“Getting a visa to the US is not a difficult or mysterious process. The visitor, of course, must have a legitimate and legal reason for entering our country,” its Consul General Jamie Fouss said at a press briefing.
According to the US embassy, the number of Bangladeshi students to US rose by 15.5 percent in the last fiscal, Oct 2012 to Sep 2013, to 3,828.
The overall increase in the number of foreign students in the US was seven percent during the same period, with China again topping the list.
According to the 2013 ‘Open Doors Report in International Education Exchange’ released this week, China contributed 29 percent of the total number of foreign students last year. India listed second with 12 percent.
The Consul General said the US liked having foreign students in their schools. “They are good for the US economy.”
He said a growing number of Bangladeshi students were seeking US visas for study.
But many of them were unprepared at the time they applied, he said, and that brokers’ involvement in “selling false information” had also been noticed.
“They promise to help people get a US visa, and they charge them a lot of money,” he said and that “I can assure you that they cannot get anyone a visa. They have no inside information or contacts”.
“In fact, these individuals may do more harm than good with their schemes, and may permanently damage your opportunity to qualify for a visa in the future,” he said.
He said they also verify bank statements which they applicants submit.
“We call the bank and we talk to the bank. We find how long the bank account has been opened.
“To see a bank account with $ 20,000 put into it last week is not helpful.
“….because I could borrow money and just put into the account and the next day disappear when they get visa,” he said.
The Consul General said most of the Bangladeshis apply for business, pleasure and study visas.
Anyone can apply for visas, but to qualify an applicant must meet certain laws, he said.