Visa Help


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Here you can find help and information on how to apply for a visa to go to an iGEM 2011 Jamboree. Certain countries require a visa for citizens to enter the United States. Please verify if you will require a visa to attend the World Jamboree or any Regional Jamborees.

iGEM Headquarters does not have any authority over consulate offices or the visa application process. The only way to have the highest chance of successfully obtaining a visa is to apply early. If you do not yet know who will be attending the Jamboree, err on the side of caution and have all members apply for a visa.

Students should apply for B-1 visas, not B-2. This is a business visa, not a travel visa. Under a travel visa you are not allowed to present at a conference. For more information on the B-1 visa see the MIT's International Scholars Office [ visa page].

Invitation letter system

You can get a customized invitation letter to use when applying for you visa by using the new invitation letter system.


  1. Log-in to
  2. Click on My Account
  3. At the bottom of your account page you will see a box for Visas - Invitation Letters
  4. Click on edit and enter your information
  5. Save your edits
  6. Download your letter

Important: Make sure that you are on your team's roster. If you are not already on the roster you must join the team and have the primary contact approve your request to join. Alternatively you can ask the primary contact to provide you with the team membership joining code. For more instructions on how to join the team see the Registration FAQs.


Because of the new Regional format, participants may potentially need to apply for two visas -- one to enter the country where your Regional Jamboree is held, and one to enter the United States if your team advances to the World Championship Jamboree. Note that there will NOT be sufficient time to apply for and obtain a visa to enter the US after the Regional Jamboree so participants MUST start the visa application process now, independent of whether their team will advance to the World Championship Jamboree.

If you need a visa invitation letter specific to your Regional Jamboree, please contact iGEM Headquarters.