Thursday, July 13, 2006

Visa problems when travelling to the US ?

John Langford advertises an effort to document cases of visa problems for researchers trying to enter the US.
A serious effort is under way to raise this as in issue in need of fixing. Over the long term, effectively driving research conferences to locate outside of the US seems an unwise policy. Robert Schapire is planning to talk to a congressman. Sally Goldman suggested putting together a list of problem cases, and Phil Long setup an email address to collect them.

If you (or someone you know) has had insurmountable difficulties reaching a conference in the US, please send an email with:

Email address:
Details: (be brief please)

We expect most of the problem cases are students, so don’t be shy.
I'll second that. DON'T BE SHY. Efforts like this can actually work, and what makes them happen is access to the right people, and a good set of cases to fight for. The more cases there are (and all of us know of at least a few), the more powerful an argument we have. So please send mail to the above address.



  1. I found US visa is not that hard, they check you but grant the visa in reasonable time.

    The most troublesome visa is for the Netherlands, they take for ever to process without noticing you after half a year when the conference has been gone already. I will NEVER EVER apply a visa for the Netherlands. 

    Posted by Yajun

  2. I did the Netherlands visa once and it was smooth. I guess it all depends on the consulate.

    Posted by Kevin

  3. Weren't Kayal and Saxena denied visas after their primality test paper came out?

    Posted by Anonymous

  4. Mercury News , 4 August 2006

    As many as a dozen prominent Iranian professionals, arriving with valid U.S. visas in the Bay Area to attend an international gathering this weekend, are being detained at the San Francisco International Airport, refused entry by immigration officials and facing deportation.
    ``These are intellectuals, prominent people from Iran who have a positive impression of the United States,'' Hormachea said. ``They've never ever been so humiliated and insulted.''

    Elahe Enssani, a civil engineering professor at San Francisco State University and a graduate of Sharif University, expressed frustration.

    ``It's fine if you don't issue visas,'' she said. ``But why would you issue a visa and then at the airport say it's revoked?''

    ``I'm obviously very disappointed at what my government is doing,'' she said. ``It's sad.''

    Posted by Toby


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