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Traveling to PloneConf from the US?

Posted by Steve McMahon at Jul 17, 2013 01:34 PM |
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Plan a little time to get a visa!

Traveling to the 2013 Plone Conference in Brasília on a US passport? Traveling to Brazil is not like traveling to the EU. You'll need a visa. The procedure for getting a visa isn't burdensome, but you'll need to make it part of your travel plans. Here's the basic drill.

Find your consulate

Determine the location of the closest Brazilian consulate. Is it close enough to visit? If not, you'll probably need to use one of the commercial services that will act as your agent for a fee. The fees are not outrageous. Do allow some extra time. If you can visit a consulate, read on.

Write to ploneconf

Get an email off to the Plone Conference Organizers, site@ploneconf.org. Ask for an invitation letter and the name, address, phone and email of a contact. Give them your passport number, full name and nationality. Tell them what consulate you'll be using. They'll use that information to ask the Ministry of Foreign Relations to welcome you.

Get an application number

Visit the Ministry's document control site (yes, their certificate is invalid) and follow the Visa Request link. Fill out the form, including the contact information supplied by the PloneConf folks. Hint: the purpose of your visit is to attend a conference :) .

At the conclusion of the few-page form filing, you'll get a PDF to take to the consulate. That PDF will have an application number and an expiration date. You'll need to affix a photo to the application. Check the photo specs.

Make an appointment

Visit the web site for your consulate and check their application process. You will probably need to make an appointment using your application number. When I did this, the nearest appointment was about a week-and-a-half away. You will need to visit before your application number expires.

While on the site, check their payment details. For San Francisco, a US postal money order for $160 is required. No other form of payment is accepted there.

Get a money order

Unless your consulate allows other payment forms, get that postal order. Also pick up a prepaid express mail envelope. Address it to yourself.

Visit the consulate

At your appointment time, bring your passport, pre-printed application, letter from the PloneConf organizers, money order and prepaid express mail envelope. You should get your passport back in around five business days, hopefully with your visa stamp.

Think this is complicated?

Remember back at the SF and DC conferences when many folks from outside the US were having trouble getting visas? This is what much of the world has to go through to visit the US. Brazil is just showing us a taste of our own hospitality.