OTC Adopts New Visa Process

The 2004 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) has improved the visitor's visa invitation process to facilitate international participation. The four-day event takes place 3-6 May at Reliant Center at Reliant Park in Houston.

"This year, international attendees coming to OTC do not have to be pre-registered to get a visa," said Rod Allan, 2004 OTC Chairman. "This allows them more time to go through the visa process, which in most cases has dramatically lengthened since September 11 events. In addition, OTC has opened up the Web site for visa requests months earlier than in the past."

"The process to obtain a visa may take several months," said Sally Goldesberry, Director of Meetings and Exhibitions for OTC. "OTC has been working with attendees during the past several years on ways to expedite the process and make registering for the event easier. Last year, OTC facilitated the visa invitation letter process but requested that attendees register before obtaining their visa. This was omitted this year due to attendee feedback and the fact that the embassy process has become elongated."

"We anticipate a rise in international participation at the 2004 OTC," said Allan. "Last year, close to 8,600 international participants attended, representing 17% of total attendance. We'd like to grow that number for this year and continue to increase it into the future. Inquiries for exhibit space have increased from foreign trade organizations and companies, and we are working to optimize the exhibit floor and outdoor plans." For more information about OTC, including a downloadable personalized invitation letter, visit OTCnet.org/2004. The U.S. Department of State Web site also includes valuable information at Visa Services.