[FOSDEM] more problems with visa letters

Gerry Demaret gerry at fosdem.org
Mon Jan 18 16:27:36 CET 2016

On 01/18/2016 09:38 AM, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> The developer in India just got a call from the Belgian embassy asking
> for a second letter from FOSDEM organizers.  He has previously had a
> Schengen visa (from an event in Germany last year) and his travel agent
> had told him that renewing the visa was just a formality so he already
> has flight and hotel bookings and he is quite keen to get this sorted
> out quickly.  Can anybody from FOSDEM assist with these requests from
> the Belgian officials?

As stated in our FAQ, we can only write official invitations for
speakers and other people with whom we have a business relationship.

As a visitor, visiting FOSDEM is the same as visiting a museum or
attending a music festival and entirely irrelevant for a visa

Visitors in need of a visa should just apply for a tourist visa for
Belgium and convince the consulate that they will leave Belgium again
(book a return ticket), they have somewhere to stay in Belgium (book a
hotel) and have the means to support themselves while in Belgium.

Considering the above, simply presenting them with a printout of our
website should be enough to show them why one would want to come to

> Given that FOSDEM is a free event and that people don't normally
> register to attend, would the FOSDEM team consider providing a
> self-service web-form for guests like this who do need to "register" and
> obtain their invitation letters on demand?

That would void the point of the whole "invitation letter" system, and
could put the legal entity behind FOSDEM at risk.


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