Getting A Conference Visa For The USA or UK

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Written by Henry Dalziel

How To Get A Visa When Attending Cyber Security Conferences in the US or the UK

Cybersecurity, when compared to other tech industries in my opinion, evolves the fastest.

Because of this, InfoSec professionals have become more open to various means of acquiring new knowledge: and attending conferences will help you by:

  • Acquiring tech and cybersecurity knowledge
  • Expanding your personal network
  • Promoting yourself and your brand!

So, before we being – let’s be clear: for cybersecurity professionals, attending conferences should be considered as being a must-do!

Thanks to year-round seminars and conferences all around the globe, there is no excuse not to attend one. It’s pretty likely that there are conferences in the country you’re in but if you’re looking for bigger cyber security gatherings, you should look into visiting the US, the UK or India.

Just by merely Googling cyber security conferences, you’ll notice that most of the cybersecurity conferences we list tend to mostly be located in the aforementioned three locations.

What Is This Visa Conference Resource?

We’ve put together a resource to help you understand how to get a visa conference.

Why Travel To Attend a Conferences?

There are three major things you will definitely gain from this experience:

The conferences get to tackle cyber security issues dealt by the community. Because people from different places join these gatherings, it’s highly likely that you will be able to hear out issues and technological advances dealt by different cyber security professionals from all over the world.

You meet a new group of people from all over the world. Widen the scope of your network with the conferences you attend.

A bigger network means greater opportunities for professional growth.

You can mix business with pleasure. Conferences, in general, last from 2 to 4 days at most.

When the gathering has wrapped up, you can go ahead and plan a much needed short (or long) vacation as you wish!

If you’re interested (and we are sure you are), you’ll need a visa to get in to these places. Don’t fret because we’re giving you the most concise information on how to acquire your visas without (so much) hassle!

US Conference Visa

I. Getting A Visa For A Conference In The United States of America

What type of visa will you need?
The type of visa you will need to attend a conference in the United States is B-1, which is a business visitor visa.

The B class of visa is a type of non-immigrant visa provided by the US government to foreign people seeking temporary access into the country. The B-1 visa is granted to people seeking entrance for business purposes, whereas the B-2 visa is granted to those seeking access for tourist or other non-commercial reasons.

What’s the difference between a B-1 and B-2 visa for conference attending?

  • B-1 is the only visa you can use to enter the US to attend a conference
  • B-2 is for strictly non-commerical reasons

This business visa gives you permission to stay in the US up to 6 months. That should definitely be able to cover your conference days/week plus some sightseeing before and/or after the convention.

How to apply?
Applying for a B-1 US visa (or B-2) may differ based on the consulate or US Embassy you will be applying from.

However, generally this is how it will go:
Complete the online visa application. This includes completing Form DS-160 through the online application for non-immigrants. Print the completed form. Also, be ready with passport-sized photos, which will later on be asked from you.

Schedule your interview with the US Embassy or Consulate of the country you reside. Be prepared for your interview by securing a non-refundable payment before the scheduled interview date and having the necessary documents on hand such as your passport, your printed copy of Form DS-160, photos and a receipt of your payment. Also, be prepared to also answer questions such as why you want to visit and where you will be staying during your visit. Having papers to back up your claims will definitely increase your chances of getting approved.

Pray and wait for your visa approval. You should be able to get an answer about your visa approval (or disapproval) in at the very least a week or two from your interview.

UK Conference Visa

II. Getting A Visa For A Conference In The United Kingdom

What type of visa will you need?
If you’re attending a conference in UK, you will need to secure a UK visitor visa. Just like the B-1/B-2 US visa, its validity extends for up to 6 months. The visitor visa is available to non-immigrants who have temporary business in the UK.

How to apply?
Similar to acquiring a US visa, applying for a UK visitor visa may vary depending on the UK Embassy or consulate of your country of origin. In any case, here are general guidelines for you to follow:

Log on and click on the UK visa application. The site is very helpful and very user-friendly so you should be able to quickly navigate your way through. After figuring out the necessary documents needed and filing the online application, you should be ready to go.

Book an appointed interview schedule with the UK Embassy. Be sure to do this because walk in applicants are rarely entertained.

Attend the schedule interview date with your application documents. These include your passport, a printed application form you completed online, appointment letter and a second form of identification card. FYI, all the documents you’ve submitted will be the only files that’ll be taken into consideration by the UK government so make sure everything is complete and legitimate before handing them over.

After the interview, you will be asked to enroll your fingerprint and get your photo taken. For fingerprint scanning, make sure that your fingers are clean and are free from lacerations or tattoos.

Wait for a couple of weeks to know if your visa has been granted.

India Conference Visa

III. Getting A Visa For A Conference In India

What type of visa will you need?
In order to attend a conference happening in India that is set up by a private company, you will need to secure an Indian Business Visa. This type of Indian visa usually gives you up to 3 months, single entry to the country.

However if you are attending a conference spearheaded by the Indian government, you may be granted a Conference Visa instead.

How to apply?
To apply for either Conference or a Business Visa, here are some guidelines:

Get hold of the Indian Visa Application Form.

Complete the said form and be sure to bring along two copies during your interview. You can be able to access the application form on

Schedule an interview with the Indian Embassy or Consulate. Payment will also be required from you during this stage in order to secure your interview slot.

Show up on the interview date with the necessary documents. If available, you can show proof of the conference you are attending to increase your chances of getting an approval.

Wait for the results whether your visa has been approved or not.

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