Getting your Visa and Getting it Early

Do I need a visa?

All travelers entering the United States must present either a passport or a visa. If you do NOT have a passport, or you are from a country that does NOT participate in the Visa Waiver Program, you must apply for a visa.

The following countries DO NOT require a visa to enter the United States:

Why Should I Get it Early?

Getting your travel documents well in advance of your travel dates is important. If you require a visa, the application process could be lengthy. In some countries, it can take over a month. We strongly suggest you begin the process as soon as possible.

What is involved in applying for a visa?

The visa application process is an interview at the US Embassy explaining your trip to the United States. You should apply for a travel/tourist visa and be sure to let them know that you are only staying in the United States for a short time. It's a good idea to have the following information available at your interview:

  • An official letter of invitation from TopCoder (please see below)
  • Proof of residency in your home country
  • Evidence of employment and community ties, such as a copy of your marriage license or school documents
  • Your resume

How do I get an official invitation letter from TopCoder?

After Online Round 2 of each region, competitors advancing to Round 3 will receive a request form to fill out. As soon as a competitor fills out the form in entirety, their letter will be shipped out by FedEx International Priority mail. Competitors have until 5:00 PM EDT (GMT/UTC -4) on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 to request a letter.

How do I apply for a visa?

Begin by visiting: or find your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate:

Remember, if you become a finalist, you MUST show proof of your visa and/or passport to be an eligible finalist.   If you do not have your visa and/or passport by Wednesday, April 25, 2007, you will be disqualified as a finalist. Please revisit the tournament rules for more information or email Jessie D'Amato Ford.