Opening this topic to inform the community about the troubles most Turkish teams that qualified for World Championship are dealing with.
TLDR; Most Turkish teams aren’t going to make it to Worlds, or will only be able to send a few students (that already has US visas) due to US consulate in Turkey being not available for any appointments before the Worlds. If you are or you know someone who can make a change please contact me.
There were 3 events held in Turkey, İzmir Regional (Week 1), İstanbul Regional (Week 3) and Bosphorus Regional (Week 3), that qualified 12 Turkish teams: 2905, 6025, 6064, 6429, 6838, 6988, 7285, 7466, 8058, 8153, 8561, 8861. There is also a 13th team (8159) that qualified by winning EI in San Fransisco Regional, that don’t have these troubles because they already had their visas months ago.
Almost all teams applied for US visas immediately after they qualified. The earliest appointment I’m aware of given to teams is in January 2023. Teams all applied for an official expedited appointment to get visas to students and mentors before Worlds, which got rejected. So in the current situation (if nothing changes) most Turkish teams aren’t going to make it to Worlds, or will only be able to send a few students (that already has US visas). For example: my team only have 3 students and a few mentors that already have US visas, and we can’t even form a drive team. (We are still going to try our best in the Worlds though with the people we have). Some teams sadly don’t even have 3 students with visas.
One mentor from my team applied for visa today and got his appointment for November 2023. The worse thing here is if this situation continues with consulate, in the next years Turkish teams that are competing in Turkey will be practically banned from going to worlds, since we have no chance of getting visa appointments after teams learn that they are qualified and are getting denied for expedited appointments. Teams going to regionals in US, can practically apply 5-6 months ago before their competition so they seem to have a better shot.
As teams, we tried to reach almost all the people we can reach that may make a change. I’m writing here to inform the community about our situation, and asking if anyone knows someone that can make a change.
We wish all the teams a great competition season!