Types of Visa
An entry visa is essential for all foreigners visiting India. There are several types of visa available, those travelling specifically for the 25th annual conference of Vitreo Retinal Society of India will need to apply for a Conference Visa.
Accompanying Persons are not entitled to attend the conference sessions and should apply for a Tourist Visa, for which the processing time is much less.
Conference Visas are issued by the relevant Indian Embassy if the visa application is accompanied by the documents listed in the document checklist downloadable fromhttp://www.vfsglobal.com/India/UK/ While this list mentions “UK”, the documents mentioned are common for all embassies. Some embassies may have additional requirements.
Documents provided by the Conference Organizers
- In the document checklist, the following documents are provided by the Conference organizers
- A letter of invitation to the conference/seminar/workshop in India
- Copies of permissions from Indian Government Agencies for the staging of a particular conference
These documents are 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 persons including spouses or others.
Other Documents Required for Conference Visa
It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain these documents and enclose them with the visa application. They are:
- Online Visa Application Form
- Copy of letter from Applicant’s Institution
The detailed requirements for each of the above documents is described below.
Foreign visitors entering India must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months after their date of entry into India. There must be at least two blank pages in the passport, other than the last two “observation” pages Nationals of Bhutan and Nepal, do not need a passport or visa if entering India directly from their country. They need only carry official identification papers.
Online Visa Form
Indian Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions, now require visa applications to be made online. This can be done from the Indian Government website:https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/
Please note that this website is operated by the Indian Government, not VRSI 2016.
- The website rarely crashes, throws up error messages or freezes. Make a note of your temporary reference number. If you are having problem 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 – instead press “next page”, check details and confirm. Your filled visa application form will be generated. Print off 2 copies (and another one for yourself) and sign. Save the document in case you need to reprint. Attach your photo to the printed document.
Other Documents required by Indian Embassies for Conference Visa
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, with both ears showing. The neck and width of shoulders should also show. Background should be white.
Copy of Letter from your Institution
This is a simple letter from the Institution/employer you are associated with on their letterhead with their address. It should mention your name and their relationship with you, and mention that they understand you intend to visit India for VRSI 2016 Congress, Chandigarh, 30th Nov – 4th Dec 2016 (plus any extra days stay for sightseeing).
Important: 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 organisers are required to send the passport details of these participants to the Ministry of Home Affairs for scrutiny. This scrutiny takes 45-55 days.
Participants from these countries are requested to purchase only refundable air tickets, in view of the time taken by Ministry of Home Affairs for scrutiny.
Pakistani citizens are requested to clarify the latest port-of-entry restrictions with the local Indian Embassy/Consulate before booking their air tickets. Ports-of-Entry for Pakistani citizens at present are Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
General Visa Information
When to applyIt is advisable to apply for a visa well in advance, but not earlier than 3 months before the date of the conference. If approved, a single entry Conference Visa will be issued. Please note that the validity of a visa begins on the day it is issued. The date of entry into India is not considered by the embassy when issuing the visa, even though it is asked for on the visa application form. A Conference Visa is normally valid for three months after it is issued, but the minimum duration is at the discretion of the Embassy.
List of Indian diplomatic missions
List of Indian diplomatic missions overseas: http://goidirectory.gov.in/country_wise_view.php?ct=I001,http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/mission/mission