International travel to the United States has become a greater risk for many in our community. In light of current conditions, PyCon would like to highlight the support we provide for international travelers. If you are travelling internationally to PyCon, take note of the following information. Financial Aid applicants should take note of additional information specific to that process in the second section.
In order to better assist our international community, we have the following refund policy for all attendees of PyCon:
If despite holding a visa you are denied entry upon arrival to the United States, then after you pursue and receive whatever refund your airline might be able to offer, PyCon wants to send you enough money to cover the rest of the cost of your airfare. You will need to document that you indeed arrived in the United States and were denied entry.
If despite holding a visa you are denied entry upon arrival to the United States, but used our registration page to book a room in a conference hotel, our staff will personally work with the hotel to make sure you do not have to pay a cancellation fee.
If despite holding a visa you are denied entry upon arrival to the United States, PyCon will fully refund your registration fee. While this is more serious for our conference budget — at such a late date, we will be unlikely to be able to register someone else in your place — we have decided to put the financial safety of our international travelers first.
Please note the above policy applies to attendees not traveling to or from OFAC sanctioned countries only. In the event that you have a refund request or questions, please contact our registration team.
We have the following policies for recipients of Financial Aid grants.
While PyCon’s Financial Aid program does strive to make travel possible for a broader audience than can not comfortably attend the conference on their own budget, it cannot eliminate the risks of travel. Indeed, our mechanism for delivering awarded funds — a disbursement collected at the conference itself — can only succeed for travelers who actually reach PyCon.
With that in mind, let’s review the risks of traveling to PyCon financial aid recipients may encounter, and then learn about the promise that the conference makes for refunds:
Approved financial aid applicants can ask to have their visa fee reimbursed, even if their visa is denied. See https://us.pycon.org/2020/financial-assistance/faq/#Q6 for a complete list of costs that are covered by PyCon’s Financial Aid award. You should apply for your visa, if you decided to attend, right after you receive our response to your Financial Aid application (Jan 31, 2020).
As you start the visa application process, go ahead and register for the conference. You can do so without risk: we always fully refund a registration fee when a visa application is denied. We even waive our usual $50 fee for processing a cancellation — you receive back the full registration fee that you paid!
We advise you to delay any non-refundable travel purchases until after you have been granted a visa. Many applicants wait until they have their visa in hand before they even book a hotel room, and almost everyone waits until the visa arrives before purchasing airfare.
Beyond those guidelines, we have historically provided only the promise that each Financial Aid recipient, if they make it to PyCon, will receive their disbursement. This obviously burdens each applicant with a risk: that if their travel plans go awry and they cannot reach Pittsburgh, that they will receive no Financial Aid. They will have to try cancelling their hotel room in time to receive a refund, and ask their airline if any kind of a refund is possible. With travel risks in mind, we have added the following stipulations to our policy:
The deadline for applying to PyCon 2020 for Financial Aid is January 31st (23:59:59 on Jan 31st AoE)! The link to the application is on our main Financial Aid page: https://us.pycon.org/2020/financial-assistance/. If you have a refund request or questions, please contact our Financial Aid team.
We hope that these extra guarantees beyond the normal terms of our refund policy will help attendees plan more confidently and will continue to make PyCon 2020 an option for as many Pythonistas from around the world as possible.