The Union

Letters of Invitation

Online requests for Letters of Invitation: now closed.

The last date for requesting a letter was 16 November 2015


Please note that delegates from the following countries may be asked for an invitation letter from a local host. If you reside in one of the countries below or plan to submit your visa application at the embassy or high commission of the Republic of South Africa in one of the countries below, please follow these steps:

1)  Create and submit an application for a letter of invitation through our online system following the instructions below.
2)  Once the application is submitted, send an email to

o   The subject line should be “invitation letter from local host”
o   Please indicate your name into the text of the email as it was entered on the online application for invitation letter. 

Countries in which Embassies of the Republic of South Africa are requesting a letter of invitation from a local host:

  • Russia
  • China
  • Sri Lanka
  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Myanmar
  • Ukraine

If you are not a citizen or resident of a country listed above, please do not request an invitation letter from a local host. 

HOW TO REQUEST A LETTER OF INVITATION: Requests for 2015 are no longer being accepted. 

Please go to our online request page, where you will log-in to your existing Union services account or to create a new account. Once you log-in you will be linked directly to the request form. Fields for which you have no information to complete should be left blank.

Tips for a successful letter request:

  • You can only submit your request once for system to operate smoothly. Multiple submissions are not accepted by the system. 
  • All starred* information is required.
  • Respect the format of the request form. For example, the date must be DD/MM/YYYY and the punctuation is required in order for the submission to be accepted.
  • Information should be entered as it is shown on your passport.
  • Capital letters should only be used for initial characters. Please do not use all capital letters when filling in the form.
  • The maximum number of characters allowed is 55 (including spaces) for the organisation, job title and address fields.
  • Double check all the information you enter carefully. It will appear as entered, including obvious errors.

Further notes of importance:

  • To enter South Africa, your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from your date of entry.
  • Your Letter of Invitation can only cover the official dates of the conference. Any travel requirements outside of the conference dates must be explained to the embassy in your visa application.


Conference delegates: The conference is open to all delegates directly or indirectly involved in activities related to TB, HIV, lung health (asthma, paediatric pneumonia, COPD, etc) tobacco control and public health, in general.

The Union reserves the right to reject requests for Letters of Invitation that are not related to the conference.

Contributors to the scientific programme: If you will be contributing to the conference programme as a chair, speaker, coordinator or abstract author, you may request that the session you are involved with be mentioned in your Letter of Invitation. Please enter the session's full reference (the session name and number specified in the information provided to you) in the Comments section of your submission form.

Accompanying persons: All accompanying persons must submit separate requests for Letters of Invitation through our system following the instructions above.

Applying for another person: You may apply for a Letter of Invitation on behalf of another person. However, you will need to ensure that you have all the applicant’s details (name, address, DOB, passport details, etc) in order to submit the online request.

Languages: English, French and Spanish are the official languages of The Union, so letters are available only in these three languages.


Once the online Letter of Invitation has been requested, an automatic email acknowledgement will be sent immediately to the submitter. 

Online: The Letter of Invitation will be emailed in 48 hours following the submission.

Post: On request, original Letters of invitation can be sent to you by postal mail, and the date of receipt will depend on your local postal service.

Express mail: The original letter may also be sent by courier or express mail, if required. You will be responsible for organising the courier service and pay all costs incurred.

In person: Letters of Invitation may also be collected in person, Monday through Friday, 09:00–18:00 at the following address:

International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)
68 boulevard Saint-Michel
75006 Paris, France


  • The deadline for submitting a request for a Letter of Invitation was 16 November 2015.
  • No letter will be processed after this date.
  • Submit your request early to better plan your conference attendance.

Applying for your visa

Once you have your Letter of Invitation, you need to apply for your visa. Delegates are responsible for making their own arrangements for getting a visa and are urged to contact their nearest South African embassy or consulate as early as possible to determine where they should apply and to enquire on the length of time expected to complete the visa process.

Applying for a South African visa

Learn more about visas for South Africa