Visa rejections

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Re: Visa rejections

Ranjith S
Hai,

My thought is - at first Canada is a tough country to get VISA for people from Asia, Africa and other 3rd world countries. They like only people with USA,UK Visa. Then the invitation problem it was from USA. No mention about an organisation in Canada. Third the Canadian embassy is reject more visas than accepting them from all the third world countries. So Canada is a very bad choice for an international conference like Wikimania. Also Other strict VISA Rule countries like USA, UK, China, Australia etc. Seeking some friendly countries are good for better participation. My rejection reason was current economic conditions and family ties. (I submitted my marriage certificate and bank statement for that). After all we are staying in Canada for a week and WMF is sponsoring us. But they still saying the economic condition is no right.



Regards,

Ranjith Siji
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On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 10:37 PM, Jayanta Nath <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

I don't understand that how WMCA directed by WMF about the VISA invitation? In visa application, there must have an invitation for Canada, otherwise it would reject. We are applying Visa to Canada, but invitation comes from USA. This is a foolish decision made by WMF.  As per my knowledge in every year, every visa applicant for Wikimania, got their invitation from hosting countries. 

Regards,
Jayanta

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Re: Visa rejections

Ilario Valdelli-2
In reply to this post by Jean-Philippe Béland
Interesting.

You are right and you don't have to blame and there is no sense to excuse the current rejection of visas.

Instead of speaking always of a division Global North and Global South there should be a support for your action to save an important event like Wikimania.

Kind regards


On 23/06/2017 16:24, Jean-Philippe Béland wrote:
Wikimedia Canada was not the requester behind having Wikimania in Montreal, so it cannot be blamed for that. A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this. As a chapter, we are picking up some of the slack right now to ensure a smooth conference, but I don't think it is fair to blame the chapter for not doing this.

Jean-Philippe Béland
Vice President, Wikimedia Canada
User:Amqui


On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 6:57 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
I wonder, do we keep track of the number of visa rejections year over year, so that we know in comparison?

There are of course many factors that go into venue selection - one of them is visa (another is security, political stability etc). The countries that I remember going relatively smoothly were the ones where the organizers sought a collaboration with the foreign affairs of their country, to get some help. I don't know if Wikimedia Canada was able to accomplish that. But it does mean that a general bad reputation is not necessarily a bad rejection rate for this particular conference. (if memory serves me well, WMIL did a great job in this respect in 2011, for example)

Lodewijk

On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 12:48 PM, Felix Nartey <[hidden email]> wrote:
This is a big issue and I think should be looked into more seriously. Similar challenges were faced by participants from the Global South selected to attend the CC Summit in Toronto early this year.

This should inform future selection for all conference venues as it allows for poor representation of the Global South at international conferences.

Cheers,



On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 10:13 AM, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:
These issues are a symptom of the closed processes that have occurred firstly with Montreal and next year with middle eastern attendees to Cape Town .  Acknowledging that the change was because of the amount effort put in by unsuccessful bidders was said to be wasted its showing that some things need to be opened for community discussion before decisions are made.  

 That it may be better for the WMF to require applicants to first obtain a visa before being confirmed for the scholarships in the future.  Perth/Australia is another place that visas for attendees wouldnt have been a big issue.    

On 22 June 2017 at 17:43, cs <[hidden email]> wrote:
That’s one of the  reasons why  I  proposed Bangkok, Thailand, for 2019 - apart  from its extremely tolerant  social cultures and very  low cost, while being  a very  modern hi-tech city easily  accessible by  direct  flights from most  parts of the world. Almost  everyone can enter the country  for  at  least  15  days without  even a visa. Thailand only makes it difficult for people wanting to stay longer (years) in the country  on the pretext  of being  tourists.

It’s a shame for the visa refusals, but  perhaps this will open up the possibility to some refused scholarship applications. 

Kudpung.
On 22Jun, 2017, at 16:23, Bodhisattwa Mandal <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi,

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.

Best wishes,
Bodhisattwa

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Re: Visa rejections

Jean-Philippe Béland
In reply to this post by jayanta nath-2
I suggest you direct your questions to [hidden email]. Those requests were managed by an international team. You will get better answers than on this mailing list I think.

JP 

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 12:07 PM Jayanta Nath <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

I don't understand that how WMCA directed by WMF about the VISA invitation? In visa application, there must have an invitation for Canada, otherwise it would reject. We are applying Visa to Canada, but invitation comes from USA. This is a foolish decision made by WMF.  As per my knowledge in every year, every visa applicant for Wikimania, got their invitation from hosting countries. 

Regards,
Jayanta
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Re: Visa rejections

NC Hasive
Sorry to know that visa rejection news. As my thought visa process fully depends on the embassy. It's not guaranteed any chapter even WMF to ensure that If they provide invitation letter that means anyone got a visa! 

I may share my last Wikimania Mexico experience at this point. Mexico Embassy not available in Bangladesh and If we need Mexico visa we need to visit India. But It's not good for me to go India for a visa so that I follow different ways. I informed that If I have a valid USA visa then I may enter Mexico. So I go to USA embassy and I submit all documents provided by Wikimedia Mexico. I am lucky enough I got USA visa and attend Wikimania Mexico. In the same time, one of my fellow Wikipedian go to India for Mexico visa and got rejected. After back I suggest him to apply for the USA via using same documents and submits. And finally, we both got USA visa and attend Wikimania Mexico.

What exactly I point that, In my many International conferences attend experience I see, Visa processing fully depend on the particular embassy. Its totally depend on them if they provide visa or not. But the documents may help to get visa easily.

Hasive

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 11:59 PM, Jean-Philippe Béland <[hidden email]> wrote:
I suggest you direct your questions to [hidden email]. Those requests were managed by an international team. You will get better answers than on this mailing list I think.

JP 

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 12:07 PM Jayanta Nath <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

I don't understand that how WMCA directed by WMF about the VISA invitation? In visa application, there must have an invitation for Canada, otherwise it would reject. We are applying Visa to Canada, but invitation comes from USA. This is a foolish decision made by WMF.  As per my knowledge in every year, every visa applicant for Wikimania, got their invitation from hosting countries. 

Regards,
Jayanta
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Re: Visa rejections

Gabriel Thullen
I have a few comments:
1)
We do not know how the Montreal venue was selected for Wikimania. Jean-Philippe said:
"A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this."
The situation there is obviously more complicated than what is being said so I will not dwell on that. What disturbs me is that the Montreal bid was accepted in absence of the local chapter support. That is not acceptable. Looking back on the success of the Esino Lario event, I believe that strong local chapter and volunteer support is vital for a Wikimania event.
2)
Wikimania should be a world conference of Wikimedians. One very important aspect of a bid should be visa help. Some countries are shall we say "visa-friendly" and some countries are not. If the event is to be held in a country where it is difficult to obtain visas, the organizers must set up a service to facilitate the visa process and obtain help from their local government authorities. In Geneva, for example, the government has set up an office to help foreign delegates get visas for international conferences, both UN conferences and NGO conferences. I have met with them a few times and they are really very helpful.
3)
The scholarships probably need to be awarded a bit sooner so that recipients have enough time to go through the whole visa procedure. Most countries require proof that the visitor has a return flight and that he can cover his food and lodging expenses as well as his emergency medical expenses. It has also been pointed out in this discussion that some embassies are quite fond of old fashioned paper. That means snail mail, pony express and all that. I works fine, it just takes time...

Gabriel

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 8:45 PM, Nurunnaby Hasive <[hidden email]> wrote:
Sorry to know that visa rejection news. As my thought visa process fully depends on the embassy. It's not guaranteed any chapter even WMF to ensure that If they provide invitation letter that means anyone got a visa! 

I may share my last Wikimania Mexico experience at this point. Mexico Embassy not available in Bangladesh and If we need Mexico visa we need to visit India. But It's not good for me to go India for a visa so that I follow different ways. I informed that If I have a valid USA visa then I may enter Mexico. So I go to USA embassy and I submit all documents provided by Wikimedia Mexico. I am lucky enough I got USA visa and attend Wikimania Mexico. In the same time, one of my fellow Wikipedian go to India for Mexico visa and got rejected. After back I suggest him to apply for the USA via using same documents and submits. And finally, we both got USA visa and attend Wikimania Mexico.

What exactly I point that, In my many International conferences attend experience I see, Visa processing fully depend on the particular embassy. Its totally depend on them if they provide visa or not. But the documents may help to get visa easily.

Hasive

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 11:59 PM, Jean-Philippe Béland <[hidden email]> wrote:
I suggest you direct your questions to [hidden email]. Those requests were managed by an international team. You will get better answers than on this mailing list I think.

JP 

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 12:07 PM Jayanta Nath <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

I don't understand that how WMCA directed by WMF about the VISA invitation? In visa application, there must have an invitation for Canada, otherwise it would reject. We are applying Visa to Canada, but invitation comes from USA. This is a foolish decision made by WMF.  As per my knowledge in every year, every visa applicant for Wikimania, got their invitation from hosting countries. 

Regards,
Jayanta
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Re: Visa rejections

Ellie Young


On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a few comments:
1)
We do not know how the Montreal venue was selected for Wikimania. Jean-Philippe said:
"A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this."
The situation there is obviously more complicated than what is being said so I will not dwell on that. What disturbs me is that the Montreal bid was accepted in absence of the local chapter support. That is not acceptable. Looking back on the success of the Esino Lario event, I believe that strong local chapter and volunteer support is vital for a Wikimania event.

​​Let us just say that there was confusion and communication issues with the original proposers to host.  The Steering Committee (including yours truly) thought that Wikimedia Canada was  involved.    I think everyone can agree how important it is for having the local chapters involved--- most recently Esino Lario and Mexico City and of course  South Africa coming up.

2)
Wikimania should be a world conference of Wikimedians. One very important aspect of a bid should be visa help. Some countries are shall we say "visa-friendly" and some countries are not. If the event is to be held in a country where it is difficult to obtain visas, the organizers must set up a service to facilitate the visa process and obtain help from their local government authorities. In Geneva, for example, the government has set up an office to help foreign delegates get visas for international conferences, both UN conferences and NGO conferences. I have met with them a few times and they are really very helpful.

​The Foundation tried very hard to set something up with Canada for trouble-shooting to no avail.   I spent many hours and it wasn't possible.  A service agency was not a possibility.  They have a new system and I have to admit it is a confusing process for a lot of people.    They follow very much the model of the United States.    It is the major reason   why we don't regularly hold Wikimanias in either of these countries.  ( ​The last one was 2012 in Washington, D.C. )   For the scholarship program:  we had relatively few people denied Visas when you look at the total attendance... the highest number was in D.C (I don't have the exact number but was told it was high);  the next was London (9);  Italy (2); Mexico City - 0; Hong Kong - 1.     

As others have indicated in this thread, there is a big effort with alot of people involved in trying to delivery everything that is needed in a timely manner.

And yes, Visa friendliness along with security/safety issues are important criteria when deciding where to hold future Wikimania's.    



3)
The scholarships probably need to be awarded a bit sooner so that recipients have enough time to go through the whole visa procedure. Most countries require proof that the visitor has a return flight and that he can cover his food and lodging expenses as well as his emergency medical expenses. It has also been pointed out in this discussion that some embassies are quite fond of old fashioned paper. That means snail mail, pony express and all that. I works fine, it just takes time...

​We notified people end of April which gives them 3 months which is usually sufficient (some countries won't accept applications before that time).  Most of our scholarship recipients have been very diligent in getting all the paperwork and information in process shortly after that.   We set up a system this year that required people to send us proof that they had filed by May 15.   If they need paper, we send paper.   We even support people having to travel to other countries to apply.    Even so, it is often the individual embassies that are big part of the problem in securing approval.   ​ 


Gabriel

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 8:45 PM, Nurunnaby Hasive <[hidden email]> wrote:
Sorry to know that visa rejection news. As my thought visa process fully depends on the embassy. It's not guaranteed any chapter even WMF to ensure that If they provide invitation letter that means anyone got a visa! 

I may share my last Wikimania Mexico experience at this point. Mexico Embassy not available in Bangladesh and If we need Mexico visa we need to visit India. But It's not good for me to go India for a visa so that I follow different ways. I informed that If I have a valid USA visa then I may enter Mexico. So I go to USA embassy and I submit all documents provided by Wikimedia Mexico. I am lucky enough I got USA visa and attend Wikimania Mexico. In the same time, one of my fellow Wikipedian go to India for Mexico visa and got rejected. After back I suggest him to apply for the USA via using same documents and submits. And finally, we both got USA visa and attend Wikimania Mexico.

What exactly I point that, In my many International conferences attend experience I see, Visa processing fully depend on the particular embassy. Its totally depend on them if they provide visa or not. But the documents may help to get visa easily.

Hasive

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 11:59 PM, Jean-Philippe Béland <[hidden email]> wrote:
I suggest you direct your questions to [hidden email]. Those requests were managed by an international team. You will get better answers than on this mailing list I think.

JP 

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 12:07 PM Jayanta Nath <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

I don't understand that how WMCA directed by WMF about the VISA invitation? In visa application, there must have an invitation for Canada, otherwise it would reject. We are applying Visa to Canada, but invitation comes from USA. This is a foolish decision made by WMF.  As per my knowledge in every year, every visa applicant for Wikimania, got their invitation from hosting countries. 

Regards,
Jayanta
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Re: Visa rejections

Felix Nartey
A lot of great suggestions and comments have been shared on here, but just to add unto that.

One thing I know for sure that works is having an invitation letter from say the WMF and the Local Organising Organisation. It is also very useful to often include mayors of towns, states and cities where the conferences will happen.

This is one the very reasons why ICANN conferences are usually successful in terms of attendance, you get these two letters and an endorsement from say a mayor and that carries a lot of weight. I know this was also done for Wikimania Esino Lario and this could have accounted for its, low rejection rates. 

Cheers,

On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 12:00 AM, Ellie Young <[hidden email]> wrote:


On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a few comments:
1)
We do not know how the Montreal venue was selected for Wikimania. Jean-Philippe said:
"A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this."
The situation there is obviously more complicated than what is being said so I will not dwell on that. What disturbs me is that the Montreal bid was accepted in absence of the local chapter support. That is not acceptable. Looking back on the success of the Esino Lario event, I believe that strong local chapter and volunteer support is vital for a Wikimania event.

​​Let us just say that there was confusion and communication issues with the original proposers to host.  The Steering Committee (including yours truly) thought that Wikimedia Canada was  involved.    I think everyone can agree how important it is for having the local chapters involved--- most recently Esino Lario and Mexico City and of course  South Africa coming up.

2)
Wikimania should be a world conference of Wikimedians. One very important aspect of a bid should be visa help. Some countries are shall we say "visa-friendly" and some countries are not. If the event is to be held in a country where it is difficult to obtain visas, the organizers must set up a service to facilitate the visa process and obtain help from their local government authorities. In Geneva, for example, the government has set up an office to help foreign delegates get visas for international conferences, both UN conferences and NGO conferences. I have met with them a few times and they are really very helpful.

​The Foundation tried very hard to set something up with Canada for trouble-shooting to no avail.   I spent many hours and it wasn't possible.  A service agency was not a possibility.  They have a new system and I have to admit it is a confusing process for a lot of people.    They follow very much the model of the United States.    It is the major reason   why we don't regularly hold Wikimanias in either of these countries.  ( ​The last one was 2012 in Washington, D.C. )   For the scholarship program:  we had relatively few people denied Visas when you look at the total attendance... the highest number was in D.C (I don't have the exact number but was told it was high);  the next was London (9);  Italy (2); Mexico City - 0; Hong Kong - 1.     

As others have indicated in this thread, there is a big effort with alot of people involved in trying to delivery everything that is needed in a timely manner.

And yes, Visa friendliness along with security/safety issues are important criteria when deciding where to hold future Wikimania's.    



3)
The scholarships probably need to be awarded a bit sooner so that recipients have enough time to go through the whole visa procedure. Most countries require proof that the visitor has a return flight and that he can cover his food and lodging expenses as well as his emergency medical expenses. It has also been pointed out in this discussion that some embassies are quite fond of old fashioned paper. That means snail mail, pony express and all that. I works fine, it just takes time...

​We notified people end of April which gives them 3 months which is usually sufficient (some countries won't accept applications before that time).  Most of our scholarship recipients have been very diligent in getting all the paperwork and information in process shortly after that.   We set up a system this year that required people to send us proof that they had filed by May 15.   If they need paper, we send paper.   We even support people having to travel to other countries to apply.    Even so, it is often the individual embassies that are big part of the problem in securing approval.   ​ 


Gabriel

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 8:45 PM, Nurunnaby Hasive <[hidden email]> wrote:
Sorry to know that visa rejection news. As my thought visa process fully depends on the embassy. It's not guaranteed any chapter even WMF to ensure that If they provide invitation letter that means anyone got a visa! 

I may share my last Wikimania Mexico experience at this point. Mexico Embassy not available in Bangladesh and If we need Mexico visa we need to visit India. But It's not good for me to go India for a visa so that I follow different ways. I informed that If I have a valid USA visa then I may enter Mexico. So I go to USA embassy and I submit all documents provided by Wikimedia Mexico. I am lucky enough I got USA visa and attend Wikimania Mexico. In the same time, one of my fellow Wikipedian go to India for Mexico visa and got rejected. After back I suggest him to apply for the USA via using same documents and submits. And finally, we both got USA visa and attend Wikimania Mexico.

What exactly I point that, In my many International conferences attend experience I see, Visa processing fully depend on the particular embassy. Its totally depend on them if they provide visa or not. But the documents may help to get visa easily.

Hasive

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 11:59 PM, Jean-Philippe Béland <[hidden email]> wrote:
I suggest you direct your questions to [hidden email]. Those requests were managed by an international team. You will get better answers than on this mailing list I think.

JP 

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 12:07 PM Jayanta Nath <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

I don't understand that how WMCA directed by WMF about the VISA invitation? In visa application, there must have an invitation for Canada, otherwise it would reject. We are applying Visa to Canada, but invitation comes from USA. This is a foolish decision made by WMF.  As per my knowledge in every year, every visa applicant for Wikimania, got their invitation from hosting countries. 

Regards,
Jayanta
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Events Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
c. 510 701 8649

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Skype:Flixtey

 
 

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Re: Visa rejections

Ilario Valdelli-2
In reply to this post by Ellie Young
On 24/06/2017 02:00, Ellie Young wrote:


On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a few comments:
1)
We do not know how the Montreal venue was selected for Wikimania. Jean-Philippe said:
"A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this."
The situation there is obviously more complicated than what is being said so I will not dwell on that. What disturbs me is that the Montreal bid was accepted in absence of the local chapter support. That is not acceptable. Looking back on the success of the Esino Lario event, I believe that strong local chapter and volunteer support is vital for a Wikimania event.

​​Let us just say that there was confusion and communication issues with the original proposers to host.  The Steering Committee (including yours truly) thought that Wikimedia Canada was  involved.    I think everyone can agree how important it is for having the local chapters involved--- most recently Esino Lario and Mexico City and of course  South Africa coming up.


Hi Ellie,
This is an interesting point. I know that recently there has been a decision to have Wikimania's organization notified two years in advance, but this model can only work if there is a "local group" with a mature organization. Two years are too many for a local "extemporary" committee.

A chapter (with at least a small staff) is something that can assure a commitment for two years and can support efficiently a local group (and perhaps to save the organization in case of withdrawal).

Basically the two year model cannot be disconnected from a *mature* local organization as a chapter, otherwise the model will not work.

But at this point is also interesting to know how big may be the impact on a chapter. The organization of an event like Wikimania is something fascinating, but at the same time it's more than a "stress test" for a chapter.

Kind regards
-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch

Mail priva di virus. www.avast.com

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Re: Visa rejections

Amir Sarabadani-2
As a person who missed three events because of rejection of visa (one Wikimania, one Wikimedia Hackathon, one WikiArabia) and missed two other because couldn't event get an appointment with the embassy (DevSummits) I want to share my experience here. There is three parties involved in this case:

- Participants:
 -- If you are going to another country that has strict visa rules, you should be prepared and know what can go wrong. Usually make a group of people who are more experienced in Wikimedia events and ask them for help. This helped me in some events to get visa without trouble. One case I remember was when the invitation letter was from WMF and not the local chapter. It caused rejection of visa before me and once I knew it, I fixed it.
 -- Be prepared for other options. For example, for Esino Lario one of my friends missed the event because he couldn't get appointment with the embassy, when I knew this is a problem, I tried the German embassy and got the visa ready in time. (Per Schengen laws, you need to make requests to the country you will stay the most, so I stayed in Germany for 11 days and Italy for 8 days to make things legal)
 -- If you have an interview to justify your visa, definitely mention Wikipedia. People don't know what WMF is but all know Wikipedia and have positive feelings.
 -- I know it's hard but let go sometimes: I decided not to go at this year's Wikimania just because the visa process is horrible and I need to travel to Turkey at least twice. Even though I know I miss a great event but let's hope to meet them soon.

-WMF:
  -- I know WMF is busy but I mentioned this several times to legal, support and safety and some other teams. People like me have problem going to events and there should be support for them. Two things were always said and I don't know why it's not being done, 1- Prepare a centralized place (probably in meta) so people share experience to help newbies to get visa documents right. I have seen lots of problems in the documents my friends need to prepare for the visa and helped them to get it right before it gets rejected but I had to meet them in person and it's an exclusive club of people I know. I want to open this knowledge to others.
  -- The other option I always mentioning is support for getting one multiple entries visa instead of getting one visa for each event, This is very true for European events. This would make life of lots of people way easier.

Local chapters:
 -- When there is a Wikimania, a local chapter will be handling process of visa for lots of countries with different issues. Sometimes they handle it perfectly and other problems might be the reason for rejection but sometimes I need to come back to them and ask for more documents which increases the chance of rejection or visa not being issued in time. They usually consult with an immigration lawyer before the process, this needs to be increased and WMF needs to make sure these consults happen.

Sorry for the long email. I hope this would be helpful for you.

Best


On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 1:51 PM Ilario valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 24/06/2017 02:00, Ellie Young wrote:


On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a few comments:
1)
We do not know how the Montreal venue was selected for Wikimania. Jean-Philippe said:
"A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this."
The situation there is obviously more complicated than what is being said so I will not dwell on that. What disturbs me is that the Montreal bid was accepted in absence of the local chapter support. That is not acceptable. Looking back on the success of the Esino Lario event, I believe that strong local chapter and volunteer support is vital for a Wikimania event.

​​Let us just say that there was confusion and communication issues with the original proposers to host.  The Steering Committee (including yours truly) thought that Wikimedia Canada was  involved.    I think everyone can agree how important it is for having the local chapters involved--- most recently Esino Lario and Mexico City and of course  South Africa coming up.


Hi Ellie,
This is an interesting point. I know that recently there has been a decision to have Wikimania's organization notified two years in advance, but this model can only work if there is a "local group" with a mature organization. Two years are too many for a local "extemporary" committee.

A chapter (with at least a small staff) is something that can assure a commitment for two years and can support efficiently a local group (and perhaps to save the organization in case of withdrawal).

Basically the two year model cannot be disconnected from a *mature* local organization as a chapter, otherwise the model will not work.

But at this point is also interesting to know how big may be the impact on a chapter. The organization of an event like Wikimania is something fascinating, but at the same time it's more than a "stress test" for a chapter.

Kind regards

-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Tel: <a href="tel:+41%2076%20482%2013%2071" value="+41764821371" target="_blank">+41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch

Mail priva di virus. www.avast.com
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[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l

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Re: Visa rejections

Zana Strkovska
Hi Amir,

I found your experience with visa issue very edifying.
You can write a study case for this matter. Do not wait for opening centralized place on meta to share what you know about how to get a visa. 

Regards,
Zana

2017-06-24 14:47 GMT+02:00 Amir Ladsgroup <[hidden email]>:
As a person who missed three events because of rejection of visa (one Wikimania, one Wikimedia Hackathon, one WikiArabia) and missed two other because couldn't event get an appointment with the embassy (DevSummits) I want to share my experience here. There is three parties involved in this case:

- Participants:
 -- If you are going to another country that has strict visa rules, you should be prepared and know what can go wrong. Usually make a group of people who are more experienced in Wikimedia events and ask them for help. This helped me in some events to get visa without trouble. One case I remember was when the invitation letter was from WMF and not the local chapter. It caused rejection of visa before me and once I knew it, I fixed it.
 -- Be prepared for other options. For example, for Esino Lario one of my friends missed the event because he couldn't get appointment with the embassy, when I knew this is a problem, I tried the German embassy and got the visa ready in time. (Per Schengen laws, you need to make requests to the country you will stay the most, so I stayed in Germany for 11 days and Italy for 8 days to make things legal)
 -- If you have an interview to justify your visa, definitely mention Wikipedia. People don't know what WMF is but all know Wikipedia and have positive feelings.
 -- I know it's hard but let go sometimes: I decided not to go at this year's Wikimania just because the visa process is horrible and I need to travel to Turkey at least twice. Even though I know I miss a great event but let's hope to meet them soon.

-WMF:
  -- I know WMF is busy but I mentioned this several times to legal, support and safety and some other teams. People like me have problem going to events and there should be support for them. Two things were always said and I don't know why it's not being done, 1- Prepare a centralized place (probably in meta) so people share experience to help newbies to get visa documents right. I have seen lots of problems in the documents my friends need to prepare for the visa and helped them to get it right before it gets rejected but I had to meet them in person and it's an exclusive club of people I know. I want to open this knowledge to others.
  -- The other option I always mentioning is support for getting one multiple entries visa instead of getting one visa for each event, This is very true for European events. This would make life of lots of people way easier.

Local chapters:
 -- When there is a Wikimania, a local chapter will be handling process of visa for lots of countries with different issues. Sometimes they handle it perfectly and other problems might be the reason for rejection but sometimes I need to come back to them and ask for more documents which increases the chance of rejection or visa not being issued in time. They usually consult with an immigration lawyer before the process, this needs to be increased and WMF needs to make sure these consults happen.

Sorry for the long email. I hope this would be helpful for you.

Best


On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 1:51 PM Ilario valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 24/06/2017 02:00, Ellie Young wrote:


On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a few comments:
1)
We do not know how the Montreal venue was selected for Wikimania. Jean-Philippe said:
"A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this."
The situation there is obviously more complicated than what is being said so I will not dwell on that. What disturbs me is that the Montreal bid was accepted in absence of the local chapter support. That is not acceptable. Looking back on the success of the Esino Lario event, I believe that strong local chapter and volunteer support is vital for a Wikimania event.

​​Let us just say that there was confusion and communication issues with the original proposers to host.  The Steering Committee (including yours truly) thought that Wikimedia Canada was  involved.    I think everyone can agree how important it is for having the local chapters involved--- most recently Esino Lario and Mexico City and of course  South Africa coming up.


Hi Ellie,
This is an interesting point. I know that recently there has been a decision to have Wikimania's organization notified two years in advance, but this model can only work if there is a "local group" with a mature organization. Two years are too many for a local "extemporary" committee.

A chapter (with at least a small staff) is something that can assure a commitment for two years and can support efficiently a local group (and perhaps to save the organization in case of withdrawal).

Basically the two year model cannot be disconnected from a *mature* local organization as a chapter, otherwise the model will not work.

But at this point is also interesting to know how big may be the impact on a chapter. The organization of an event like Wikimania is something fascinating, but at the same time it's more than a "stress test" for a chapter.

Kind regards

-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Tel: <a href="tel:+41%2076%20482%2013%2071" value="+41764821371" target="_blank">+41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch

Mail priva di virus. www.avast.com
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https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



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Re: Visa rejections

Peter Southwood

Hi Amir,

If you do write something up, please let me know so I can link from Wikimania 2018 site.

Cheers,

Peter

 

From: Wikimania-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Zana Strkovska
Sent: Sunday, 25 June 2017 1:49 AM
To: Wikimania general list (open subscription)
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Visa rejections

 

Hi Amir,

 

I found your experience with visa issue very edifying.

You can write a study case for this matter. Do not wait for opening centralized place on meta to share what you know about how to get a visa. 

 

Regards,

Zana

 

2017-06-24 14:47 GMT+02:00 Amir Ladsgroup <[hidden email]>:

As a person who missed three events because of rejection of visa (one Wikimania, one Wikimedia Hackathon, one WikiArabia) and missed two other because couldn't event get an appointment with the embassy (DevSummits) I want to share my experience here. There is three parties involved in this case:

 

- Participants:

 -- If you are going to another country that has strict visa rules, you should be prepared and know what can go wrong. Usually make a group of people who are more experienced in Wikimedia events and ask them for help. This helped me in some events to get visa without trouble. One case I remember was when the invitation letter was from WMF and not the local chapter. It caused rejection of visa before me and once I knew it, I fixed it.

 -- Be prepared for other options. For example, for Esino Lario one of my friends missed the event because he couldn't get appointment with the embassy, when I knew this is a problem, I tried the German embassy and got the visa ready in time. (Per Schengen laws, you need to make requests to the country you will stay the most, so I stayed in Germany for 11 days and Italy for 8 days to make things legal)

 -- If you have an interview to justify your visa, definitely mention Wikipedia. People don't know what WMF is but all know Wikipedia and have positive feelings.

 -- I know it's hard but let go sometimes: I decided not to go at this year's Wikimania just because the visa process is horrible and I need to travel to Turkey at least twice. Even though I know I miss a great event but let's hope to meet them soon.

 

-WMF:

  -- I know WMF is busy but I mentioned this several times to legal, support and safety and some other teams. People like me have problem going to events and there should be support for them. Two things were always said and I don't know why it's not being done, 1- Prepare a centralized place (probably in meta) so people share experience to help newbies to get visa documents right. I have seen lots of problems in the documents my friends need to prepare for the visa and helped them to get it right before it gets rejected but I had to meet them in person and it's an exclusive club of people I know. I want to open this knowledge to others.

  -- The other option I always mentioning is support for getting one multiple entries visa instead of getting one visa for each event, This is very true for European events. This would make life of lots of people way easier.

 

Local chapters:

 -- When there is a Wikimania, a local chapter will be handling process of visa for lots of countries with different issues. Sometimes they handle it perfectly and other problems might be the reason for rejection but sometimes I need to come back to them and ask for more documents which increases the chance of rejection or visa not being issued in time. They usually consult with an immigration lawyer before the process, this needs to be increased and WMF needs to make sure these consults happen.

 

Sorry for the long email. I hope this would be helpful for you.

 

Best

 

 

On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 1:51 PM Ilario valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 24/06/2017 02:00, Ellie Young wrote:

 

 

On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]> wrote:

I have a few comments:
1)
We do not know how the Montreal venue was selected for Wikimania. Jean-Philippe said:
"A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this."

The situation there is obviously more complicated than what is being said so I will not dwell on that. What disturbs me is that the Montreal bid was accepted in absence of the local chapter support. That is not acceptable. Looking back on the success of the Esino Lario event, I believe that strong local chapter and volunteer support is vital for a Wikimania event.

 

​​Let us just say that there was confusion and communication issues with the original proposers to host.  The Steering Committee (including yours truly) thought that Wikimedia Canada was  involved.    I think everyone can agree how important it is for having the local chapters involved--- most recently Esino Lario and Mexico City and of course  South Africa coming up.

 

 

Hi Ellie,
This is an interesting point. I know that recently there has been a decision to have Wikimania's organization notified two years in advance, but this model can only work if there is a "local group" with a mature organization. Two years are too many for a local "extemporary" committee.

A chapter (with at least a small staff) is something that can assure a commitment for two years and can support efficiently a local group (and perhaps to save the organization in case of withdrawal).

Basically the two year model cannot be disconnected from a *mature* local organization as a chapter, otherwise the model will not work.

But at this point is also interesting to know how big may be the impact on a chapter. The organization of an event like Wikimania is something fascinating, but at the same time it's more than a "stress test" for a chapter.

Kind regards



-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Tel: <a href="tel:+41%2076%20482%2013%2071" target="_blank">+41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch

 

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Re: Visa rejections

Ellie Young
In reply to this post by Amir Sarabadani-2
I think the centralized place on meta is a great idea so we could put tips, samples, and maybe even an 'advice line' for people who might be able to help someone in a particular region.   If someone wants to start this I'd be happy to add, edit, etc.

Ellie


On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 5:47 AM, Amir Ladsgroup <[hidden email]> wrote:
As a person who missed three events because of rejection of visa (one Wikimania, one Wikimedia Hackathon, one WikiArabia) and missed two other because couldn't event get an appointment with the embassy (DevSummits) I want to share my experience here. There is three parties involved in this case:

- Participants:
 -- If you are going to another country that has strict visa rules, you should be prepared and know what can go wrong. Usually make a group of people who are more experienced in Wikimedia events and ask them for help. This helped me in some events to get visa without trouble. One case I remember was when the invitation letter was from WMF and not the local chapter. It caused rejection of visa before me and once I knew it, I fixed it.
 -- Be prepared for other options. For example, for Esino Lario one of my friends missed the event because he couldn't get appointment with the embassy, when I knew this is a problem, I tried the German embassy and got the visa ready in time. (Per Schengen laws, you need to make requests to the country you will stay the most, so I stayed in Germany for 11 days and Italy for 8 days to make things legal)
 -- If you have an interview to justify your visa, definitely mention Wikipedia. People don't know what WMF is but all know Wikipedia and have positive feelings.
 -- I know it's hard but let go sometimes: I decided not to go at this year's Wikimania just because the visa process is horrible and I need to travel to Turkey at least twice. Even though I know I miss a great event but let's hope to meet them soon.

-WMF:
  -- I know WMF is busy but I mentioned this several times to legal, support and safety and some other teams. People like me have problem going to events and there should be support for them. Two things were always said and I don't know why it's not being done, 1- Prepare a centralized place (probably in meta) so people share experience to help newbies to get visa documents right. I have seen lots of problems in the documents my friends need to prepare for the visa and helped them to get it right before it gets rejected but I had to meet them in person and it's an exclusive club of people I know. I want to open this knowledge to others.
  -- The other option I always mentioning is support for getting one multiple entries visa instead of getting one visa for each event, This is very true for European events. This would make life of lots of people way easier.

Local chapters:
 -- When there is a Wikimania, a local chapter will be handling process of visa for lots of countries with different issues. Sometimes they handle it perfectly and other problems might be the reason for rejection but sometimes I need to come back to them and ask for more documents which increases the chance of rejection or visa not being issued in time. They usually consult with an immigration lawyer before the process, this needs to be increased and WMF needs to make sure these consults happen.

Sorry for the long email. I hope this would be helpful for you.

Best


On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 1:51 PM Ilario valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 24/06/2017 02:00, Ellie Young wrote:


On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a few comments:
1)
We do not know how the Montreal venue was selected for Wikimania. Jean-Philippe said:
"A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this."
The situation there is obviously more complicated than what is being said so I will not dwell on that. What disturbs me is that the Montreal bid was accepted in absence of the local chapter support. That is not acceptable. Looking back on the success of the Esino Lario event, I believe that strong local chapter and volunteer support is vital for a Wikimania event.

​​Let us just say that there was confusion and communication issues with the original proposers to host.  The Steering Committee (including yours truly) thought that Wikimedia Canada was  involved.    I think everyone can agree how important it is for having the local chapters involved--- most recently Esino Lario and Mexico City and of course  South Africa coming up.


Hi Ellie,
This is an interesting point. I know that recently there has been a decision to have Wikimania's organization notified two years in advance, but this model can only work if there is a "local group" with a mature organization. Two years are too many for a local "extemporary" committee.

A chapter (with at least a small staff) is something that can assure a commitment for two years and can support efficiently a local group (and perhaps to save the organization in case of withdrawal).

Basically the two year model cannot be disconnected from a *mature* local organization as a chapter, otherwise the model will not work.

But at this point is also interesting to know how big may be the impact on a chapter. The organization of an event like Wikimania is something fascinating, but at the same time it's more than a "stress test" for a chapter.

Kind regards

-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Tel: <a href="tel:+41%2076%20482%2013%2071" value="+41764821371" target="_blank">+41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch

Mail priva di virus. www.avast.com
_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



--
Ellie Young
Events Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
c. 510 701 8649

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Re: Visa rejections

Pine W
The creation of one or more learning patterns could be good here. Please see https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Learning_patterns.

Pine


On Sun, Jun 25, 2017 at 11:07 AM, Ellie Young <[hidden email]> wrote:
I think the centralized place on meta is a great idea so we could put tips, samples, and maybe even an 'advice line' for people who might be able to help someone in a particular region.   If someone wants to start this I'd be happy to add, edit, etc.

Ellie


On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 5:47 AM, Amir Ladsgroup <[hidden email]> wrote:
As a person who missed three events because of rejection of visa (one Wikimania, one Wikimedia Hackathon, one WikiArabia) and missed two other because couldn't event get an appointment with the embassy (DevSummits) I want to share my experience here. There is three parties involved in this case:

- Participants:
 -- If you are going to another country that has strict visa rules, you should be prepared and know what can go wrong. Usually make a group of people who are more experienced in Wikimedia events and ask them for help. This helped me in some events to get visa without trouble. One case I remember was when the invitation letter was from WMF and not the local chapter. It caused rejection of visa before me and once I knew it, I fixed it.
 -- Be prepared for other options. For example, for Esino Lario one of my friends missed the event because he couldn't get appointment with the embassy, when I knew this is a problem, I tried the German embassy and got the visa ready in time. (Per Schengen laws, you need to make requests to the country you will stay the most, so I stayed in Germany for 11 days and Italy for 8 days to make things legal)
 -- If you have an interview to justify your visa, definitely mention Wikipedia. People don't know what WMF is but all know Wikipedia and have positive feelings.
 -- I know it's hard but let go sometimes: I decided not to go at this year's Wikimania just because the visa process is horrible and I need to travel to Turkey at least twice. Even though I know I miss a great event but let's hope to meet them soon.

-WMF:
  -- I know WMF is busy but I mentioned this several times to legal, support and safety and some other teams. People like me have problem going to events and there should be support for them. Two things were always said and I don't know why it's not being done, 1- Prepare a centralized place (probably in meta) so people share experience to help newbies to get visa documents right. I have seen lots of problems in the documents my friends need to prepare for the visa and helped them to get it right before it gets rejected but I had to meet them in person and it's an exclusive club of people I know. I want to open this knowledge to others.
  -- The other option I always mentioning is support for getting one multiple entries visa instead of getting one visa for each event, This is very true for European events. This would make life of lots of people way easier.

Local chapters:
 -- When there is a Wikimania, a local chapter will be handling process of visa for lots of countries with different issues. Sometimes they handle it perfectly and other problems might be the reason for rejection but sometimes I need to come back to them and ask for more documents which increases the chance of rejection or visa not being issued in time. They usually consult with an immigration lawyer before the process, this needs to be increased and WMF needs to make sure these consults happen.

Sorry for the long email. I hope this would be helpful for you.

Best


On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 1:51 PM Ilario valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 24/06/2017 02:00, Ellie Young wrote:


On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a few comments:
1)
We do not know how the Montreal venue was selected for Wikimania. Jean-Philippe said:
"A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this."
The situation there is obviously more complicated than what is being said so I will not dwell on that. What disturbs me is that the Montreal bid was accepted in absence of the local chapter support. That is not acceptable. Looking back on the success of the Esino Lario event, I believe that strong local chapter and volunteer support is vital for a Wikimania event.

​​Let us just say that there was confusion and communication issues with the original proposers to host.  The Steering Committee (including yours truly) thought that Wikimedia Canada was  involved.    I think everyone can agree how important it is for having the local chapters involved--- most recently Esino Lario and Mexico City and of course  South Africa coming up.


Hi Ellie,
This is an interesting point. I know that recently there has been a decision to have Wikimania's organization notified two years in advance, but this model can only work if there is a "local group" with a mature organization. Two years are too many for a local "extemporary" committee.

A chapter (with at least a small staff) is something that can assure a commitment for two years and can support efficiently a local group (and perhaps to save the organization in case of withdrawal).

Basically the two year model cannot be disconnected from a *mature* local organization as a chapter, otherwise the model will not work.

But at this point is also interesting to know how big may be the impact on a chapter. The organization of an event like Wikimania is something fascinating, but at the same time it's more than a "stress test" for a chapter.

Kind regards

-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Tel: <a href="tel:+41%2076%20482%2013%2071" value="+41764821371" target="_blank">+41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch

Mail priva di virus. www.avast.com
_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



--
Ellie Young
Events Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
c. <a href="tel:(510)%20701-8649" value="+15107018649" target="_blank">510 701 8649

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



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Re: Visa rejections

Cornelius Kibelka
Hello all,

While preparing the report for the last Wikimedia Conference (which we will publish on Friday), Daniela Gentner, our logistics coordinator, has written a detailed learning pattern about how to support participants in getting a (German) Schengen visa for the Wikimedia Conference. While it is certainly focused on German processes, many steps and tips are applicable by any organizer in any country.


Maybe this is could be a good start to collect resources and material around this topic for future events.

Happy reading & sharing,
Cornelius


On 27 June 2017 at 02:49, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
The creation of one or more learning patterns could be good here. Please see https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Learning_patterns.

Pine


On Sun, Jun 25, 2017 at 11:07 AM, Ellie Young <[hidden email]> wrote:
I think the centralized place on meta is a great idea so we could put tips, samples, and maybe even an 'advice line' for people who might be able to help someone in a particular region.   If someone wants to start this I'd be happy to add, edit, etc.

Ellie


On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 5:47 AM, Amir Ladsgroup <[hidden email]> wrote:
As a person who missed three events because of rejection of visa (one Wikimania, one Wikimedia Hackathon, one WikiArabia) and missed two other because couldn't event get an appointment with the embassy (DevSummits) I want to share my experience here. There is three parties involved in this case:

- Participants:
 -- If you are going to another country that has strict visa rules, you should be prepared and know what can go wrong. Usually make a group of people who are more experienced in Wikimedia events and ask them for help. This helped me in some events to get visa without trouble. One case I remember was when the invitation letter was from WMF and not the local chapter. It caused rejection of visa before me and once I knew it, I fixed it.
 -- Be prepared for other options. For example, for Esino Lario one of my friends missed the event because he couldn't get appointment with the embassy, when I knew this is a problem, I tried the German embassy and got the visa ready in time. (Per Schengen laws, you need to make requests to the country you will stay the most, so I stayed in Germany for 11 days and Italy for 8 days to make things legal)
 -- If you have an interview to justify your visa, definitely mention Wikipedia. People don't know what WMF is but all know Wikipedia and have positive feelings.
 -- I know it's hard but let go sometimes: I decided not to go at this year's Wikimania just because the visa process is horrible and I need to travel to Turkey at least twice. Even though I know I miss a great event but let's hope to meet them soon.

-WMF:
  -- I know WMF is busy but I mentioned this several times to legal, support and safety and some other teams. People like me have problem going to events and there should be support for them. Two things were always said and I don't know why it's not being done, 1- Prepare a centralized place (probably in meta) so people share experience to help newbies to get visa documents right. I have seen lots of problems in the documents my friends need to prepare for the visa and helped them to get it right before it gets rejected but I had to meet them in person and it's an exclusive club of people I know. I want to open this knowledge to others.
  -- The other option I always mentioning is support for getting one multiple entries visa instead of getting one visa for each event, This is very true for European events. This would make life of lots of people way easier.

Local chapters:
 -- When there is a Wikimania, a local chapter will be handling process of visa for lots of countries with different issues. Sometimes they handle it perfectly and other problems might be the reason for rejection but sometimes I need to come back to them and ask for more documents which increases the chance of rejection or visa not being issued in time. They usually consult with an immigration lawyer before the process, this needs to be increased and WMF needs to make sure these consults happen.

Sorry for the long email. I hope this would be helpful for you.

Best


On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 1:51 PM Ilario valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 24/06/2017 02:00, Ellie Young wrote:


On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a few comments:
1)
We do not know how the Montreal venue was selected for Wikimania. Jean-Philippe said:
"A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this."
The situation there is obviously more complicated than what is being said so I will not dwell on that. What disturbs me is that the Montreal bid was accepted in absence of the local chapter support. That is not acceptable. Looking back on the success of the Esino Lario event, I believe that strong local chapter and volunteer support is vital for a Wikimania event.

​​Let us just say that there was confusion and communication issues with the original proposers to host.  The Steering Committee (including yours truly) thought that Wikimedia Canada was  involved.    I think everyone can agree how important it is for having the local chapters involved--- most recently Esino Lario and Mexico City and of course  South Africa coming up.


Hi Ellie,
This is an interesting point. I know that recently there has been a decision to have Wikimania's organization notified two years in advance, but this model can only work if there is a "local group" with a mature organization. Two years are too many for a local "extemporary" committee.

A chapter (with at least a small staff) is something that can assure a commitment for two years and can support efficiently a local group (and perhaps to save the organization in case of withdrawal).

Basically the two year model cannot be disconnected from a *mature* local organization as a chapter, otherwise the model will not work.

But at this point is also interesting to know how big may be the impact on a chapter. The organization of an event like Wikimania is something fascinating, but at the same time it's more than a "stress test" for a chapter.

Kind regards

-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Tel: <a href="tel:+41%2076%20482%2013%2071" value="+41764821371" target="_blank">+41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch

Mail priva di virus. www.avast.com
_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



--
Ellie Young
Events Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
c. <a href="tel:(510)%20701-8649" value="+15107018649" target="_blank">510 701 8649

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
Cornelius Kibelka
Program and Engagement Coordinator (PEC)
for the Wikimedia Conference

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
Tel. (030) 219 158 26-0
http://wikimedia.de

Stellen Sie sich eine Welt vor, in der jeder Mensch an der Menge allen Wissens frei teilhaben kann. Helfen Sie uns dabei!
http://spenden.wikimedia.de/

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V. Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207

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Re: Visa rejections

Mardetanha-2
today I found out another wikimedian from Iraq was also rejected because of "purpose of trip", I highly believe this stem from our invitation letter which is from WFM not a local entity. why should an American foundation invite someone to Canada ? 
it would be great if others could update us about their visa situation 

Mardetanha

On Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 5:27 PM, Cornelius Kibelka <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello all,

While preparing the report for the last Wikimedia Conference (which we will publish on Friday), Daniela Gentner, our logistics coordinator, has written a detailed learning pattern about how to support participants in getting a (German) Schengen visa for the Wikimedia Conference. While it is certainly focused on German processes, many steps and tips are applicable by any organizer in any country.


Maybe this is could be a good start to collect resources and material around this topic for future events.

Happy reading & sharing,
Cornelius


On 27 June 2017 at 02:49, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
The creation of one or more learning patterns could be good here. Please see https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Learning_patterns.

Pine


On Sun, Jun 25, 2017 at 11:07 AM, Ellie Young <[hidden email]> wrote:
I think the centralized place on meta is a great idea so we could put tips, samples, and maybe even an 'advice line' for people who might be able to help someone in a particular region.   If someone wants to start this I'd be happy to add, edit, etc.

Ellie


On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 5:47 AM, Amir Ladsgroup <[hidden email]> wrote:
As a person who missed three events because of rejection of visa (one Wikimania, one Wikimedia Hackathon, one WikiArabia) and missed two other because couldn't event get an appointment with the embassy (DevSummits) I want to share my experience here. There is three parties involved in this case:

- Participants:
 -- If you are going to another country that has strict visa rules, you should be prepared and know what can go wrong. Usually make a group of people who are more experienced in Wikimedia events and ask them for help. This helped me in some events to get visa without trouble. One case I remember was when the invitation letter was from WMF and not the local chapter. It caused rejection of visa before me and once I knew it, I fixed it.
 -- Be prepared for other options. For example, for Esino Lario one of my friends missed the event because he couldn't get appointment with the embassy, when I knew this is a problem, I tried the German embassy and got the visa ready in time. (Per Schengen laws, you need to make requests to the country you will stay the most, so I stayed in Germany for 11 days and Italy for 8 days to make things legal)
 -- If you have an interview to justify your visa, definitely mention Wikipedia. People don't know what WMF is but all know Wikipedia and have positive feelings.
 -- I know it's hard but let go sometimes: I decided not to go at this year's Wikimania just because the visa process is horrible and I need to travel to Turkey at least twice. Even though I know I miss a great event but let's hope to meet them soon.

-WMF:
  -- I know WMF is busy but I mentioned this several times to legal, support and safety and some other teams. People like me have problem going to events and there should be support for them. Two things were always said and I don't know why it's not being done, 1- Prepare a centralized place (probably in meta) so people share experience to help newbies to get visa documents right. I have seen lots of problems in the documents my friends need to prepare for the visa and helped them to get it right before it gets rejected but I had to meet them in person and it's an exclusive club of people I know. I want to open this knowledge to others.
  -- The other option I always mentioning is support for getting one multiple entries visa instead of getting one visa for each event, This is very true for European events. This would make life of lots of people way easier.

Local chapters:
 -- When there is a Wikimania, a local chapter will be handling process of visa for lots of countries with different issues. Sometimes they handle it perfectly and other problems might be the reason for rejection but sometimes I need to come back to them and ask for more documents which increases the chance of rejection or visa not being issued in time. They usually consult with an immigration lawyer before the process, this needs to be increased and WMF needs to make sure these consults happen.

Sorry for the long email. I hope this would be helpful for you.

Best


On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 1:51 PM Ilario valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 24/06/2017 02:00, Ellie Young wrote:


On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have a few comments:
1)
We do not know how the Montreal venue was selected for Wikimania. Jean-Philippe said:
"A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this."
The situation there is obviously more complicated than what is being said so I will not dwell on that. What disturbs me is that the Montreal bid was accepted in absence of the local chapter support. That is not acceptable. Looking back on the success of the Esino Lario event, I believe that strong local chapter and volunteer support is vital for a Wikimania event.

​​Let us just say that there was confusion and communication issues with the original proposers to host.  The Steering Committee (including yours truly) thought that Wikimedia Canada was  involved.    I think everyone can agree how important it is for having the local chapters involved--- most recently Esino Lario and Mexico City and of course  South Africa coming up.


Hi Ellie,
This is an interesting point. I know that recently there has been a decision to have Wikimania's organization notified two years in advance, but this model can only work if there is a "local group" with a mature organization. Two years are too many for a local "extemporary" committee.

A chapter (with at least a small staff) is something that can assure a commitment for two years and can support efficiently a local group (and perhaps to save the organization in case of withdrawal).

Basically the two year model cannot be disconnected from a *mature* local organization as a chapter, otherwise the model will not work.

But at this point is also interesting to know how big may be the impact on a chapter. The organization of an event like Wikimania is something fascinating, but at the same time it's more than a "stress test" for a chapter.

Kind regards

-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Tel: <a href="tel:+41%2076%20482%2013%2071" value="+41764821371" target="_blank">+41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch

Mail priva di virus. www.avast.com
_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



--
Ellie Young
Events Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
c. <a href="tel:(510)%20701-8649" value="+15107018649" target="_blank">510 701 8649

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
Cornelius Kibelka
Program and Engagement Coordinator (PEC)
for the Wikimedia Conference

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
Tel. (030) 219 158 26-0
http://wikimedia.de

Stellen Sie sich eine Welt vor, in der jeder Mensch an der Menge allen Wissens frei teilhaben kann. Helfen Sie uns dabei!
http://spenden.wikimedia.de/

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V. Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



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Re: Visa rejections

Andy Mabbett-2
In reply to this post by Bodhisattwa Mandal
On 22 June 2017 at 10:23, Bodhisattwa Mandal
<[hidden email]> 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.

Today in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said:

   “Ours is a land of original peoples, and of newcomers. And our
greatest pride is
    that you can come here from anywhere in the world, build a good
life and be part
    of our community. We don’t care where you’re from, or what
religion you practice,
    or whom you love, you are all welcome in Canada!”

   http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/selected-quotes-from-participants-in-the-national-canada-day-celebrations/wcm/14f154e7-9fe4-49f5-9423-fcebad451962

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: Visa rejections

Armine Aghayan
Hello all,

I am from Armenia and I applid for a temporary Canadian visa on May 8, 2017 from the  Canada visa application centre (CVAC) in Armenia. My documents were transferred from CVAC in Armenia to Embassy of Canada to Moscow on May 15, 2017. On http://www.cic.gc.ca page it says that documents for citizens of Armenia can be viewed within 2 weeks (without transfer time). It's already 8 weeks my documents are under review. Because of this uncertain delay I lost my trip to participate in WikiWomen Camp. On June 12, 2017 I wrote a letter to immagration office to Moscow and have this reply:  Your application  is under review. Processing times can take longer when verifications are needed and no specific time for completion can be confirmed. You will be notified once  a decision is  made.

On May 27, I wrote them telling that scholarship applicatnts visa deadline is near and again got the same answer back. So from May 8 up to now the Canadian Moscow visa office is reviewing my docs.


On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 1:05 AM, Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 22 June 2017 at 10:23, Bodhisattwa Mandal
<[hidden email]> 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.

Today in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said:

   “Ours is a land of original peoples, and of newcomers. And our
greatest pride is
    that you can come here from anywhere in the world, build a good
life and be part
    of our community. We don’t care where you’re from, or what
religion you practice,
    or whom you love, you are all welcome in Canada!”

   http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/selected-quotes-from-participants-in-the-national-canada-day-celebrations/wcm/14f154e7-9fe4-49f5-9423-fcebad451962

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



--

Best Regards
Armine Aghayan

Wikipedia Editor
Leading Human Resourses specialist at the 
Ministry of Transport, Communication and Informational Technologies of RA

<a href="tel:+374%2077%20209096" value="+37477209096" style="color:rgb(17,85,204)" target="_blank">+374 77209096

<a href="tel:+374%2043%20053700" value="+37443053700" style="color:rgb(17,85,204)" target="_blank">+374 43053700


[hidden email]

[hidden email]

[hidden email]


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Re: Visa rejections

Jane Darnell
Wow so sorry to read this, Armine! If the pillars of our community are having their visas "rejected-by-filing-in-Moscow" then this is surely newsworthy? Maybe someone can run a piece on this problem? This case in particular is pretty shocking to me.

On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 8:11 AM, Armine Aghayan <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello all,

I am from Armenia and I applid for a temporary Canadian visa on May 8, 2017 from the  Canada visa application centre (CVAC) in Armenia. My documents were transferred from CVAC in Armenia to Embassy of Canada to Moscow on May 15, 2017. On http://www.cic.gc.ca page it says that documents for citizens of Armenia can be viewed within 2 weeks (without transfer time). It's already 8 weeks my documents are under review. Because of this uncertain delay I lost my trip to participate in WikiWomen Camp. On June 12, 2017 I wrote a letter to immagration office to Moscow and have this reply:  Your application  is under review. Processing times can take longer when verifications are needed and no specific time for completion can be confirmed. You will be notified once  a decision is  made.

On May 27, I wrote them telling that scholarship applicatnts visa deadline is near and again got the same answer back. So from May 8 up to now the Canadian Moscow visa office is reviewing my docs.


On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 1:05 AM, Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 22 June 2017 at 10:23, Bodhisattwa Mandal
<[hidden email]> 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.

Today in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said:

   “Ours is a land of original peoples, and of newcomers. And our
greatest pride is
    that you can come here from anywhere in the world, build a good
life and be part
    of our community. We don’t care where you’re from, or what
religion you practice,
    or whom you love, you are all welcome in Canada!”

   http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/selected-quotes-from-participants-in-the-national-canada-day-celebrations/wcm/14f154e7-9fe4-49f5-9423-fcebad451962

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



--

Best Regards
Armine Aghayan

Wikipedia Editor
Leading Human Resourses specialist at the 
Ministry of Transport, Communication and Informational Technologies of RA

<a href="tel:+374%2077%20209096" value="+37477209096" style="color:rgb(17,85,204)" target="_blank">+374 77209096

<a href="tel:+374%2043%20053700" value="+37443053700" style="color:rgb(17,85,204)" target="_blank">+374 43053700


[hidden email]

[hidden email]

[hidden email]


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Re: Visa rejections

Mardetanha-2
​Canadian visas are kinda different from rest of the world, Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia and turkey are considered in Visa center in Ankara.
Most Arabic countries are being considered in Amman Jordan. 
some Caucasian are being considered in Moscow
and in Europe most are in VAC office in Paris
​.
so depending on your country of origin your document might be reviewed and sent to other countries, another strange point is throughout the process, they keep your passport, so it means that for unclear time-frame you can not make any travels.



Mardetanha

On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 11:02 AM, Jane Darnell <[hidden email]> wrote:
Wow so sorry to read this, Armine! If the pillars of our community are having their visas "rejected-by-filing-in-Moscow" then this is surely newsworthy? Maybe someone can run a piece on this problem? This case in particular is pretty shocking to me.

On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 8:11 AM, Armine Aghayan <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello all,

I am from Armenia and I applid for a temporary Canadian visa on May 8, 2017 from the  Canada visa application centre (CVAC) in Armenia. My documents were transferred from CVAC in Armenia to Embassy of Canada to Moscow on May 15, 2017. On http://www.cic.gc.ca page it says that documents for citizens of Armenia can be viewed within 2 weeks (without transfer time). It's already 8 weeks my documents are under review. Because of this uncertain delay I lost my trip to participate in WikiWomen Camp. On June 12, 2017 I wrote a letter to immagration office to Moscow and have this reply:  Your application  is under review. Processing times can take longer when verifications are needed and no specific time for completion can be confirmed. You will be notified once  a decision is  made.

On May 27, I wrote them telling that scholarship applicatnts visa deadline is near and again got the same answer back. So from May 8 up to now the Canadian Moscow visa office is reviewing my docs.


On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 1:05 AM, Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 22 June 2017 at 10:23, Bodhisattwa Mandal
<[hidden email]> 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.

Today in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said:

   “Ours is a land of original peoples, and of newcomers. And our
greatest pride is
    that you can come here from anywhere in the world, build a good
life and be part
    of our community. We don’t care where you’re from, or what
religion you practice,
    or whom you love, you are all welcome in Canada!”

   http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/selected-quotes-from-participants-in-the-national-canada-day-celebrations/wcm/14f154e7-9fe4-49f5-9423-fcebad451962

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



--

Best Regards
Armine Aghayan

Wikipedia Editor
Leading Human Resourses specialist at the 
Ministry of Transport, Communication and Informational Technologies of RA

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Re: Visa rejections

Jane Darnell
That makes it sound even worse (creepy even, given the 8 weeks and counting time frame)

On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 9:13 AM, Mardetanha <[hidden email]> wrote:
​Canadian visas are kinda different from rest of the world, Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia and turkey are considered in Visa center in Ankara.
Most Arabic countries are being considered in Amman Jordan. 
some Caucasian are being considered in Moscow
and in Europe most are in VAC office in Paris
​.
so depending on your country of origin your document might be reviewed and sent to other countries, another strange point is throughout the process, they keep your passport, so it means that for unclear time-frame you can not make any travels.



Mardetanha

On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 11:02 AM, Jane Darnell <[hidden email]> wrote:
Wow so sorry to read this, Armine! If the pillars of our community are having their visas "rejected-by-filing-in-Moscow" then this is surely newsworthy? Maybe someone can run a piece on this problem? This case in particular is pretty shocking to me.

On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 8:11 AM, Armine Aghayan <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello all,

I am from Armenia and I applid for a temporary Canadian visa on May 8, 2017 from the  Canada visa application centre (CVAC) in Armenia. My documents were transferred from CVAC in Armenia to Embassy of Canada to Moscow on May 15, 2017. On http://www.cic.gc.ca page it says that documents for citizens of Armenia can be viewed within 2 weeks (without transfer time). It's already 8 weeks my documents are under review. Because of this uncertain delay I lost my trip to participate in WikiWomen Camp. On June 12, 2017 I wrote a letter to immagration office to Moscow and have this reply:  Your application  is under review. Processing times can take longer when verifications are needed and no specific time for completion can be confirmed. You will be notified once  a decision is  made.

On May 27, I wrote them telling that scholarship applicatnts visa deadline is near and again got the same answer back. So from May 8 up to now the Canadian Moscow visa office is reviewing my docs.


On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 1:05 AM, Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 22 June 2017 at 10:23, Bodhisattwa Mandal
<[hidden email]> 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.

Today in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said:

   “Ours is a land of original peoples, and of newcomers. And our
greatest pride is
    that you can come here from anywhere in the world, build a good
life and be part
    of our community. We don’t care where you’re from, or what
religion you practice,
    or whom you love, you are all welcome in Canada!”

   http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/selected-quotes-from-participants-in-the-national-canada-day-celebrations/wcm/14f154e7-9fe4-49f5-9423-fcebad451962

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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--

Best Regards
Armine Aghayan

Wikipedia Editor
Leading Human Resourses specialist at the 
Ministry of Transport, Communication and Informational Technologies of RA

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