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Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,141
Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year
[ Edited ]

Hello all,

 

I am keeping a close eye on the international news as we speak, as probably you do. I don't frequently fly to the US, but it looks that many aspect might be able to change quite soon. Many are changing already.

 

And I am sure this is a hot topic within SAS, as it is for Google and other blue-chip companies, not only for internal workers and general commerce, but also for international events, such as the SAS Global Forum.

 

Therefore, and although I and my company are trying to figure out as much as possible to get ready and make decissions to decide whom might attend, I would like to ask all of you for tips/advise and updates on this matter.

 

Last news are that Trump just signed an executive order potentially stripping non-citizens of privacy rights, which might include passport information and such:

https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/26/trump-signs-executive-order-stripping-non-citizens-of-privacy-ri...

 

I would like to keep this question/thread as a non-political one, just practical to support the decissions/investment and reduce unnecessary risk.

 

Thank you in advance,

 

Best regards,

Juan

Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,248
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year

Thank you @JuanS_OCS for raising this topic. I was hoping there would be a discussion thread.

 

I had read "on Saturday (28th Jan) that Trump administration officials are discussing the possibility of asking foreign visitors to disclose all websites and social media sites they visit, and to share the contacts in their cell phones. If the foreign visitor declines to share such information, he or she could be denied entry. Sources told CNN that the idea is just in the preliminary discussion level." http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/29/politics/donald-trump-immigrant-policy-social-media-contacts/

 

It's difficult to know, at this stage, what is required by foreigners entering the US and hopefully with information sharing, more informed decisions can be made.

 

If the SAS Global Forum conference team have access to information and/or have resources who can provide foreigner US entry advice, that would be appreciated.

 

Kind Regards,

Michelle

Community Manager
Posts: 2,761
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year

Hi Everyone,

 

Thanks for raising the topic and for showing concern for your fellow SAS users.

 

We don’t have additional advice right now.  We are watching the situation, as you are, and will post back if we have anything to share specifically for SAS Global Forum attendees.

 

Chris

Sr. Manager, SAS Online Communities

 

Moderator
Posts: 238
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year

Maybe time for another SGF in Canada?

Contributor
Posts: 47
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year

I think Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal (again) would be wonderful choices.  I don't see the political climate in the US getting more stable anytime soon.  Perhaps SAS could also encourage more out of country users to attend some of the non-US based conferences as well - I'd be more than happy to go to London for a conference!

SAS Employee
Posts: 5
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year
While not international, SUGI 17 was in Hawaii, in theory to help encourage more attendees from Asia. Did anyone else see the burning volcano in the opening session?
Valued Guide
Posts: 2,175
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year
Now, that would suit me!
SAS Employee
Posts: 104
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year

I'd love to see a SGF in Toronto or Vancouver :-)

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 75
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year

Hello has anything changed yet with the situation for international visitors? Any updates about our privacy?

 

I wondering also about the hotel government conference rate for rooms. The conference folks have not replied. This could be a considerable savings for me on the hotel rates and has been available in the past.

 

SAS Employee
Posts: 5
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year
In the FAQ doc on the event website, you can find more information about government hotel rates. Hope that helps!

ARE YOU OFFERING GSA RATES?
There are a limited number of GSA rated rooms for SAS Global Forum which are on a first come first-served basis. You may access the GSA rates here https://resweb.passkey.com/go/SGF2017Gov. Guests booking at the GSA rate will be required to present proper government identification at check-in. If proper identification is not provided, the guest room rate will convert to the discounted SAS rate. Guests will be required to present proper identification at check-in. Contact sas@conferencedirect.com with any questions.
Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,248
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year

Hi @ChrisHemedinger,

 

With the conference getting closer and incidents and information unfold, do you or others have any additional advice to share for SAS Global Forum attendees?

 

Kind Regards,

Michelle

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 75
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year

Hello I am not really adding much clarity here but reporting that yes, this is still generally confusing. Canadian and Americans generally enjoy Visa free travel back and forth within agreed rules and length of stays etc.. My work travel office is very busy with this topic and have gotten me a new government employee passport. In the past my personal passport was enough for SAS GF. I did spend some time reading the US Embassy and Border service web pages and Canadian travel advisories. I have now come to the conclusion that I will not pay too much attention to social media rumors about travel but perhaps trust news articles from journalists I trust.

SAS Employee
Posts: 4
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year
>From the UK we don't need a VISA for travel to the USA or Canada, but for the USA we need an ESTA... and for Canada we need a Work Permit .... I haven't worked in the USA, so I'm not sure what the arrangements are...

All sorts of strange "agencies" have sprung up around the ESTA, which charge additional fees which you don't need to pay.... So anyone getting an ESTA should check they are going through the official site, and only paying the minimal fee required....
Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,141
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year

Hello @ChrisHemedinger,

 

just checking with you: is there any update or estimation available when we can get an information for international attendees? Specially since there are all kind and flavors of news, some tips based on real experience would be very appreciated.

 

Thank you in advance,

Best,

Juan

Community Manager
Posts: 2,761
Re: Tips for international visitors to the SGF this year

Hi @JuanS_OCS,

 

Speaking for myself here -- not for SAS officially.  Like you, I'm watching the news for any developments that might present a concern.  I'm not aware of anything that's going to cause special issues for most of our SAS Global Forum travelers.  As far as I know, we don't have any special guidance or advice...but I can check with the conference team to see if there is anything in the works.  Absent that, I think it's prudent to check with your local travel authorities (airports and airlines) as they can help to set expectations before you depart. 

 

Chris