The guidelines for conducting international conferences have been liberalized in the year 2000. The procedure to obtain permission for conducting international conferences is given below for convenience of organisers and to facilitate the delegates to obtain 'conference visa'.
1. What is International Conference
International Conferences/Seminars/Workshops (herein after referred to as events) are those events where substantive discussions/deliberations/interaction and exchange of thoughts and ideas will take place on a specific subject matter and in which participants from foreign countries will take part.
2. What does not constitute an international conference
a. Meetings organized by any business institution having foreign participants from its sister concern abroad, and solely on the subject matter with the business issues of that business institution.
b. Sports meets and sports events organized by recognized sports bodies of India where sports-persons of foreign countries will take part.
c. Events of performing arts such as Drama Festivals, Mussaira, Kavi Sammelan etc. in which groups from foreign countries will take part.
d. Meet of businessmen/industrialists from India and abroad organized by Indian Chambers of Commerce where trade and business issues will be discussed.
3. How to proceed for a clearance
The organizers conceiving an idea of holding an event in India will be required to submit proposal which must contain information like:-
i. Name of the organizer with complete mailing address.
ii. Topic/Topics to be covered in the event.
iii. Venue of the event.
iv. Date of the event.
v. Tentative lists of the participating countries and participants with nationality, brief background suiting participation in the event, address, personal and passport details.
Proposal should invariably be submitted to the nodal ministry and not to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The nodal Ministry will give clearance to the event. The nodal Ministry will obtain clearance of Home Ministry or other agencies, if necessary within the time frame (8 weeks). For organisers it will be a single window clearance.
4. What is nodal/administrative Ministry
The nodal/administrative Ministry means the Ministry of Govt. of India which is dealing/regulating framing rules etc. in respect of subject matter chosen for the event. For example, if an organizer is proposing to hold an event on the topic of 'Adult Non-formal education', then, the nodal/administrative ministry shall be Ministry of HRD, D/o Education. Suppose an organizer proposes to hold an event on topic related to empowerment of women in India then the nodal ministry shall be Ministry of Social Welfare, Deptt. of Women and Child Development etc.
5. Time frame required to be followed
Organizers are required to submit their proposal to administrative/nodal ministry at least 8 weeks before the commencement of the event.
6. Visa to the foreign participants
Once an event is cleared by nodal Ministry, organizers may send invitation to foreigners who wish to participate in the event. Foreigners should invariably be advised to opt for 'conference visa' only. [In the Invitation letter, the organizers should mention the details of clearance accorded by nodal Ministry for conducting the event]. With invitation letter the participants should approach Missions abroad for grant of conference visa.
7. In case of difficulty in getting visa
Some of the participants may face problem in obtaining conference visa. In these cases, organizers should immediately obtain and furnish the following particulars of the foreigners to nodal ministry with specific request for visa:-
ii. Name of Participant
iii. Father's/Husband's Name
v. Date of Birth
vi. Place of Birth
vii. Passport Number
viii. Date & Place of issue of Passport
ix. Date of Expiry of Passporte
8. Onus of obtaining clearance for event
Organizers need not request Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs directly for clearance. On receipt of the proposal from the organizers, nodal/administrative ministry will examine the proposal and if they feel that clearance of MHA and MEA is required the same shall be obtained by them and they inturn grant overall clearance to organizers. Onus of obtaining clearance of MHA & MEA would rest with nodal/administrative ministries and not with the organizer.
9.Steps to be taken for smooth clearance of event
Organizers are advised to go through the streamlined channel of submission of proposals for the events and adhere to the time frame (at least 8 weeks ahead of event). If the above procedure is followed, there will not be any difficulty in getting clearance of event in time.
MHA assures all cooperation and help to organizers of various events
10.Important telephone numbers to be dialed in case of need
i. Joint Secretary(F) - 23383075
ii. Deputy Secretary(F) - 23381374
iii. Under Secretary(F) - 23382989
iv. Section Officer(CC) - 23385748
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