Planning to Attend

St. Louis is a major port city along the western bank of the Mississippi River bordering Illinois in the heartland of the USA. Offering a down home feel with cosmopolitan benefits, the city offers world-class sports, theatre, live music, art, and more that are all within reach and all without the hassle and expense you’d find in one of those overpriced cities. St. Louis is a foodies’ delight, with many diverse dining options including Peruvian, Italian, French, Mediterranean and more, all within walking distance. It’s also the home of the Blues and each night St. Louis is alive with the rhythm of live music including jazz, country and rock featuring both national and local acts. There’s nothing like the Midwestern hospitality of a local when they greet you with a warm ‘hello’ and we look forward to sharing that very special experience with you at the SIVB meeting.

 

St. Louis’ metro area is home to major biotech organizations, including the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Benson Hill Biosciences, CTC Genomics, SOLIS Agrisciences, Plastomics, Gates Ag One, MOgene Genomics Services, and MilliporeSigma. It is well known for its growing medical, pharmaceutical and research presence both in industry and in academia with the presence of such institutions as Fontbonne University, Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, University of Missouri at St. Louis, Washington University and Washington University School of Medicine.

Disabilities Act

The Society for In Vitro Biology will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate persons with disabilities at the meeting. The Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please indicate your special needs when making your reservations at the hotel.

Applying for visas

Begin the process as early as possible

The United States advises visa applicants apply at least three (3) to four (4) months before of their travel date. Be aware that additional reviews may be required and this could add an additional four (4) to six (6) weeks to your visa processing time.

Organize your Visa Application Materials in advance

Organize your passport; proof of payment of fees; all required applications; and any supporting documentation, including information on current employment, your reason for travel, and your financial status. For more detailed information on visa requirements, please visit the US Department of State’s visa site and the International Visitors Office of the National Academies which has developed a page on its web site to collect detailed information about international scientists experiencing significant visa delays. This could prove useful to scientists still trying to cope with the many changes in protocol brought on by the SEVIS student-tracking system and the enhanced security of the US VISIT program. Visa applications that are delayed by more than 20 days will be reported to the State Department.

Submitting Your Application

Wait times to schedule appointments may be longer than in in prior years, so make your appointment as early as possible to visit your US Embassy or Consulate. Make sure to ask if there are any fees required with the application and application process. Most fees must be paid before you have your appointment. Information on visa wait times can be found on the US Department of State website.

Invitation letters

If you need a formal invitation letter for visa purposes, you may request an invitation by sending your name, address, and any other details you require in the correspondence to the SIVB Business Office. If you have been confirmed to make a presentation during the meeting, please include the name of your abstract and date of your presentation, if applicable.

As a reminder, attendees are required to make their own hotel reservations and register for the meeting.