[FOSDEM] visas and invitation letters

Ivan K ipk.public.mail at gmail.com
Mon Dec 21 18:00:41 CET 2015


I come from Russia and I can share a bit of experience from the other 
side, i.e. what is needed when applying for a visa.

A letter of invitation serves one or two purposes of the ones listed below:

1) Support that this person is indeed invited to a given event. A 
consulate may request further proof of person's involvement in the industry.
If he or she is a, let's say, a bus driver (not taht I want to offend 
any bus drivers), a consulate would probably have further questions.
If you are inviting - you should probably ask a couple of questions as 
well why this person wants to go to an OSS conference.
In a way, yes, you guarantee this person has a solid reason to attend. 
In light of all recent tragic events in Europe that is a bit more than 
formality now.

2) Identify the means of travel. In case of FOSDEM it should be clearly 
stated that the person is paying himself all travel expenses. That would 
mean the person
needs to present at the consulate a hotel booking, airline or whatever 
tickets booking and may even need to present a credit card or a monthly 
statement from a bank to support a claim that he/she have sufficient 
funds to travel. The invitation should say that the cost of attending 
the conference is 0.



On 21/12/2015 19:42, Emanuil Tolev wrote:
> +1 to all of Daniel's questions. I'd also like to help our 
> international attendees (and willing to spend some time doing that). 
> The FOSDEM FAQ makes it sound like there's a legal or moral obligation 
> that prevents FOSDEM from inviting any random attendee, so they have 
> to be a conference speaker to get a letter from the FOSDEM org itself. 
> If so, it'd be useful to know the details of this for other people who 
> want to help invite non-EU attendees.
> On 21 December 2015 at 16:28, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro 
> <mailto:daniel at pocock.pro>> wrote:
>     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?
> I personally don't think the embassies themselves know European law 
> all that well on this point. They keep referring to it as a Schengen 
> visa, which, if so, might well mean that any citizen of a Schengen 
> country can invite the person to apply for the visa.
>     Does every invitation letter have to be a letter of guarantee as well,
>     or can invitation letters be issued without specifying any guarantor?
> If anybody has information (and especially experience) on the 
> responsibilities of guarantors that would be quite helpful as well. 
> It'd make the decision to issue such a letter from e.g. my company 
> much easier.
>     Could this even be done on a self-serve basis with a web-form in
>     future?
> Not sure the government would like that very much, but I suppose if 
> we're going to be making one without question for everybody who asks, 
> it does make sense.
> Greetings,
> Emanuil
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