Visa rejections

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Re: Visa rejections

Shanmugam Pachamuthu
If it's ok with everyone, can we update this table with visa status (Approved, Rejected, In progress)?


On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 5:16 PM, Béria Lima <[hidden email]> wrote:
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National Council for Peace and Order, which has partially repealed the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

Lodewijk
Please don't. This is privacy sensitive information that might actually hurt people in future visa applications (for example, in another country). 

If you want to collect such info, I suggest you get someone with the proper privacy clearance with the WMF to collect it, and analyze it. 

Lodewijk

On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 2:39 PM, Shanmugam Pachamuthu <[hidden email]> wrote:
If it's ok with everyone, can we update this table with visa status (Approved, Rejected, In progress)?


On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 5:16 PM, Béria Lima <[hidden email]> wrote:
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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Thanks & Regards, 
Shanmugam Pachamuthu.

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Re: Visa rejections

Levon Azizian
I support what Lodewijk told. This information may be collected only by WMF staff who signed a contest that this info will not be shared with anyone, otherwise than just statistics without personification. Personal data protection is a very important issue.

Levon

2017-07-04 15:41 GMT+03:00 Lodewijk <[hidden email]>:
Please don't. This is privacy sensitive information that might actually hurt people in future visa applications (for example, in another country). 

If you want to collect such info, I suggest you get someone with the proper privacy clearance with the WMF to collect it, and analyze it. 

Lodewijk

On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 2:39 PM, Shanmugam Pachamuthu <[hidden email]> wrote:
If it's ok with everyone, can we update this table with visa status (Approved, Rejected, In progress)?


On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 5:16 PM, Béria Lima <[hidden email]> wrote:
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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--
Thanks & Regards, 
Shanmugam Pachamuthu.

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Re: Visa rejections

Shanmugam Pachamuthu
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
I think WMF should already have this information. maybe we can ask them to publish country wise anonymous data or something alike.

I agree that it's privacy sensitive data, maybe not a good idea to publish along with username but for most of the visa applications we have to publish our previous visa rejections, so it might not hurt other country visa applications.

On 04-Jul-2017 6:12 PM, "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Please don't. This is privacy sensitive information that might actually hurt people in future visa applications (for example, in another country). 

If you want to collect such info, I suggest you get someone with the proper privacy clearance with the WMF to collect it, and analyze it. 

Lodewijk

On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 2:39 PM, Shanmugam Pachamuthu <[hidden email]> wrote:
If it's ok with everyone, can we update this table with visa status (Approved, Rejected, In progress)?


On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 5:16 PM, Béria Lima <[hidden email]> wrote:
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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--
Thanks & Regards, 
Shanmugam Pachamuthu.

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Re: Visa rejections

Shanmugam Pachamuthu
In reply to this post by Levon Azizian
I was not asking wmf or anyone other than the applicant to publish the details. If the applicant is ok then they can publish. Again things that you guys consider privicy sensitive may not be privacy sensitive to others. It maybe a cultural difference or unawareness. For example Third question a stranger asks you in my country would be what's your salary ;). So it's upto the applicant.

On 04-Jul-2017 6:17 PM, "Levon Azizian" <[hidden email]> wrote:
I support what Lodewijk told. This information may be collected only by WMF staff who signed a contest that this info will not be shared with anyone, otherwise than just statistics without personification. Personal data protection is a very important issue.

Levon

2017-07-04 15:41 GMT+03:00 Lodewijk <[hidden email]>:
Please don't. This is privacy sensitive information that might actually hurt people in future visa applications (for example, in another country). 

If you want to collect such info, I suggest you get someone with the proper privacy clearance with the WMF to collect it, and analyze it. 

Lodewijk

On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 2:39 PM, Shanmugam Pachamuthu <[hidden email]> wrote:
If it's ok with everyone, can we update this table with visa status (Approved, Rejected, In progress)?


On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 5:16 PM, Béria Lima <[hidden email]> wrote:
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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Thanks & Regards, 
Shanmugam Pachamuthu.

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Re: Visa rejections

WereSpielChequers-2
In reply to this post by Levon Azizian
Hi Levin,

Of your three points:

1 Is good, but I can remember one winning bid where there was a very strong reassurance at the bid stage which then didn't really work out well during the organisation stage. I'm not going to name the bid, but I will say that people ask questions and not every answer is 100% delivered. If questions have not been asked recently we need to start asking them again ( I don't know if this was looked at during Montreal, I look at lots of Wikimania bids and often ask about visas, I don't remember looking at the Montreal bid).

2 Is a problem, some of the people who are going to have most difficulty getting visas are people who can only afford to come if they get a scholarship. Moving the whole scholarship process forward so we know who is going to come earlier would lose spontaneity of the event for others though it would help some get visas. But there are two things we could do. Firstly we could offer scholarships now  to next year's Wikimania to scholarship recipients who couldn't get visas to Montreal (and do that each year - this is not a new problem or an easy one). Secondly we could move the scholarship process forward for people coming from countries where visas are likely to be slow to get for the next Wikimania. That could mean two rounds of scholarship applications, one for one group of countries and a few months later for people from other countries. Not perfect but practical and probably helpful.

3 I'm pretty sure there has been analysis, at least to the level of number of non attendees due to visa failure per Wikimania. For Privacy reasons we need to be very careful with any more detailed data, but that number should be known and each Wikimania team should be aiming to be low on that list.


Regards

Jonathan 


On 4 Jul 2017, at 13:13, Levon Azizian <[hidden email]> wrote:

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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Re: Visa rejections

Ivan Martínez
I think there is an impossible task have a country to host a Wikimania with all the ideal conditions. For an example, Canada and Mexico for better or worse share borders with US, and there are many geopolitical factors and mutual agreements derived from States strong advocacy around migration, travel regulations and such conditioning the visa procedures.

Many other factors of rejection unfortunately are strictly personal and not attributable to local organizers or WMF as lack of proving of funds to face an emergency, or evidence of "reasons" to come back to the origin country as jobs, family or schools. Talking with Foreign Affairs officials in Mexico in 2015, I know that they aware about people in the past abused of the attendance to (real or fake) international events to stay legal or illegal in the country which invited them with good faith.

I know that is not the case of any colleague in the movement, but we need to be aware about this strict rules and all the factors to consider around the process and do our best to get people safe and present in Wikimania cities. 

Also I'm agree with Jonathan about kind of "next year" policy.

Best,




2017-07-04 10:45 GMT-05:00 Jonathan Cardy <[hidden email]>:
Hi Levin,

Of your three points:

1 Is good, but I can remember one winning bid where there was a very strong reassurance at the bid stage which then didn't really work out well during the organisation stage. I'm not going to name the bid, but I will say that people ask questions and not every answer is 100% delivered. If questions have not been asked recently we need to start asking them again ( I don't know if this was looked at during Montreal, I look at lots of Wikimania bids and often ask about visas, I don't remember looking at the Montreal bid).

2 Is a problem, some of the people who are going to have most difficulty getting visas are people who can only afford to come if they get a scholarship. Moving the whole scholarship process forward so we know who is going to come earlier would lose spontaneity of the event for others though it would help some get visas. But there are two things we could do. Firstly we could offer scholarships now  to next year's Wikimania to scholarship recipients who couldn't get visas to Montreal (and do that each year - this is not a new problem or an easy one). Secondly we could move the scholarship process forward for people coming from countries where visas are likely to be slow to get for the next Wikimania. That could mean two rounds of scholarship applications, one for one group of countries and a few months later for people from other countries. Not perfect but practical and probably helpful.

3 I'm pretty sure there has been analysis, at least to the level of number of non attendees due to visa failure per Wikimania. For Privacy reasons we need to be very careful with any more detailed data, but that number should be known and each Wikimania team should be aiming to be low on that list.


Regards

Jonathan 


On 4 Jul 2017, at 13:13, Levon Azizian <[hidden email]> wrote:

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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// Mis comunicaciones respecto a Wikipedia/Wikimedia pueden tener una moratoria en su atención debido a que es un voluntariado.
// Ayuda a proteger a Wikipedia, dona ahora: https://donate.wikimedia.org

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Re: Visa rejections

Dhaval S. Vyas
In reply to this post by WereSpielChequers-2
Hi Jonathan,

With regard to the point 2, issuing scholarships early, how early is a question. Most countries, if not all, only allows one to apply no more than 3 months prior to their intended date of travel, so notifying recipients 6 months in advance is not going to help them in anyways.

We need to learn the reason provided by visa processing agency for the rejection, which can help others decide what to submit and what to expect. I think in this thread also I have missed that if anyone mentioned the official reason provided to them. I see points made about invitation/sponsorship letter sent from US for Canada visa here but uncertain whether that was officially the reason for rejection.

Regards,
Dhaval Vyas 

On 4 Jul 2017 16:45, "Jonathan Cardy" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Levin,

Of your three points:

1 Is good, but I can remember one winning bid where there was a very strong reassurance at the bid stage which then didn't really work out well during the organisation stage. I'm not going to name the bid, but I will say that people ask questions and not every answer is 100% delivered. If questions have not been asked recently we need to start asking them again ( I don't know if this was looked at during Montreal, I look at lots of Wikimania bids and often ask about visas, I don't remember looking at the Montreal bid).

2 Is a problem, some of the people who are going to have most difficulty getting visas are people who can only afford to come if they get a scholarship. Moving the whole scholarship process forward so we know who is going to come earlier would lose spontaneity of the event for others though it would help some get visas. But there are two things we could do. Firstly we could offer scholarships now  to next year's Wikimania to scholarship recipients who couldn't get visas to Montreal (and do that each year - this is not a new problem or an easy one). Secondly we could move the scholarship process forward for people coming from countries where visas are likely to be slow to get for the next Wikimania. That could mean two rounds of scholarship applications, one for one group of countries and a few months later for people from other countries. Not perfect but practical and probably helpful.

3 I'm pretty sure there has been analysis, at least to the level of number of non attendees due to visa failure per Wikimania. For Privacy reasons we need to be very careful with any more detailed data, but that number should be known and each Wikimania team should be aiming to be low on that list.


Regards

Jonathan 


On 4 Jul 2017, at 13:13, Levon Azizian <[hidden email]> wrote:

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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Re: Visa rejections

Isaac Olatunde
I agree with Jonathan that issuing scholarship earlier than three months before event is meaningless. What I see as the most viable solution to this problem is that WMF should leave invitations to host country who is expected to work in tandem with their Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Wikimedia Conference in Berlin is working today not because Germany is Visa-friendly but because of the way WMDE is handling the visa process. It's surprising that WMF is the one inviting people to Canada rather than the host country. I don't know if someone from the foundation will comment on the invitation letter. 

Best, 

Isaac  

On Jul 4, 2017 5:30 PM, "Dhaval S. Vyas" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Jonathan,

With regard to the point 2, issuing scholarships early, how early is a question. Most countries, if not all, only allows one to apply no more than 3 months prior to their intended date of travel, so notifying recipients 6 months in advance is not going to help them in anyways.

We need to learn the reason provided by visa processing agency for the rejection, which can help others decide what to submit and what to expect. I think in this thread also I have missed that if anyone mentioned the official reason provided to them. I see points made about invitation/sponsorship letter sent from US for Canada visa here but uncertain whether that was officially the reason for rejection.

Regards,
Dhaval Vyas 

On 4 Jul 2017 16:45, "Jonathan Cardy" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Levin,

Of your three points:

1 Is good, but I can remember one winning bid where there was a very strong reassurance at the bid stage which then didn't really work out well during the organisation stage. I'm not going to name the bid, but I will say that people ask questions and not every answer is 100% delivered. If questions have not been asked recently we need to start asking them again ( I don't know if this was looked at during Montreal, I look at lots of Wikimania bids and often ask about visas, I don't remember looking at the Montreal bid).

2 Is a problem, some of the people who are going to have most difficulty getting visas are people who can only afford to come if they get a scholarship. Moving the whole scholarship process forward so we know who is going to come earlier would lose spontaneity of the event for others though it would help some get visas. But there are two things we could do. Firstly we could offer scholarships now  to next year's Wikimania to scholarship recipients who couldn't get visas to Montreal (and do that each year - this is not a new problem or an easy one). Secondly we could move the scholarship process forward for people coming from countries where visas are likely to be slow to get for the next Wikimania. That could mean two rounds of scholarship applications, one for one group of countries and a few months later for people from other countries. Not perfect but practical and probably helpful.

3 I'm pretty sure there has been analysis, at least to the level of number of non attendees due to visa failure per Wikimania. For Privacy reasons we need to be very careful with any more detailed data, but that number should be known and each Wikimania team should be aiming to be low on that list.


Regards

Jonathan 


On 4 Jul 2017, at 13:13, Levon Azizian <[hidden email]> wrote:

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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Re: Visa rejections

Nahid Sultan

Hey Folks,

I got my passport back today and count me in to the 'rejected party' :) The grounds of rejection are 'Travel History' and 'Purpose of Travel'. Though I have a fair travel history with 3 Schengen, a valid USA visa and some other visas. I guess the guy even didn't bother to check my passport. 


Best of luck to all those participating in the Wikimania this year. 


Cheers,

Nahid Sultan

User:NahidSultan on all Wikimedia Foundation's public wikis

Secretary, Wikimedia Bangladesh

Twitter: @nahidunlimited


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Re: Visa rejections

Dr Pavanaja

Hi,

 

I got my visa approved. I also have a fairly good travel history (USA, Singapore, Taiwan)

 

Regards,

Pavanaja

 

From: Wikimania-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Nahid Sultan
Sent: 26 July 2017 07:27 PM
To: Wikimania general list (open subscription)
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Visa rejections

 

Hey Folks,

I got my passport back today and count me in to the 'rejected party' :) The grounds of rejection are 'Travel History' and 'Purpose of Travel'. Though I have a fair travel history with 3 Schengen, a valid USA visa and some other visas. I guess the guy even didn't bother to check my passport. 

 

Best of luck to all those participating in the Wikimania this year. 

 

Cheers,

Nahid Sultan

User:NahidSultan on all Wikimedia Foundation's public wikis

Secretary, Wikimedia Bangladesh

Twitter: @nahidunlimited


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Re: Visa rejections

Ellie Young
In reply to this post by Isaac Olatunde


On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 1:37 PM, Isaac Olatunde <[hidden email]> wrote:
I agree with Jonathan that issuing scholarship earlier than three months before event is meaningless. What I see as the most viable solution to this problem is that WMF should leave invitations to host country who is expected to work in tandem with their Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

​I would like to point out that WMF normally does work with the above, but with Canada their processes did not allow for this option....

The Steering Committee and Foundation will no doubt revisit the location issue for Wikimania.  We do mostly go to "visa-friendly" countries but once every 5 years or so the conference is located in Canada or USA which has these challenges.
The Wikimedia Conference in Berlin is working today not because Germany is Visa-friendly but because of the way WMDE is handling the visa process. It's surprising that WMF is the one inviting people to Canada rather than the host country. I don't know if someone from the foundation will comment on the invitation letter. 

Best, 

Isaac  

On Jul 4, 2017 5:30 PM, "Dhaval S. Vyas" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Jonathan,

With regard to the point 2, issuing scholarships early, how early is a question. Most countries, if not all, only allows one to apply no more than 3 months prior to their intended date of travel, so notifying recipients 6 months in advance is not going to help them in anyways.

We need to learn the reason provided by visa processing agency for the rejection, which can help others decide what to submit and what to expect. I think in this thread also I have missed that if anyone mentioned the official reason provided to them. I see points made about invitation/sponsorship letter sent from US for Canada visa here but uncertain whether that was officially the reason for rejection.

Regards,
Dhaval Vyas 

On 4 Jul 2017 16:45, "Jonathan Cardy" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Levin,

Of your three points:

1 Is good, but I can remember one winning bid where there was a very strong reassurance at the bid stage which then didn't really work out well during the organisation stage. I'm not going to name the bid, but I will say that people ask questions and not every answer is 100% delivered. If questions have not been asked recently we need to start asking them again ( I don't know if this was looked at during Montreal, I look at lots of Wikimania bids and often ask about visas, I don't remember looking at the Montreal bid).

2 Is a problem, some of the people who are going to have most difficulty getting visas are people who can only afford to come if they get a scholarship. Moving the whole scholarship process forward so we know who is going to come earlier would lose spontaneity of the event for others though it would help some get visas. But there are two things we could do. Firstly we could offer scholarships now  to next year's Wikimania to scholarship recipients who couldn't get visas to Montreal (and do that each year - this is not a new problem or an easy one). Secondly we could move the scholarship process forward for people coming from countries where visas are likely to be slow to get for the next Wikimania. That could mean two rounds of scholarship applications, one for one group of countries and a few months later for people from other countries. Not perfect but practical and probably helpful.

3 I'm pretty sure there has been analysis, at least to the level of number of non attendees due to visa failure per Wikimania. For Privacy reasons we need to be very careful with any more detailed data, but that number should be known and each Wikimania team should be aiming to be low on that list.


Regards

Jonathan 


On 4 Jul 2017, at 13:13, Levon Azizian <[hidden email]> wrote:

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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Re: Visa rejections

Gnangarra
In reply to this post by Mykola Kozlenko
Unfair to say Australia is the least friendly country as the Australian Customs and Border protection has a whole dedicated process for conferences https://www.border.gov.au/Busi/Trav/Conf that enable processing of visa regardless of country by the organisors.   That over 100 countries can apply electronically for a visitor visa with most applications process within 72 hours  but what would I know having only worked in the tourism industry for 30 years that couldnt be found out by putting poor research om 3rd party sites as facts. 

On 3 July 2017 at 06:03, 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

Lodewijk
Hi Gnagarra,

if you want to make a proposal to host wikimania - please do. There's a whole package of things to consider though, not just visa. 

Otherwise, I think it is mostly distractingin this contest to hear people 'brag' about their own country's visa policy. If that is a topic you want to start, I suggest you branch off the discussion, into something like 'visa in my country are super easy'. 
(and this is equally valid for all other people from other countries that like to share about their visa policies)

Best,
Lodewijk

On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 2:09 AM, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:
Unfair to say Australia is the least friendly country as the Australian Customs and Border protection has a whole dedicated process for conferences https://www.border.gov.au/Busi/Trav/Conf that enable processing of visa regardless of country by the organisors.   That over 100 countries can apply electronically for a visitor visa with most applications process within 72 hours  but what would I know having only worked in the tourism industry for 30 years that couldnt be found out by putting poor research om 3rd party sites as facts. 

On 3 July 2017 at 06:03, 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

Gnangarra
I have on 4 occassions put forward Perth WA bids, including for 2017, 2018 and 2019, my response was purely to highlight that information being put forward in this email thread that was incorrect and later praise  as nice to facts being presented.  NO intention of usurping this thread. I'm well aware of what it takes to host such a large event.

I know what the significance being able to attend a Wikimania is and feel for those who are having visa problems 

On 27 July 2017 at 14:34, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Gnagarra,

if you want to make a proposal to host wikimania - please do. There's a whole package of things to consider though, not just visa. 

Otherwise, I think it is mostly distractingin this contest to hear people 'brag' about their own country's visa policy. If that is a topic you want to start, I suggest you branch off the discussion, into something like 'visa in my country are super easy'. 
(and this is equally valid for all other people from other countries that like to share about their visa policies)

Best,
Lodewijk

On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 2:09 AM, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:
Unfair to say Australia is the least friendly country as the Australian Customs and Border protection has a whole dedicated process for conferences https://www.border.gov.au/Busi/Trav/Conf that enable processing of visa regardless of country by the organisors.   That over 100 countries can apply electronically for a visitor visa with most applications process within 72 hours  but what would I know having only worked in the tourism industry for 30 years that couldnt be found out by putting poor research om 3rd party sites as facts. 

On 3 July 2017 at 06:03, 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

balaji
Hi,
     I am Balaji. User:Balajijagadesh from India. Yesterday My visa application was rejected with the reply that "Having a legitimate business purpose in Canada".

Best wishes far people participating in wikimania

Regards,
J. Balaji

On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 12:24 PM, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have on 4 occassions put forward Perth WA bids, including for 2017, 2018 and 2019, my response was purely to highlight that information being put forward in this email thread that was incorrect and later praise  as nice to facts being presented.  NO intention of usurping this thread. I'm well aware of what it takes to host such a large event.

I know what the significance being able to attend a Wikimania is and feel for those who are having visa problems 

On 27 July 2017 at 14:34, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Gnagarra,

if you want to make a proposal to host wikimania - please do. There's a whole package of things to consider though, not just visa. 

Otherwise, I think it is mostly distractingin this contest to hear people 'brag' about their own country's visa policy. If that is a topic you want to start, I suggest you branch off the discussion, into something like 'visa in my country are super easy'. 
(and this is equally valid for all other people from other countries that like to share about their visa policies)

Best,
Lodewijk

On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 2:09 AM, Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:
Unfair to say Australia is the least friendly country as the Australian Customs and Border protection has a whole dedicated process for conferences https://www.border.gov.au/Busi/Trav/Conf that enable processing of visa regardless of country by the organisors.   That over 100 countries can apply electronically for a visitor visa with most applications process within 72 hours  but what would I know having only worked in the tourism industry for 30 years that couldnt be found out by putting poor research om 3rd party sites as facts. 

On 3 July 2017 at 06:03, 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

Rehman Abubakr

Excuse me for the blunt question. But are there any shortlisted candidates this time?


A fellow Wikimedian asked me this, and I though I might as well ask the same on this thread.


I'm sure there would be a lot of genuinely interested Wikimedians who would like to attend the conference, in lieu of the sheer number of rejected applicants. (with respect to the successful applicants who would not be able to make it, of course)



Thanks and regards,

User:Rehman




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Re: Visa rejections

Ellie Young
We have  a waitlist from the original pool of people who made it into Phase 2 consideration by the Scholarship committee.   Those people were notified that they might be offered a scholarship as late as mid-July.  We have filled the people who couldn't attend for whatever reason after they accepted  the scholarship offer with names from there.

Ellie
WMF Event Manager




On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 3:48 AM, Rehman Abubakr <[hidden email]> wrote:

Excuse me for the blunt question. But are there any shortlisted candidates this time?


A fellow Wikimedian asked me this, and I though I might as well ask the same on this thread.


I'm sure there would be a lot of genuinely interested Wikimedians who would like to attend the conference, in lieu of the sheer number of rejected applicants. (with respect to the successful applicants who would not be able to make it, of course)



Thanks and regards,

User:Rehman




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Re: Visa rejections

Ranjith S
On a conversation with ViswaPrabha he confirmed that he got visa rejection from Canadian embessy so can't participate in this wikimania. 

He is holding a Canadian passport but got bad. 

Very sad to hear this.

On 28-Jul-2017 3:50 AM, "Ellie Young" <[hidden email]> wrote:
We have  a waitlist from the original pool of people who made it into Phase 2 consideration by the Scholarship committee.   Those people were notified that they might be offered a scholarship as late as mid-July.  We have filled the people who couldn't attend for whatever reason after they accepted  the scholarship offer with names from there.

Ellie
WMF Event Manager




On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 3:48 AM, Rehman Abubakr <[hidden email]> wrote:

Excuse me for the blunt question. But are there any shortlisted candidates this time?


A fellow Wikimedian asked me this, and I though I might as well ask the same on this thread.


I'm sure there would be a lot of genuinely interested Wikimedians who would like to attend the conference, in lieu of the sheer number of rejected applicants. (with respect to the successful applicants who would not be able to make it, of course)



Thanks and regards,

User:Rehman




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Re: Visa rejections

Josh Lim
Hi Ranjith,

Am I reading correctly that Viswa has a Canadian passport? If he has one, then he doesn’t need a visa to go to Montréal.

Best regards,

Josh

On Jul 31, 2017, at 10:51 AM, Ranjith S <[hidden email]> wrote:

On a conversation with ViswaPrabha he confirmed that he got visa rejection from Canadian embessy so can't participate in this wikimania. 

He is holding a Canadian passport but got bad. 

Very sad to hear this.

On 28-Jul-2017 3:50 AM, "Ellie Young" <[hidden email]> wrote:
We have  a waitlist from the original pool of people who made it into Phase 2 consideration by the Scholarship committee.   Those people were notified that they might be offered a scholarship as late as mid-July.  We have filled the people who couldn't attend for whatever reason after they accepted  the scholarship offer with names from there.

Ellie
WMF Event Manager




On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 3:48 AM, Rehman Abubakr <[hidden email]> wrote:

Excuse me for the blunt question. But are there any shortlisted candidates this time?


A fellow Wikimedian asked me this, and I though I might as well ask the same on this thread.


I'm sure there would be a lot of genuinely interested Wikimedians who would like to attend the conference, in lieu of the sheer number of rejected applicants. (with respect to the successful applicants who would not be able to make it, of course)



Thanks and regards,

User:Rehman




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JAMES JOSHUA G. LIM
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Class of 2013, Ateneo de Manila University
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

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Facebook/Twitter: akiestar | Wikimedia: Sky Harbor
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