Pakistan blocked from contests

CSIDC (Computer Science International Design Competition) is held every year in Washington D.C. for three days - it provides an opportunity for undergraduates from all over the world to participate in a design contest, and invites the top ten teams to D.C. to present their ideas to a panel of international industry judges. For the three years, Pakistan (e.g. LUMS, SSUET) has continually been selected as one of the top ten teams. This year (’05), “Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology” (SSUET) was selected for the top ten, but unfortunately they couldn’t participate in the final round due to visa difficulties. Last year, two team members made it to D.C. on the 2nd day of the competition and one member wasn’t able to get a visa at all. It’s quite irritating that our country can’t do anything to expedite the process. Are there any ideas that how to prevent this situation from happening again? These past experiences are not going to encourage new teams to participate for upcoming contests.

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7 Responses to “Pakistan blocked from contests”

  1. haq says:

    new way to communicateI hope the VISA for Pakistanis improves, but with the situation these days I don’t think they students or the organizers could have done much to get the VISA expedited. Though, given that this is a Computer Science competition, I’d expect the judges to be a little more creative and accept online submissions and live, online presentations. It won’t be the same degree of interaction, but it will still allow the effected team to compete.

  2. chowkidar says:

    problem plagues other arenasThis problem plagues the academia as well. I know quite a few people who got their visas rejected and weren’t able to pursue their undergrad or even masters degrees.

    If I recall correctly, some time back the Pakistan hockey team went for a tournament and some of them never returned. I think the problem is not that these people intend to stay there, but when they go there and the opportunity stares them in the face, they have a good probability to just snatch it and stick it out for a year, which extends into two, three and so on.

  3. haq says:

    RE: problem plagues other arenasI don’t think this is a problem of getting their visas rejected. Their visa application was accepted by the embassy i think, it was the manditory security cleareance that the embassy has to get from Washington that did not come in time. I know a few people who’s security clearance took about about 6+ months when they applied for a visa from Pakistan. Others, also carring a Pakistani passport, got it the next day when applying from within Cananda.

  4. Anonymous Coward says:

    Visa IssuesNo doubt Pakistanis have one of the most impossible times to get a Visa to USA. I know of medical students who get 90+% on their exams and get denied Visa to USA. The only solution I see currently is for Pakistanis to completly skip USA and go directly to Canada. Canada seems to not care at all where one comes from; all Canada cares about is if you are highly educated then they will let you in with no issues.
    Why isnt the Pakistani government not able to use its “friends on the war of terror” to get its citizens access to USA???

  5. halai says:

    Canada actually has someCanada actually has some major population issues. At the current rate of immigration (close to 200,000 per annum), the population of Canada will be exactly the same by 2012. If immigration is ceased today, by 2019, the effective population of Canada goes to zero. This is because of the majority being baby boomers and severe brain drain to the US. Australia has a similar problem.

  6. Anonymous Coward says:

    Good to know that your visasGood to know that your visas were denied. You guys must’ve fled there. Love your country by staying in it and making it stronger. *puff* *burp* *sigh*