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Wikimedia Conference 2018/Visa Process and Assistance

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Visa Process and Assistance[edit]

WMDE would be happy to welcome all registered participants at WMCON18. For this reason, we advise you to apply for a visa sufficiently early (the latest 6-8 weeks before the conference) to ensure you receive your visa in time. As WMDE wants to keep an overview on the status of all visa applications, we kindly ask you to immediately inform us via wmcon@wikimedia.de about your visa approval or denial.

Visa checklist for participants[edit]

1. Check the following website to find out whether you need a visa for travelling to Germany: http://wmde.org/visa_requirements_overview
2. Check whether you need a transit visa en route to Berlin
3. Check validity of your passport (must be valid at least six months beyond the period of your stay)
4. Register for WMCON as soon as possible and indicate your need for a visa in the registration form
5. Check whether you need to make an appointment with the nearest German embassy/consulate and make an appointment straight away in case it is necessary
6. Check the processing time for a visa
7. Check with your contact person at the embassy/consulate whether the copied documents provided by WMDE are sufficient or if original documents are required
8. Check with your contact person at the embassy/consulate whether a copy of the identity card from WMDE’s Executive Director is required
9. Check which other documents are required (e.g. birth and marriage certificate, copy of your passport, biometric photo etc.) on the website of your consulate/embassy
10. Collect all the required documents
11. Apply for a so-called ‘Uniform Schengen Visa -Type C ‘, which allows a maximum of stay of 90 days
12. Within the application form, specify the purpose of your stay as business
13. Prepare for the interview at the embassy/consulate in case that one is required
14. Inform WMDE about your visa approval or visa denial via wmcon@wikimedia.de

Commonly required visa documents[edit]

WMDE will assist you with your visa application (please indicate the need within the WMCON registration form) and will provide the following documents:

  • Letter of invitation
  • Foreign travel health insurance
  • Copy of registration of association of WMDE

The documents will be sent to you via email. Please print these documents and bring them along to your appointment at the embassy/consulate.The Department of Foreign Affairs in Berlin confirmed that it is neither necessary to present the original documents at the embassy/consulate nor to provide a copy of the identity card from WMDE’s Executive Director. Prior to your appointment, we however advise you to double-check this with your contact person at the embassy/consulate. Should the original documents or a copy of the identity card from WMDE’s Executive Director be required, please inform us accordingly and we will send them to you in the fastest manner.

Furthermore you will need the following:

  • Travel plan (group 1 self-organized, group 2+4 provided by WMDE, group 3 provided by WMF)
  • Hotel room booking confirmation (group 1 self-organized, group 2,3 and 4 guarantee provided within letter of invitation)
  • Visa application form
  • Passport and photocopy of passport
  • 1-2 Biometric photo(s), no older than 6 months
  • Proof of roots/ties back home:
    • Birth certificate
    • Birth certificates of dependent children (if applicable)
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Document confirming occupation situation:
    • Employees: Certificate of employer (including original signature)
    • Scholars/Students: current proof of school/university enrollment etc.
    • Unemployed/Retired: Proof of residence (utility bill/rental agreement/signed letter from property owner)
  • if applicable: copies of old visas

Please note that this is just a compilation of the most common documents that need to be provided by visa applicants. The full set of required documents majorly depends on the country of origin. Please check this in advance on the website of the consulate/embassy.

Common visa interview questions[edit]

In some countries a personal visit and interview at the embassy/consulate for visa processing is required. Below is a list with the most commonly asked questions in such an interview. We advise you to prepare for these questions in order to be able to give satisfactory answers.

  • Where are you going?
  • Have you been there before?
  • What are you going to do there? What is the purpose of the trip?
  • What kind of event is it that you will attend?
  • How long will you stay?
  • What is your organization? What does it do?
  • What is Wikimedia? How are you involved with Wikipedia/Wikimedia?
  • What is your relation to Wikimedia Deutschland?
  • Who is paying for your trip?
  • Why should you be permitted to go?
  • What is the purpose of the conference?
  • How were you selected to attend the conference?
  • What is your profession?
  • What do your family members do?

Visa fees[edit]

The fee per visa amounts to approximately 60,- €. Participants from group 2 and group 4 may get the visa fee refunded by WMDE. Please keep the original receipt. WMDE will send you further instructions on how to proceed in the reimbursement process. Participants from group 3 may get the visa fee refunded by WMF. Please ask WMF for further information.