[FOSDEM] visas and invitation letters

Ivan K ipk.public.mail at gmail.com
Mon Dec 21 18:32:15 CET 2015

Yes, one can purchase a tour to Brussels and go to FOSDEM instead.
In most cases invitation is not needed but one does need to actually 
purchase a travel package.
For some countries traveling without travel agencies is allowed, for 
others it is not.
Pretty much depends on a given consulate worker that he would believe 
that "the applicant has solid reasons to return home".


On 21/12/2015 20:24, Emanuil Tolev wrote:
> 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 
> <mailto: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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