MANILA - Officials from the United States Embassy here warned on Friday against tapping the services of fixers to secure visas, reminding the public that no one can guarantee the grant of such travel document.
One of the most common scams perpetrated by fixers is pretending to have an "in" in the US Embassy, claiming that this would guarantee a visa grant, said Consular Manager Leon Gendin.
"Usually this starts with unsolicited communication, by email or by SMS, from someone promising a guaranteed visa upon the receipt of a fee. Everyone should know this is a scam, because no one, not even us, can guarantee a visa," he told ANC's Early Edition.
There have been myths worldwide about needing to "know someone" from inside the embassies to receive a visa, but the application is a "very quick process" and is transparent, said US Deputy Consul General Kimberly Kelly.
One can get an appointment for a tourist visa within 5 days and it could be granted within a few days after the interview, she said. Application fee is $160, or P8,335 at a $1:P52.10 exchange rate.
Information about the process is available on the Embassy's website.