2021 Show Features

The National Restaurant Association Show is your annual destination for trends, inspiration, insight, sourcing, networking, and community.

Travel and Visa Information

  • General information
  • Visa Waiver Program
  • Application process
  • Get an invitation letter
  • Resources and Links of Interest

General information

Applying for a United States visa can be a lengthy process and, although we have no influence or role in the approval or denial of visas, we want to help make the process as fast and as uncomplicated as possible.

We recommend that you begin the registration process three to four months before the trip, in order to maximize your chances of admission to the United States and so that you can attend the National Restaurant Association Show.

Visa Waiver Program

The United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows eligible citizens of 38 participating countries of the program to travel to the United States for tourism or business for a period of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

VWP travelers must have a valid authorization through the Electronic Travel Authorization System (ESTA) before traveling. An approved ESTA is required to enter the United States and is generally valid for two years, or until the passport expires, and allows multiple entries into the United States. VWP travelers are selected at the port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the US-Visit Program of the Department of Homeland Security.

The most frequently asked questions about admission and entry into the United States related to the Visa Waiver Program are presented on the website of the United States Customs and Border Protection.

Application process

When applying for a visa to enter the United States, it is highly recommended that travelers register in advance so that there is sufficient time for the interview processes at their US embassy. The Consular Services suggest that travelers begin the visa application process at least three to four months before the date of travel; however, it is also recommended that travelers use the Consular Services of their local embassy to find out what the waiting time for an interview is.

Get an invitation letter

Acquiring an invitation letter from the National Restaurant Association Show is a good idea. The invitation letter will be presented to the consular officer during the visa interview as a supporting document. The National Restaurant Association Show cannot help you with the interview process, nor can any of its representatives call the embassy or consulate to provide support for obtaining a visa.

In case of a visitor visa to the United States that is denied, you may reapply if there is new evidence to discard the basis of the refusal. In the absence of new evidence, consular officials are not required to reexamine such cases.

The invitation letter for the 2021 Show is now available.

Resources and Links of Interest

Do you want to find more information on how to travel to the United States? Use any of the following links to find more information about the process of obtaining a visa.

Note: The National Restaurant Association Show does not officially endorse these sites and cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.

Attend the 2021 Show

Whether you’re hungry for fresh takes on staffing issues or hot new equipment, you’ll find what feeds you — and keeps guests coming through your door — here.

Exclusive Benefits for International Delegations

To help you make the most of your trip to Chicago, the National Restaurant Association Show offers assistance to international guests before and during the Show. International groups receive benefits, discounts, and other incentives when they attend the National Restaurant Association Show 2021 through the International Delegation Program. There are three types of delegations:

You can attend as part of a Department of Commerce delegation through the TEPP program, with NASDA or the USDA, or by creating your own delegation. Benefits range from free hotel rooms to complimentary passes and exclusive VIP seating at select events at the Show.

  • TEPP
  • Create your own

Trade Event Partnership Program (TEPP) – U.S. Department of Commerce

The National Restaurant Association Show is a proud participant of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Trade Event Partnership Program (TEPP).  Through the Department of Commerce’s network of offices in U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide, the TEPP recruits pre-screened foreign buyer delegations and brings them to selected trade shows in the United States, connecting U.S. companies with international buyers. Commercial Service trade specialists located in “target market” Embassies/Consulates can assist you with show registration, help you locate the products you are looking to purchase at the show, and assist in setting up meetings with you and U.S. businesses. Traveling to the show with an official TEPP delegation allows you to take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Complimentary Show Registration (Exhibit Hall)
  • Access to the new International Trade Center
  • Invitation to the International Reception

Contact your local Embassy or Consulate to join TEPP to attend the Show in 2021: http://www.export.gov

U.S. Commercial Service

NASDA & USDA/FAS Delegations

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS), has sponsored the American Food Fair pavilion at the National Restaurant Association Show for more than 20 years, where you can find 100% real U.S. made products such as ingredients, meats, seasonings, beverage mixes, bakery products and bourbon, in the American Food Fair Pavilion.

For more information about attending with a NASDA delegation or featured U.S. food companies, please contact your country’s NASDA contact. You can find a complete list of contacts here.

Bring your own delegation

Bring a group of 5+ or 15+ people and you and your group can be eligible to receive exclusive benefits, ranging from a complimentary hotel stay, complimentary registration and reserved tickets to special events.

Creating your own delegation is easy! For more information, download our brochure

Reserve Your On-Site Interpreter

On-site interpreting services are available during the Show. To reserve a personal interpreter, please complete the request form below and a Show representative will be in touch with you shortly.

Complete Form


For any questions or information about the Show, delegations or promotional opportunities, contact Federico Bianco at federico@mdg.agency.

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