[At-Large] Fwd: Visa Issues - ICANN66 in Montreal

Maureen Hilyard maureen.hilyard at gmail.com
Mon Sep 30 21:46:18 UTC 2019

Dear All

We have been sent an explanation from ICANN Org via Nick Tomasso who is the
Vice President of Global Meeting Operations (below) about our current
At-Large issue relating to visa applications and rejections. I hope that
this alleviates concerns people may have about what is being done by ICANN
to support  their applications. This is to support not only applications
for Montreal but also looking ahead to other meetings you may wish to apply.

If you have had a rejection letter, please apply again and as Etienne
explained in his message to his colleagues, respond to the reasons that
they have given for their rejection of your application. This may require
some proof of your employment and some indication of the importance of
returning home after the ICANN meeting, plus a download of any involvement
you already have in ICANN - anything that you can provide to persuade the
government of your reason for wanting to be at the ICANN meeting and how
you aim to carry out ICANN's work in your community on your return to your
homeland.  I hope that this, and what ICANN is already doing, helps.


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Nick Tomasso <nick.tomasso at icann.org>
Date: Tue, Oct 1, 2019 at 8:59 AM
Subject: Visa Issues - ICANN66 in Montreal
To: Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com>
Cc: Goran Marby <goran.marby at icann.org>, Leon Sanchez <
leon.sanchez at board.icann.org>, David Olive <david.olive at icann.org>, Sally
Costerton <sally.costerton at icann.org>, Heidi Ullrich <
Heidi.Ullrich at icann.org>, Joseph de Jesus <joseph.dejesus at icann.org>, Josh
Baulch <josh.baulch at icann.org>

Dear Maureen,

Thank you for bringing forward the concerns of some funded travelers
regarding securing visas for ICANN66 in Montreal.

I would like to brief you our visa processes, and next steps.

The Travel Services and Meetings teams have been working diligently on
visas for Montreal.  Prior to selecting Montreal as the location for
ICANN66, we laid the groundwork to ensure the visa process would be as
smooth as possible by working with our partners in Canada … Tourism
Montreal and the Special Events Unit of NHQ Immigration, Refugees and
Citizenship Canada.  We advised them of the importance of all delegates
receiving visas; advised them of the geographic make-up of ICANN meeting
delegates; gained their commitment to put special processes in place to
give the highest level of consideration to visa requests from ICANN
delegates; and ensured that they would publicize our meeting with Canadian
embassies and consulates.  They, in turn, provided us with a single point
of contact to escalate visa issues; communicated with embassies and
consulates; and created a special event code for ICANN66, which was
provided to our travelers for inclusion in their visa applications.  We
then engaged our visa agency, NewlandChase, to assist funded travelers with
their visa applications.

Joseph has reached out to all funded travelers on their visa application
status.  As predicted, some have received denials … 13 to be exact.  It is
not unusual to see this number of visa denials for an ICANN Meeting
anywhere in the world.

Joseph has now triggered the next phase of the visa process, which is:

   - Determine if those denied would like to re-apply, and provide support
   as necessary.
   - Engage with our Canadian partners, as mentioned above, and seek their
   support to reconsider the visa denials.

Canada has an efficient and transparent visa process, so travelers know
exactly what to do and expect when applying for a Canadian visa.  ICANN Org
and our local host cannot guarantee that all applicants will receive their
Canada visas, which may depend on many factors that are outside of our
control, for example:

   - Not being able to show proof of financial solvency
   - Not being able to show proof that they will return back to their home
   country, i.e., home ties
   - Country diplomatic issues
   - Not following the visa application procedures as outlined
   - Applying late

Joseph, as usual, will keep a watchful eye on the visa issues.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.




Nick Tomasso

Vice President, Global Meeting Operations

Managing Director - Middle East & Africa - Istanbul


Mobile TR: +90 533 341 65 50

Mobile US: +1 310 630 7730

email: nick.tomasso at icann.org

web: www.icann.org
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