I think there is an impossible task have a country to host a Wikimania with
all the ideal conditions. For an example, Canada and Mexico for better or
worse share borders with US, and there are many geopolitical factors and
mutual agreements derived from States strong advocacy around migration,
travel regulations and such conditioning the visa procedures.
Many other factors of rejection unfortunately are strictly personal and not
attributable to local organizers or WMF as lack of proving of funds to face
an emergency, or evidence of "reasons" to come back to the origin country
as jobs, family or schools. Talking with Foreign Affairs officials in
Mexico in 2015, I know that they aware about people in the past abused of
the attendance to (real or fake) international events to stay legal or
illegal in the country which invited them with good faith.
I know that is not the case of any colleague in the movement, but we need
to be aware about this strict rules and all the factors to consider around
the process and do our best to get people safe and present in Wikimania
Also I'm agree with Jonathan about kind of "next year" policy.
2017-07-04 10:45 GMT-05:00 Jonathan Cardy <werespielchequers(a)gmail.com>om>:
Of your three points:
1 Is good, but I can remember one winning bid where there was a very
strong reassurance at the bid stage which then didn't really work out well
during the organisation stage. I'm not going to name the bid, but I will
say that people ask questions and not every answer is 100% delivered. If
questions have not been asked recently we need to start asking them again (
I don't know if this was looked at during Montreal, I look at lots of
Wikimania bids and often ask about visas, I don't remember looking at the
2 Is a problem, some of the people who are going to have most difficulty
getting visas are people who can only afford to come if they get a
scholarship. Moving the whole scholarship process forward so we know who is
going to come earlier would lose spontaneity of the event for others though
it would help some get visas. But there are two things we could do. Firstly
we could offer scholarships now to next year's Wikimania to scholarship
recipients who couldn't get visas to Montreal (and do that each year - this
is not a new problem or an easy one). Secondly we could move the
scholarship process forward for people coming from countries where visas
are likely to be slow to get for the next Wikimania. That could mean two
rounds of scholarship applications, one for one group of countries and a
few months later for people from other countries. Not perfect but practical
and probably helpful.
3 I'm pretty sure there has been analysis, at least to the level of number
of non attendees due to visa failure per Wikimania. For Privacy reasons we
need to be very careful with any more detailed data, but that number should
be known and each Wikimania team should be aiming to be low on that list.
On 4 Jul 2017, at 13:13, Levon Azizian <levonazizian(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Regarding mentioned, I have some suggestions on mitigation risks for the
future what could be done.
1. Visa support should be an important component for hosting community.
Thus, during the bidding process of new location of Wikimania (or other
huge event), each proposal of location should be considered not only from
the prospective of visa-friendly policy, but on preliminary negotiations
between local chapter (community) and local authorities (MFA or whatever).
Thus, if let's say community of New Zealand get some positive negotiation's
result from MFA of NZ on participant's visa support, it should be
considered as a plus for this bid.
2. After the bid was chosen, local team should provide to local
authorities the list of all participants who will participate at event and
make sure that central authorities will transfer the lists to embassies and
this lists will make a sense when decision on visa is made by embassy.
Maybe it is not the most interesting thing, but hosting communities should
take care on ability of their guests to visit the country,
3. Analysis of history of visa applications of Wiki(m/p)edians. As I
understand, we never did such analysis and it could be useful as for passed
event, and for future events as well.
2017-07-04 15:02 GMT+03:00 Harry Mitchell <hjmwiki(a)gmail.com>om>:
It strikes me that it would be helpful to focus
on how we can improve the
visa process for attendees from (predominantly) African and Asian countries
rather than trying to find a utopia that has a very relaxed visa policy
*and* a palatable government *and* political stability *and* modern
infrastructure/transport links *and* is not excessively expensive for most
people to get to. It's certainly not helpful t pounce on people for making
good-faith suggestions, even if you think the suggestion is ludicrous.
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