Over the past few weeks many people within the ICANN Community have begun the process of applying for their visas to attend ICANN 57 at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre in Hyderabad India.
ICANN has provided quite a bit of information about the visa requirements and the process on their site, including a fairly detailed guide to completing the application form. Their head of meetings Nick Tomasso has also posted two pieces on the ICANN site with information for attendees here and here. The second article focussing on the visa requirements.
So what about the visas?
While there are multiple types of visa available for India, the main types that people are talking about appear to be:
- a business visa, which would be valid for multiple entries for up to a year
- a tourist visa
- a conference visa, which is the type of visa that ICANN had been encouraging people to get
According to a letter from the Indian authorities that ICANN’s meeting staff have shared it’s now clear that the Indian government expect attendees to get a conference visa. Even if you already have a business visa they expect you to get the conference visa as well.
Here’s the letter:
Based on my own experience with the process so far the invitation letter from ICANN is sent out automatically when you ask for it here. You will also need to get the letter from the local host, which can take several days to be sent. Allow 7 to 10 days.
NB: the exact process for applying for a visa may vary from country to country. Check with the nearest Indian embassy or consular mission for details. Visa requirements are often tied to reciprocity between countries, so they are NOT uniform.