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International visitors

Chicago welcomes hundreds of thousands of international visitors each year. Let us be your guide to the city, from getting here to getting around while you’re here and beyond.

Entering the United States

Two documents are needed to enter the United States:

  • A valid passport
  • If your country is not part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you will need to obtain a visitor visa from the U.S. Department of State. The VWP allows citizens of over 30 participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less. Find out if you qualify.

If your country is not part of the VWP, there are three visitor visa categories you may apply for:

B-1: For those entering the U.S. temporarily for business

B-2: For those visiting for pleasure

B-1/B-2: For a combination of both

Note: Citizens of Canada and Bermuda visiting the United States for temporary travel generally do not require a nonimmigrant visa.

Check the latest requirements here.

Customs

Check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) regulations concerning commercial and personal items that are permitted into the United States.

Also, CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs — which include Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI — provide expedited travel for pre-approved travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks.

Consulates

The city of Chicago is home to more than 80 Consulates/Consuls General offices. Find your foreign consulate here.

Currency exchanges

In addition to major banks, you can find currency exchanges at:

Chicago O’Hare International Airport: Terminal 1 – Gates B9 and C18; Terminal 2 – Main; Terminal 3 – Gate K11; Terminal 5 (International) – Upper Level and Lower Level.

Chicago Midway International Airport: Concourse A.

Currency Exchange International: The Shops at North Bridge, located downtown in The Magnificent Mile shopping district at 520 N. Michigan Ave. (ask for the Customer Service desk).

Weights and measures

Length or distance: inch, foot, yard, and mile.

Temperature: Fahrenheit (°F). To convert to Celsius (°C), subtract 32 from the number and then divide the difference by 1.8. For example, 70°F is equal to 21°C.

Volume: fluid ounce (two tablespoons), cup (8 ounces), pint (2 cups or 16 fluid ounces), quart (2 pints or 32 fluid ounces), U.S. gallon (16 cups, 128 fluid ounces, or 3.8 liters).

Weight: pound (453.6 grams, 16 ounces)

Visit asknumbers.com for more.

Translators and interpreters

Chicago translation and interpretation services include:

A-Class International Simultaneous Interpreters

130 Booth Lane

Haverford, PA 19041

(610) 649-8181

InterpreNet – Chicago Interpreters & Translators

27 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 270

Chicago, IL 60606

(312) 928-1188

Accurate Translation

9525 S. 79th Ave., Suite 5

Hickory Hills, IL 60457

(312) 226-3372

Suburbs: (630) 455-0474;

Toll free: (888) 871-5311

LTC Language Solutions

Global Headquarters

5750 Castle Creek Parkway, Suite 150

Indianapolis, IN 46250

(317) 578.1661

Toll Free: (888) 456-1626

Atlas Translation Services, Inc.

500 W. Superior St., Suite 2802

(312) 644-1444

TransPerfect

150 N. Michigan Ave., Floor 7

(312) 578-0887

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