International Attendee Guide
Visitor Visa Requirements
Be sure to plan ahead to ensure you meet the visa/travel requirements to enter the United States. We understand in some areas of the world there continue to be delays in obtaining a visa to enter the US. Don’t wait! These links and resources will help you navigate this process.
Check the U.S. State Department Website for Your Requirements
Many visitors to the United States require a visa to enter the country, unless they are coming from a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program and possess a Machine-Ready Passport (MRP). If you require a visa to enter the United States, check with your local United States Embassy or Consulate to obtain the necessary documentation as soon as possible.
Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
The US Department of Homeland Security requires travelers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries to apply for travel authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure through its Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Additional information and an online application can be found on the Department of Homeland Security’s ESTA website.
Request a Letter of Invitation
To assist you with the visa process, you may request a Letter of Invitation to the ANCC Conference. You can request this letter during the registration process. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about the Visa Process?
If you have any questions about the visa process, please contact your local embassy or consulate.
Remember to Book Your Housing Early!
To ensure the best hotel selection, we recommend that you book your hotel early! Hotels
GENERAL UNITED STATES INFORMATION
Welcome to the United States! We look forward to seeing you in Chicago, IL, the location of ANCC’s 2023 Conference. Chicago is the third largest city in the US with a population of over 3 million. The following information will help you acclimate and discover some of the fun and exciting attractions that our host city has to offer.
Business hours in the US are extensive in the services sector. One can shop for clothing, food, and other items or find an open restaurant very late in the evening, and in some cases, 24 hours per day. Business hours for banks and government agencies such as the post office are more limited—typically between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.—though some may have extended hours.
For a list of attractions in Chicago, please visit
Calendar of Dates
Calendar dates are expressed in the month-day-year order in the US. This is contrary to the system used in many other countries. For instance, the 11th of October 2023, would be listed as 10-11-2023 rather than 11-10-2023.
A 12-hour clock utilizing a.m. and p.m. designations is standard. The 24-hour clock is primarily used only in military settings. Chicago is in the Central Time Zone (CT), Daylight Saving Time (DST) will be in effect during the 2023 Conference.
Customary Meal Hours
Breakfast: 6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30 p.m.– 8:00 p.m.
As with other services, extended restaurant hours are readily available. On weekends, many Americans combine the meals of breakfast and lunch into a single “brunch.” Many full-service hotels offer brunch buffets on Saturday and Sunday.
Electronics in the US operate with a voltage of 110-120 volts, 60 cycles. If your equipment requires 220 volts, you will need to bring a transformer and plug adapter. Note: converters can be difficult to find once in the United States.
In general, you can dial 911 from any phone for emergency services, including police, ambulance, and fire. However, hotels and convention centers have their own emergency numbers, which will be posted on the phones and in the guest directories.
Cash machines are also known as automatic teller machines or ATMs. They are easily found near banks and in malls, shops and hotels, as well as on the street in major cities such as Chicago. Service is reliable. The exchange rate is generally better at an ATM than at a bank currency exchange counter. Foreign currency exchange service is provided at Chicago Midway Airport’s Seaway National Bank located in Concourse A and at O’Hare International Airport’s Seaway National Bank located in Terminal 2, 3, and 5. Most US retailers accept cash and credit cards. Please note that for the 2023 ANCC Conference, the McCormick Place Convention Center is a cashless property and will only accept credit cards at their food and beverage locations.
Smoking is prohibited at the ANCC Conference and in all public areas like McCormick Place, except in designated areas.
To make international calls from a telephone in the United States, dial the international calling number (011), followed by the country code, then city code, then phone number. For instance, to reach Harrod’s in London, dial 011-44-20-7730-1234. If you require operator assistance, an AT&T International Operator can be reached by dialing 00.
Tips or gratuities are optional payments given in addition to a required payment, usually to express appreciation for excellent service. How much to tip is a personal judgment. The information below serves only as a guideline. One should never offer a tip to police officers or government employees; such an offer might be considered a bribe.
- Waiters and waitresses normally receive 20% of the amount of the food bill for good service.
- Porters receive $1 or $2 per bag.
- Taxi drivers receive 15-20% of the amount of the fare.
- Barbers and hairdressers, as well as spa personnel, normally receive 15-20% of the bill.
- Room service personnel often receive an automatic gratuity that is listed on the food bill after the subtotal. Otherwise, $2 per meal is acceptable.
- Hotel maids normally receive $1 to $2 per night for cleaning the room.
- Any other visits from hotel personnel (for more towels or pillows, for instance) can be appropriately tipped with $1 to $2.
- Tour guides for organized tours utilizing transportation can receive tips for excellent service. The size of such a tip depends on the number of persons touring, the length of the tour, etc. For a half-day bus tour with a good guide, an average tip might be $5 per attendee.