Practical info

 

Practical information

Are you attending the 2022 ILGA World Conference?
Here is a list of suggestions and information that may be useful for your trip and your stay at the event.

Keep checking this section of the conference website: more information coming soon! Any questions? Feel free to contact us at 2022@worldconference.ilga.org!

A lifeguard tower painted in the colours of the rainbow on an empty beach. Three ships sail in the sea in front of it

Photo credit: Courtesy of the City of Long Beach

 


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Long Beach

Welcome to Long Beach, California, USA - the home of the 2022 ILGA World Conference. Just half an hour (20 miles) from Los Angeles, Long Beach is an oceanfront gem. The city offers beautiful beaches and marinas along with a busy dining and shopping scene that perfectly blends urban sophistication with beach town fun. 

Voted one of America’s “Most Walkable Cities,” Long Beach comprises eight distinct neighborhoods tucked in along the waterfront, centrally located to Los Angeles and Orange County.  Follow this link to view all the attractions and activities that the city has to offer.

Long Beach’s queer roots go deep. Follow this link to read more about the city’s LGBTIQ history.

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Our conference venue

The 2022 ILGA World conference will be held at the Westin Long Beach - a premier venue for meetings and events located in the city's thriving downtown district, steps from the convention centre.

Address: The Westin Long Beach, 333 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802
Website: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/lgbwi-the-westin-long-beach/ 

For more information about the venue’s accessibility, please follow this link.

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Visa and ESTA

In order to enter the United States to attend the ILGA World Conference, you will be required to either obtain a visa or an ESTA - depending on the passport you have.

Please note all information gathered below has been checked against the official US immigration websites and sources, but we invite you to follow this link to refer to the official websites of your local embassies and consulates. ILGA World-sponsored participants (selected scholars, session scholars, ILGA World staff and board, chairing pool and invited guests) received detailed instructions on how to apply for a visa. If you are a participant sponsored by ILGA World and you haven’t received the instructions, please get in touch with scholarship@worldconference.ilga.org. If you are a self-paying participant and wish to obtain those instructions, please contact 2022@worldconference.ilga.org.

ESTA

ESTA is a travel authorization rather than a visa. It allows eligible citizens/nationals of the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) countries to travel to the US for a stay not exceeding 90 days without obtaining a visa. This is for tourism/pleasure and business stays and would include attending the conference.

To see if you qualify for an ESTA you must comply with the below conditions:

  1. Your passport-issuing country is listed among the ESTA-eligible countries.
    If you are also a national of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria, you are not eligible for an ESTA and you will need to apply for a non-immigrant, tourist visa)
  2. You, as a national of VWP countries above, have not travelled to or been present in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).
  3. You are currently not in possession of a visitor's visa.
  4. Your travel is for 90 days or less.
  5. You plan to travel to the United States for business or pleasure

If you meet all the criteria above, please follow this link to consult instructions to obtain an ESTA.

VISA

Citizens/nationals of non-ESTA countries, or those in-eligible for an ESTA, are required to apply for a non-immigrant tourist visa provided to persons who want to enter the United States temporarily. To be able to attend the ILGA World Conference 2022, the following non-immigrant visa types are available: 

  • B-1: Business 

If you are employed by an LGBTI organization in your country of residence, a business visa will require you to disclose your LGBTI-related employment at a US embassy/consulate where your application is likely to be examined by a non-American consular officer. If you believe that disclosure of such an affiliation might put your security at risk (due to anti-LGBTI policies), we advise you to proceed with applying for a tourist visa, B-2.  

Please note, if you apply for the B-1 type visa, you will have to prove to the interviewer that you coming to the ILGA World Conference is directly related to your line of work and it will benefit your work post-conference.  

  • B-2: Tourism

If the purpose of the planned travel is recreational in nature, including tourism, visiting friends or relatives, rest, or is related to medical treatment, activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature, or participation by amateurs who will receive no remuneration in musical, sports and similar events or contests, then a visitor visa (B-2) would be the appropriate type of visa for the travel.  

  • B-1/B-2: Business/Tourism

If you are employed by an LGBTI organisation in your country of residence, a business/tourist visa will require you to disclose your LGBTI-related employment at a US embassy/consulate where your application is likely to be examined by a non-American consular officer. If you believe that disclosure of such an affiliation might put your security at risk (due to anti-LGBTI+ policies), we advise you to proceed with applying for a tourist visa, B-2.  

Once conference fees are paid, ILGA World will provide participants with a visa application support letter and a guide on how to apply.

 

You should apply for a visa no later than 90 days (three months) before the conference dates. However, we strongly advise you to apply at least 6 months in advance. Please note that, due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of embassies and consulates only allow for emergency visa appointments. Please keep checking your local US embassy/consulate for updates on the visa process and interview booking. Follow this link for more information about the US Embassies around the world.

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Arriving in the USA

Getting to LA Long Beach is easy!

By plane

The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is less than 30 minutes away from downtown Long Beach, while the Long Beach Airport is seven minutes.

By car

Coming from the Inland Empire area, take 91 west to 710 south. Downtown Long Beach is located at the end of the 710 freeway.

Coming from Southern Orange County, take the Santa Ana Freeway (5) north to the San Diego Freeway (405). Take the San Diego Freeway (405) north to the Long Beach Freeway (710). Go south on the Long Beach Freeway to the Downtown Exits. (710 then becomes Shoreline Drive). Follow Shoreline Drive into the downtown area.

Coming from North Orange County and San Gabriel & Pomona Valleys, take the Orange Freeway (57) or San Gabriel Freeway (605) to the Riverside Freeway (91) to the Long Beach Freeway (710). Go south on the Long Beach Freeway to the Downtown Exits. (710 then becomes Shoreline Drive). Follow Shoreline Drive into the downtown area.

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Transport to the conference venue

Will you be landing at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)?

You can reach the The Westin Long Beach
by shuttle: 26 minutes; $20-40 USD
by bus: 1 hour; $8-10 USD
by tram: 1 hour 4 minutes; $12-14 USD
by Uber/taxi: 26 minutes; $30-75 USD
by rental car: 26 minutes; price varies

Coming from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), take 405 south, then take 710 south. Downtown Long Beach is located at the end of the 710 freeway.
Click here for alternate airport transportation options. 

Will you be landing in Long Beach?

You can reach The Westin Long Beach by bus or by Uber.
Coming from Long Beach Airport (LGB), take 405 north, then take 710 south. Downtown Long Beach is located at the end of the 710 freeway.

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Accommodation

Paying participants will have to arrange their stay in LA Long Beach for the whole duration of the event. 

The conference venue - the Westin Long Beach hotel - offers a discount for ILGA World 2022 Conference participants. Please follow this link to book a room with a discount - note that this offer is valid only before 1 April 2022!

Other accommodation opportunities in the area include:

within walking distance from the conference venue

in town

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Local transport 

You have many options to get into and around downtown Long Beach - whether you’re walking, driving, taking public transit, or riding a bike. Follow this link to find out more.

By foot

LA Long Beach has been voted the 10th most walkable major city in the United States, and the first in Southern California. Follow this link to access walking loop cards, and more information. 

By bus

Downtown Long Beach is home to the Transit Gallery, your connection to points beyond Downtown with bus service to Long Beach Airport, and other local and regional destinations.
Follow this link for more information about Long Beach Transit (LBT).

By bicycle

Downtown Long Beach is bike-friendly! Follow this link to access a bike map and guide

By car - rental options

Do you want to rent a car? Follow this link for rental options once landed at LAX!

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Time zone

California is in the Pacific time zone and operates Daylight savings Time. During the conference, California will be 7 hours behind UTC.  You will be able to enjoy the sunrise at approximately 5:53am and the sunset at 7:45pm, which is about 14 hours of sunlight (great for our activities)! However, you may want to get ready for some jetlag depending on where you come from.

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Weather

Sunny skies ahead!
Long Beach has an average temperature of between 19º Celsius (66º Fahrenheit) and 24º C (75º F) in May. Get your best outfit ready and enjoy the sun in our host city! Follow this link for further information about the weather.

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Languages

English is the official and most-widely spoken language in California. With almost 10.4 million Spanish speakers, California is also the second largest Spanish-speaking state in the United States. If you are not feeling confident with your English, it is very likely that you’ll find tourist information in Spanish, too! Airports and other official establishments usually have staff available who speak Spanish. 

The working languages of ILGA World are English and Spanish, and all information about the conference will be provided in both languages. We will strive to provide communication in other languages where possible.

Most of the sessions at the ILGA World Conference will take place in English. Interpretation to Spanish and international sign language will be provided during all plenary sessions and selected workshops.

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Health insurance

Traveling is hard, and healthcare in the USA is expensive: we know a lot can happen, and we suggest to all participants that they acquire a comprehensive health insurance plan for their travels to the United States. You will be personally liable for any healthcare costs you incur in the United States unless you take out insurance.

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Currency

In the United States, the official currency is US Dollars (USD). Follow this link to access a currency converter.
We recommend preparing a budget ahead of your journey. Investigate which bank or institution offers the best exchange rate for you, before you travel. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted and are often the safest and most convenient way to pay. Since California is the U.S. State with the highest minimum wage (yay!) this also means that it is among the most expensive in terms of hotels, traveling, food, entertainment, and other expenses.

ATMs

ATMs are widely available 24/7 at most banks, and in shopping centers, airports, grocery stores and convenience shops. Most ATMs charge a service fee of $2.50 or more per transaction and your home bank may impose additional charges. Withdrawing cash from an ATM using a credit card usually incurs a hefty fee. 

Credit cards

Major credit cards are almost universally accepted.

Tipping

Tipping is not optional; you should only withhold tips in cases of outrageously bad service.

Here are some indications
on standard tips, taken from the Lonely Planet website:
Airport & hotel porters: $2 per bag, minimum per cart $5
Bartenders: 15% to 20% per round, minimum per drink $1
Hotel housekeepers: $2 to $5 per night, left under the card provided
Restaurant servers: 15% to 20%, unless a gratuity is already charged on the bill
Taxi drivers: 10% to 15%, rounded up to the next dollar
Valet parking attendants: at least $2 when handed back the keys

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Internet

During your stay at The Westin Hotel, you’ll have access to basic free Wi-Fi in your room and in shared spaces. For video calls or downloading heavy files, we suggest you look for a personal data plan on a SIM card. Most of them are sold at airports, but please verify whether your mobile phone is compatible with any of them before your purchase. Follow this link for information on Wi-Fi coverage, or this link to find out more on where to buy SIM cards while at LAX.

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Electricity and plugs

All power sockets in the United States provide a standard voltage of 120V with a standard frequency of 60Hz. You can use equipment in the United States if the outlet voltage in your own country is between 100V-127V.

If this is not your case, we recommend you get a current adapter for large devices from 220 volts to 120v, so you may use your electronic devices freely during your stay. Mobile phone and computer chargers will usually work well on both systems, but bring a convertor plug for the US-style plugs!

There are two associated plug types used in the United States: types A and B.
Plug type A is the plug which has two flat parallel pins, and plug type B is the plug which has two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin.

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Drug and alcohol consumption

California legislation allows buying and possessing up to one ounce (28.5 grams) of cannabis, and up to eight grams of concentrated cannabis, for people aged 21 or older. It can only be legally bought at retail outlets licensed by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.
Adults who exceed these amounts of recreational cannabis can be charged with a misdemeanour and punished by up to 6 months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
However, people with serious criminal history – including multiple prior drug convictions – can be charged with a felony for violating California drug laws.
Follow this link and this link for more information.

For alcohol consumption, the legal age for drinking is 21. Any person under the age of 21 years who purchases or consumes any alcoholic beverage is guilty of a misdemeanour. Remember to acquire your alcohol in official establishments, if you wish to do so. Follow this link for more information.

Important: note that no drugs may be brought into the United States and it is a serious criminal offence to do so.

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Sex work restrictions

As of April 2021, the Senate Public Safety Committee of California passed a bill which would repeal provisions that criminalise loitering for the intent to engage in sex work. The bill, however, still needs to complete its legislative route, and does not decriminalise soliciting or engaging in sex work. 

According to ACLU Southern California, in 2020 two new laws went into effect in California that create new rights and protections for sex workers in both legal and criminalized sectors. AB 5 affects many employees in various legal professions, including legal sex work. SB 233 creates new protections for sex workers reporting violent crime, and prevents condoms from being used as evidence. Follow this link to find out more about the legal protection of sex worker in the California State.

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Emergency contacts in Long Beach (ambulance, fire, police)

Here are emergency numbers for the Long Beach area:

First response emergency services: 911
Please note that ambulances are usually very expensive, and insurance companies might not refund this cost unless considered essential.

For all other contact phone numbers in the LA Long Beach area, please follow this link.

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