Have you tried getting a Visa or tried to use an agent?
Different people travel overseas for different reasons but the most common one is to move and relocate to a country that is well structured for a chance for a better life either for themselves or for their kids and family. As a Nigerian myself, I totally understand that and this was one of the reasons why I moved to the UK way back in 2015.
But have you noticed how rampant visa scams are in Nigeria? A lot of people (who pose as agents or consultants) feed on the need of people to travel, so they charge ridiculous fees to help them process their visas, and majority of these people are scams! They sometimes disappear after getting paid or pretend to know what they are doing, just to waste your time and money!
In this post, I will be sharing some tips to spot fake visa agents and consultants both from my years of experience travelling and some things I have read and seen online. (At the end of the post, I will be giving you something special to )
Let me make this clear, I don’t have anything against agents or consultants because as someone who has gone through the process of acquiring a visa myself and advising friends and family, I know how hard and tedious the process can be – so, agents or consultants deserve to charge whatever fee they feel like charging, IF AND ONLY IF – they actually do what they are being paid for.
So, if you want to hire a visa agent for your next visa application, take time to look out for the following signs. They are the quickest ways to help detect if the person you are entrusting your money and time with is a scammer or not:
(1) Fake Visa Agents Make Un-reasonable Promises.
Oh! This is the most obvious sign.
Avoid agents who make un-reasonable promises. They think the way to win your heart is by lying to you. They will even go as far as telling you that you do not need to do anything on your side or meet any requirements, that they will contact you when the visa is ready.
They only ask for money and tell you that the visa is “guaranteed”. Stay away from people who use the word “guaranteed”. Nothing is guaranteed!
Most of them will tell you the process will take you 3 weeks or some very short time as a way to lure you in. Visa process takes months, not weeks! Its a serious process!
A truthful person can only guarantee to help you work on the visa process BUT not giving you a guarantee that you will 100% get the visa.
Nothing is guaranteed!
(2) Fake Visa Agents Cannot Explain (in clear words) How They Will Help You With Your Visa Application.
Stay away from “agents” who cannot tell you in clear terms the exact method or route they will be using to help you acquire a visa.
This is something you need to know, all countries have specific visa routes and before you employ the service of an agent or consultant, they should be able to tell you in clear words / terms the exact visa route they will be working with you on.
Fake visa agents have problems with explaining their methods of operations to you.
The reason is because they either have none or because such methods are not beneficial or compatible to you. Like I said, there are different visa routes for different countries and these routes have specific requirements that does not suit everyone, a real agent will be able to tell you the exact route they believe will work for you based on your personal circumstance.
So, many people pose as visa agents but many of them do not know much about visa application process. Hence, they do not have any information to share.
Stay away from such people.
(3) Fake Visa Agents Do Not Have a Timeline For Your Application.
From experience, I know that all visa processes have a timeline.
Some may be longer than others but there is always a timeline. An agent or consultant should be able to tell you in clear terms how long each step of the process will take.
The way most agents scam people is by telling you that your application has been submitted on your behalf and the embassy has started working on it. You neither get any proof of application submission nor get an email from the embassy.
So, you are told that you have to wait for the embassy to get back to them (this can take years and then you give up or they disappear)
It is easy for them to use this method to scam people because they pass on the blame to the embassy and claim to have no idea when the embassy will reach a conclusion on your application.
(4) Pay Half Now & Pay Half When Visa Comes Out.
Okay, this is the most common one.
This goes back to them offering some type of guarantee as a way to hook you in.
When they tell people that they only have to pay the full amount when they get the visa, most people feel like they are getting a good deal and they jump on it, thinking to themselves that “Oh, at least I am not paying the full money”.
The trick here is simple, they know that once you have committed to paying half, you are already in their net, you are not going anywhere.
They will either disappear after receiving the half payment or if they don’t, they will always come back to you for some “emergency money needed for your application”.
If you go online to search for an agent or have made contact with one in person, then you know that on average, their prices are always around N500,000 , N 1 Million, or upwards. So, their goal is to take half payments from as much people as possible… you can do the maths.
From experience, real consultants or professionals always mostly get paid for their service upfront (in most cases).
You can never go to a doctor and say “I need to do an operation, I will pay 50% now and 50% if I don’t die from the operation”, that can never happen, the doctor or hospital gets paid their money 100% whether the patient dies or lives after the operation because they know they will be doing their work and doing their best to give the patient the best service.
So, be very careful.
(5) They Don’t Ask for A LOT of Information.
Fake agents are only concerned about the money. They know they will not be helping you with any application process, so they will not be asking you some very key information that is required to start or conclude the process of your visa.
I believe that any true agent or consultant who is genuinely going to be providing their consultation service to you will be needing A LOT of information. Actually, you should know exactly what they will be doing for you, the steps they will be taking and the processes involved.
You are going to need to fill a lot of forms that asks for so many information, so a legit agent will either pass these forms to you to fill out and then send it back to them to review before submitting or they will fill the forms themselves and this will require them asking you a lot of questions.
Fake agents will attempt to ask you for simple information like your name and date of birth to pretend as if they are really going to be helping you but there’s a lot of information.
The above points are the most obvious signs of a fake visa agent or consultant, so, please watch out for them and also use your own initiative to access people you speak to. Only work with agents or consultants who you believe are geniune by ensuring they do not have any of the above red flags.
Getting a visa to Canada, UK, USA or anywhere is not an easy process. Yes, it can be straight-forward and you can do the process all by yourself but if you need someone to guide you step by step, then make sure you only pay people who are geniune, have experiences and if possible – try to use people who have also travelled out themselves because they are in a much better position to explain things to you, compared to someone who doesn’t even know how the inside of an aeroplane looks like.
I have something special for you that I believe will add value to you. Read below:
The Fastest, Easiest & Cheapest Way to Move to Canada within 3-6 Months.
I have created a very short video that will show you exactly how to tap into this and do the process yourself from the comfort of your home. This is from my years of experience being overseas, blogging about it and helping people. (This visa comes with Work Permit and Permanent Residency)
Click the image below or the PLAY button to watch the video.