[FOSDEM] visas and invitation letters

Pieter Hintjens ph at imatix.com
Mon Dec 21 19:11:24 CET 2015

I've sponsored many visitors and immigrants into Belgium, from Africa.
The paperwork involves making a "prise en charges" at the Commune,
which states one will cover repatriation and medical costs if
necessary. This is fairly simply though there's a limit to how many
people you can sponsor, depending on your income. I've never, in a
dozen years, had any issue doing this, even though many of the people
I sponsored were... not entirely trustworthy. (I learned this

What is *much* harder is for the visitor to get a visa. This can take
months, and requires convincing the consulate that the travel is
justified, and the visitor has no intention of staying. Buying a
return ticket, being part of an event, having formal invitations, etc.
can make it easier. Yet it comes down to convincing someone who's main
job has become to find creative ways of saying "No".

Yes, it is extremely racist.

For other regions the barriers will be lower, and for some the formal
invite would be enough.


On Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 6:32 PM, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro> wrote:
> On 21/12/15 18:24, 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.
> The thing that is really ridiculous is that European countries ransacked
> the countries these people come from and now these people are the ones
> being fingerprinted
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_of_Darkness
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