Unauthorized Visa Fee Scams

  • The U.S. Mission to the UAE has observed that a number of nonimmigrant visa applicants are paying more than the $160 visa (MRV) application fee. Based on a recent survey, we estimate that over 20% of nonimmigrant visa applicants have overpaid the MRV fee.
  • In addition, many people in the UAE interested in getting a green card or job offer in the United States have lost money after receiving fraudulent Internet advertisements and emails. The scammers behind these fraudulent emails and letters are posing as fictitious U.S. companies or even as the U.S. government in an attempt to extract payments. Please note that U.S. entities petitioning for employees outside of the United States are responsible for all work permit and work visa arrangements. It is illegal for the U.S. company to demand any type of payment for these arrangements. The Diversity Visa Lottery program is also free to enter.
  • The standard U.S. nonimmigrant visa application (MRV) fee for tourist, business, and student travel is $160 (590 AED). No additional fees are requested, required, or received by the U.S. government prior to the interview.
  • Some unscrupulous agencies or online companies have threatened to report visa applicants to U.S. authorities if the applicants do not pay their high prices. Others “guarantee” visa issuance. Please note that the U.S. visa process is not open to outside interference. Every visa application is considered solely on the basis of its merits and third party interventions are not permitted.
  • Interested visa applicants should start with a trusted “.gov” website. For the UAE, that website is www.ae.usembassy.gov and click on VISAS. This will link to our partner website – the only authorized website that accepts U.S. visa fees and sets appointments for applicants in the UAE.
  • Some of these unauthorized websites may provide a service (such as filing the application or booking the appointment) but the authorized U.S. system is easy for anyone to use without paying additional visa service fees to an agent or facilitator.  In the official online U.S. visa application system, someone else can assist in filling out the application without additional fee or cost, but we recommend our applicants complete the forms themselves. If an applicant needs help, make sure the person assisting is entering accurate information. The applicant is personally responsible for all information in his or her U.S. visa application.

 

Speaking to Gulf News at the U.S. embassy in Abu Dhabi, senior officials made clear that visa fees have not been changed in the UAE with applicants having to pay a fee of $160 (Dh590) for nonimmigrant visas.