Conference participants who are not Chinese citizens (or passport holders from Singapore, Brunei, and Japan) need a Chinese visa to enter China. Participants can apply for a visa at the Chinese embassy or consulate in the region in which they live. For most attendees, it is easiest to apply for a Tourist ("L") visa; an invitation letter is not required for obtaining a Tourist visa. If some participants need another type of visa that does require an invitation letter, the SIGIR 2011 organization committee will be glad to help. If you need an invitation letter, please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To avoid uncertainty, participants will be advised to apply for a visa as early as possible. It is recommended that they apply for a Chinese visa at least 1 month in advance.
For more information regarding the requirements and procedure for obtaining a visa to China, please see http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/default.htm.