The USA requires citizens of many countries to obtain a visa to enter the US. To attend the 2nd International Reintroduction Conference in Chicago, you may need to acquire a business visa (though depending on your home country, a tourist visa may be acceptable).
To enter the US, your passport must be valid for more than six months after your travel dates.
Visa Waiver Programs
If you are from a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you may not need a visa to enter the US and stay for up to 90 days for business or tourism: https://www.dhs.gov/visa-waiver-program
The following countries are currently (as of July 2017) a part of the VWP:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom.
See here for more information: https://www.dhs.gov/visa-waiver-program-requirements
If your country participates, you must go to this website and complete the application (and pay the fee):
If you are eligible to apply for a visa waiver, there are a few rules to keep in mind if you are going to participate in the VWP:
Each Traveler Must have authorization under ESTA
In order to travel without a visa on the VWP, you must have authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding a U.S. bound air or sea carrier. ESTA is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) automated web-based system to determine eligibility to travel without a visa to the United States for tourism or business. Visit the ESTA webpage on the CBP website for more detailed information, to apply for ESTA, and pay the fee.
Travel Must be on an Approved Carrier
- If arriving by air or sea, you must be arriving on an approved air or sea carrier. You must also have a round trip ticket indicating return passage to a country outside the United States.
Previous Compliance and No Prior Visa Ineligibilities
- If you have had a U.S. visa before or previously traveled to the United States under the VWP or another status, you must have complied with the conditions of previous admissions to the United States, and you must not have previously been found ineligible for a U.S. visa.
- Travelers should be aware that by requesting admission under the Visa Waiver Program, they are generally waiving their right to review or appeal a CBP officer’s decision as to their application for admission at the port of entry. See the CBP website for additional details.
Have the Correct Type of Passport
- You must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your planned departure from the United States (unless exempted by country-specific agreements). For families, each member of your family, including infants and children, must have his/her own passport.
- The passport must have a machine-readable zone on the biographic page.
- The passport must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner.
As of February 5, 2016, all travelers must have an e-passport to use the VWP. An e-Passport, denoted by the e-passport symbol, is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip. E-Passports are issued by the proper passport issuing authority and must meet international standards for securing and storing information corresponding to the passport and bearer.
If you are from a visa waiver country, we do recommend double-checking that you do not need a visa, as rules can change without notice.
Helpful Visa Links
General information about obtaining visas: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visitor.html
To find your nearest US Embassy or Consulate: http://www.usembassy.gov/
Online form to request a visa (you can upload a photo here too): https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/