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.
Getting To and From San Diego, California, USA
Travel by Air
Transportation from Airports
Driving Directions and Parking Information
TRAVEL BY AIR
The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is located just half a mile from San Diego International Airport
San Diego International Airport (SAN) – 0.6 miles
3225 N. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
TRANSPORTATION FROM AIRPORTS
Complimentary Airport Shuttle
The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina provides complimentary airport shuttle service
to/from the San Diego International Airport. The courtesy airport shuttle arrives every 20-25 minutes from 4:45am - 1am, seven days a week. If you are arriving in San Diego, see below for Terminal 1 & 2 shuttle pickup instructions.
- After collecting your luggage, follow the "Ground Transportation" signage.
- Walk across the sky bridge.
- Take the escalator down to the ground level.
- Turn right.
- Cross the taxi/van concrete islands.
- Walk to 3rd island, marked "Courtesy Vehicles."
- Wait at any open spot on the curb.
- After collecting your luggage, walk across the street (toward Taxi/Hotel/Rental Car Shuttles).
- Walk to the 3rd island (courtesy shuttles/car rental shuttles)
- Turn left and walk down to area marked ‘Courtesy Shuttles’
San Diego International Airport is approximately a 2 minute drive and USD $5.00 taxi ride one-way to the San Diego to the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina.
Many companies provide taxicab service at San Diego International Airport. If you need a taxi, follow the signs leading to the Transportation Plazas. A Transportation Coordinator will place you with the first available taxi, unless you specify a particular taxicab company
All car rental pick-ups and drop-offs for rental car companies serving San Diego International Airport occur at the new Rental Car Center. Free dedicated shuttle busses will run continually to transport customers between the airport terminals and the Rental Car Center. Rental Car Companies at San Diego International Airport
Port of San Diego Shuttle
San Diego offers many modes of public transportation providing travelers with economical and eco-friendly options to explore the region. Experience the city’s famed attractions via the Port of San Diego Shuttle
. Discover San Diego’s “must-see” destinations with all day on/off privileges. The Port of San Diego Shuttle offers a convenient way to experience the waterfront attractions at an affordable price.
Between the Memorial Day and Labor Day, for only USD $3.00, visitors can hop aboard the Port of San Diego Shuttle for an eight-stop ride along San Diego’s Bayfront from Harbor Island to the South Embarcadero, near the San Diego Convention Center. The $3 ticket price allows riders on and off privileges for the entire day. Shuttles arrive at each stop every 15 to 20 minutes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday – Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
San Diego Trolley
The iconic bright red trolley will take you in and around the city. The San Diego Trolley provides convenient services from key locations downtown, including the Santa Fe Depot and the San Diego Convention Center, crisscrossing through downtown and out to various locations like Old Town and Mission Valley. Find more information about the San Diego Trolley here
San Diego International Airport
Distance from Hotel: 0.6 mi. / 5 minutes
Book within the group block and receive discounted daily and overnight self-parking rate of USD $24 per 24 hour period.
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 (click here
) 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 25 March – 12 April 2017
at San Diego International Airport (SAN)
is offering discounts for domestic and international flights when using the following global meeting code: NMPDC.
This code is only valid at San Diego International Airport (SAN)
during the dates of 28 March - 10 April 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 Diego, CA between March 30, 2017 and April 8, 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 Diego enjoys beautiful weather year round. A marked feature of the climate is the wide variation in temperature within short distances due to the topography of the land. Come sample coastal, mountain and desert environments all in the span of a day.
April Weather in San Diego, California
Average High Temperature: 67 °F (20 °C)
Average Low Temperature: 56 °F (13 °C)
For the most current weather forecast, please visit here
Standard 120v/60Hz voltage electricity is used in the United States. Read more information on international electricity
. Here is a website about international electricity
that provides explanation and photos of the adapters and transformers you need for your appliances.
The US Dollar
) is the currency of the United States. Credit cards are widely accepted; VISA and MASTERCARD are the most popular. Traveler’s checks are accepted at currency exchanges or banks, but are not as widely accepted. View the latest currency exchange rates.
California is on the Pacific Time Zone.
Welcome to San Diego, California
Discover San Diego
Things to Do
Travel Guide and Apps
Vacation Planning Guide
Welcome to San Diego, where blue skies keep watch over 70 miles of majestic coastline. San Diego is home to many of Southern California’s top attractions, with plenty of options for adventure-seeking, fun-loving explorers. Spend a day relaxing in one of the many beach communities or hiking in the east San Diego County mountains. Explore the urban neighborhoods of San Diego’s downtown, from the iconic Gaslamp District
to the eclectic community of Hillcrest
. Visit the quaint and charming island town of Coronado
or the picturesque village of La Jolla
. San Diego’s regions are so unique and diverse; there are plenty of options to discover something new each time you visit.
Downtown San Diego
Downtown San Diego is a dynamic urban center with trendy new restaurants and retail shops, composed of eight distinct neighborhoods, including the historic Gaslamp Quarter
, colorful Little Italy
and the up-and-coming East Village, each with a distinct personality and allure. The historic Gaslamp Quarter is home to more than 100 of the city's finest restaurants and 100 retail shops. When the sun sets, the area's nightlife sizzles, attracting thousands of diners, theatergoers and nightclub patrons.
Mission Bay and Beaches
The cool breezes, tranquil waters and soft sand beaches of Mission Bay
attract aquatic recreational enthusiasts all year-long. Pick from a variety of activities including kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, wind surfing, sailing, kite surfing and sport fishing.
Big Bay Shuttle
Hop on board the Big Bay Shuttle for a quick tour of the Embarcadero or use the shuttle daily to get from point A to point B along San Diego's Embarcadero! Not only a great way to get around between hotels and attractions along San Diego's Embarcadero, the Big Bay Shuttle is also a great way to tour the bay and see the sights along the way.