Planning to Attend


Norfolk is the 2nd most populous city in Virginia and one of the 9 core cities that make up Hampton Roads. With the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean and countless rivers just in their backyard, you are never far from the water, in fact, the mermaid is the city’s signature symbol and you can even tour the Mermaids on Parade. Norfolk’s thriving arts community will welcome you into its museums, studios, galleries, NEON Arts District, and beyond. If you’re looking for world-class cuisine, look no further! From traditional Southern fare to a wide range of nouveau and international offerings, Norfolk’s eateries offer something for everyone – and every appetite. Delve into the depths of maritime history at Nauticus, the National Maritime Center and board the USS Wisconsin or explore the Heritage Foundation Museum and Chrysler Museum to get your art fix. Visit the Harrison Opera House, Norfolk Jazz Festival, or stroll through Town Point Park, then take in the Norfolk Botanical Garden or Virginia Zoological Park. You can even take a day trip out to Colonial Williamsburg for a bit of history, travel to Quantico to learn about the Alfred M. Gray Marine Corps Research Center (GRC), or to Virginia Beach for a day of sun and fun in the sand! There is something for everyone in this dynamic city.

Virginia is a growing region for biotechnology with numerous universities offering biotech programs including Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, East Virginia Medical School, University of Virginia, and Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. Virginia offers a core biotechnology association (VaBIO) and research organizations such as the Benaroya Institute at Virginia Mason along with nearby companies such as Pfizer, Novozymes Biologicals Inc, Fisher Scientific International, and more.

Disabilities Act

The Society for In Vitro Biology will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate persons with disabilities at the meeting. The Hilton Norfolk The Main 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.