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Visa Fraud Alert (May 5, 2011)

Visa Fraud Alert (May 5, 2011)

May 5, 2011

Visa Fraud Alert

The U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section in Windhoek would like to alert the Namibian public to concerns regarding recruitment companies that claim to work closely with United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the U.S. Department of State.  The Embassy has received numerous inquiries from Namibian applicants who had contact with companies claiming to offer jobs in the United States, particularly in the cruise ship industry.

The Embassy advises all Namibian citizens that while many employment recruiters are legitimate, there are many fraudulent ones as well. Some potential signs of fraud include:

  • A company may request large fees, often not in U.S. dollars or to be paid to a bank which is not in the U.S., claiming that they can process or issue a U.S. visa.  Such claims are false.  The U.S. Government does not partner with private companies in this way. 
  • The company may forward letters which look official and appear to be from the U.S. government or one of its agencies.  Be wary of this kind of correspondence.  The U.S. government does not send communication via private companies or third parties to visa applicants.
  • A company that discourages direct contact with the U.S. Embassy during the visa application process, or claims to be able to handle everything for you, is likely not legitimate.  The Embassy in Windhoek only accepts payment of fees directly from the applicant, in-person, on the date of the visa interview at the Embassy. A company asking for money in order to pay a U.S. government fee on your behalf is not legitimate.
  • Companies may also ask applicants for large amounts of detailed personal information, claiming that it is for the purpose of filling out a visa application or scheduling a visa interview on the applicant’s behalf.  Sharing personal information may enable perpetrators of fraud to take advantage of you.  All applicants in Namibia are advised to fill out their own visa applications and to be wary of any company requesting personal information for this purpose (especially if charging a fee for the service).