Written by Crispin Aranda
Posted on October 17, 2012
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.
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?”
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.
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