The Union Home Ministry has advised all Union Ministries and Departments and the Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories to strictly adhere to the revised procedure for grant of the ‘conference visa’ to foreigners.

Though the guidelines were put in place on July 15 last, the instructions are being reiterated to ensure that organisers of international conferences, seminars and workshops stick to the timeline for submitting their proposals to the Home Ministry at least six weeks before the event.

Security clearance

This will ensure that security clearance for the event and the participants is suitably assessed. Security vetting is a time-consuming process, and most of the organisers are not strictly adhering to the time schedule, a Home Ministry spokesperson said here on Thursday.

Under the revised procedure, while the Home Ministry’s Foreigners’ Division grants in-principle approval for holding the events, security clearance for grant of the ‘conference visa’ is required from the Ministry only for participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Sudan, and for foreigners of Pakistani origin and stateless persons. Participants from other countries can obtain the visa from the Indian missions by producing the invitation letter, event clearance from the Home Ministry, administrative approval of the nodal Ministry, political clearance from the External Affairs Ministry and clearance from the State government or Union Territory.

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