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International Center

The SIGGRAPH International Center exists for our international visitors, offering a place for attendees to meet, collaborate, and learn from one another.

Supporting International Connection

The International Center, hosted by the ACM SIGGRAPH International Resources Committee (IRC) includes a visitor-services booth to welcome our international visitors, a lounge, and the ACM SIGGRAPH Theater: a unique space for meetings, talks, demos, and panels, including the popular Women in CG Panel and various ACM SIGGRAPH-related events. Informal translation services are also available, based on the availability of volunteers.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A VISA

US visa requirements can present some challenges. Here’s a guide with links to important official information.

Find out if you need a visa to travel to SIGGRAPH 2019 in Los Angeles.

Interactive Visa Map

Most Countries

Citizens and residents of most countries in the world must have a visa to enter the United States. If you travel on documents from one of those countries, you must apply for a visa long before you fly to Los Angeles. The application is online. You must pay a fee and meet with a person at the nearest US Consul General office, who will ask to see a support letter from SIGGRAPH 2019.

The Visa Process Step by Step

US Department of State Information About US Visas

The Visa Waiver Program

Travelers from 38 countries can enter the United States without a visa. But entry is not automatic. Before you depart for the United States, you must complete an online application and pay a fee (credit card payment only):

US Electronic System for Travel Authorization

Countries That Participate in the US Visa Waiver Program

Andorra
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brunei
Chile
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Monaco
The Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
San Marino
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
United Kingdom

Most citizens of Canada and Bermuda also do not need a visa to enter the US as tourists.

The Visa Process Step by Step

Step 1
To apply for a visa, you must have your own support from SIGGRAPH 2019. You must register for SIGGRAPH 2019 before you can request or receive a support letter.

Registration Information

When you register for the conference from outside the United States, and your country DOES NOT participate in the Visa Waiver Program (see list above), SIGGRAPH 2019 will send you a support letter with your registration materials.

If you have questions regarding your letter, or need to request one, please contact Bryan Alpert.

Step 2
After you receive the support letter, contact your corresponding US embassy or consulate to arrange an interview. For the location of the embassy or consulate closest to you, see Links to United States Embassies and Consulates Worldwide. SIGGRAPH 2019 recommends you start with the visa process early, as the process can take several months.

Step 3
When you go to the embassy or consulate for your interview, make sure you bring all the documents required for the visa process with you.

SIGGRAPH 2019 cannot assist you with the interview process, nor can anyone representing SIGGRAPH 2019 call the embassy or consulate on your behalf to provide support for granting a visa. As an applicant for a non-immigrant visa, you must convince the consular officer that you are:

  • Entering the US for pleasure.
  • That you plan to remain in the US for a specific, limited period.
  • That you have a residence outside the US as well as other binding ties (employment, family, home, bank account) that will ensure your return when you complete your visit to the US.
  • And that you have the funds to pay for your entire trip.

If you are denied a visitor visa, you may re-apply if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. In the absence of new evidence, consular officers are not required to re-examine such cases.

SIGGRAPH supports the international community and wants visitors to feel safe and assured when traveling to the conference. If you are refused entry, and you can provide appropriate documentation, SIGGRAPH will refund your registration with no penalty. For registration questions related to visas, please contact SIGGRAPH 2019 Conference Administration.

Due to the fact that an application for a visa can be a lengthy process, SIGGRAPH 2019 recommends that you start your visa-application process as early as possible prior to the conference. If you have specific questions that are not covered here, please see US Department of State Visa Information.

FAQ

Where can I find out if I need a visa to attend SIGGRAPH 2019?

We provide basic visa information, but if you have specific questions that are not answered there, please see the US Department of State visa guidelines.

I need an invitation letter to apply for a visa. How can I request one?

You must register for SIGGRAPH 2019 before you can request or receive a letter of invitation. If you register by postal or courier service or fax, please request a letter of invitation directly from our conference registration team and provide your registration confirmation number.

Registration Information

If you registered online and still didn’t receive an invitation letter with your registration, you can contact Bryan Alpert at bryanalpert@siggraph.org.

Please contact the SIGGRAPH 2019 International Resources Chair if you have questions about the visa-invitation procedure.

I have heard that you provide Multilingual Audio Guides about the work shown in the Art Gallery, Emerging Technologies, Studio and VR Village. Where can I download them?

The audio guides are available in several languages, depending on the availability of IRC volunteers (e.g. English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, etc.). They can be found under Audio Guides at the SIGGRAPH Conferences.

What kind of translation support can an international attendee or contributor receive at SIGGRAPH 2019?

During the conference week, Student Volunteers and the SIGGRAPH 2019 International Resources Committee (who are fluent in many languages) are available to help with basic translation questions, along with answering questions and problems that may arise for attendees. However, these individuals are not available to act as personal interpreters for any of the conference programs.

How can I find out if other people from my country or region are attending SIGGRAPH 2019?

Prior to the conference, your local ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter may be able to help you. See the Chapters Directory to find out if there is a chapter in your local area. During the conference, the International Center is a good meeting place, as it is specifically designed to provide a safe and comfortable area to network and meet other international attendees. The International Center holds cultural events throughout the week.

Is there an area in the International Center to give a presentation or to have a meeting?

Yes, the ACM SIGGRAPH Theater is the right place. To reserve the area for an interview, presentation, or meeting, please submit a request through Birds of a Feather Submissions.

Will I be able to connect to the internet at the Los Angeles Convention Centre?

Wireless service will be available throughout the Los Angeles Convention Center during SIGGRAPH 2019.

I am flying internationally. How early should I leave for the Los Angeles airport when I depart?

Most airlines require that you check in around three hours in advance for international flights. You should contact your airline for more specific information.

I have never been to Los Angeles International Airport before. Where can I find information about the airport?

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the city’s major airport. It is served by most major national and international airlines, so scheduling a flight to Los Angeles should not be a problem. The airport’s web site provides details about the airport’s layout, along with arrival and departure times of scheduled flights.

How do I get from the airport to the convention center or downtown hotels?

LAX is approximately 30 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of downtown LA. There are many transport options to and from the airport. For full directions, please see the airport’s website.

Where can I exchange currency?

There are many currency exchange facilities in Los Angeles, and at the airports. Most banks exchange currency as do a number of travel centers in the city.

Where can I use credit cards or travelers checks in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles businesses accept most credit cards and US-dollar travelers checks. Some businesses may require a photo identification card (passport or other identification) before cashing travelers checks. If you are purchasing items while at SIGGRAPH 2019 (registration passes, tickets, merchandise, etc.), please note that we do not accept bank ATM cards or foreign currency. SIGGRAPH 2019 accepts only US currency or a major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express).

What time zone is Los Angeles in?

The Pacific Time Zone, which is eight hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). From the first Saturday in April until the last Saturday in October, Los Angeles observes Daylight Savings Time and turns all its clocks ahead one hour.

What is the climate in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles enjoys a Mediterranean climate and is protected from extremes of temperature and humidity by nearby mountain ranges. August and September are the hottest months, January and February the coolest and wettest. Temperatures are higher in the city and cooler nearer the ocean. The average Los Angeles temperature is around 70 F (21 C), though smog-shrouded summer days can get well over 90 F (32 C). Winter temperatures around 55 F (12 C) are not uncommon.

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