Friday, July 19, 2024

Why we deny most people US visas at Nairobi Embassy – Ambassador Meg Whitman

The US Ambassador to Kenya Ambassador Meg Whitman has explained why most Kenyans who apply for various US visas at the US Embassy in Nairobi are denied. While addressing questions on high visa refusal rates, Ambassador Whitman acknowledged that visa refusals are not always right.

However, a majority of refusal decisions are based on carefully analyzed cases by the visa officer at the consular department at the US Embassy in Nairobi.

“We do deny people visas and are we always right? No. But are we mostly right? Yes.” she said during an interview with Royal Media Services’ Citizen Tv. “Think about it, everyone wants to come to America and some bad people want to come to America. Terrorists, money launderers, people who have overstayed their visas before, people who have let their Green Card expire then come back,” she said.

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“We have to be quite careful because there are people who wish America harm. It is a minority of people but what I always say is that you have to be thoughtful.”

Ambassador Meg Whitman noted that the decision on who is granted and denied the US visa is not an easy one, and could possibly carry lifelong repercussions on the visa officer who issues the visa.

“You all remember the 9/11 hijackers. How would you like to be the visa officer who let in the 9/11 hijackers? You would live with that for the rest of your life. We really try to be fair but we are also trying to make sure that the right people who are not ill-intent get to America,” said Ambassador Meg Whitman.


Nairobi US embassy visa officer’s mood, luck determines who gets visa

Her response comes in the wake of widespread concerns from the majority of visa applicants at the US Embassy in Nairobi who were unsuccessful in their visa applications. Many of these applicants lament that the visa officers at the consular department never look at their documents during the interview, pop two quick questions in quick succession and then issue denials, implying a pre-determined outcome.

However, according to US Immigration Lawyer Bern Bernstein, most applicants mistake their visa applications for a right instead of a privilege. “The US government does not owe anyone a visa. It doesn’t have to issue a visa to anyone. In fact, the visa officer better like you during your interview,” the lawyer said recently.


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