Friday, January 23, 2009

More Nepali applications for U.S. visa rejected due to fake documents

KATHMANDU, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- With the increase in number of Nepalis applying for visas for the United States, the number of fraudulent cases is also on the rise, local media reported on Saturday.

According to, during the peak pre-fall and pre-spring periods, 10 out of 100 applications on average get rejected every day because of fake documents.

Consul at U. S. Embassy Mea Arnold said the Embassy mostly receives fake educational documents, which are provided by the consultancies to those applying for student visas. Those applying for tourist visa submit fake financial documents.

"We hear stories of unscrupulous consultancies offering packets of fake financial documents for sale or schemes involving a supposed 'job' in the U.S. for hefty amounts," said Arnold. "The only person who suffers is the applicant who bought those documents and will be at risk of being permanently disqualified for a U.S. visa if found guilty of fraud."

Last June, Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Crime Division busted a visa racket involved in producing counterfeit American visas.

Last year, the consular section processed 34,000 applications, a 15.2 percent increase over the previous year.

In 2008, a total of 8,936 Nepali students got enrolled in the U.S. colleges and universities, according to "Open Doors 2008: Report on International Exchange 2008," produced by the Institute of International Education. Nepal is the 11th leading country of origin in international students heading for the U.S..

According to the U.S. Ambassador Nancy J Powell, Nepalis get duped by consultancies offering advice and assistance, which often fake documents or false promises to help secure the U.S. visa. "In reality, only a consular officer during an interview can determine if an applicant qualifies for a visa to the U.S."

In order to counter these scams and to encourage Nepali applicants to get accurate information about how to apply for a visa, the U.S. consular section has started an outreach campaign in Nepal from Friday.

Deputy consul Mike Mussi said the aim of the campaign is to provide accurate information on the visa process.


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