Types of Visa
An entry visa is essential for all foreigners visiting India. There are several types of visa available, but those travelling specifically for the 2014 Cochrane Colloquium at Hyderabad will need to apply for a Conference Visa.
Please do NOT apply for a Tourist Visa even if you plan to combine participation at the Colloquium with tourism. Mention the dates of your visit and your entire itinerary when you apply for a Conference Visa.
However, accompanying persons who are not attending the pre-Colloquium workshops, business meetings or Colloquium scientific sessions, should apply only for a Tourist Visa.
Documents supporting a Conference Visa
Conference Visas are issued by the relevant Indian Diplomatic Mission overseas (Embassy / Consulate / Mission) and the visa application should be accompanied by:
- A letter of invitation to the Colloquium in Hyderabad from the organisers containing your passport details. (Please note: There are two invitation letters available from your personal account. One is a general invitation letter for those do not need need a visa but need a letter to apply for leave or funding from their institution; you do NOT need this to apply for a visa. The other is for those who need a visa; this invitation will contain your passport details. Please check that you have entered your passport details accurately when you fill in the registration form, since this invitation letter is automatically generated based on your entries in the registration form).
- Copies of permissions from four Indian Government Agencies for the staging of the Colloquium (In this instance they are the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (nodal ministry), Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, State Government). All four letters are available for you to download.
- A supporting letter from the home institution or organization of the applicant
- A passport that is valid for 180 days with two blank pages
- The required visa fee
- Two passport photographs (check local Indian Mission website for specifications)
- Duly filled online application form
These documents do not guarantee that a visa will be granted and additional documents may be requested by the local Indian mission.
The first three sets of documents listed above are not required by accompanying persons applying for a Tourist Visa.
Please note that letters of invitation can only be issued to delegates attending the Colloquium; not to accompanying persons including spouses or others.
The purpose of the Invitation Letter is to facilitate your Conference Visa application. Please note that the Invitation Letter should not be considered as implying or offering financial support to cover registration, airfare or other expenses associated with participating in the Colloquium.
The responsibility of getting a visa lies with the applicant, and the organisers will not be able to influence the Indian Mission overseas or the Indian Embassy in India to grant a visa.
To obtain the Invitation Letter facilitating your visa, you should fill in your passport details accurately on the online registration form, when you register for the Colloquium. After receiving confirmation of your registration, you should then log on to the link for 'Invitation Letters' in your personal account on this site. You will be then able to generate and print personalised letters of invitation and download the four Indian Government permission documents.
Please note: Do keep in mind that a conference visa is usually valid only for a period of three months from the date of issue (not the date of arrival in India). This may vary by jurisdiction and you will have to contact your local visa office to find out when you should apply to ensure your visa will be valid for the duration of the colloquium. If you apply for the visa by late July, this should cover the period of the Colloquium. If you wish to combine tourism with attending the colloquium, please provide your itinerary for your holiday, along with any supporting documents, and request a conference visa that is valid for the period inclusive of your holiday.
Disclaimer: If you arrive at the Colloquium as a registered participant on a tourist visa, you run the risk of legal action by the enforcement department, which may include deportation, a fine, or both. The Colloquium organisers do not accept any responsibility in such instances.
This does not apply to a person or persons accompanying a delagate registered for the Colloquium who is, or are, not attending the scientific sessions of the Colloquium. Accompanying persons should apply for a tourist visa to visit Hyderabad (see below).
Important Information for Citizens of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan and persons of Pakistan-origin currently holding citizenship of any country
If you are a citizen of one the above countries and wish to obtain a visa to India for the Colloquium, you must fill in your passport details on the online registration form, and register for the Colloquium more than 60 days before the start of the Colloquium, i.e. before 14 July 2014.
- Do not leave registering till too late since the Colloquium organisers are required to send your passport details to the Ministry of Home Affairs for scrutiny, at least 60 days before the start of the Colloquium for your visas to be issued and entry to India to be assured.
- The Colloquium Organisers have appointed an agency KW Conferences to forward these details to the Ministry of Home Affairs in batches from March 2013 onwards, and seek these clearances,
- Permission for the clearance letters will be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs by KW Conferences in two batches: 16 June 2014 and 14 July 2014. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE REGISTERED BEFORE 14 JULY IF YOU WANT YOUR CLEARANCE IN TIME FOR YOU TO THEN APPLY LOCALLY AND TO GET YOUR VISA TO ENTER INDIA FOR THE COLLOQUIUM.
- You will be informed when these clearances have been secured. This will ensure that when you apply for visas from the Indian Mission in your country, the pre-obtained Home Ministry clearance will facilitate the speedy issuance of your visa.
- If these procedures are not followed, your visa may be unduly delayed.
- Please do not apply directly to the Indian Mission in your country for your visa until you have registered, and you receive information from the Organisers that your Home Ministry clearance has been obtained.
General Visa Information
- Under normal circumstances, and if all necessary documents are in order, a Conference Visa will usually be issued in around two weeks, and often within three to four working days. However, please consult the website of your local Indian Diplomatic Mission, or your travel agent, for information about local variations in visa processing times.
- If approved, a single entry Conference Visa will be granted for the duration of the conference or for three months (it may be two months in some jurisditictions); or for a maximum period of six months (if a special request is made for a longer duration of staying in India, such as a holiday, and supporting documents are also submitted).
- As stated above, 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. It is advisable to apply for a visa well in advance, but not earlier than 2 months before the start date of the Colloquium, if you plan to stay on and visit places in India beyond the Colloquium.
- Foreign visitors entering India (except nationals of Bhutan and Nepal) must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months after their date of entry into India.
- Nationals of Bhutan and Nepal arriving in India by land only need to carry suitable means of photo-identification. If they arrive in India by air directly from Nepal or Bhutan, or arrive in India from China, they must produce a valid passport.
- The visa applicant should ordinarily apply from within the jurisdiction of the mission/post. If the application is made from outside this jurisdiction, it will be necessary to make a reference to the Indian mission/post in the country to which the applicant belongs. Additional fees are chargeable for making a reference to the concerned mission/post.
Applying for a Tourist Visa
- Tourist visas are issued to foreign passport holders who do not have a residence or occupation in India and whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends and relatives, etc.
- Persons accompanying a Colloquium delegate and who are not registering to attend the Colloquium meetings, workshops, or scientific sessions should apply for a Tourist Visa. Registered delegates for the Colloquium should NOT apply for a Tourist Visa, but should apply for a Conference Visa
- Indian Missions/Posts abroad may issue multiple entry tourist visas for a maximum period of ten years to US nationals and five years to UK nationals, with the stipulation that stay during each visit shall not exceed 180 days. However, should the visa holder desire to stay continuously for more than 180 days, he/she should register with the concerned FRRO/FRO within 180 days of arrival.
- Indian Missions/Posts abroad may issue multiple entry tourist visas for a maximum period of five years to nationals of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Vietnam with the stipulation that stay during each visit shall not exceed 90 days.
- In the case of foreigners holding multiple-entry tourist visas valid for 5/10 years, there should be a gap of at least two months between two successive visits.
- If a tourist visa holder needs to return to India within two months of his/her last departure from the country due to exigencies like death or serious illness in the family, non-availability of connecting flights to return to his/her country of origin or travel to another country using India as a transit point or any other exigent situation which can be duly justified with proper documentation to the satisfaction of an Indian Mission/Post abroad or immigration authorities in India, the condition of two month's gap can be waived. In all such cases, the foreign national should register with the FRRO/FRO concerned within 14 days of arrival.
- Foreign nationals holding six month tourist visas valid for up to three entries would not be subject to the above condition of two month's gap between two visits if they submit their itinerary and confirmed air tickets for travel to neighbouring countries.
- Tourist visa on arrival is proposed to be introduced on experimental basis for nationals of eleven countries viz. Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Tourist visa on arrival is valid for 30 days with single entry facility and is granted at present only by Immigration Officers at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata international airports. However, please check with your local mission or travel agent if this proposal has been actually implemented when you plan your vist to India.
Further information about Visas:
The list of Indian diplomatic missions overseas can be accessed at:
For more information about visas: http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/online/visaServices
For Online application form: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/
Many Indian embassies and consulates have outsourced their visa processing services to VFS Global. Visa application forms may be downloaded from this link http://www.vfsglobal.com.
However, this might vary from country to country. Please check the website of your local consulate of embassy to ascertain the process of applying, and how to apply
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