[FOSDEM] visas and invitation letters

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Mon Dec 21 17:28:25 CET 2015

Can anybody comment on the visas and invitation letters for people who
need such things?  I hate having to waste time on such things instead of
doing real development work but I've had some contact from developers in
our community who need this assistance and there is a lot of pressure to
do it quickly so they can make flight reservations before the prices
shoot up.

I found an old FOSDEM FAQ that says FOSDEM only provides the letters for
main track speakers and that other participating organizations should
provide the letters for any other guests.  Is that still the case?

Searching further, I found Belgium's embassies all publish slightly
different guidance on this and obviously not all of it is in English,
some is in Belgian languages or local languages served by the embassies.

Some refer to a requirement for a guarantor who is resident in Belgium.
 Does that mean invitation letters also have to come from organizations
with an address in Belgium?  Are there any other free software
organizations with addresses in Belgium who will do such letters?

Does every invitation letter have to be a letter of guarantee as well,
or can invitation letters be issued without specifying any guarantor?

What exactly needs to be in the invitation letters?  Could anybody from
FOSDEM provide a template that other organizations could use to make up

Could this even be done on a self-serve basis with a web-form in future?

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