[FOSDEM] visas and invitation letters

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Mon Dec 21 19:25:39 CET 2015

On 21/12/15 19:11, Pieter Hintjens wrote:
> 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
> later...)
> 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.

My own queries come from India and China and they've both heard slightly
different things.  I wasn't aware that it was so significantly different
from region to region as well, I thought all those people without
automatic entry were going through the same process.

As another practical possibility, is it any easier for people to travel
through any other Schengen country first, such as France, Netherlands,
Germany or even Switzerland?  There is a direct train from Zurich to
Brussels and as Switzerland is not EU, maybe the things are slightly
different there, for better or worse.



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