[FOSDEM] visas and invitation letters

Emanuil Tolev emanuil.tolev at gmail.com
Mon Dec 21 18:24:27 CET 2015

Gah, what a headache. Is there some kind of tourist visa that Schengen
allows? I can't believe we allow nobody to enter the Schengen area without
an invite by a citizen, that just seems ridiculous. What if they just want
to see the Grand Place or something? I'd say visiting FOSDEM is an even
better reason for somebody who would otherwise be approved for a tourist
visa anyway.

http://www.schengenvisainfo.com/tourist-schengen-visa/ indicates a letter
*is* required when visiting friends and relatives but no letter is needed
when no such visit is taking place (I suppose then you can't say "I'm
visiting a friend" without any proof by said friend). Maybe there's a
higher chance of the application being approved if you really are visiting
friends/relatives, but hey, if it's possible to apply without a letter then
that'll cover most people and they won't have to seek help.

On 21 December 2015 at 17:13, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro> wrote:

> On 21/12/15 18:08, Jo wrote:
> > Even though the term invitation letter sounds simple enough, it's a bit
> > more complicated than that.
> >
> > What your doing is getting into a legal contract between
> > yourself/company and the Belgian ministry of the interior. You agree to
> > be liable for all expenses in case this person doesn't leave
> > Belgium/Schengen zone as foreseen. In case of a forced expulsion this is
> > thousands of euros.
> >
> That is a letter of guarantee.  It is not the same as a letter of
> invitation.  One letter can combine both concepts, but I've also seen
> invitation letters that don't include a guarantee.
> > I would also be very surprised if it's still possible to accomplish all
> > the needed paperwork in one month. It involves going to the
> > municipality, they need to contact the ministry of the interior and they
> > in turn need to contact the embassy of the country, back and forth. The
> > person also needs to present themselves at this embassy, at least twice.
> > The process usually takes 3 - 8 months.
> >
> > Anyway it's not something you'd do for any random person either. A lot
> > of trust is involved.
> >
> It is for some former GSoC students.
> I think that the whole guarantee thing tends to be necessary for longer
> visas, e.g. exchange programs, or wife has a baby and her mother wants
> to come and stay 6 months.
> Regards,
> Daniel
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