Congress organisers keen to avoid visa issues for delegates

With WCPT Congress registration opening this June, WCPT is urging those who wish to attend the event in the Netherlands to check their visa requirements, and to start their applications as soon as possible.

WCPT Secretary General Brenda Myers says: “In 2007, around 50 delegates due to attend the WCPT Congress in Vancouver were unable to make it because their visa requests were turned down. Representatives from Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iran and other countries were affected. We don’t want the same thing to happen for the Congress next year.”

According to Jerry Gasperz, Operations Director of Congrex, which is organising registration for the Congress, it is rare for conference delegates to be denied access to the Netherlands - unless they are poorly prepared.

Registration for the Congress begins in June. Delegates can find out whether you need a visa or not at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (www.minbuza.nl/en/Services/Consular_Services/Visa). If delegates need a visa, then when they register for the Congress they will need to request a letter of invitation. This states the purpose of the delegate’s visit, and the terms on which they are being invited. The delegate then needs to take the letter to the Dutch Embassy in their own country, which should then grant a visa.

Congrex is advising that these letters of invitation must be submitted at least three months before the date of the Congress, to allow for slow processing in some countries.

Jerry Gasperz points out that if a visa is denied by an embassy, WCPT cannot be held responsible for any fees the delegate has already paid for accommodation or travel. “So it’s important that people check their visa situation as soon a possible,” he says.