The US Embassy has issued an urgent warning about the rise of visa-related scams. In a recent statement on its website, the embassy said there has been an increase in the number of third-party preparers or visa service providers who create fake appointment letters or charge exorbitant fees for visa services. The embassy said persons can tend to such issues on their own and free of charge.

It said all forms are free and available at:  [https://ceac.state.gov/ceac/](https://ceac.state.gov/ceac/ “smartCard-inline”)  and [https://www.uscis.gov/forms/all-forms](https://www.uscis.gov/forms/all-forms “smartCard-inline”) . Use these official sites for the correct, up-to-date forms.

The embassy also urged for interested parties to avoid visa consultants who offer to improve one’s chances of qualifying for a visa by entering false information on visa applications.  It said, “False information can disqualify you and make you permanently ineligible for a visa.  You are also responsible for what is in your visa application. For this reason, we encourage applicants to complete their visa application and pay the required visa processing fees themselves.”

The embassy said its website [https://gy.usembassy.gov/visas/](https://gy.usembassy.gov/visas/ “smartCard-inline”)  offers comprehensive information on our visa services along with the applicable fees.

The embassy further urged persons to report anyone who claims to improve an applicant’s chances of qualifying for a visa to [f[email protected]](mailto:[email protected] “‌”).

Another safeguard it said is to avoid allowing visa consultants to use their email addresses to set up appointments. “You must use your own email address to create an account to manage your visa application and appointment. The Consular Section often sends case status updates to the email address you use to register,” the embassy said.

It also cautioned that using someone else’s email may cause you to miss important updates about your case and cause case delays. “If someone is helping you, make sure they give you the login details or confirmation number.  A free email account can be set up from a computer or smartphone,” the embassy warned.

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