in place earlier this year by Presidential Proclamation beginning in early November. Until this date, travelers from restricted countries can apply for a National Interest Exemption to acquire a visa. A National Interest Exception is an application submitted to the U.S. Consulate
, requesting an exception from one of the current Presidential Proclamations limiting travel to the United States.
Learn more about the National Interest Exemption
and how to receive a visa letter of invitation to the Annual Meeting.
When does your U.S. visa expire?
If the traveler already has a U.S. visa appropriate for this travel, check the expiration date on the visa to make sure it will not expire before the planned travel date.
When does your passport expire?
In order to obtain a U.S. visa, your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States, unless exempt by country specific agreements
When should you apply for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa?
Non-U.S. citizens should apply for a U.S. Nonimmigrant Visa at least 90 days before their anticipated travel date. Visa processing times vary from country to country and can change depending on the time of year. Visit the U.S. State Department of State
website for average processing and wait times.
Recent media reports have indicated that the Administration has instructed U.S. Consulates to request additional documentation from applicants for visas to the United States. This may include information concerning travel and work history as well as other details. We encourage travelers to familiarize themselves with these reports and factor in additional time for visa processing. For the latest information on U.S. visas, please visit the U.S. Department of State
How should you apply for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa?
Visit the website of the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate
in your country to find out the process for applying for a U.S. visa, and how long it will take.
Additional planning time beyond the guidelines above may be needed for visa applicants applying at some embassies because of to the time required to schedule an interview appointment. Additionally, the wait times for a Nonimmigrant Visa do not include time for required security clearances or administrative processing, which may extend beyond the general timeframe guidelines.
For more information about obtaining a visa, please visit the U.S. Department of State
Visa Application Tips
- Include a letter of invitation from the meeting organizer.
- When possible, provide proof of professional scientific and/or educational status, society membership, and/or meeting registration.
- Visa applicants are expected to provide evidence that they intend to return to their country of residence. Therefore, applicants should provide proof of binding or sufficient ties to their home country or permanent residence abroad.
- All applicants must be able to qualify for a visa on their own merits under the requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
- Learn more about applying for a visa.
While ASTRO believes this information is correct, it is being provided only as a free convenience to assist our international attendees. In no event will ASTRO accept any responsibility with respect thereto. International attendees are encouraged to periodically check the relevant U.S. government sources for the latest information and to conduct their own research into visa requirements. Nothing herein constitutes legal advice. If you have any specific questions regarding the type of visa you should be seeking, visa application process and/or have specific concerns, we advise you to contact a U.S. immigration law attorney and seek specific legal advice.