Requesting an official conference invitation letter

 

How can you be polite but avoid sounding like a beggar when you write an email asking for the official conference invitation letter that often opens the door to conference funding from your university — and may well also be required for your conference visa application? Major international conferences often make it easy, providing a form for requesting an official conference invitation letter on their websites. But what if your target conference does not?

Additionally, how do you ensure the conference organizer’s reply includes all information required by your university’s conference funding office (and/or visa requirements)? This is a substantial concern since conferences probably least likely to offer on their website a form for requesting an official conference invitation letter are those that do not generally attract a large proportion of international attendees — and thus their conference organizers may well be unfamiliar with the common need of international presenters for an official conference invitation!

Please find below a suggested template for politely guiding conference organizers in providing you an official conference invitation letter meeting the expectations of your university’s conference funding office as well as visa application requirements:

 

Dear [Conference Organizer],

I am [your name] from [your current institution] whose paper “[title]” has been accepted for [presentation category: poster, round table, etc.] presentation at this year’s [name of conference]. As you may know, [nationality] visa policies as well as many universities’ conference funding policies require that all requests to attend international conferences include a formal letter of invitation from the conference. I am therefore afraid I need to request from you a PDF conference invitation letter including the following information:

  • [List of required information]

 

I’m sorry to need to trouble you with this request but am very much looking forward to presenting my research at [name of conference]! Thanks for your [quick] reply — I’m grateful!

[Your name]

 

[Your automatic email signature]

 

Please find below a few links you may find helpful in requesting an official conference invitation letter:

 

Please also share any advice from your own experience of requesting official conference invitation letters in the comments below, so others can learn from you!


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