HSG is excitedly preparing for the 7th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR 2022) being held in Bogota, Colombia from October 31- November 4, 2022, though very disappointed to learn about the temporary shutdown of the online visa application portal by the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To the best of our knowledge, the shutdown period for the online portal will take effect from September 30 – October 22, 2022.
We are told that this will have significant implications as foreign nationals will not be able to submit a new or renewal visa application for processing during this period. Additionally, adjudication on already submitted applications will not be available until the system is back online.
We are sorry to report that this situation could have a serious impact on the ability of our colleagues from around the world to attend the Symposium, even though it is completely outside of our control. Our biennial global symposia provide a forum to bring together actors involved in health policy and systems research from all around the world to convene, share knowledge, experience and innovative ideas, build capacity in the field, and advocate collectively for stronger health systems. Representation is key to ensuring international debate and exchange on critical global concerns; and we are strongly committed to equity of attendance from all parts of the world.
When selecting a host country for the Global Symposia, accessibility and the review of travel barriers are important factors. Though it is always difficult to predict what the situation will be with numerous scenarios outside of our control. Our host city partners are actively navigating this situation and providing information and documentation support to HSR delegates who require visas. HSG is grateful for their efforts and continuous support.
HSR 2022 conference delegates or those intending to attend HSR 2022 who require a visa to enter Colombia are strongly advised to submit a visa application immediately through the Colombia Visa Portal.
The HSR2022 Local Organizing Committee is actively gathering confirmed attendance lists of HSR2022 delegates to seek support from the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where visas may be required. All registrants who have requested a letter of invitation to support their visa application when registering, should already have a letter or be on the list to receive one in the coming day. If you have not already requested a letter of invitation and require one, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org urgently to request one.
We understand that this is a very challenging situation for many and please be assured that HSG is working to support HSR delegates wherever possible until the visa issues have been resolved. The HSG Secretariat will continue to communicate updates on this situation through its website and social channels – Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Please keep a close eye for updates.
We thank you for your patience and understanding.