Going to GUADEC-2014

GUADEC is the biggest event which stands for GNOME Users and Developers European Conference and takes place annually in any of the European countries. This time GUADEC 2014 is going to take place in Strasbourg, France from 26 July – 1 August.

Being a Dec 2013-Mar 2014 OPW’s intern and a GNOME’s foundation member I have been given the opportunity to attend this great conference.

It was not easy to make this dream come true. The journey starts here:

I got a mail from GNOME’s travel sponsorship committee to apply for sponsorship. After applying and re-applying after corrections, luckily I got selected for the sponsorship.

After few days of the confirmation I got two letters. First, Letter of Invitation from Linux Logistique and Letter of Travel Sponsorship from GNOME Foundation signed by Andreas Nilsson, President GNOME Foundation and Secretary Linux Logistique.

Now comes visa process. I had already failed once in getting UK visa successfully in Jan 2014. So, from the very beginning I was very cautious for each and every document required by the French Embassy. This time I collected all the documents very carefully avoiding mistakes that I did previously.
It took me the longest time of about two weeks to get one of the mandatory document required by French visa. It is the NOC form MRIU, Faridabad, the organisation for which I work.They say that they don’t give NOC for just going to attend the conference even after showing them all the invitation and sponsorship letters. In the mean time I got mail from Marina with the subject “interns’ lightning talks at GUADEC”. I forwarded this mail to them and finally they got convinced and I could get the last important document as well for my visa process.

Finally, I got all the papers arranged in proper order and scheduled my appointment at the VFS France Visa Application Centre on 8 July 2014, Tuesday at 9.00 am. I submitted my all the documents at about 11.30 am.

Now, I was waiting for the message from the visa office. To my surprise, I got message on 11 July 2014 (Just within 4 days) that decision has been on my visa request and I can come for the collection any time between 9.00 am – 4.00 pm. I went for the collection of my passport on 14 July 2014, Monday at 9.00 am sharp.
When I opened the envelop, wow, there was a visa inside. The confirmation of the permission of my first foreign visit. Opportunity to get to about know about the new world of opportunities. I really very happy.

Waiting for you July 26, 2014…. 😉

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6 thoughts on “Going to GUADEC-2014

  1. I don’t understand what is meant by “NOC”.

    And here is a possible tip for reducing the number of required documents (works very well in Russia for obtaining Schengen and UK visas, not sure about other countries). When going to conferences, don’t apply for a tourist visa. You are not a tourist! Apply for a visa for a business trip. Say that it is your own business trip, unrelated to the company you work for (if this is true). The relevant page for India would be: http://www.vfs-france.co.in/delhibusinessvisa.html – and it doesn’t mention “NOC”.

    • NOC means “No Objection Certificate”,Alexander, really I didn’t know that I can apply without an NOC from any where in case of personal trip. I will try this trick next time. Thanks a lot 🙂

    • Interesting, but I’m afraid that there’s no general recommendations possible, as usual in this diverse world full of intransparent subjective rules that don’t make any sense. I went to the last GNOME.Asia conference as a tourist because it was way easier and less documents than on a business visa.

  2. As a Frenchman, I’m glad you managed to overcome the visa bureaucracy. Strasbourg is a beautiful city, I hope you enjoy your stay!

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