[NOTE: No longer valid. For Reference only]
Business Travel Letter for Visa Application
If you are not a citizen or eligible national of the United States, please visit U.S. Department of State's Visitor Visas to determine whether you are required to obtain a visa to enter the United States. Citizens of certain countries/regions, travelling for visitor visa purposes for 90 days or less, and who meet all the requirements, can travel to the United States for tourism or business under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). However, even if you can travel to the United States under the VWP, please read below regarding the ESTA procedure.
If you determine that you do need a visa to enter the United States to attend the MVP Global Summit:
1. You will have the opportunity to create and download a Business Travel Support letter through the registration website during the registration process.
2. Review all information on the specific Embassy's Consular Section website for local procedures and instructions, such as how to make an interview appointment. The Summit Registration Team is not allowed to answer questions surrounding visa requirements so please contact the appropriate Consulate or Embassy with process related questions.
3. Visit Visa Wait Times to estimate how long you might need to wait to get an interview appointment to apply for your visa.
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has a procedure called Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). ESTA is a fully automated, electronic system for screening passengers before they begin travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel to the United States, and VWP travelers are encouraged to apply for authorization as soon as they begin to plan a trip to the United States.
Please note that all ESTA registration applications or renewals require a $14.00 fee payment by credit or debit card.
If you qualify for the VWP, please visit ESTA, follow the instructions to answer all the required questions, and submit an application for a travel authorization.
It is important to note that since January 2010, the Department of Homeland Security has been enforcing compliance of the ESTA requirement for VWP travelers. Therefore, VWP travelers who have not obtained approval through ESTA should expect to be denied boarding on any air carrier bound for the United States.
Transportation to and from Sea-Tac Airport
Comfort and style: Shuttle Express is Sea-Tac Airport's official share-ride service and a very popular, green choice for travel to and from the airport throughout the Seattle/Bellevue metropolitan area. If you like to travel this way, the price will be cheaper than a taxi. They also offer town cars and vans if you want to coordinate travel to/from your hotel with fellow MVPs arriving/departing the same time as you.
Fast, simple, but not cheap: Taxis are the best way if time is of the essence and money isn't a great concern. A typical taxi ride between Sea-Tac Airport and downtown Bellevue is $47-$52 + tip.
Reliable and Affordable: This option ONLY works if you are starting or ending your stay at a downtown Seattle hotel, versus one in downtown Bellevue. The Downtown Airporter loops between downtown Seattle hotels and Sea-Tac Airport 24 hours a day for $18 one-way, $31 roundtrip. It's a popular service.
New App-Dispatched Ride Services: This option works by securing a ride using a company's mobile app. There are currently two services in the Puget Sound area. Uber and Lyft .
Cheap and Adventurous: Seattle's Metro Transit offers the following choices if you don't have too much luggage and don't mind walking a little bit, depending on where your hotel is:
- Heading to/from downtown Seattle: Sound Transit Light Rail runs between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The trains run every 7 to 15 minutes depending on the day and time of day, with travel time approximately 40 minutes.
- Heading to/from downtown Bellevue: Sound Transit Bus Route 560 has departures every 30 minutes on weekdays and every 60 minutes on Saturday and Sunday, with travel time approximately 45 minutes.
Early March weather in the Bellevue/Redmond area is unpredictable but can often be cold and wet. The temperatures range from an average low of 41°F/5°C to an average high of 51°F/10.5°C. Be ready for anything. Please visit Bellevue Weather Forecast to learn what the weather will be in the next 1 to 10 days.
Dressing in layers is always a good idea, for example a shirt with a sweater. A winter coat, raincoat or weatherproof jacket is also recommended, depending on what the weather is doing at the moment. Please know that Microsoft encourages employees and guests to dress comfortably.
Visiting the Seattle area
Downtown Seattle is only 10 miles/16 kilometers from downtown Bellevue. We have compiled suggestions on places to visit and things to do:
- Attractions: Chinatown/International District , Chihuly Garden and Glass , Seattle Aquarium , Space Needle , and the Woodland Park Zoo
- Unusual Landmarks & Attractions: Weird Attractions , Unusual Landmarks
- Museums: Museum of Flight , Pacific Science Center , MoPOP , Living Computer Museum and Labs , and the Seattle Art Museum
- Tours: Argosy Cruises , Boeing Tour , CenturyLink Field Tour , Safeco Field Tour , and the Seattle Underground Tour
- Shopping: Pacific Place and the Pike Place Market
Visiting the Bellevue and Redmond area
Bellevue and Redmond are full of outdoor and indoor activities to keep anyone with a little bit of extra time busy. Take a look at these options:
- Activities: Marymoor Park and Lucky Strike Lanes
- Museums: Bellevue Arts Museum
- Shopping: The Bellevue Collection which includes Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place.