“We want to ensure that anyone who wants to attend ICANN57 will be able to attend.”
That is the message we received during our preparatory visit to Delhi a few weeks ago, which focused on working with the local host to address any issues with the ongoing ICANN57 meeting preparations.
One of the main issues of concern from the community has been the visa application process. During our visit, Ms. Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), made it clear that they are committed to ensuring that international delegates are able to attend ICANN57. This commitment was also reinforced by Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who, immediately after our meeting with him, tweeted to welcome all international delegates to ICANN57.
We also met with Mr. Santosh Jha, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, to work with him to resolve some of the issues our community members have faced when applying for visas at the various India missions around the world. While we have been in close coordination with the Indian government to facilitate visa applications, at the time of our meeting with Mr. Jha, there were still 7 visa applicants who faced some difficulty securing a visa. Mr. Jha quickly contacted the corresponding embassy/high commission, and these issues have since been resolved. Our visa support helpdesk – which so far has received over 400 queries – has also since reported that they are no longer receiving such challenging inquiries.
If you are still on the fence as to whether or not you should come to Hyderabad, I want to make one thing clear - visa applications should not be a concern. I highly recommend that you quickly apply for your conference visa now, as some lead time is required. Please visit our ICANN57 website, which has a comprehensive FAQ and visa application guide.
We are also taking up Mr. Jha’s advice to work with the India Foreign Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) to set up help desks at various ports of entry in India. If you encounter any difficulties upon arrival in India, the help desk will be there to assist you. We will provide more details on the ICANN57 website once this has been established.
If you are interested in more details regarding the various meetings that Tarek Kamel, Nick Tomasso and I had while in Delhi, visit our Correspondences page. The letters that we’ve posted there document some of the issues we discussed during our trip.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of India for their support and commitment to ICANN57. I look forward to seeing you all in Hyderabad very soon.