Travel Considerations

AIS is excited to welcome all to ICIS 2021! Beginning November 8, travel restrictions to the United States will be lifted for those who are vaccinated against COVID-19. To learn more, please visit https://www.reuters.com/world/us/exclusive-us-partly-lift-international-travel-curbs-nov-8-official-2021-10-15/. To stay up-to-date on travel rules and potential changes related to COVID-19, please visit https://www.usa.gov/covid-passports-and-travel.

Global Travelers

Welcome! We are looking forward to seeing you in Austin, Texas, USA!

At ICIS 2021 you will have the opportunity to meet like-minded professionals from across the world and exchange information and insights, discuss research opportunities and learn about the research of others.

Additional information for international travelers – NIEs

National Interest Exceptions (NIEs)

The following US State Department site provides the most current information regarding Covid-19 travel restrictions, proclamations, and exceptions in the United States.  This site also provides information for those who automatically qualify for the “National Interest Exceptions” (NIEs) and for those who may qualify for the NIEs exception.

Please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/covid-19-travel-restrictions-and-exceptions.html for details. You will need to contact your nearest U.S. Embassy for details.

Additional information regarding the National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) Information.  

As described on the above site, the following categories of travelers are automatically considered for National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) at the Port of Entry and do not require advance approval of a NIEs from an embassy or consulate.

  • Immigrants of all categories (not applicable to Proclamation 10199, which only covers nonimmigrant travel);
  • Fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens and their dependents (K visas);
  • Students (F and M visas) as described here
  • New or returning students present in China, Brazil, Iran, South Africa, or India may arrive  no earlier than 30 days before the start of an academic program beginning August 1, 2021 or after, including optional practical training (OPT);

As described on the above site, fifteen additional categories are provided for those who may qualify for National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) and are advised to consult the website of the nearest US embassy or US consulate for instructions on applying for NIEs.

“Travelers providing executive direction or vital support for critical infrastructure sectors, or directly linked supply chains, as outlined at https://www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors”; 

  • The critical infrastructure (CI) sectors are Chemical, Commercial Facilities, Communications, Critical Manufacturing, Dams, Defense Industrial Base, Emergency Services, Energy, Financial, Food and Agriculture, Government Facilities, Healthcare and Public Health, Information Technology, Nuclear Reactors, Materials & Waste, Transportation Systems, Water
  • Related to these CI sectors, the following ICIS 2021 tracks could be relevant (with the accepted ICIS 2021 paper counts in brackets):
    • Sustainability (12)
    • Resilience (12)
    • Cybersecurity… (14)
    • Blockchain (18)
    • IS in Healthcare (25)
    • IOT… (7)
    • Digital and Mobile Commerce (15)
    • Two other tracks could be: HCI (17) and AI (18)

AIS will assist on providing invitation letter upon request. Complete the Invitation Letter Request Form

Event Basics

Here are a few details you may want to know prior to registering for the conference or before coming to the United States.

  • Venue

    The conference will be held at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas, USA.

  • Language

    Sessions at the event are conducted in English.

  • Weather

    In December, Texas has average highs of 65°F and average lows of 43°F. Prior to traveling for the conference, you may wish to check the Austin weather.

  • Travel Discounts & Hotel Accomodations

    You will need to book a hotel room with the Austin JW Marriott. A negotiated rate has been established for the conference. To book a room with the AIS room rate click here (link coming soon).

  • Austin Highlights

    As the Live Music capital of the world, Austin is home to more than 250 music venues and a vibrant arts scene. Tourist attractions and transportation resources will be coming soon.

  • Time

    Austin is in the Central Time Zone.  The time in December is -6:00h GMT

  • Electricity

    The United States uses 120V, 60 Hz AC power.

  • Telephone

    The United States’ country code: +1
    U.S. telephone numbers have 10 digits total, which includes the area code and a seven digit phone number (e.g., (XXX) XXX-XXXX)

  • Internet Access

    Most hotels offer high-speed Internet connections either in the room or on public areas within the hotel. Some access requires a fee. Ask the hotel staff if you are unsure.

  • Emergencies

    Dial  911 from most phones. Some hotel phones may require an additional number. Please see the phone or hotel for specific instructions.

Cultural Nuances

If you are not familiar with the United States culture you may want to become familiar with them prior to traveling.

  • Attire

    Attire at AIS Conferences is business casual. Since meeting room temperatures and personal comfort ranges may vary, a light sweater or jacket is recommended.

    Here is an article, with illustration, on what business casual is in the United States.

  • Tipping

    Tipping in the United States is customary. A 15% to 20% tip is usually expected in restaurants. Click here for information on tipping other service providers

Visas

To help you with your travel arrangements, below are links to important information regarding visa invitation letters, visas, and other resources.

  • Visa Invitation Letters

    Once the conference registration form opens you may complete your conference registration, and then complete the Invitation Letter Request Form. After completing both, please email the completed request form to the AIS Registrar at registrar@aisnet.org or fax to +1 (404) 240-0998.

    Please Note: Prior to receiving a letter of invitation you will need to complete and pay for your conference registration. As Visa requests can take several weeks, registrants are strongly encouraged to apply for the Letter of Invitation no later than two months prior to the conference.

  • Visa Information

    The U.S. government requires residents of many countries to obtain a temporary visa before entering the United States. Recent changes to the visa application process may have increased the length of time required to receive your visa. It is very important to apply for a visa at least 90 days prior to departure. For information on U.S. visa policies and procedures, visit  https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html .

  • Visa Waiver Program

    The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of 38 countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

    In order to travel without a visa on the VWP, you must have authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding an approved U.S. bound air or sea carrier. ESTA is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) automated web-based system to determine eligibility to travel without a visa to the United States for tourism or business. VWP travels must also have the correct type of passport.

    To obtain a complete list of exempt countries and learn more, visit the Visa Waiver Program website at https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visa-waiver-program.html .