Types of Visa
An entry visa is essential for all foreigners visiting India. There are several types of visa, including Conference, Tourist and Business Visas. Those travelling specifically for the attending the conference in India should apply for a Conference Visa. A Conference Visa allows tourism, but a Tourist Visa does not allow the holder to attend a conference. Conference Visas are not issued “on arrival”; application must be made well before the Congress.
Visa on Arrival Information - Click here
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Permission - Click here
Ministry of Home Affairs Permission - Click here
Ministry of External Affairs Permission - Click here
Documents supporting a Conference Visa
Documents required by the Indian Embassy or Consulate in your country may vary slightly from country to country. It is the responsibility of the participant to check the website of the local Embassy to see what documents are required for a Conference Visa. Documents for a Conference Visa should include Visa Application Form, Identification Letter from your Institution, and Photographs as well.
A Letter of Invitation to the conference/seminar/workshop in India.
The letter of invitation is not required by those applying for a Tourist Visa, i.e. those not entitled to attend the scientific sessions of the conference, such as accompanying persons. Letters of invitation can only be issued to delegates attending the Scientific Congress; not accompanying family persons including spouses or others. For a Tourist Visa, the purpose of visit should be stated as Tourism. Mentioning “Conference” on a tourist visa application is incorrect and will lead to the visa application being rejected.
Citizens of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, and persons of Pakistan-origin currently holding citizenship of any country.
These participants must fill in their passport details on the online registration form, and apply for Conference Visa more than 60 days before the start of the Congress. The Congress organizers are required to send the passport details of these participants to the Ministry of Home Affairs for scrutiny, which takes 60 days.
For participants from Pakistan:
The “Port-of-Entry” into India should be via Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai only. Kolkata is not an allowed Port-of-Entry into India for Pakistan citizens. Pakistan citizens holding two passports should apply for visa on their Pakistan passport.
General Visa Information
It is advisable to apply for a visa well in advance, but not earlier than 3 months before the end date of Congress. If approved, a single entry Conference Visa will be granted. Please note that the validity of a visa begins on the day it is issued. The date of entry into India does not affect the period of validity of a visa. The duration is usually 3 months.
Processing time for a conference visa is usually 15 days. For participants from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, and persons of Pakistan-origin the processing time is 60 days.
Foreign visitors entering India must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months after their date of entry into India, except in the case of nationals of Bhutan and Nepal, who need only carry suitable means of identification. There should be at least two blank pages in the passport.
The list of Indian diplomatic missions overseas can be consulted at:
Some Indian embassies and consulates have outsourced their visa processing services to VFS Global www.vfsglobal.com Visa application forms may be downloaded from this link.
Online Visa Application
Indian Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions now require visa applications to be made online. This can be done from the Indian Government website: www.indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/
Please note that this website is operated by the Indian Government. Here are some tips on using that website.
Make a note of your temporary reference number. If the website crashes, throws up error messages or freezes, you can try later using your temporary reference number to retrieve your partially filled form.
Length of stay – Check whether the form asks you for your length of stay in months. If the form asks for months, it actually means days. So if you put 15 months in this box, it will print out as 15 days.
Do not upload your photo on page 3 – press “next page”, check details and confirm. A visa application form will be generated with the High Commission Logo at the top. Print off 2 copies (and another one for yourself) and sign. Save the document in case you need to reprint.
You will need to provide two 50mm x 50mm photos. Please ensure they present the full head from top of hair to bottom of chin, and that this distance measures between 25mm and 35mm. If this is not correct your application will be rejected.
Copy of Letter from your Institution
This is a simple letter from the Institution you are associated with, identifying you and their relationship with you, and confirming that they understand you intend to visit India for the conference (plus any extra days stay for tourism).
SPECIAL INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS FROM SELECTED COUNTRIES
Applicants from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, U.S.A., Sudan, foreigners of Pakistani origin and stateless persons must apply 60 days in advance to their respective Indian Consulate offices. They are also advised to provide following information, in the format as given below, to the conference secretariat for facilitating the visa procurement.
Visa for NRIs and PIOs
Persons of Indian Origins and Non-Resident Indians who possess either OCI (Overseas Indian Citizenship) or PIO card do not need Indian Visa. However, those NRIs and PIOs who do not have OCI or PIO card need to apply for Indian visa through the procedure mentioned above.
Other Documents required by Indian Embassies for Conference Visa
Please check the website of the Indian Embassy in your country for “Conference Visa”.