Do International Speakers or Registrants need visas to participate or attend SXSW?

The information below is not legal advice, and SXSW cannot provide any visa guidance beyond what is publicly available via the U.S. government websites linked below for your reference. Since the decision about what visa to obtain to participate in SXSW is yours to make, SXSW cannot be financially or legally responsible for that decision.

Below are a few options, but SXSW recommends that you seek legal counsel to determine what visa is best for you.

  • International Speakers and Registrants traveling only to attend SXSW may be eligible for a non-immigrant visa (B visa).
  • Citizens of the 38 Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries may be eligible to register under ESTA and enter the U.S. under the VWP. Please be aware of the VWP rules before choosing to enter the U.S. using the program.

For more information about visas and the Visa Waiver Program, please visit If you need professional help applying for one of these visas, a list of attorneys and agencies is provided in the Additional Resources section of this FAQ.

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