Reuters Business Traveller
Valerie A. Lifestyle Management provides PA, project-management, travel-coordination, event-planning, relocation-assistance and personal-shopping support.
Citizens of countries covered by the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelling to the US for tourism or business for 90 days or less do not need a visa, provided that they have a valid passport. However, these travellers need to obtain an approved application from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) at least three days before their trip. Since September 2010, a fee of $14 has been levied for this. Nationals of all other countries must have a visa, the application for which should be made at least four weeks before travelling.
Passports for VWP countries issued after 26 October 2006 must include biometric information, or else the holder is required to obtain a visa. VWP citizens with passports issued between 26 October 2005 and 25 October 2006 do not require a visa as long as they have machine-readable passports with a digital photograph of the holder.
To find your embassy or consulate in the U.S, click here.
You’re not from around here, are you?
Business clothing is very informal (but not sloppy) in San Francisco for everybody — especially those in the tech/media areas. Even businesspeople working in finance often sport chinos and a shirt.
When meeting for the first time, address your counterpart by their relevant title followed by their surname. Many Americans will invite you to call them by their first names after your initial introduction.
Americans shake hands during business introductions, but rarely use business cards — you’ve probably already ‘met’ virtually. To continue the business relationship, follow-up the meeting with an email.
Punctuality is very important — for meetings and meals. Breakfast meetings often start at 7.30 am, lunches at midday. Dinners are less common, but early dinners are preferred as most locals want to get off on their evening commute home.
There are no subjects to avoid: there’s a very much an “anything goes” culture here — expect to be asked personal questions.
Small business gifts are acceptable around the holiday season (November through January). Hosts providing unpaid accommodation should receive a small gift: something from the guest’s own country always goes down well.
Tipping is the same as in the rest of the US; 10%-15% is added to taxi fares and drinks bills. A good way to estimate how much to tip at restaurants is to double the tax figure: in general, 15%. Hotel porters should be tipped about $2.
Medical care is of an excellent standard.
All emergencies: 911
Like any big city, opportunistic theft is a concern, particularly in crowded public places.
Business Travel News
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SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco city leaders gave final approval on Tuesday to a ban on public nudity, a measure aimed at curtailing displays of nakedness that some residents and business owners say have gotten out of control in the famously tolerant city.
SAN FRANCISCO - Two dozen pro-nudity activists wearing little but their righteous indignation assembled on the steps of San Francisco City Hall on Wednesday to protest a proposed municipal ban on public nakedness.
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