1. General Information
Visitors entering India must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months after their date of entry into India. There should be at least two blank pages in the passport.
An entry visa is essential for all those visiting India. There are several types of visa, including Conference, Tourist and Business Visas. Those travelling specifically for Interspeech 2018 Congress should apply only for a Conference Visa only.
2. When to Apply
For most countries, the time taken by indian missions to issue a Conference Visa is normally 10-15 days, and the visa is valid for three months from the date of issue by the embassy (not from the date of entry into India). For applications from citizens of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Foreigners of Pakistani Origin and Stateless persons, the time taken to process visa is 60 days and the visa is valid for one month.
3. Fill in your Passport Details on the Congress registration website
Visa Applicants from (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iraq, (3) Pakistan (4) Sudan (5) Foreigners of Pakistani Origin and (6) Stateless persons must fill in their passport details on the Congress registration website by 2 July 2018 to get their visa in time.
For applicants from all countries, the details should be of the passport which you will use to travel to India. If you supply the details of one passport to the Congress and apply to the Embassy with another passport, the Embassy will reject your visa application.
4. Fill the Visa Application Form
Indian Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions (except United States of America) now require visa applications to be made online from the Indian Government website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/
Please note that this website is operated by the Indian Government, not the Interspeech 2018 Congress. Here are some tips on using that website:
- Make a note of your temporary reference number. If the website gives error messages or freezes, you can try later using your temporary reference number to retrieve your partially filled form.
- A visa application form will be generated with the High Commission Logo at the top. Print 2 copies (and another one for yourself) and sign. Save the document in case you need to reprint.
For participants from Pakistan:
- The port of entry into India should be Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai only. Hyderabad is not an allowed port of entry for Pakistani citizens.
- Pakistani citizens holding two passports should apply for a visa on their Pakistan passport.
For participants from United States of America:
- Please visit https://www.in.ckgs.us/visa/conference-visa to apply for Conference visa
5. Get your Supporting Documents
The supporting documents required for a visa application are:
1. Two passport-size photographs
2. Letter of identification from your institution or employer
3. Four Letters of permission from Indian Government Ministries for holding the conference
4. Letter of Invitation from the conference authorities
You should obtain items 1 and 2 yourself. Items 3 and 4 can be obtained from the Congress website as described at point 8 below after June 10, 2018. All the documents should be submitted together to your nearest Indian Embassy or Consulate. All these documents are described in more detail below.
You will need to provide two 50 mm x 50 mm photos. Please ensure they are of your entire face from the top of your head to your chin, and that this distance measures between 25mm and 35mm. If this is not followed your application will be rejected.
7. Letter from your Institution
This letter from the institution you are associated with should identify you and their relationship with you, and confirm that they understand that you intend to visit India for the Congress duration (plus any extra days for tourism).
8. Documents Provided by the Congress via Website: Four Permissions and Invitation Letter
To use the website, you should already have filled in your passport details on the online registration form.
You would have received an Access Key when you registered. This Access Key will allow you to log in to the Command Panel. Once in the Command panel, you can click on Visa Support documents. You will be able to download the following documents:
- Four Letters of permission from Indian Government Ministries for holding the Congress
- Letter of Invitation from the Congress Authorities
Automatically generated Invitation letter for the Congress:
Please note that the Invitation Letter website created by Interspeech 2018 is only to help visa applicants by providing the Letter of Invitation and the copies of Permissions. These documents must be submitted by the applicant along with any other documents required by the local embassy.
9. Any Other documents required by Indian Embassies for Conference Visa
In addition to the documents described above, some embassies may require additional information. Please check the website of the Indian Embassy in your country under the heading ‘Conference Visa’.
The list of Indian diplomatic missions overseas can be consulted at:
10. Accompanying Persons
Accompanying Persons are not entitled to attend the Congress Technical Sessions and should apply for a Tourist Visa. They can of course benefit from the discounted hotels and participate in the Opening Ceremony, Social Events, Lunches and Congress Tours.
The application process for Tourist Visa is much simpler than Conference Visa. No letter of invitation is required. Accompanying persons can use the e-Tourist visa facility at the website
For a Tourist Visa, the purpose of visit should be stated as Tourism. Mentioning “Conference” on a Tourist Visa application is incorrect and will lead to the visa application being rejected.
Letters of invitation is issued only to delegates attending the Scientific Congress; not for accompanying family persons.