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Truth or Consequence When Applying For a US Visa

On October 17, 2012, most Philippine newspapers ran a news release from the U.S. Embassy in Manila about the need to tell the truth when applying for a U.S. visa especially when applying for temporary visas such as work, tourist and student visas.

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Truth or Consequence When Applying For a US Visa
Written by Crispin Aranda.
Posted on October 17, 2012

The U.S. Embassy said “visa fixers” target these applicants “many of whom may be vulnerable to the false concept that there are certain “formulas” to assure the approval of a U.S. visa.”

 Just what is a “visa fixer?”

 The U.S. Embassy did not define what and who a “visa fixer” is.  However, based on our experience and previous stories of visa applicants refused for not telling the truth (committing misrepresentation of a material fact), “visa fixers” are usually individuals who work with, in, or have dealings with a visa assistance firm who provide fraudulent documents such as fake titles, non-existent bank accounts, or bank accounts that exist solely for visa application purposes; certificate of employment or an enhanced tax return showing an income that is not consistent with the other documents being submitted.

 Most “visa fixers” operate independently and conduct business in restaurants, hotel lobbies, and portable offices.

 We have always warned clients, listeners and viewers of our radio and TV program, as well as when we conduct migration and visa expos that nobody can ensure the issuance of a nonimmigrant or temporary visa.  Not even a US consul can.

 In fact, the US consul is required by law to consider each temporary visa applicant as an intending immigrant.  This authority is under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA.  If you have been denied, you must have been given a refusal letter in color paper, usually in blue) citing 214(b) as the basis for denial.

 What are the most common cases of  “keeping secrets” or “not telling the truth?”

  1. Not indicating the correct marital or civil status because “visa fixers” say you could get a visa as married.  In some cases, a “visa fixer or VF” has another client of the opposite sex, also single.  The VF will then produce a marriage certificate to make it appear that the two singles are now united in matrimony – but only on paper.
  2. Not disclosing the existence of an immigrant visa petition by a parent or sibling.  The VF says that a visa applicant with a pending immigrant via petition would surely be denied.
  3. Denying previous visa refusals.  The VF will say that the US Embassy does not keep a record of visa denials especially after a period of time.
  4. Providing a passbook that has a huge one-time deposit, or one with a history of financial transactions.
  5. Showing “arrival” and “departure” stamps on your passport to show that you have travelled before when actually you have not.

What happens if you are caught not telling the truth?

 Serious consequences arise from “material misrepresentation of a material fact.”  This means having attempted to apply for a visa by providing false documents that could have swayed the consul to issue a visa.  The consequence is permanent bar from being issued any kind of US visa, even if this time you are presenting genuine documents based on a genuine relationship with a US citizen spouse or fiancee.

About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

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