Number of countries not requiring a visa is a misleading metric, some visas are basically a tourist tax paid on entry to the country and some are a filter system to keep out anyone who might overstay and become an illegal migrant. That's before you get into the issue of some countries being much more important to us than others. For example India has several thousand times the population of Iceland.

We have had previous discussions on this over the years and I remember people giving figures as to the number of Visa refusals for Hong Kong, London and DC. All three were problems, and that's before you count the people who don't apply because they have good reason to believe they won't get a visa for that country.

I appreciate there are several other factors to worry about, we don't want Wikimania in a war zone, typhoon, or where there is a risk of wikimedians being arrested for their sexual orientation or views on religion, and we do need it to be close to a well connected international airport.

But it would be good to give more weight to the visa issue, and maybe invite some national tourist boards to pitch for a Wikimania with one of the criteria being their openness to such a global event.



On 2 Jul 2017, at 23:17, Amir Ladsgroup <> wrote:

Number of countries that can enter a country without visa is not a good measurement for a country being visa-friendly. Let's use your example. Per what you said it seems Israel is a more visa friendly country than Italy which is not correct. It's correct Israel allows more people to visit without visa but 1- For a handful number of countries visiting Israel is not an option at all (like mine which has twenty years in jail when I come back) 2- if we pass that point, they are really difficult on giving visa to Muslim/Arab countries passport holders. 3- The border control is very harsh and can deny entry on strange reasons even with valid visa or passport of a not-visa-needed country. What you just need is to look slightly non-Western and they give you hell in border. It happened in a recent Wikimedia event.


On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 2:33 AM Mykola Kozlenko <> wrote:

For the sake of the discussion on "it's way better in my country", please look what your country's visa policy really is. For instance, check or relative (English) Wikipedia articles. The former gives the following figures:
(Five latest Wikimania hosts)
* Canada: 51 country can enter visa-free, visa on arrival, ETA or equivalent
* Mexico: 67
* UK: 91
* Italy: 93
* Hong Kong: 144
(Some other countries mentioned here)
* Australia: 34
* Thailand: 78
* Israel: 96

Yes, that means that Canada is the least visa-friendly Wikimania host in the last 5 years. And yes, Thailand is less visa-friendly than the UK. And yes, Australia is the least visa-friendly country with an established Wikimedia chapter.

Thus please do refer to facts when qualifying a country as a visa-friendly or not, and not to your own perception of a country's visa policy.

Mykola (NickK)

--- Оригінальне повідомлення ---
Від кого: "DaB." <>
Дата: 2 липня 2017, 23:19:44

Am 02.07.2017 um 13:37 schrieb cs:
>  a country like  Thailand where I  live

you mean a country which is currently a military dictatorship (for the
second time in 10 years)? A country that was THIS close to a open civil
war? And if not a civil war, maybe a real war with Cambodia?

Visa problems are problematic, but it is 10 times better than to give
the Wikimania to an instable country – we are not the FIFA.


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