I managed to get in touch with Canada's foreign minister, and Yoshua Bengio and I explained the issues to her and her team. She has now helped get Canada's Minister for Immigration involved. Whilst there's no guarantee of good outcomes, this is good progress. Fingers crossed! [twitter]
The denial of visas for people to attend scientific conferences inhibits the free flow of ideas that is essential for scientific progress. I wish visas weren't such a hindrance, especially for those from underrepresented countries in the field of ML. We need everyone's voice!https://twitter.com/timnitGebru/status/1191970600941707265…
Jeff Dean added,
This never ends. This year, so far, 15 out of 44 people to attend @black_in_ai workshop at @NeurIPSConf (which is still in Canada) have been denied visas. That's 33%. We had all this press last year, they were supposed to help us this year.