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Welcoming Our Global Community

An important part of every HPC professional’s career development. To help ensure your visit is as enjoyable as it is inspiring, we offer the following information and travel tips.

Plan Ahead

An application for a visa can be a lengthy process, so we recommend starting your visa application process early: 90 to 120 days prior to the conference. SC21 happens November 14–19 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Visa Letter Instructions

Our international visitors should give special attention to visa requirements and make travel plans well in advance. To streamline the visa letter process you must:

  1. First register for SC and pay in full.
  2. Return to the Registration section of the website and sign in using your registration ID and the email address you used to register.
  3. Click on “Print a Visa Letter of Invitation” to print your letter.

If you have any questions regarding visa letters, please contact SC Registration.

How to Apply for a U.S. Visa

To enter the United States, citizens and residents of most countries in the world must have a visa. If your travel to the U.S. will require a visa, you must apply for it long before you fly to the United States. The application is online and there is a fee. In addition, you must meet with a person at the nearest U.S. Consul General office, who will ask to see a letter that invites you to attend SC.

For reference, here’s a guide with links to important official information: U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

The Visa Waiver Program

Travelers from some countries can enter the United States without a visa. But entry is not automatic. Before you depart for the United States, you must complete an online application and pay a fee (credit card payment only).

Most citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not need a visa to enter the U.S. as tourists.

For more information, visit: U.S. Department of State Visa Waiver Program.

Electronics and Devices

Bring the right adaptor. In the U.S., the standard power supply voltage is 120V and the standard frequency is 60Hz. Power plugs and sockets accept a multi-way/multi-point outlet plug, known as types A and B. (Plug type A has two flat parallel pins and plug type B has two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin.) Most electronic devices have universal power supplies that will work in any country, but be sure to check the label on your device. We recommend you bring a power plug (travel) adaptor. You’ll find information about electric adaptors here.


The United States is not a dangerous place. Overall, it is a safe, welcoming country. St. Louis is a safe city, but all cities have “good” and “bad” areas. Always be aware of your surroundings and use your common sense when traveling abroad.

If you will be renting a vehicle and/or traveling by car, remember to lock your car doors, store valuables out of sight in the trunk, and do not stop for strangers. Plan your travel to stay on main roads, freeways, and tourist areas. Police officers will always be in a marked police car and will be in uniform.

Navigating SC

SC offers the broadest and largest conference in HPC – here is an overview of the entire event to help you make the most of your time in St. Louis.

Visiting St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri is located in the midwestern United States. The climate is subtropical, with chilly to cold winters. St. Louis has a long, colorful history. If you plan to schedule some time away from SC, here’s all you need to know when you visit St. Louis.

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