Chicago welcomes hundreds of thousands of international visitors each year. Let us be your guide to the city, from getting here to getting around while you’re here and beyond.
COVID-19 travel guidance
The federal government is currently enforcing the following guidelines for international travelers coming to the U.S.
- All non-U.S. citizens, non-U.S. immigrants traveling to the United States by air must show proof of being fully vaccinated. Only limited exceptions apply.
- Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is recommended in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).
- Chicago’s international airports offer the nation’s most comprehensive in-airport COVID-19 testing program. Learn more about airport testing and safety measures.
Entering the United States
Two documents are needed to enter the United States:
- A valid passport
- If your country is not part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you will need to obtain a visitor visa from the U.S. Department of State. The VWP allows citizens of over 30 participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less. Find out if you qualify.
If your country is not part of the VWP, there are three visitor visa categories you may apply for:
B-1: For those entering the U.S. temporarily for business
B-2: For those visiting for pleasure
B-1/B-2: For a combination of both
Note: Citizens of Canada and Bermuda visiting the United States for temporary travel generally do not require a nonimmigrant visa.
Check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) regulations concerning commercial and personal items that are permitted into the United States.
Also, CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs — which include Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI — provide expedited travel for pre-approved travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks.
The city of Chicago is home to more than 80 Consulates/Consuls General offices. Find your foreign consulate here.
In addition to major banks, you can find currency exchanges at:
Chicago O’Hare International Airport: Terminal 1 – Gates B9 and C18; Terminal 2 – Main; Terminal 3 – Gate K11; Terminal 5 (International) – Upper Level and Lower Level.
Chicago Midway International Airport: Concourse A.
Currency Exchange International: The Shops at North Bridge, located downtown in The Magnificent Mile shopping district at 520 N. Michigan Ave. (ask for the Customer Service desk).
Weights and measures
Length or distance: inch, foot, yard, and mile.
Temperature: Fahrenheit (°F). To convert to Celsius (°C), subtract 32 from the number and then divide the difference by 1.8. For example, 70°F is equal to 21°C.
Volume: fluid ounce (two tablespoons), cup (8 ounces), pint (2 cups or 16 fluid ounces), quart (2 pints or 32 fluid ounces), U.S. gallon (16 cups, 128 fluid ounces, or 3.8 liters).
Weight: pound (453.6 grams, 16 ounces)
Translators and interpreters
Chicago translation and interpretation services include:
|A-Class International Simultaneous Interpreters|
130 Booth Lane
Haverford, PA 19041
|InterpreNet – Chicago Interpreters & Translators|
27 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 270
Chicago, IL 60606
9525 S. 79th Ave., Suite 5
Hickory Hills, IL 60457
Suburbs: (630) 455-0474;
Toll free: (888) 871-5311
|LTC Language Solutions|
5750 Castle Creek Parkway, Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46250
Toll Free: (888) 456-1626
|Atlas Translation Services, Inc.|
500 W. Superior St., Suite 2802
150 N. Michigan Ave., Floor 7