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International Attendees

MINEXCHANGE welcomes conference attendees from around the world. If you plan to attend MINEXCHANGE from outside the United States, a U.S. visa may be required. For the best conference travel experience, begin your preparations early.

Plan Ahead

You can check the estimated wait time for U.S. visa appointments in your country at the local U.S. Embassy and Consulate’s website. Please contact your nearest consulate as soon as possible to request an interview date. Expect extended wait times exceeding 5 months.


Registration and Letter of Invitation

Registration for MINEXCHANGE opens in October.

You must first register to attend MINEXCHANGE before a letter of invitation request can be issued to support your visa application. SME will send a letter of invitation to paid registrants upon request. Requests for letters of invitation must include your name, job title, company name, mailing address (PO boxes are not acceptable), city, state/province, country, zip/postal code, phone, fax number, date of birth and passport number; as well as the beginning and end dates of travel. Please provide the address, phone and fax number of your local U.S. embassy. All items must be submitted to receive a letter of invitation. Note: Invitations are intended to help international delegates raise travel funds or obtain a visa. It is not a commitment from the conference or the organizers to provide any financial support.

Obtain a Visa or ESTA

Determine if you need a visa or if you are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

Attendees needing a Visa

If you need a visa to attend MINEXCHANGE, be sure to apply for the right kind of visitor visa. This is typically a B1 visa to “Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference for a business visit.” You will need:

  • A current machine-readable passport,
  • An in-person interview with the U.S. State Department consulate or embassy in the country where you live,
  • A letter of invitation from SME to MINEXCHANGE.

Attendees Utilizing ESTA

You may travel to the U.S. for 90 days or less without obtaining a U.S. visa, if you’re a citizen of one of the 38 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. You must have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval before travel. ESTA requires all international travelers to register in an online database and must complete an application on the ESTA website.

Note: SME cannot intervene on your behalf with the Embassy or U.S. Consulate via fax, phone, surface mail, or email. The U.S. State Department provides information on traveling to the United States regarding passports, international travel, and visas.


Interview Tips

Bring all supporting materials related to MINEXCHANGE to your interview, including your letter of invitation, hotel and plane reservation confirmations, conference agenda and any other documentation supporting your participation in the event. Tips: Be prepared to demonstrate strong ties to your country. Consular officers review your application and consider proof of business ownership or employment, social and family relationships and other evidence as proof that you will return to your country. Previous travel to the U.S. or other foreign countries demonstrates good faith.


Helpful Resources:

For more information, please contact:

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Englewood, CO 80112
E: cs@smenet.org
T: 303.948.4200

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