Letter of Invitation | Visa Information
Letter of Invitation
Invitation letters take OFC Management 7-14 days to process.
Please fill out all the required information on the online form completely to the best of your ability.
How to Request a Visa Invitation Letter:
Individuals requiring letters of invitation to obtain travel visas must apply using the online form.
Important information regarding Visa Invitation Letters (please read):
- Your name must be listed exactly as it appears on your passport. Any differences between the name on your passport and the name on your invitation letter or other documentation could lead to a delay and/or denial of your visa.
- If you are presenting a paper, include the title and session in which the paper will be presented, or if you are exhibiting, please indicate so in your request.
- Please note that each individual requesting an invitation letter must fill out a separate form.
- All letters will be sent in PDF form to the email address provided. If a paper letter is required, please respond to the email. Requested paper letters will be sent complimentary through airmail. This option may take a few weeks to arrive. If you wish to expedite the process, letter will be spent through Federal Express with the recipient’s Federal Express account number or credit card number with an expiration date, please also include your billing address in the request email.
- OSA Management reserves the right to request further information regarding the company or affiliation of the attendee to ensure the validity of requests. Meeting attendees do not need to wait until your paper is accepted to request a Visa Invitation Letter. OSA is unable to contact U.S. Embassies in support of an individual attempting to gain entry to attend a meeting.
- We recommend that you secure your travel visa before registering for the conference as cancellations after the preregistration cutoff may result in a cancellation fee.
Questions about the Visa Invitation Letter application process, contact:
OFC Management – Invitation Letter
The Optical Society
2010 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Apply now for your Visa
The visa application process to enter the United States has become subjected to greater degrees of scrutiny than in the past. For this reason, the application process can take up to six 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.
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism, pleasure or visiting (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).
There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply.
There are 27 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program. If your country is on this list, and you are traveling to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less with a valid passport that meets U.S. requirements, and the listed conditions do not apply to you, you do NOT need a visa. Otherwise, you need to obtain a visa.
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
As of 12 January 2009, all nationals and citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries will be required by law to obtain a travel authorization prior to initiating travel to the United States under the VWP. This authorization may be obtained through the Electronic System for Travel. For VWP passport requirements, see VWP-eligible passport.
Visa Application Guidelines:
Complete the Online Visa Application
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
- Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format
Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant's residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a nonimmigrant tourist visa. If you do choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember that it is not one of the factors that we use in determining whether to issue or deny a nonimmigrant tourist visa.
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
OFC Management is not able to contact U.S. embassies in support of an individual attempting to gain entry into the host country to attend the conference.
If your visa is delayed or denied, please contact the consulate where your application is being processed. Review Visa Denials for detailed information about visa ineligibilities, denials and waivers.
- Visitors are not permitted to accept employment or work in the United States.
- Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.