Fixers, tips won't guarantee a US visa

Posted at 10/19/12 5:15 PM

Consular Officer Dustin Bradshaw of the US Embassy in Manila

MANILA, Philippines - The US Embassy in Manila on Friday emphasized that there is no formula or secret that would guarantee an approved US visa.

"Walang sikreto," said Consular Officer Dustin Bradshaw.

The Tagalog-speaking embassy official said that all one need to do is to honestly answer the questions on the application form.

"Do your homework. Kasi minsan di nila alam kung paano mag-apply ng visa," he said.

As a result, many Filipinos rely on the alleged sure tips that other Filipinos post on blogs or forums while some put their trust on fixers.
"Hindi kailangan ng visa fixer para sa iyong application. Mas importante, hanapin sa online, may blog, may Facebook, may information sa US Embassy webpage tungkol sa iyong application. Dapat binabasa sa online yung information," he said.

Bradshaw said those who tap fixers are likely to shell out more than the required fee for a US visa and are often advised to fake documents.

"Victim ng dalawang beses kasi nawalan ng pera nila at may permanent record din na nag-peke ng documents na iprenesent sa mga officers," he said.

He added that there is no time limit for those whose applications were denied but want to reapply again.

“Pwedeng mag apply ulit pero wag mo waste ang pera mo. Kung di ka qualified dapat maayos ang kalagayan mo. Bago mag apply ulit, basahin ang mga requirements,” he said.

The embassy recently kicked off its new public service campaign, “Walang Sikreto” (No Secret), aimed at preventing visa applicants from being victimized by scammers.

The campaign also encourages all visa applicants to be honest in their visa applications and likewise debunk popular myths that exist about applying for a US visa.