Visa Chronicles of One Agora

By | June 8, 2012 at 9:32 pm | One comment | European Bodies | Tags: , ,

Starting any visa process in AEGEE is like a lottery – you never know how organisers will behave, how attentively the visa officer will look at your documentation, and what will you get in your passport in the end.

After Agora Skopje we all had a sad experience in visa issues, when no Caucasian locals were able to attend the Agora because visa procedures were not followed by organisers. Afterwards it was discussed many times why it happened and how to avoid this. Everybody was sure that the Agora in Enschede would be non-problematic at all in terms of visas. However, let us see what happened in the end.

Communication with the organising team was very fast, some single complaints from participants about organisers not answering e-mails were not surprising – in the last couple of months before the Agora, the team was simply overloaded with e-mails and tons of work. We all were pleasantly surprised when it appeared that the organisers put so much efforts into visa issues that they even had agreements with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands; all visa applicants going to Agora Enschede were allowed to obtain visas with the copy of invitation letter, and all foreign missions in visa countries were informed about the upcoming event.

However, in all this positive attitude there was one little drawback – participants were not timely informed about those agreements and they did not get proper instructions what to tell their embassies; i.e. that their applications were associated with that agreement with the Ministry. Thus, calling an embassy and asking if they can apply just with a copy of invitation letter, logically because of the rules of the embassy, most participants got a negative answer. What did we get with this? Panic, of course. If you were denied a visa at least once in your life, you become paranoid about visa issues and extremely careful in terms of documents. Taking a risk to apply with copy of invitation? No way!

However, fast reaction of organisers, provision of copy of the agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and first successful visas among participants helped to overcome all fears, and mass applications to embassies in different parts of South-Eastern Europe were started. The result – all applicants received their visas, there were no denials, and everybody happily packed their luggage, slowly moving to the Netherlands.

Due to good work of the organising team and the Visa Responsible, all Agora participants were able to attend the Agora and see that this General Assembly appeared to be one of those wonderful Agorae where you can see the main coordinator smiling, and the whole organising team working fast, smoothly, and still being able to make jokes.

I am sure I will express the overall gratitude of all visa participants to Amarins, the Visa Responsible of Agora Enschede, and the entire AEGEE-Enschede team for all their efforts concerning visa issues, and all their help. Thank you very much for your patience, all your explanations and understanding! See you in Budapest!

Written by Olga Iatsyna, AEGEE-Dnipropetrovsk

One Comment

  1. Resumen de la semana en The AEGEEan #3 | AEGEE-Alicante (6 years ago)

    […] Visa Chronicles of One Agora. Piropos y más piropos a lo geniales que fueron los que se encargaban de tramitar los visados para el Agora Enschede. […]

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