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28.05.2010 Editorial

Please do not lie or submit any falsified document for a Student Visa

By The Timeline Newspaper

The month of May is ending and most US Colleges and Universities have informed freshmen applicants of admission decisions. We congratulate all Ghanaians and Africans who have been admitted into colleges and Universities in their home country and abroad. Admitted students may now be required to confirm acceptance of admissions offers and in some case to prove ability to finance education for travel documents to be mailed for visa processing. Admitted students will have to apply for students visas and we call on students and parents to present genuine documents to support students visa application in their own interest as all the requirements when genuinely met will make life easy for the student in the United States.

The US embassy in Accra in a recent press release announced a walk in service for student visa applicants on Wednesdays starting from the month of June. This indicates the US Embassy's recognition of the needs of students in applying for visas at this time of the year and in return students should make it a point not to lie in their application or present false documents which will ultimately lead to rejection of their applications and perhaps prosecution. The visa counselors' work in scrutinizing applications is in the interest of students and as such visa counselors should be assisted in their work.

Students who were not involved in their school applications should make sure that their admission letters and 1-20s are not fake ones as there are some fraudsters who issue fake admission letters and I-20s to students. Students who do not receive their admission letters and I-20s directly from the schools should check with the schools whose name are on the I-20s and whose admission letters they are in possession of. Students should also take good care of their I-20s as I-20s thefts are becoming common.

Students will have to provide proof of availability of funds for their studies as well as living expenses. Most students proof the availability of resources for their education with bank statements. We advice students not to present fake or doctored bank statements to support their visa applications. Students should not also request bank statements from people who are not going to make the money available for their education. This is because students will be required to make payment for their cost of attending as stated on their I-20s, before they will be registered for the academic year. If not, the students will have to return to Ghana.

Student visa applicants should also avoid forging any letter in support of their applications. There have been cases where students are aided by fraudsters to submit letter purporting to have been issued by prominent individuals and organizations. Some applicants also use fictitious proofs by using names of individuals and organizations which do not exist. Student visa applicants are advised to be honest with their applications since that is the only way they can be assured of a memorably education abroad.

Consular officers have a difficult job. They must decide in a very short time if someone is qualified to receive a temporary visa. Most cases are decided after a brief interview and review of whatever evidence of ties an applicant presents. It will therefore be in the applicant's interest to be as honest as much as possible to aid the consular officer with all information to assist in the making of a decision on an application.

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