[802SEC] [Fwd: Visas]
-------- Original Message --------
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 16:52:35 -0800
From: Bill Quackenbush <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Everett (Buzz) Rigsbee" <email@example.com>,"Dawn C.
CC: Paul Nikolich <firstname.lastname@example.org>,Jennifer Hull
<email@example.com>,Darcel Moro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I just spent a most unsatisfying 40 minutes on the phone with a
"supervisor" in the State Department Visas Services. Getting any
specific answers was essentially impossible, think of trying to pull
In general, a visa applicant must convince the consular agent of 4 things.
1) The purpose of the visit
2) That the applicant has strong ties to the country from which he/she
is applying so that it is highly likely that they will return after the
event they wish to attend.
3) That the applicant does not intend to become an immigrant.
4) That the applicant has sufficient funds or support for the entire trip.
For at least certain countries (including mainland China), there is some
form of security check that must be completed. Depending on the amount
of checking required, it can take up to 3 months to get a response to a
It seems obvious that those seeking a US visa for the first time will
have the most problems and delay. The security check will have to be
done from scratch and there is no track record of returning home after
the event is over.
As best I can figure out, the "personal letter of invitation" is
whatever information one provides in letter/written form to the visa
applicant to assist the applicant's visa application. And the
"Confirmation of Registration" letter appears to be a type of "letter of
invitation" as it is personalized.
One thing that I did get a positive response to was that it would be
good to include in the "confirmation of registration letter" a
description of IEEE 802, what 802 does and what will occur at the
session for which a visa is requested. The "supervisor" claimed to have
no knowledge of the IEEE or IEEE 802 and assumed that consular agents
abroad would be similarly ignorant.
I was also informed of an internal list of meetings/conferences that is
maintained and distributed within State with the implication (but no
confirmation) that being on that list may add a bit of credibility to
the motive for the visa application. She (the "supervisor") is supposed
to be sending me information about how to get 802 Plenary sessions added
to the list.
The only thing I think I got from the conversation was, as was to be
expected, that what ever was in the letter had to be factual.
Since the two individuals to whom we sent "letters of confirmation" for
November and who did not receive visas were from mainland China, I
checked the web site of the "American Embassy in China"
Visa information is at
The stuff on Business and Visitor visas in at
and I found the following on the "letter of invitation" at
"Nonimmigrant Visa Guidance for American Firms
American companies often wish to invite Chinese business partners or
customers to the United States for meetings, contract negotiations,
equipment inspection purchase or other business related activities.
Preparedness is the best guarantee that individuals you wish to invite
to the United States are found eligible for a visa. The invitation
letter you write on behalf of your applicants is an essential component
of their application package. Applicants are strongly encouraged to
submit an invitation letter at the time of application. For the sake of
your applicants and your company's credibility, the letter must be neat,
accurate, and credible, and should be signed by a company employee who
will be responsible for the visit. Business invitation letters should
include the names, dates of birth, and passport numbers of each
individual who has been invited by your company. Your letter must also
include contact information (phone, fax, e-mail) for your company in
case the interviewing officer has further questions.
Any material you wish the officer to see when making a decision must be
given directly to the applicant to be presented at the time of
interview. Each applicant or group of applicants must present
his/her/their own application materials. If a particular document has
not been given to the applicant(s) to present to the officer at the time
of interview, assume the officer has not seen it.
For additional information please visit the Department of State's web
site at www.travel.state.gov , or call our recorded information number
at (86)(10)6532-3431, ext. 5700.
For additional information on doing business in China, visit the U.S.
Foreign and Commercial Service website."
It is pretty clear to me that this kind of letter of invitation is NOT
appropriate for the LMSC or any of its WGs/TAGs to issue. NO one from
the IEEE should be "responsible" for the applicant's visit.
I conclude that a "confirmation of registration" letter WITH an
explanation of what IEEE 802 is and does and will do at the specific
session is all that we should be doing.