The Haitian National Police (PNH) with collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, arrested four Haitian citizens
Here is how the Haitians committed the fraud:
The scammers posing as U.S. Embassy employees contacted the people applying for the US Visa in Haiti and their family in the United States.
The scammers made the applicants or their family members believe that the applicants owed thousands of dollars in fees for DNA tests, medical exams and other processing fees, and instruct the victims to transfer the money to them immediately by Western Union or other methods of online transfer
An overseas trip should never impromptu. You should make a host of arrangement months before you actually plan to visit. The U.S visa approval always remains a matter of concern. Complete documents increase your chances of a visa approval provided you know the right type of visa you need. There are about 185 different types of U.S visas which could be grouped in two main categories: (a) Nonimmigrant visa - for temporary visits such as for tourism, business, work or studying; and (b) Immigrant visa - for people to immigrate to the United States. Here are some tips that can help you to increase the chance of getting U.S visa. As per U.S laws, consular officers view all non-immigrant applicants as potential immigrants until you can convince them that you are not. You have to convince them that you have reasons stronger to return your home country than remaining in the United States. So prepare with supporting documents like your identity proof, property documents, bank statements, tax returns, your ability to finance your trip, purpose and duration of your stay, your responsibility towards your family and dependants in your homeland, if any. You should also mention whether you are a business owner or serving some employer. If you cannot meet their expected financial capacity, the consular officer may ask you for sponsorship documents, the name and details of your sponsor in the U.S.
A note of caution to those seeking visa to emigrate in the United States. There is a major scam on the internet where a group of racketeers is claiming that it can provides people living in Haiti with U.S. VISA and Scholarships. On February 22, 2016, the US Embassy in Haiti put out a press release to inform the Haitian population about this Fraud attempt. The group has been using Sophia Martelly's name claiming that they can provide visas and scholarships to study in the United States. Specifically, the group is using the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com with contact person named Samuel at +509-3990-6218. These are fake contact information and their claim to provide visas and scholarships to study in the United States is not true.
You would't believe it however there are still some countries that treat Haitian immigrants decently. That is the case in Ecuador. Following a request from Haitian President Michel Martelly to President Rafael Correa, a new provision was adopted by the Ecuadorian government to regularize all Haitian nationals who have been living in Ecuador.
Any Haitians who have been living in Ecuador illegally before May 4, 2015, are now eligible to apply for a non-immigrant visa type 12-XI. This visa will be valid for six months at the time. Once the visa is obtained, the beneficiary can then apply for a migrant visa.
Haiti and the Dominican Republic are the two countries in the Caribbean with the maximum cases of visa frauds. Recently, on Friday, May 15, Robert Hannan, the US Consul General in Haiti has reported about 11,000 cases of fraud visa applications where the applicants have purported wrong information about their family, financial and professional backgrounds.
The US Consul General has urged that every visa applicant must provide only truthful information on their visa applications. The US department does not authorize any intermediary person or authority for assisting aspiring applicants or to receive any fees on behalf of the department or receive any money to provide information for sharing specific knowledge or information about visa. Every applicant should contact the concerned US department directly for all visa updates. Any person claiming to work for the U.S. Embassy over the telephone should be considered as fraudulent. The U.S department encourages common Haitian people to avoid these criminals and visit the consular officer at the U.S department and discuss about his plan to visit the United States. This is the only way; there is no other way of getting a visitor visa. Applicants for U.S. visas are required to appear in person for a scheduled visa interview at the U.S. Embassy.
A coalition of African-American Baptist associations is calling on President Obama to order the Department of Homeland Security (DOHS) to automate the Haitian reunification program so immigrants can live with their families in the U.S. Presidents of the Baptist bloc sent a letter in early September to the White House. The signatories included Nehemiah Davis, Gregory Moss, James Perkins, Julius Scruggs, and Samuel Tolbert.
In their letter to Obama the leaders impressed upon him the disintegration of the Haitian family unit, caused by January 2010's earthquake. They desire Obama take steps at the earliest time available to develop the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRPP). If put into action, HFRRP would automate the visa-granting process for Haitians petitioning to live with their families in the U.S. Once put into effect, HFRRP would permit immigrants to reside with their families while applying for permanent resident status.
Consul General of the United States Embassy, Jay Thomas Smith, held a media conference at the American Embassy to discuss the processing of temporary visas. It seems a number of travel agencies wanting to jump to the head of the line to get temporary visas are running a scam, which is increasing the wait time for general applicants to receive their visas.
Travel agencies are using made-up numbers, which the U.S. Embassy does not question, in order to save chunks of appointment times for their employees. As a result of snatching appointment times away from general applicants, wait times have increased through no fault of their own or the U.S. Embassy's.
Effective January 18, 2014, people from Haiti and also from 62 other countries are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programs of the United States.
What is it exactly and who can apply for it?
H-2A and H-2B Visa programs allow U.S. foreign nationals to come and work in the United States on a temporary basis. For an agricultural position, they need an H-2A visa and for non-agricultural, they need an H-2B Visa.
Here is a complete list of the countries eligible for the U.S. H-2A and H-2B Visa program.
The U.S. State Department runs a program begun in 1995, the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DIV) program. It operates the lottery yearly, handing out permanent resident visas to countries that have delivered less than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. within a five-year period. Haiti is one of the ineligible countries, which has exceeded the limit since the inception of DIV.
If an individual is chosen in the lottery, more requirements must be met, including a high school diploma or GED, and completion of a two-year vocational program.
Haiti has several strikes against it to become eligible for the DIV program. Foremost is the government of Haiti (GOH), which does not cooperate with the international community to lift Haitians out of poverty. An astonishing 70% of the populace lives well below the poverty line, and 80% of the 10 million population is illiterate. What fuels the illiteracy rate is the lack of a free education system. The GOH has a $2 billion initiative to make free education a reality, but it is not a high priority.
Is this a sign that you are not welcome here?
The current Haitian Deputy Arnel Belizaire may feel that way after his recent application for a U.S. visa to enter the country.
Posted on the Facebook page of Deputy Belizaire is a picture of the actual visa issued on May 29, 2013, with an expiration day of May 31, 2013. The visa issued to the Haitian Deputy is enter the United States that is valid only for 2 days.
Deputy Arnel Belizaire denounced the action by posting on his Facebook page:
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