Generally, business offices are open weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and government offices are open from 8:00 am until 4:30 or 5:00 pm. Stores are open six days a week, with many also open on Sunday; department stores usually stay open until 9:00 pm at least one day a week. Discount stores and supermarkets are often open later than other stores, and some supermarkets are open 24 hours a day. Banks are usually open weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, occasionally a bit later on Friday, and sometimes on Saturday, with earlier closing times. There is 24-hour access to automated teller machines (ATMs) at most banks, plus in many shopping centers and other outlets.
The electricity used in the United States is standard electricity, which is 110 volts. European appliances brought here will require a voltage transformer.
Tipping is voluntary; gratuities generally are not automatically added to the bill. For larger groups, some restaurants may add the gratuity to the bill. Here are a few tipping guidelines:
- Waiters are usually given 15%-20% of the bill.
- Taxi drivers usually receive 15%-20% of the fare.
- Doormen, skycaps, and porters are usually tipped $1-2 per bag.
Need help calculating currency? Visit the Universal Currency Converter, a useful tool before you leave, or when you arrive.
Columbus, Ohio (OH) is located in Eastern Standard time zone (EST). Click here for time zone information.
Invitation letters will be provided to you automatically after completing AAA 2019 registration. If your country requires an invitation letter prior to purchase of registration, contact us with the following details of those requesting a visa:
- Full Name
- Date of Birth (MM/DD/YY)
- Passport Number
- Company Name
- Company Role
- Company Address
- Phone Number
Invitation letters will be sent via email in PDF format unless otherwise specified. Hardcopies will be mailed at the expense of the individual requesting visa letters. The Academy will ship the original invitation letters via UPS or USPS. Please provide a UPS account number or request an invoice to provide a credit card number. Hardcopies will not be mailed until payment is provided.
Steps in obtaining a visa to attend AAA 2019:
- Review your visa status, and find out if you need a U.S. visa or a renewal.
- Review the Visa Wait Times information for interview appointments and visa processing at each embassy and consular section worldwide available on our website. Visit the embassy or consular section website where you will apply for your visa to find out how to schedule an interview appointment, pay fees and any other instructions.
- Plan on an interview, as well as quick inkless fingerprint scans at the U.S. embassy or consulate, which is required for most visa applicants. Some visa applications require additional administrative processing, which requires some additional time. Applicants are advised when they apply.
More information on obtaining a visa can be found on the US Department of State Website.
The Academy recommends the following guidelines for obtaining a visa for entry into the United States:
- Apply early! The visa application process takes three to four months to complete. Applicants should present their entire trip itinerary, including travel to any countries other than the United States, at the time of visa application. If completion of travel plans is contingent upon early approval of the visa application, specify this at the time of the application.
- Provide letter of invitation. See information on invitation letters above.
- Once you have completed your registration online, you will be automatically emailed an invitation letter. If you are unable to obtain a visa to attend AAA 2019 you may request a full refund of your registration fees.
- Send requests to us.
- Provide evidence that you intend to return to your country of residence; applicants should provide proof of "binding," or sufficient, ties to their home country or permanent residence abroad. This may include documentation of:
- Family ties in home country or country of legal permanent residence
- Property ownership
- Bank accounts
- An employment contract or statement from an employer stating that the position continues after the meeting.
To get the most detailed information on traveling to the United States from your country, please visit the US Department of State International Travel section.
Currently, the 38 countries, listed here participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If your country is listed in the VWP, you may not need to obtain a visa before visiting the United States.