[At-Large] The visa to Canada and fall of participation of LAC in ATLAS III

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Sun Oct 27 09:55:11 UTC 2019

On Sun, 27 Oct 2019 at 01:26, Nadira Alaraj <nadira.araj at gmail.com> wrote:

> What I do see in the case of all those Canadian visa applicants were
> declined that they do have the qualifications to be a candidate immigrants
> -given the assumption that their visa application and supporting documents
> are fully fulfilled.

I'll politely disagree. The approval process for tourist and conference
visas and the associated criteria, in most countries, is very different
from applying for work, resident or even student visas.

Criteria for conventional immigration can be factors such as "do you
possess skills that are in demand here", "do you have an offer of
work/study", "are you willing to locate in areas that need population
growth" etc. There is even a point system
<https://www.onthemovetoronto.com/canada-immigration-points/> used to
evaluate suitability. Rules are different for UNHCR-status refugees.

In contrast, the primary criteria for tourist or conference visas (again,
from selected countries) is "are you likely to return home after the
conference, or are you seeking to forfeit the return leg of your travel and
try to remain in Canada". Based on past experiences, those planning to stay
long-term after entering using a short-term visa tended not to be truthful
in their applications, leading now to case-by-case evaluations and
arbitrary judgments biased towards denial. As one example: having immediate
family already in Canada, a positive factor for long-term immigration, is a
negative factor for a conference visa (officials may believe that you have
incentive to join that family and not return home after the conference is
over). This is why there are often humiliating demands made, such as
intimate details of employment, or how many assets or family do you have at
home (based on the assumption: the more you have at home, the less likely
you are to abandon it by remaining in Canada).

Again, I am neither endorsing nor defending this, and the processes above
are highly controversial inside Canada. (Indeed, as some of you may know we
just concluded an election in which immigration was a significant campaign
issue.) I am simply trying to explain the rationale given to me when I'd
intervened earlier this year on behalf of two people denied visas to attend
a different conference that I was involved with. We were close to a
successful appeal but we ran out of time; they'd waited too long to start
the process.

My advise to any future visa applicants to countries with reputation of
> declining visas to provide extra supporting documents to proof that they
> are deeply rooted in your countries and they have no intentions to
> immigrate. Providing bank account statement, a letter from employer, is
> not enough, they need to provide other documents even it is not listed as
> required. Examples, ownership of an assets, membership of local
> bodies/chapters that are globally acknowledged such as a member of chamber
> of commerce, Rotary, etc.

Agreed. It helps if you understand the motives for denial and are ready to
address them up front.

It also helps if there is someone local to assist, advocate and launch
appeals from within Canada. An explanation such as what I gave above SHOULD
have been provided by Constituency Travel as soon as the venue and
travellers were known. It's been a while but I recall that ICANN and their
travel contractors were usually pretty good about this kind of thing. Or
maybe I'm thinking too far back, when cities bid for ICANN meeting
locations like they were the Olympics, so the venue has a well-established
local organizer with a wealth of this kind of knowledge. In any case, this
kind of service needs to be provided well, and not just for Canada. If
you're from the "wrong" place even Schengen can be a nightmare.

Wishing those whom visas declined this time never have this experience
> again.

The best, the only real advice I can offer is: DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Apply
as soon as your attendance is confirmed. And ensure that your host has a
partner/agent with local knowledge, able to assist,

- Evan
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