The US Embassy in Dhaka has cautioned that the prospective US visa applicants from the brokers whose advice may lead to visa denial.
"We caution prospective applicants that presenting false information and documents may not only result in a visa denial but may also result in an ineligibility that prevents future travel to the United States," said Nathan Look, consul general at the US Embassy, while briefing at the American Centre in Dhaka on Wednesday.
He said some non-immigrant visa applicants turn to visa consultants before scheduling their interviews, reports BSS.
"A visa consultant is not necessary to obtain a visa interview appointment. They often charge additional fees and provide inappropriate advice like creating fake documents," he said.
Nathan Look said best guidance for prospective visa applicants is to review information on US embassy's website, be prepared for their interview with any supporting documentation and just provide factual and truthful answers during the visa process and interviews.
Some applicants use a travel agency or consultant to book a nonimmigrant visa appointment, but there is no requirement to do so, he continued.
"You can book appointments directly on our website. There is no additional cost to make an appointment, it is included in the application fee," he added.
As noted, applicants should be wary of other consultant services, such as coaching, and the difficulties that this service may cause the applicant in the visa process, Look said.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic forced profound reductions in the US visa processing capacity and thus a lot of backlog.
"We acknowledge the hardship that resulted due to the reduced operating capacity and we are committed to resolving the visa backlog as quickly as possible," Nathan said, adding that the US visa officers are working in the weekends called Super Fridays to lower wait times of the applicants.
"To meet the high demand and reduce wait time, we are making special efforts to ensure as many applicants as possible receive interviews," he said.
During these Super Fridays, the embassy has interviewed over 3,400 nonimmigrant visa applicants, including students and tourists, and almost 600 immigrant visa applicants to reduce wait times.
The US Department of State also has reduced the wait time by waiving in person interviews for several key visa categories, including for many students, Nathan said.
About student visas, he said promoting the opportunity for qualified international students to study in the US remains a top priority for the US government, he said.
In 2022, the US Embassy in Dhaka issued over 7,400 F-1 student visas, more than any year in the past decade.
"We will continue to prioritize interviews for as many qualified students as possible," he said.
To help ensure that they can obtain a visa interview in sufficient time before their planned course starting dates, prospective students should seek the necessary I-20 form as early as possible from the sponsoring US academic institution and schedule their visa appointment as soon as possible, the consul general added.