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-Visa Problems for Church Conferences Held in USA

by Dr. D ~ August 13th, 2010

58th Seventh-Day Adventist Church General Conf...

(Image by Steven Conte via Flickr)

Church conferences recently held in the USA are complaining to the State Department that many of their delegates from poorer countries and regions around the world are having difficulty in obtaining visas.

The Baptist World Alliance held its global conference in Hawaii earlier this month, and nearly 1,000 attendees from around the world were unable to get US visas to visit.
In June, the first meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches was held in Grand Rapids, Mich., with 74 delegates missing due to visa problems, and the Seventh-day Adventists’ General Conference in Atlanta had to carry on without 200 of their international delegates.

The State department is demanding proof that visitors from poor countries will not stay in the USA. Even though churches are vouching for their delegates in many cases it doesn’t seem to be enough for the government bureaucrats. Visas are getting increasingly difficult to get since 9/11/01.

Response: Rules are rules but delegates to church conferences from around the world should be given a pass. There are very good reasons why delegates to church conferences should be given the benefit of the doubt. Most are pastors and leaders with vested interests in the country they are representing and with deep roots and ministries in the communities that they are from. It is highly unlikely that folks like this will be over staying their visas and becoming illegal residents.

I have attended a number of international church conferences over the years and the delegates from different countries around the world bring with them a perspective that is needed and helpful. I can’t imagine a so-called international conference without international delegates.           *Top of the Blog

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9 Responses to -Visa Problems for Church Conferences Held in USA

  1. gilamichael

    i am an Eritrean,currently residing as a refugee in sudan,and seeking to join to USA by the help of my responsor there for I am an orphan,with no one to see after my parents.so please write me a feed back quickly.

  2. michael seme

    we are requesting the usa gov to give visas to people travelling to attend church conferences a round the globe. me my self i had been in the us since 2004 and was deported this may to my county kenya, but trying again to see which county i will go.i had been a student in baltimore school of bible and was arrested and sent home,but god is good i have started a church called Devoted lndigenous christian organization and working hard to assist.

  3. Enoch Kamara

    can i have an invitation from a church in USA so i will begin the process for a visa?I am a pastor in Sierra Leone-West Africa

  4. faith

    i need invitation to attend bible course in America i have done bible course advanced i would like to enroll please i need your

    faith Egypt

  5. manirakiza simon

    i am an evangelist at pentecostal curch of burundi and would like to attend to the upcoming november conference.
    Please advise how i can proceed so that to get the invitation asap as i hve to request a travel visa.
    I look forwad to getting bak from you very soon.

    In grace

  6. Dr. D

    Unfortunately the only way folks wanting to attend church conferences in the USA can obtain visas is through the US embassy and State Department.

    Without an invitation from an actual religious organization in the USA it is probably not possible. The whole reason for this article is to alert pastors and conference organizers to the difficulty in obtaining a visa.

    It is still possible with enough time and proper sponsors, papers, and due diligence.

    Please note that the producers of this site are not in a position to sponsor or help anyone in obtaining a visa.

  7. Temi

    If you are a minister of the gospel or a church worker seeking to attend a church-related event in the united States, contact me on ayotwice@hotmail.com

  8. Abraham E.Ekeoma

    I have been trying to obtain a visa for a chuch conference any informatio you have please share

  9. Asaba kenneth legend

    Am kenneth from Uganda am aborn again, how can I join the conferences but I don’t have visa and ticket

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