Esino Lario too.
There was a plan to transit people through Switzerland like second option using the
Maastricht's agreement. As I know this option was not used.
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
-------- Original message --------From: Stuart Prior <stuart.prior(a)wikimedia.org.uk>
Date: 22/06/2017 13:24 (GMT+01:00) To: "Wikimania general list (open
subscription)" <wikimania-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org> Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l]
Lodewijk, AFAIK we've never kept track of rejections, but I could find out. My gut
feeling is that there hasn't been a massive variation over the past 4 years, I think
Mexico City was the most open to everybody (?)
Rexford, possibly (and yeah Wiki = Wikileaks is *always* a problem lol). But some visa
systems are very closed and bureaucratic and it's hard to bring any influence or
assistance to bear beyond supporting documentation, i.e you can't even talk to a human
being about it.
To *truly assist* some of it would involve building political contacts beforehand to
advocate for visas (i.e your local representative can help sometimes), that's a
possibility but may create other problems, capacity for a start.
The logistics of organising travel/accomm for hundreds of people from hundreds of
locations is already onerous, adding an intensive visa support process into that it when
some visa systems feel like a lottery would be easy to overpromise and underdeliver.
What strikes me here is that visas are a problem for people from our developing
communities, but they are one of many factors in deciding a Wikimania location.
One country that might be visa-friendly to one, is prohibitively expensive to get to/stay
in for another.
So while Australia might be relaxed in terms of visas (I'm not confident of this btw)
it's also objectively remote/expensive.
Whether a location has achieved that balance is always a question, and I can't think
of one Wikimania where everyone's agreed it has ;-)
On 22 June 2017 at 12:12, Nkansah Rexford <nkansahrexford(a)gmail.com> wrote:
It is easy to conclude the location hinders visa application acceptance. As much as it
appears to be so, I strongly believe if there's good enough Visa support and
assistance from the Wikimania Team/WMF, rejected cases could be low.
Obviously, an applicant should have documents intact and good, and submit all the
necessary details the embassy wants, including the invitation letter. However, in some
countries, that ain't enough.
In 2012, the invitation letter I submitted to the consular at the US embassy here in
Ghana, she didn't read, and I could see from her face how nonsense it looked to her.
Heck, anybody anywhere could conjure such a sheet of paper with black ink on, any time any
day. Plus, the consular had NO idea what Wikimedia was. There was no way I could explain
what Wikimedia is in the few seconds I had in front of the teller-like counter.
Wiki? WikiLeaks? Duh!
As much a mere letter of invitation is formal to some extent, to what extent is the WMF
also willing to support visa applications outside just the letter?
Not saying WMF should do exactly same, but I know other organizations that pick up the
phone, and call the local embassy of the invitee way ahead of time to initialize
conversations and to explain to *what extent* whoever they've invited fits in the
The embassy in many cases, asks questions they won't otherwise ask the applicant, but
would, to the inviting organization.
This visa issue, until the WMF *truly assist*, some countries will still struggle
getting accepted visa.
It is not easy, and it ain't something just a letter wipes away.
PS: I know cases where rejected visa are reconsidered and approved just because the
inviting organization literally stepped in, and got serious with the embassy.
On Thursday, June 22, 2017, Bodhisattwa Mandal <bodhisattwa.rgkmc(a)gmail.com> wrote:
The main topic of discussion among the scholarship recipients from global south this month
is the high visa rejection rate by Canadian embassies from these countries.
This year, we had 7 scholarship recipients from Bengali community, 4 from India and 3 from
Bangladesh. Already 3 out of 4 scholarship recipients from Indian part of the communities
got their visa rejected, others are waiting. Although I am hoping for the best for all the
scholarship recipients, but may be news of more rejections are coming soon.
Wikimania should be organised in a visa friendly country, and not in those countries where
global south citizens are not allowed to enter even for a 6-days conference. Otherwise, a
global community is not truly presented.
Wikimania-l mailing list