NeurIPS 2023 Visa Information
NeurIPS 2023 will be held in New Orleans from December 10th to 16th, 2023. Citizens of many countries and regions need a visa or a visa waiver through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program to visit the United States in order to attend the conference in person.
You can find out if you need a visa or ESTA approval to travel to the US by entering information about your passport and your visit into the US Department of State's Visa Wizard.
Basic invitation letter
NeurIPS provides a procedurally generated letter of invitation for attendees with a paid registration. The letter is available in section 5 of your registration page once registration has been paid. You can bring a printed copy of this letter with you to a visa interview appointment to support your application for a US visa.
Detailed invitation letter
In some cases, the basic invitation letter may be missing information that could provide extra support for your application for a visa to attend the conference; for example, your contributions to the event (papers, talks, organization, etc.), or your attendance at a previous year's NeurIPS event. The Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DIA) Chairs may be able to revise your invitation letter to include this information, provided you satisfy certain eligibility criteria.
Common issues with the visa application process
⚠️ Please make sure you complete all parts of your application. A common reason for visa denial in previous years has been the submission of an incomplete application form (Form DS-160).
Questions or concerns?
Please see the US Department of State website as well as below for answers to some frequently asked questions, and direct unanswered questions to the NeurIPS 2023 Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Chairs via the NeurIPS Contact page.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can I cancel my registration if my visa is denied?
Yes; see the details in our cancellation policy.
What visa category applies (B1, B2, etc.) for my travel to the US to attend NeurIPS?
We cannot answer this definitively for each attendee’s case without information about any additional purposes of their visit to the US. Generally speaking, if the only purpose of your trip is to attend NeurIPS, then you should apply for a business (B1) visa because you will be visiting the US for the temporary business purpose of participating in a scientific conference.
Who should I list as the Point of Contact on the DS-160 form?
Registered attendees can use the contact information for the Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation given in their NeurIPS visa invitation letter.
When & where should I apply for my visa?
If you require a visa to travel to the US, we recommend starting the application process as soon as you know that you will attend NeurIPS, as the wait time for the mandatory in-person visa appointment can be highly variable and depends on which US embassies and consulates are available to you. Please see the US Department of State website for visa appointment wait times to determine the wait times for your situation, and consider multiple US embassies and consulates, including those in your country/region of residence and the country/region that issued your passport.
⚠️ Though it is possible to schedule a visa appointment in a “third country”—neither your country of residence nor citizenship—the likelihood of visa denial is higher, and some embassies or consulates do not process such applications.
What should I bring to my visa interview?
The US Department of State provides guidance on required documentation for a visitor visa interview. Please also check the specific requirements of the embassy or consulate that will conduct your interview.
Beyond required documents, you may be able to provide supplemental supporting documents online and/or in a visa interview, subject to the procedure of the specific embassy or consulate. Supplemental supporting documents should aid in establishing your residence and ties abroad and thus your ability and intent to leave the United States after the visit. Examples of such supporting documents include:
- Invitation letter: The invitation letter issued to you by NeurIPS, with details of your contributions to NeurIPS.
- Travel plan: Complete itinerary of your intended travel, including booking confirmation of a return flight and of accommodation during your stay.
- Financial support: Evidence of ability to pay for the trip or confirmation of funding provided for flights, accommodation, food, and incidental costs.
- Continuing status: Official documentation to prove you are a student, post-doc, or employee and that you will return to your country/region of residence for continuing studies or employment; evidence of familial ties in your country/region of residence.
What if the wait time for a visa interview appointment at embassies and consulates available to me is greater than the remaining time to NeurIPS?
If the US Department of State website for visa appointment wait times reports overlong wait times at US embassies and consulates available to you, you may be able to request an expedited appointment for the visa interview from an embassy or consulate. Whether you qualify depends on the strength of your case and the availability of expedited interview appointments at the specific embassy or consulate in question (determined via the specific embassy’s or consulate’s website).
Please note that you will have to apply for a visa (i.e., complete Form DS-160, pay the application fee, and schedule the first available interview appointment) before you would be able to submit a request for expedited processing to a US embassy or consulate that accepts such requests.
If I receive a visa as the result of an in-person visa appointment, am I guaranteed to be able to enter the US to attend NeurIPS?
Unfortunately, it is possible that the immigration officer that processes your entry into the US (usually, at the airport after landing in the US) may require you to undergo a secondary interview to make an immigration determination. Please travel prepared for this possibility, and carry on your person the same evidence you presented at your visa appointment, including a printed copy of your NeurIPS invitation letter.