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68th IFLA Conference Logo  

68th IFLA General Conference and Council

Libraries for Life: Democracy, Diversity, Delivery

August 18th - 24th 2002, Glasgow, Scotland







Who should apply?

When should you apply?

What do you need to do to obtain a visa?

What is being done to help you?

You have a problem?



Visa application guidelines for sponsored delegates

Congratulations on your successful bursary application!

The following information sheet is designed to help you understand entry clearance requirements for the United Kingdom and guide you towards completing a successful visa application.

Unfortunately, every year some colleagues planning to attend the IFLA conference just don't make it because of visa problems. In many cases, this is simply because they have applied too late, have not followed the proper procedure or have provided inaccurate information. We don't want this to happen to you and advise you to start thinking about your visa requirements now.

Who should apply?

Visitors from visa national countries are required to obtain entry clearance before travelling to the UK. As at February 2002, nationals from the following countries are required to obtain a visa:

  • Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus (North), Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Korea (North), Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome an Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Zambia.
  • The list of visa national countries is determined by the British Government and is subject to change. For up to date information, contact your nearest British Mission (British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission) or check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office web site at http://www.fco.gov.uk/ukvisas.
  • If you are a visa national you must satisfy the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) at a British Mission that you meet the Immigration Rules before you leave for the UK. The ECO will then issue you entry clearance (i.e. a visa) in the form of a sticker in your passport. When you arrive in the UK, the Immigration Officer at the port of entry will put a date stamp in your passport to show when you entered the UK. Your permission to be in the UK begins on that date and expires on the date indicated on the entry clearance.
  • Accompanying persons from visa national countries will also need to apply for entry clearance.

When should you apply?

Now! Visa sections at British Missions are busy especially during peak periods, e.g. in the run up to the British summer so do submit your application in good time. Information about the conference is being sent to all British visa issuing operations to ease the process.

What do you need to do to obtain a visa?

  • First of all you must ensure you have a valid passport. You should apply for entry clearance at your nearest British Mission. You will need to complete form IM2A which you can get free of charge from the British Mission or from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office web site at http://www.fco.gov.uk/ukvisas/dynpage.asp?Page=472.
  • Your application form must be completed in black ink and you should tick every box that applies to you. You should make it clear on the application that you are a sponsored delegate and provide details of the source of your funding. Read the declaration and make sure you understand it. Do not forget to sign the form in the space provided and add the date. Check the form carefully before submitting it to ensure you have completed it fully and accurately.
  • Your application form must be submitted, in person or by post, to your nearest British Mission issuing entry clearance, with your passport, two recent passport-sized photographs and the entry clearance fee (which is non-refundable). Fees must be paid in local currency (i.e. the currency of the country in which the British Mission is located) by bank draft, postal or money order, payable to the Mission. You should not send cash through the post. Always keep copies of your completed application forms, the documents you enclose with them, and any correspondence you send and receive in connection with your application.
  • Issuing times vary from as little as 24 hours to anything up to several weeks. Your application may be processed without further enquiries or you may be asked to attend an interview and/or be asked to provide further documentation. The interview is a normal part of the process and it gives you the opportunity to clarify for the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) certain parts of your application. Throughout the application process it is important to provide accurate and true information. If you are not sure of the answer to any of the questions say so. Do not put forward a reply, which may prove to be incorrect.

What is being done to help you?

  • Your sponsor will issue an official letter confirming that you are in receipt of a bursary for attendance at IFLA and the level of their financial support. This letter should be used to support your application for a visa. If you are being part sponsored you should be prepared to provide evidence on how you will cover the difference.
  • If necessary, the UK IFLA National Organising Committee can also issue an official letter of invitation. If you require such a letter please tick the appropriate box on the registration form or contact the Conference Organisers at ifla@la-hq.org.uk.

You have a problem?

  • Most visa applications are successful. If, however, your visa application is refused you will be notified in writing, and the reason(s) will be clearly specified. If it is not clear to you why your application has been refused please get back in touch with the British Mission, which processed your application. Applicants who have been refused entry clearance can re-apply using form IM2E.
  • Unfortunately if you are refused a visa, there is very little the UK IFLA National Organising Committee can do to alter the decision taken. However you should notify your sponsor and the Conference Department at the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals by email at ifla@la-hq.org.uk or telephone + 44 20 7255 0543 and inform them of the reason for the refusal.
  • If you are dissatisfied with the level of service provided by the British Mission you can make a complaint to the Joint Entry Clearance Unit by letter, fax or email:
  • Joint Entry Clearance Unit
    Visa Correspondence Unit, Desk Officer for (name of post where application was made)
    London SW1A 2AH
    Fax: +44 20 7238 3759/3761
    Email: visas.foruk@fco.gov.uk

  • Once you have been issued with entry clearance you should only be refused entry into the UK if the Immigration Officer decides there has been a change in your circumstances or that you gave false information or did not disclose important facts when you applied for entry clearance. Please therefore carry all relevant documents in your hand luggage.

Be heartened most visa applications are not as complicated as they may first appear and most are successful.

We look forward to seeing you to Glasgow.

Rachel Roberts
UK IFLA National Organising Committee
Glasgow 2002

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