US Embassy warns public vs 'too good to be true' visa offers from fixers

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2019 03:28 PM

MANILA — The US Embassy on Thursday reiterated its warning to those applying for a US visa or consular services about scams and the risks of using visa fixers, as it encouraged applicants to be honest. 

The US Embassy's #WalangSikreto (no secrets) campaign aims to educate the public that "there are no secrets" to US visas or consular services and reminded applicants to "be honest and follow the process."

US Embassy deputy consul general Kimberly Kelly said it is "not difficult to apply" for a US visa, citing that 204,137 non-immigrant visas were issued in 2018 out of more than 250,000 applications. 

The process is easy, transparent, and universal, she added. 

Meanwhile, US Embassy fraud prevention manager Leon Gendin warned visa applicants against social media platforms that have "too good to be true offers" as well as those claiming to have influence over the visa process. 

Gendin said "no one can guarantee a visa." 

He added that adjudicators have been trained to recognize fraudulent documents such as birth and death certificates and could easily verify their authenticity.

Kelly, meanwhile, said applicants of a tourist or B1/B2 visa need to convince the consular officer during the interview that they intend to abide by the terms of the visa.

Officers can ask for supporting documents or additional information related to the purpose of travel.