International Visitors

After identifying that a visa is needed, foreign travelers should contact the U.S. Embassy Consular Section in their country to determine visa processing timeframes. We recommend contacting the Consular Section via the Internet at Look for posted timeframes on the Internet or call the Consular Section to hear recorded information about visa processing timeframes. The State Department’s recommended first source of up-to-date visa information is its Web site,

Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Expo (HPBExpo) recommends following these guidelines for getting a visa for entry into the United States:

  • Request a letter of invitation to attend the Expo at least four (4) months prior to the meeting. You must register for an expo badge (go to the Registration link at the bottom of this page) in order to receive the invitation letter from HPBExpo. During the registration process, you will be asked if you require a letter of invitation.
  • Apply early. The visa application process takes three to four months to complete.
  • Applicants should present their entire trip itinerary, including travel to any countries other than the United States, at the time of visa application.

If completion of travel plans is contingent upon early approval of the visa application, specify this at the time of the application.

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