Subject: Instructions relating to grant of Conference Visa to foreign nationals coming to attend an international conference I seminar I workshop
It has come to the notice of this Ministry that for the purpose of grant of Conference Visa to foreign nationals intending to come to India for attending an international conference/ seminar/workshop, some Missions/Posts are insisting on submission of documents conveying prior clearance of the Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division) for holding the event. In this context, your kind attention is invited to the para 13.5 of Chapter 13 of the new Visa Manual pertaining to Conference Visa. It has been specifically provided therein that prior clearance of theMinistry of Home Affairs for holding an event (i.e. international conference/ seminar/ workshop) will be required only if the event falls within the following parameters as mentioned in para 13.3 of the Visa Manual:
If there are participants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, foreigners of Pakistani origin and Stateless persons; and
If the participants of conferences /seminars/workshops are required to visit ‘Restricted’ or ‘Protected ‘ areas in India, or areas affected by terrorism, militancy and extremism, etc. viz. Jammu & Kashmir and the North Eastern States (other than the States of Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland).
Further, a detailed procedure for obtaining prior clearance of the Ministry of Home Affairs for holding an international conference I seminar I workshop (event clearance) by the organizers has also been laid down in para 13.5 of the new Visa Manual. It has also been specifically provided in a note below para 13.5 of the new Visa Manual that the Indian Missions/ Posts should not insist on submission of documents conveying event clearance of MHA in case the event does not fall under the parameters mentioned in para 13.3 of the new Visa ManuaL
3. The Ministry of Home Affairs is shortly launching an online module for submission of application by the organizers of international conferences/ seminars/ workshops for seeking clearance of the Ministry of Home Affairs for holding the event and for processing of such applications by this Ministry online. The clearance of this Ministry for holding the event will be generated through the online system and sent to the organizers. A copy of the clearance will also be endorsed to all Indian Missions/ Posts
It may also be noted that the Visa Manual provides that the Missions shall carefully examine the subject of the conference/seminar/workshop and Visa shall not be issued for events which involve politically and/ or socially sensitive subjects (para 13.2(iii) of the new Visa Manual refers]
It is further provided in para 13.8 of the new Visa Manual that a foreign national ” intending to attend an International Conference/ seminar/ workshop while already in India on Business/ Employment I Student/ Research visa may seek prior permission of the FRRO/ FRO concerned by making a suitable application along with all relevant details.
However, in respect of cases falling within the parameters mentioned in para 13.3 of the Visa Manual, such permission shall be granted by FRRO/ FRO concerned only with the prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The above instructions as contained in the new Visa Manual are once again brought to the notice of all Indian Missions/ Posts for strict compliance.