Chennai Consulate Exposes Visa Fraud Ring

The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai announced that nearly 200 visa applicants claiming to be connected to the south Indian film industry used false credentials to apply for visas to the United States. These individuals now face a lifetime ban on traveling to the U.S.

The Consulate’s Fraud Prevention Unit uncovered the fraud, in which film actors or directors used their position to lend credibility to a second unqualified applicant. The unqualified applicants paid up to rupees five lakhs to a “visa consultant” and the accompanying actor or director. Immigration records show that the majority of those who received visas are illegally present in the United States. Their identities have been passed on to U.S. law enforcement authorities.

Anyone who commits fraud to obtain a visa can be charged with crimes in the United States and abroad. Visa applicants can find free and complete information about visa requirements and the application process from the Chennai Consulate and VFS, the Consulate’s authorized visa appointment services provider. Consular Chief Mark Fry states that, “Applicants should strictly avoid documents sold by document vendors or brokers, and only submit genuine documents. Potential visitors to the United States are most likely to receive a visa if they tell the truth on all visa forms and during the interview with a consular officer.”

For more information on the visa application process at the U.S. Consulate General – Chennai please visit: http://chennai.usconsulate.gov and VFS: http://www.vfs-usa.co.in/.