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Posts Tagged ‘visa’

It’s that time of year… check your visa!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

By our count it’s fifty-one days until SXSW Interactive kicks off, and no doubt there are tens of thousands of Southby attendees coming from overseas. Take a little bit of time out of your day to check you’ll still be allowed into America!

There have been a number of changes to the US Visa Waiver program that could make you ineligible to travel, even if your country has an agreement with the US. Check carefully that you are still eligible, and make sure you have a valid ESTA application in place before you travel.

And oif you have to apply for a visa, you;ve (just about) got enough time left if you start the process now.

Papers, Please!

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Well, the calendar has ticked over, it says 2015, and there’s no point putting off any more planning. In just over two months time, SXSW is under way… and we here at SXSW Baby are going to give you the best pointers, advice, hints, and tips, to make the most of your Austin Adventure.

First up, and this applies to pretty much everyone outside of the US. You really need a visa to visit the US, and if you haven’t got one, you’d better get a move on.

The other option is the Visa Waiver Program, and most people flying in from Europe will be able to take advantage of this and simply fly in without a visa. The only wrinkle to this is you do need to register with the ESTA – Electronic System for Travel Authorization – before you depart! It takes about ten minutes, it costs a few dollars, and you should make sure you’ve been approved.

Regulars at SXSW from abroad should have this under control, but ESTA needs renewed every two years, so it’s worth checking you’re still valid, because it’s a long and lonely flight home otherwise.

Getting ready for SXSW means sorting out your visa

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Just over one in ten of the attendees at SXSW last year were from outside the United States (which means that the international delegation last year was larger than the total attendances at some of the early SXSW Interactives…).¬†We here at The Baby! are expecting similar sorts of numbers this year as well, so we want to remind all of you who are going to be passing through the International Arrivals Hall to check two things?

Do you need a Visa?

Except in exceptional circumstances, anyone performing a showcase is going to need to apply for a visa. You should have details in your invitation from the SXSW team, but don’t delay – if you’ve not started the process, get going now. Residents of some countries will always need a visa to enter the US, so check the Customs and Border Patrol website to be sure.

Do you need to fill in an ESTA?

If you are resident in a country which is part of the Visa Waiver program, and you aren’t under one of the exception categories (such as performers, but there are others), then you can skip the Visa process. That doesn’t mean you can walk straight in without filling in a form – you’ll need to register with the ESTA program before you travel.

Head over to the website to register OR to check your existing ESTA is valid.

Visas, ETSAs, and other associated paperwork

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Today’s quick note, before we start on some more detailed hints and tips to prepare for SXSW in the New Year, is to check your paperwork for the trip to Austin if you’re travelling from outside the Fifty States.

Many of you will be travelling from countries who are part of the Visa Waiver Program with the US Government, in which case you do not need to arrange a visa before you travel (but you must submit a request for an ESTA before you depart, which you can do online). There are some exceptions where you will need to apply for a visa instead of travelling on the waiver – one of the obvious ones is if you are showcasing at SXSW you will need a visa.

Take a few minutes and check what you need to travel into the US. You’ve still got enough time (if you;re quick) to take care of a visa application, and it would be a shame to be turned away at the border!