Visa rejections

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Re: Visa rejections

Amir E. Aharoni
2017-06-22 13:57 GMT+03:00 Lodewijk <[hidden email]>:
>
> 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)
>
 
Heh, I'm not sure whether it was positive or negative :)

Jokes aside, this involved A LOT of work from the Haifa organizing team. Many months before the event Wikimedia Israel people (not me) contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained to them what kind of event this is, and what kind of people come to it. The Ministry contacts were friendly and cooperative and suggested a process and an invitation letter.

Then, when the actual event was coming closer (May–June or so), yours truly spent about two weeks doing nothing but sleeping, eating, and helping hundreds of people get visas. Luckily, I was employed very part-time back then and I could easily afford to volunteer for this. I mostly followed the process that the ministry suggested, but I also remember very-late-night Skype calls with participants from faraway timezones who had trouble filling forms (different forms in each consulate!) and writing special invitation letters for participants that represents highly respected international organizations. Days before the event I remember more surprising international phone calls from my country's representatives in consulates, airports, and border-crossings around the world—sometimes asking about Wikipedians I knew in person, and sometimes about people whom I had to look up in lists of participants and verify that they're legit (in case you're wondering, they all were).

As far as _I_ know, there were two rejections in 2011, but there may have been others I don't know about.

I've been telling this story every time I had a chance to talk to Wikimania organizers after 2011. Visa rejections come up every year at least since 2010, the year I started following Wikimania. The current version of the Wikimania Handbook [1] also refers to this: "Visa assistance—This is probably one of the most time-consuming and complicated thing to consider... Writing these letters is a full-time job". While writing this email I added: "... a full-time job for about two weeks or even more", and I moved the suggested time for this to April–May instead of May–June.

The Wikimania Handbook is awesome, and it's written based on real experience—future organizers should take it seriously. (I'm _not_ implying that the 2017 organizers didn't take it seriously. I acknowledge that it's complicated and that every country is different.)

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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

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Re: Visa rejections

WereSpielChequers-2
In reply to this post by Mardetanha-2
Sadly not just Canada.

I know the UK keeps the passport of applicants while they process the visa, and Georgians applying for a UK visa will have that processed in Ankara. Though the 8 weeks is slow for a visitor visa, not much chance to attend a funeral with that.

On a more practical note, this is a recurring problem - we certainly had issues in London and I know there have been other venues where there have been problems. Would it be possible to find some venues that are generally open for visitors and rotate Wikimania between them? Or at worst rotate Wikimania between closed and open countries. We are a global movement and if some of us have visa issues it should be are a problem for all of us.



Regards

Jonathan 


On 2 Jul 2017, at 08:13, 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

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Ministry of Transport, Communication and Informational Technologies of RA

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Re: Visa rejections

cs
I  think  this  another good argument  for  holding  Wikimania in  a country like  Thailand where I  live,  that  has one of the most  open travel  doors in  the world. The nationals of most  countries can arrive here without  any  special  documentation except  of course a valid passport, and stay  for  at  least  two  weeks. All they  might  be asked for  on  arrival  is to  show their return air ticket. 

Kudpung

On 2Jul, 2017, at 17:26, Jonathan Cardy <[hidden email]> wrote:

Sadly not just Canada.

I know the UK keeps the passport of applicants while they process the visa, and Georgians applying for a UK visa will have that processed in Ankara. Though the 8 weeks is slow for a visitor visa, not much chance to attend a funeral with that.

On a more practical note, this is a recurring problem - we certainly had issues in London and I know there have been other venues where there have been problems. Would it be possible to find some venues that are generally open for visitors and rotate Wikimania between them? Or at worst rotate Wikimania between closed and open countries. We are a global movement and if some of us have visa issues it should be are a problem for all of us.



Regards

Jonathan 


On 2 Jul 2017, at 08:13, 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

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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" class="">+374 77209096

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


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Re: Visa rejections

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

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

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

Sincerely,
DaB.


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Re: Visa rejections

Mykola Kozlenko
Hi,

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

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

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

Thanks
Mykola (NickK)

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
DaB.


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Re: Visa rejections

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

Best

On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 2:33 AM Mykola Kozlenko <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

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

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

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

Thanks
Mykola (NickK)

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
DaB.


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Re: Visa rejections

Mykola Kozlenko
I would rather say it should not be the only measure. Of course Israel is a very special case (and so are countries whose governments ban Israeli citizens from entering their countries).

Other than that we have multiple measures of visa-friendliness:
* number of countries whose citizens do not need to apply for a visa
* availability of embassies abroad, particularly in countries that are not visa-free (say, Canada has an extensive network of embassies all over the world, including countries whose citizens need visas)
* visa application rejection rate
* frequency of denial of entry at border control.

I do not intend to promote any country, I just want everyone to be fair and do not call a country "visa-friendly" if in reality more than half of countries need visas there, and vice versa.
* A visa-friendly country looks like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Maldives
* A country that is not visa-friendly looks like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_North_Korea

Mykola (NickK)

--- Оригінальне повідомлення ---
Від кого: "Amir Ladsgroup" <[hidden email]>
Дата: 3 липня 2017, 00:17:31

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

Best

On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 2:33 AM Mykola Kozlenko <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

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

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

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

Thanks
Mykola (NickK)

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
DaB.


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Re: Visa rejections

cs
In reply to this post by DaB.
Do you have any idea what you are talking about?  I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years along with a million other Western expats. Or would you prefer SA with its extremely high crime rate and a history of bigotry that still lingers to this day. Now that’s a place I won’t be gong to.

Kudpung

> On 3Jul, 2017, at 04:19, DaB. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello,
> Am 02.07.2017 um 13:37 schrieb cs:
>> a country like  Thailand where I  live
>
> you mean a country which is currently a military dictatorship (for the
> second time in 10 years)? A country that was THIS close to a open civil
> war? And if not a civil war, maybe a real war with Cambodia?
>
> Visa problems are problematic, but it is 10 times better than to give
> the Wikimania to an instable country – we are not the FIFA.
>
> Sincerely,
> DaB.
>
>
> --
> Benutzerseite: [[:w:de:User:DaB.]]
> PGP: 0x7CD1E35FD2A3A158 (pka funktioniert)
>
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Re: Visa rejections

Asaf Bartov-2
DaB.: Wikimania has already been held in a military dictatorship (Egypt, 2008), without particular problems. 

But I suggest that this thread is not helped by personal opinions of countries. I applaud Mykola for introducing actual data into the discussion.

   A.

On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 6:48 PM cs <[hidden email]> wrote:
Do you have any idea what you are talking about?  I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years along with a million other Western expats. Or would you prefer SA with its extremely high crime rate and a history of bigotry that still lingers to this day. Now that’s a place I won’t be gong to.

Kudpung
> On 3Jul, 2017, at 04:19, DaB. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello,
> Am 02.07.2017 um 13:37 schrieb cs:
>> a country like  Thailand where I  live
>
> you mean a country which is currently a military dictatorship (for the
> second time in 10 years)? A country that was THIS close to a open civil
> war? And if not a civil war, maybe a real war with Cambodia?
>
> Visa problems are problematic, but it is 10 times better than to give
> the Wikimania to an instable country – we are not the FIFA.
>
> Sincerely,
> DaB.
>
>
> --
> Benutzerseite: [[:w:de:User:DaB.]]
> PGP: 0x7CD1E35FD2A3A158 (pka funktioniert)
>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
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Re: Visa rejections

Ilario Valdelli-2

And to progress the best is to don’t forget some interesting points already defined in the previous emails.

 

One factual point is to have locally a mature and stable organization that can manage Visas and related problems with visas.

 

So, instead of speaking about dictatorships, the best is to stress this point.

 

Kind regards

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: [hidden email]
Sent: 03 July 2017 04:43
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Visa rejections

 

DaB.: Wikimania has already been held in a military dictatorship (Egypt, 2008), without particular problems. 

 

But I suggest that this thread is not helped by personal opinions of countries. I applaud Mykola for introducing actual data into the discussion.

 

   A.

 

On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 6:48 PM cs <[hidden email]> wrote:

Do you have any idea what you are talking about?  I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years along with a million other Western expats. Or would you prefer SA with its extremely high crime rate and a history of bigotry that still lingers to this day. Now that’s a place I won’t be gong to.

Kudpung


> On 3Jul, 2017, at 04:19, DaB. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello,
> Am 02.07.2017 um 13:37 schrieb cs:
>> a country like  Thailand where I  live
>
> you mean a country which is currently a military dictatorship (for the
> second time in 10 years)? A country that was THIS close to a open civil
> war? And if not a civil war, maybe a real war with Cambodia?
>
> Visa problems are problematic, but it is 10 times better than to give
> the Wikimania to an instable country – we are not the FIFA.
>
> Sincerely,
> DaB.
>
>
> --
> Benutzerseite: [[:w:de:User:DaB.]]
> PGP: 0x7CD1E35FD2A3A158 (pka funktioniert)
>
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Re: Visa rejections

WereSpielChequers-2
In reply to this post by Amir Sarabadani-2
Number of countries not requiring a visa is a misleading metric, some visas are basically a tourist tax paid on entry to the country and some are a filter system to keep out anyone who might overstay and become an illegal migrant. That's before you get into the issue of some countries being much more important to us than others. For example India has several thousand times the population of Iceland.

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

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

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

Regards

Jonathan


On 2 Jul 2017, at 23:17, Amir Ladsgroup <[hidden email]> wrote:

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

Best

On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 2:33 AM Mykola Kozlenko <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

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

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

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

Thanks
Mykola (NickK)

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
DaB.


-- 
Benutzerseite: [[:w:de:User:DaB.]]
PGP: 0x7CD1E35FD2A3A158 (pka funktioniert)


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Re: Visa rejections

Peter Southwood
In reply to this post by Ilario Valdelli-2

A country that almost everyone can go to is important

A country that most can afford to go to is important

A country where most can reasonably  expect to be reasonably safe is important.

Without these the purpose of the event cannot be achieved

Safety is often a matter of choosing where you go and what you do. There is no utopia available. If you are so privileged that you can afford to go anywhere and don’t have visa problems anywhere, lucky you, but you don’t have to assume we are all in that situation.

Managing visa applications is the issue we are trying to deal with here (see the thread title), Advice that actually has some chance of practical applicability to this specific problem is welcome. For the rest please start another thread.

Personal prejudice against the local regime is a personal choice, and less important if the previous requirements are met.

Cheers,

Peter

 

From: Wikimania-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Ilario Valdelli
Sent: Monday, 03 July 2017 10:02 AM
To: Wikimania general list (open subscription)
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Visa rejections

 

And to progress the best is to don’t forget some interesting points already defined in the previous emails.

 

One factual point is to have locally a mature and stable organization that can manage Visas and related problems with visas.

 

So, instead of speaking about dictatorships, the best is to stress this point.

 

Kind regards

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: [hidden email]
Sent: 03 July 2017 04:43
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Visa rejections

 

DaB.: Wikimania has already been held in a military dictatorship (Egypt, 2008), without particular problems. 

 

But I suggest that this thread is not helped by personal opinions of countries. I applaud Mykola for introducing actual data into the discussion.

 

   A.

 

On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 6:48 PM cs <[hidden email]> wrote:

Do you have any idea what you are talking about?  I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years along with a million other Western expats. Or would you prefer SA with its extremely high crime rate and a history of bigotry that still lingers to this day. Now that’s a place I won’t be gong to.

Kudpung


> On 3Jul, 2017, at 04:19, DaB. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello,
> Am 02.07.2017 um 13:37 schrieb cs:
>> a country like  Thailand where I  live
>
> you mean a country which is currently a military dictatorship (for the
> second time in 10 years)? A country that was THIS close to a open civil
> war? And if not a civil war, maybe a real war with Cambodia?
>
> Visa problems are problematic, but it is 10 times better than to give
> the Wikimania to an instable country – we are not the FIFA.
>
> Sincerely,
> DaB.
>
>
> --
> Benutzerseite: [[:w:de:User:DaB.]]
> PGP: 0x7CD1E35FD2A3A158 (pka funktioniert)
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimania-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


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Re: Visa rejections

Jane Darnell
In reply to this post by Ilario Valdelli-2
Yes I was wondering about that. Helping people with visa applications is not a Wikimedia specialty (though I appreciate the work that has gone into the meta Learning patterns and those Wikipedia pages on visa policy that were linked earlier).

I am thinking that maybe we need local collaboration on visa issues through our chapter representatives with e.g. local conference holders? Maybe in local academia?

On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 10:02 AM, Ilario Valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:

And to progress the best is to don’t forget some interesting points already defined in the previous emails.

 

One factual point is to have locally a mature and stable organization that can manage Visas and related problems with visas.

 

So, instead of speaking about dictatorships, the best is to stress this point.

 

Kind regards

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: [hidden email]
Sent: 03 July 2017 04:43
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Visa rejections

 

DaB.: Wikimania has already been held in a military dictatorship (Egypt, 2008), without particular problems. 

 

But I suggest that this thread is not helped by personal opinions of countries. I applaud Mykola for introducing actual data into the discussion.

 

   A.

 

On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 6:48 PM cs <[hidden email]> wrote:

Do you have any idea what you are talking about?  I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years along with a million other Western expats. Or would you prefer SA with its extremely high crime rate and a history of bigotry that still lingers to this day. Now that’s a place I won’t be gong to.

Kudpung


> On 3Jul, 2017, at 04:19, DaB. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello,
> Am 02.07.2017 um 13:37 schrieb cs:
>> a country like  Thailand where I  live
>
> you mean a country which is currently a military dictatorship (for the
> second time in 10 years)? A country that was THIS close to a open civil
> war? And if not a civil war, maybe a real war with Cambodia?
>
> Visa problems are problematic, but it is 10 times better than to give
> the Wikimania to an instable country – we are not the FIFA.
>
> Sincerely,
> DaB.
>
>
> --
> Benutzerseite: [[:w:de:User:DaB.]]
> PGP: 0x7CD1E35FD2A3A158 (pka funktioniert)
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimania-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


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Re: Visa rejections

DaB.
In reply to this post by Asaf Bartov-2
Hello,
Am 03.07.2017 um 04:41 schrieb Asaf Bartov:
> DaB.: Wikimania has already been held in a military dictatorship (Egypt,
> 2008), without particular problems.

that’s not a reason to repeat the mistake. If you held an event
(especially such a big one as the Wikimania) in a dictatorship, you
support this dictatorship. You support the suppression of free speech
and other human rights.

And cs, just to quote enwp:

“Since May 2014 Thailand has been ruled by a military junta, the
National Council for Peace and Order, which has partially repealed the
2007 constitution, declared martial law and nationwide curfew, banned
political gatherings, arrested and detained politicians and anti-coup
activists, imposed internet censorship and taken control of the media.”

The conflicts of the yellow- and the red-shirt-people were so bad you
even got reports in European news-programs on TV, and so was the
conflict of the Preah Vihear Temple. So please try not to fool me.

Thailand is surely a great country, but it has many problems
(dictatorship, civil uprisings, corruption, police-corruption, high
number of deaths on road traffic, and so on) that makes it unsuitable
for a conference.

Sincerely,
DaB.



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Re: Visa rejections

Dhaval S. Vyas
Can we please not keep this thread dedicated to the discussion that the subject suggests? What European medias has shown and what any individual's belief for any country of the world could be fun to discuss on social media where more people can join. These kind of personal views can hurt feelings of citizens/residents of those countries.

This thread started with the issues faced in getting visa to this year's Wikimania, let us stick to that please.

Thanks,
Dhaval 

On 3 Jul 2017 17:18, "DaB." <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello,
Am 03.07.2017 um 04:41 schrieb Asaf Bartov:
> DaB.: Wikimania has already been held in a military dictatorship (Egypt,
> 2008), without particular problems.

that’s not a reason to repeat the mistake. If you held an event
(especially such a big one as the Wikimania) in a dictatorship, you
support this dictatorship. You support the suppression of free speech
and other human rights.

And cs, just to quote enwp:

“Since May 2014 Thailand has been ruled by a military junta, the
National Council for Peace and Order, which has partially repealed the
2007 constitution, declared martial law and nationwide curfew, banned
political gatherings, arrested and detained politicians and anti-coup
activists, imposed internet censorship and taken control of the media.”

The conflicts of the yellow- and the red-shirt-people were so bad you
even got reports in European news-programs on TV, and so was the
conflict of the Preah Vihear Temple. So please try not to fool me.

Thailand is surely a great country, but it has many problems
(dictatorship, civil uprisings, corruption, police-corruption, high
number of deaths on road traffic, and so on) that makes it unsuitable
for a conference.

Sincerely,
DaB.



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Re: Visa rejections

jayanta nath-2
As per latest update: from India 4 Indian, 3 Armenian and 3/2 African rejected.

Regards,

Jayanta Nath

On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 10:34 PM, Dhaval S. Vyas <[hidden email]> wrote:
Can we please not keep this thread dedicated to the discussion that the subject suggests? What European medias has shown and what any individual's belief for any country of the world could be fun to discuss on social media where more people can join. These kind of personal views can hurt feelings of citizens/residents of those countries.

This thread started with the issues faced in getting visa to this year's Wikimania, let us stick to that please.

Thanks,
Dhaval 

On 3 Jul 2017 17:18, "DaB." <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello,
Am 03.07.2017 um 04:41 schrieb Asaf Bartov:
> DaB.: Wikimania has already been held in a military dictatorship (Egypt,
> 2008), without particular problems.

that’s not a reason to repeat the mistake. If you held an event
(especially such a big one as the Wikimania) in a dictatorship, you
support this dictatorship. You support the suppression of free speech
and other human rights.

And cs, just to quote enwp:

“Since May 2014 Thailand has been ruled by a military junta, the
National Council for Peace and Order, which has partially repealed the
2007 constitution, declared martial law and nationwide curfew, banned
political gatherings, arrested and detained politicians and anti-coup
activists, imposed internet censorship and taken control of the media.”

The conflicts of the yellow- and the red-shirt-people were so bad you
even got reports in European news-programs on TV, and so was the
conflict of the Preah Vihear Temple. So please try not to fool me.

Thailand is surely a great country, but it has many problems
(dictatorship, civil uprisings, corruption, police-corruption, high
number of deaths on road traffic, and so on) that makes it unsuitable
for a conference.

Sincerely,
DaB.



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Re: Visa rejections

DaB.
In reply to this post by Dhaval S. Vyas
Hello,
Am 03.07.2017 um 19:04 schrieb Dhaval S. Vyas:
> Can we please not keep this thread dedicated to the discussion that the
> subject suggests?

it was cs who tried to advertise a unfit country – where were you
„please stick to the topic“-mail then?

And sorry that telling the truth COULD hurt some feelings. There is this
arabic saying that you can’t carry the torch of truth through a throng
without burning some beards.

And no, you don’t need to answer. Learning that some people in the
movements support dictatorships was bad enough for this week.

Sincerely,
DaB.



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Re: Visa rejections

Béria Lima
In reply to this post by jayanta nath-2
Out of how many people who tried for a visa from those countries? 

On Jul 3, 2017 14:09, "Jayanta Nath" <[hidden email]> wrote:
As per latest update: from India 4 Indian, 3 Armenian and 3/2 African rejected.

Regards,

Jayanta Nath

On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 10:34 PM, Dhaval S. Vyas <[hidden email]> wrote:
Can we please not keep this thread dedicated to the discussion that the subject suggests? What European medias has shown and what any individual's belief for any country of the world could be fun to discuss on social media where more people can join. These kind of personal views can hurt feelings of citizens/residents of those countries.

This thread started with the issues faced in getting visa to this year's Wikimania, let us stick to that please.

Thanks,
Dhaval 

On 3 Jul 2017 17:18, "DaB." <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello,
Am 03.07.2017 um 04:41 schrieb Asaf Bartov:
> DaB.: Wikimania has already been held in a military dictatorship (Egypt,
> 2008), without particular problems.

that’s not a reason to repeat the mistake. If you held an event
(especially such a big one as the Wikimania) in a dictatorship, you
support this dictatorship. You support the suppression of free speech
and other human rights.

And cs, just to quote enwp:

“Since May 2014 Thailand has been ruled by a military junta, the
National Council for Peace and Order, which has partially repealed the
2007 constitution, declared martial law and nationwide curfew, banned
political gatherings, arrested and detained politicians and anti-coup
activists, imposed internet censorship and taken control of the media.”

The conflicts of the yellow- and the red-shirt-people were so bad you
even got reports in European news-programs on TV, and so was the
conflict of the Preah Vihear Temple. So please try not to fool me.

Thailand is surely a great country, but it has many problems
(dictatorship, civil uprisings, corruption, police-corruption, high
number of deaths on road traffic, and so on) that makes it unsuitable
for a conference.

Sincerely,
DaB.



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Re: Visa rejections

Harry Mitchell
In reply to this post by DaB.
It strikes me that it would be helpful to focus on how we can improve the visa process for attendees from (predominantly) African and Asian countries rather than trying to find a utopia that has a very relaxed visa policy *and* a palatable government *and* political stability *and* modern infrastructure/transport links *and* is not excessively expensive for most people to get to. It's certainly not helpful t pounce on people for making good-faith suggestions, even if you think the suggestion is ludicrous.

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Re: Visa rejections

Levon Azizian
Dear all,

Regarding mentioned, I have some suggestions on mitigation risks for the future what could be done.

1. Visa support should be an important component for hosting community. Thus, during the bidding process of new location of Wikimania (or other huge event), each proposal of location should be considered not only from the prospective of visa-friendly policy, but on preliminary negotiations between local chapter (community) and local authorities (MFA or whatever). Thus, if let's say community of New Zealand get some positive negotiation's result from MFA of NZ on participant's visa support, it should be considered as a plus for this bid.
2. After the bid was chosen, local team should provide to local authorities the list of all participants who will participate at event and make sure that central authorities will transfer the lists to embassies and this lists will make a sense when decision on visa is made by embassy. Maybe it is not the most interesting thing, but hosting communities should take care on ability of their guests to visit the country,
3. Analysis of history of visa applications of Wiki(m/p)edians. As I understand, we never did such analysis and it could be useful as for passed event, and for future events as well.

Regards,
Levon Azizian
Wikimedia Ukraine

2017-07-04 15:02 GMT+03:00 Harry Mitchell <[hidden email]>:
It strikes me that it would be helpful to focus on how we can improve the visa process for attendees from (predominantly) African and Asian countries rather than trying to find a utopia that has a very relaxed visa policy *and* a palatable government *and* political stability *and* modern infrastructure/transport links *and* is not excessively expensive for most people to get to. It's certainly not helpful t pounce on people for making good-faith suggestions, even if you think the suggestion is ludicrous.

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