Uganda Loses Ugx6b to the US Every Year in Visa Applications

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According to the US embassy, Uganda loses over ugx6bn every year to the US over denied visa applications.

Ms. sally Sternal, the Chief Consular at the US embassy in Uganda today 8th December 2022, while speaking to Journalists at the US embassy office stated that about 20,000 Ugandans apply to travel to the US per year and pay a minimum non-refundable application fee of Ugx600,000 and only half of these are granted visas.

The US collects Ugx12b in visa application fees from 20,000 Ugandans rejecting half of the number leading to a gain of Ugx12b for the US and a 6b loss to Uganda.

According to Ms. Sternal, this is due to high visa rejections, as a result of people presenting forged and wrong information and not being able to provide adequate proof of ties outside the US.

β€œMost fail because they don’t demonstrate strong ties outside the US, it is the biggest problem and the reason for high rejections of visas,” said Sternal.

She further stated that cases of fraud are high, people cook up their background stories and hire brokers who cheat them of their money promising to help beat the system adding that they do serious scrutiny which disqualifies most of them.

β€œWe are contacted by the US to verify and examine visas from a third party, none of those that we verified Β have been valid, do not pay anyone to help you to process a visa, they will take your money and run,” revealed Sternal.

According to the regional security officer Brain Jolda, middle men are the perpetrators of these schemes to cheat unsuspecting and desperate applicants well knowing what they are doing is fraudulent.

β€œEvery day at least half a dozen occasions where the consular office comes to verify documents and stories, on a daily basis about 5% of those applicants are fake or forged, yet they have already paid application fees,” said Jolda.

However, such acts only work against Ugandan applicants who pay for the applications whose visa is for a period between 6 months to a year, the visa for 24 months has its separate amount too. When rejected due to fraudulent acts, the US makes gains byΒ collecting 12 billion a year in visa applications and only 10,000 thousand applicants are granted visas.

 

 

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