Individuals requiring letters of invitation to obtain travel visas to present their papers may access the online form at Invitation Letter Request Form
Please fill out a separate form for each person requesting a letter
Questions about the Visa Invitation Letter application process
- All letters of invitation will be sent by a locked PDF unless otherwise requested. If you require a paper copy please provide a courier account number or credit card number with expiration date with the original request
- Please allow up to 15 business days to process your request
- OSA is not able to contact U.S. Embassies in support of an individual attempting to gain entry to attend an OSA meeting
- We recommend that you secure your travel visa before registering for the conference as cancellations after the preregistration cutoff can result in a cancellation fee.
Mail:OSA Management – Invitation Letter
The Optical Society
2010 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Apply now for your Visa
If you need a travel visa, begin the visa application process now! The application process can take up to 6 months or more. You will need to apply for your visa as early as possible, but no later than three months before you wish to enter the United States.
Strict security requirements may cause delays in visa processing. More information about applying for a United States visa is available at U.S. VISAs
U.S. Customs and Border Information
Visa Waiver Program Frequently Asked Questions
U.S. State Department Visa Information
Department of Homeland Security
National Academies International Visitors Office
ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
. Authorization via ESTA does not determine whether a traveler is admissible to the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers determine admissibility upon travelers’ arrival. The ESTA application collects biographic information and answers to VWP eligibility questions. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, though it is recommended that travelers apply as soon as they begin preparing travel plans or prior to purchasing airline tickets.
Please note that as of January 2016, the Visa Waiver Program has changed. Under the new changes, the following categories of travelers are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, and will need to apply for, and go through the standard Visa application process:
- Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions)
- Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria. (Travelers who are known to fall into the dual national category noted above should have received notice via email on or about January 21, 2016 that their current ESTA is no longer valid).
These restrictions do not apply to VWP travelers whose presence in Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Sudan was to perform military service in the armed forces of a program country, or in order to carry out official duties as a full-time employee of the government of a program country. These military and official government services exceptions, however, do not apply to the dual national restriction.
The Act includes other changes to the VWP to promote enhanced information sharing of terrorism and criminal data, and use of INTERPOL databases and notices for border screening purpose. The vast majority of VWP eligible travelers will not be affected by the legislation.
• San Francisco Int’l Airport – 14 miles / 25 mins
• Oakland Int’l Airport – 20 miles / 30 mins
San Francisco, California Hotel Shuttle Service & Transportation
Visitors seeking shuttle service and transportation to Hyatt Regency San Francisco and around the city have a variety of options, from taxi service and limousines to airport shuttles and public transportation. Our Concierge will be more than happy to assist you with hotel shuttle transportation options to or from Bay Area airports, attractions like Union Square and other San Francisco destinations.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
From San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
$8.65 each way - Exit at Embarcadero From San Francisco International Airport (SFO): Any San Francisco bound (north bound) train will stop at "Embarcadero Station" and use the Drumm Street exit. Hotel is located directly outside the station. Trains are available every 15 - 20 minutes.
From Oakland International Airport (OAK)
$10.05 one way. The Oakland Airport BART station is located across from the Terminal 1 baggage claim area and a short walk from Terminal 2. Then board a San Francisco/Daly City-bound train to Embarcadero Station. Use the Drumm Street exit and hote is located directly outside the station. BART runs every 15 to 20 minutes.
Hours from Embarcadero Station:
Mon to Fri - 4:23a.m. - 12:26a.m.
Saturday - 6:00a.m. - 12:26a.m.
Sunday/Holiday - 8:00a.m. - 12:26a.m.
Limousines & Town Cars
Rentals available through Grand Limousine, Inc. .
+1 (650) 588-8333
San Francisco Lorries Shuttle
Operates 4:00a.m. - 11:30p.m., seven days a week. Door to door service between SFO Airport and Hyatt. Price is $17 one way per person. At the airport, look for the White and Green Vans with lettering that says Go Lorrie's at the shuttle pickup area. For information call 415-334-9000. Reservations are required for transportation from the hotel to the airport.
San Francisco is made up of 49 square miles of long boulevards, curvy streets, hidden alleyways and lots of hills. But have no fear: follow these tips, along with some of our app recommendations
, and you’ll be the transportation hero of your San Francisco adventure.
You'll find zipping around the city without a car is not only easy and affordable, it's actually more convenient 99% of the time (driving in the city and searching for parking is the stuff nightmares are made of). All details on public transportation, ridesharing and taxi cabs are below.
Getting Around San Francisco
MUNI/San Francisco Municipal operates buses, trains, cable cars & the F-line heritage streetcar. The MUNI buses remain above ground while MUNI metro runs on rails and sometimes go underground. Bus stops come in many forms; small bus shelters, yellow paint on street poles, and white paint on streets. Metro stops can be found on an island in the middle of the street and stations. Using the Metro Map, find the nearest metro to your locations.
Tips: For all MUNI times and buses you can go online to http://www.511.org/ or you can call 511. In addition to this there are also many different smartphone apps that provide maps, routes, and times.
Cable Cars and street cars are San Francisco’s historical cars and run along cables that are affixed to the street. Cable Cars are located downtown and run on three lines; Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason, and California St. The F-Line Street Car runs up and down Market St. all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf. For these, you may pay the conductor on board or purchase tickets at multiple locations.
Uber and Lyft are car services operated by San Francisco locals. You must first download the app, register, and set-up a credit card payment system. With Lyft, you can request a private car service, or use the shared car service called “Lyft Line”. This is useful when travelling with another person because you get a shared discounted rate. Uber has a similar service called “Uber Pool” with rides running at a flat rate of $7. To use any of these services, set a pick-up location and end destination and within minutes, you will be matched with a driver. Make sure to communicate with your driver; call, text, or wave down their car. Get more ride sharing tips.
As is customary in most U.S. cities, visitors may hail a taxi directly or use a smart phone app. Taxis from the airport to the hotel range from $40 - $45 USD.
If you are staying for more than one day, Visitor Passports and CityPASS are useful because they provide unlimited rides on Muni, Muni Metro, historic streetcars, and cable cars. There are multiple locations throughout the city where you may purchase tickets and day passes, including the San Francisco Travel VIsitor Information Center, where the VIC staff and volunteers curate the San Francisco experience, providing one-on-one interaction with visitors from arounf the world.
Single Ride MUNI Bus/train: $2.25
Single Ride Cable Car Ticket: $7.00
1-Day Visitor Passport: $20.00
3-Day Visitor Passport: $31.00
7-Day Visitor Passport: $40.00
Adult CityPASS: $94.00
Children ages 5-11 CityPASS: $69.00
BART costs vary by distance; sample fares as of Summer 2016:
SFO - SF downtown: roundtrip $17.90, one way $8.95
OAK – SF downtown: roundtrip $20.40, one way $10.20
Ride Sharing (like Uber and Lyft) is typically under $15 for most trips around the city
Taxi Cabs are typically under $20 for most trips around the city.
If you are using public transit as your main mode of travel, as it should be, then the Clipper Card is an easy and fast way to use the various modes of transportation. Purchasing this pre-loaded card will give you access to all Bay Area transportation such as Bart, Muni buses, Muni Metro, and Cable Car. When you board, hold the card over a scanner and listen for the beep. Cards can be bought at multiple locations and re-filled at BART Stations.
San Francisco Super Shuttle Van Service
Operates 24 hours/seven days a week. Door to door service between San Francisco and the SFO Airport. From the Airport, go to the upper level (median strip or courtesy island) and look for the blue and yellow van. Price is $17 one way per person. Call 1 800 258 3826 or contact our concierge desk for further details.
Price: $70 per person from SFO, $90 per person from OAK. Green/white vans with silver letters
Hours: 6:00a.m. - 10:00p.m. except Thanksgiving and Christmas days.
For reservations, call 415-467-1800 or contact our concierge desk.
Special Discounts for Congress Attendees
OSA continues to enhance the benefits we provide to all Congress participants. We actively work with the host city, hotel and local area business to provide amenities and discounts. Additional discounts will become available from now until the conference. Please continue to check back for up-to-date discount programs and information!
Ground Transportation Discounts
United Airlines is offering discounted fares for all Optics in the Life Sciences Congress Attendees. You may book online at www.united.com
/ and enter ZXJP194880
in the Offer or Tour Code box when searching for your flights. If booking through a travel professional or United Meetings at +1 800.426.1122 (FREE), please provide them with the following information: Agreement Code 194880, Z Code: ZXJP. This code is valid from June 20
to July 2017
at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
is offering discounts for domestic and international flights when using the following global meeting code: NMPDC.
This code is only valid at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Oakland International Airport (OAK), and San José International Airport
(SJC) during the dates of 20 June
to 5 July 2017
Reservations and ticketing are available via www.delta.com/
or by calling the Delta Meeting Network Reservations at +1 800.328.1111 +1 800.328.1111 FREE. Please note that a Direct Ticketing Charge will apply for booking by phone. When booking online, select "Advanced Search" option and enter your Meeting ID Code in the box provided on the Search Flight page.
is pleased to offer low rates with unlimited mileage to participants attending the Congress. If you wish to reserve a car please contact Todd Alexander at +1 800.525.7537 Ext. 35003 or the Meetings and Convention Department at + 1 800.525.7537. They can ensure that you maximize your rental dollars. Please mention AWD # D340737
when you call. Reservations may also be made on the Avis website.
World Wide Telephone Numbers
Number is D340737
NOTE: This code is valid seven days before and after the conference.
is pleased to offer 10% discount off a roundtrip or one way reservation to participants attending the conference. Please refer to the discount OPTIC.
Discounted reservations must be made on the SuperShuttle website.
Discount does not apply to exclusive vans (which are already discounted) or pre-existing reservations. Discounts cannot be applied retroactively. It is valid on select (Booking codes: ATF, EMG, EWC, and VAN) SuperShuttle and ExecuCar services nationwide.
offers a 10% discount off the lowest available rail fare to San Francisco, CA between 22 June 2017 and 3 July 2017
. Includes travel up to three days prior to the convention start date and three days following the last day of the meeting. To book your reservation call Amtrak at 1 (800) 872-7245 or contact your local travel agent. Please refer to Convention Fare Code X36D-961
when making your reservation.
San Francisco, in northern California, is a hilly city on the tip of a peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. It's known for its year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and colorful Victorian houses. The Financial District's Transamerica Pyramid is its most distinctive skyscraper. In the bay sits Alcatraz Island, site of the notorious former prison.
Since the Gold Rush days of 1849 San Francisco’s waterfront has prospered. Today the Embarcadero waterfront anchors one of the world’s most majestic skylines and flourishing locations. With its “in the heart of everything” address, visits to the city always include a look at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco’s famous 17 story atrium lobby.
San Francisco Travel Guide
San Francisco Area Map
AAA City Guide
POINTS OF INTEREST
•Adjacent to the world famous cable car line
• Historic Ferry Building and Ferry Building Marketplace
• Embarcadero Center Shops, restaurants and Cinema
• Union Square
• Alcatraz and Angel Island
• Napa / Sonoma Wine Country
• Muir Woods • Chinatown
• North Beach • Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf
• Golden Gate Bridge recreation area
• AT&T Ball Park (Giants)