Wikimedia Summit 2019/Visa Process and Assistance

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Visa Process and Assistance[edit]

WMDE would be happy to welcome all registered participants to the Wikimedia Summit 2019. Therefore, we kindly ask you to carefully read and consider the information below. In any case, please immediately inform us via wmsummit@wikimedia.de about your visa approval or denial.

Do I need a visa?[edit]

1. Check the following website to find out whether you need a visa for travelling to Germany: http://wmde.org/germanyvisa
2. Once you have your travel plan at hand, check whether you need a transit visa en route to Berlin.
3. Even if you do not need a visa, some visitors need to present various documents (e.g. letter of invitation, foreign health insurance) upon immigration. Please check the entry requirements/travel advice for Germany on the website of your country's Department of Foreign Affairs and email us at wmsummit@wikimedia.de in case you require any of the above mentioned documents.

I need a visa for travelling to Germany. What next?[edit]

1. Register for the Wikimedia Summit 2019 using this link.
2. Make a visa appointment at the responsible embassy/consulate right after registering as waiting times for an appointment can be up to 4 months! When choosing an appointment, allow yourself enough time to collect the required documents and/or prepare for an interview.
3. Check the validity of your passport (must be valid at least six months beyond the period of your stay).
4. Check which documents (e.g. birth and marriage certificate, copy of your passport, biometric photo etc.) are required for your visa application on the website of your embassy/consulate.
5. Gather all the required documents. WMDE will provide you with a letter of invitation, a foreign travel health insurance, copy of registration of association of WMDE.
6. Check with your contact person at the embassy/consulate whether the copied documents provided by WMDE are sufficient or if original documents are required.
7. Have all documents prepared 1 week prior to your visa appointment.
8. Apply for a so-called ‘Uniform Schengen Visa -Type C ‘, which allows a maximum of stay of 90 days.
9. We advise you to specify the purpose of your stay as ‘Other: Conference’. If you are a staff member of an affiliate you might want to specify the purpose of your stay as ‘Business’.
10. When filling out the visa application form, please note that the arrival and departure dates entered, must match with your travel booking. Once a Schengen visa is issued, the dates mentioned on your visa sticker can’t be changed or extended.
11. Prepare for the interview at the embassy/consulate in case that one is required.
12. Inform WMDE about your visa approval or visa denial via wmsummit@wikimedia.de.

Common documents required for a visa application[edit]

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 depends on the country of origin. Please check this in advance on the website of your embassy/consulate.

WMDE will assist you with your visa application 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 not necessary to present the original documents at the embassy/consulate. Prior to your appointment, we however advise you to double-check this with your contact person at the embassy/consulate. Should the original documents be required, please inform us accordingly and we will send them to you in the fastest manner.

Furthermore you will need the following documents:

  • Travel plan (group 1 self-organized, group 2+4 provided by WMDE, group 3 provided by WMF)
  • 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

Common visa interview questions[edit]

In some countries a personal interview at the embassy/consulate 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 event?
  • How were you selected to attend the event?
  • What is your profession?
  • What do your family members do?

Visa fees[edit]

The fee per visa amounts to approximately 60,00 EUR. Participants from group 2, group 3 and group 4 shall keep their receipt(s) for reimbursement purposes.