How to avoid Visa / airline ticket scam

by Donovan

I have flown to Belarus and met my lady in person. We had a wonderful time together. I suspect she has a contract with an agency because the apartment and car were crap and I had to pay a lot for them. Over our 4 month correspondence, she did not profess love right away, but gradually. She did not tell me she fell in love with me until we met. I asked her to marry me and a large family celebration party was planned. Now, her agency is setting up a tourist Visa interview with the Moscow consulate. She wants me to go with her to Moscow and the agency will arrange for her tickets to the US. If she has some sort of contract with the agency, how can I best avoid being scammed. Since she wants me in Moscow during her interview, I don't think it is a Visa scam. Or am I just over paranoid after reading all these other posts? What do I do if I have to pay for tickets that her agency provides? How do I know if the tickets will be legit?

You are welcome to use fake name, but please let's use the same name in the title of the post as in the body of the message. I have changed the name in the body of the post to match the title, so from now on you'll be "Donovan", OK?

Comments for How to avoid Visa / airline ticket scam

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RE: How to avoid Visa / airline ticket scam
by: Bob (Site Owner)

OK, I can see how you would be a bit paranoid reading other posts in this section! BUT NOTE SOME IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES... You MET HER IN PERSON. That makes this different from 95% of the posts in this section. She wasn't declaring her love for you, or telling you how - after just two emails - she walks around all day with a big smile on her face because her life is now so bright and sunny just because of you.

That doesn't mean you should drop all caution, just that your case is fairly different from most of the others you see here.

Contract: I doubt it. It is fairly normal if you met the girl through the agency that the agency would offer to take care of all your accommodations/services on your visit.

But if at this point you have already PROPOSED MARRIAGE and SHE HAS ACCEPTED, why a tourist visa? Why not a fiancee visa? A tourist visa is a very big risk... there is a very good chance that would be denied. And then not only is the non-refundable ~$200 lost, but if BOTH of you travel to Moscow, all that airfare cost and accommodation cost is lost.

There is almost no risk that a fiancee visa would be denied.

I am also unsure why Moscow? A quick Google search shows there is a U.S. Embassy/Consulate in Minsk where she could apply. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Personally I would not pay the agency for arranging her flights to the U.S. Once she has a visa (tourist or fiancee) I would insist on booking her tickets myself.

If she/they refuse, then there's just a little too much collusion going on there.

Belarus embassy
by: Donovan

Minsk USA embassy can do tourist visas for Russians and Belorussians. I don’t know why they’d go to Moscow as well? The wait for interviews currently in Moscow is through the roof! You’re lucky to even get an interview in a timely manner.

Most Russians I know have gone to Vienna or Georgia to get tourist visas to USA

Belarus can do it too, I know that because I emailed them two weeks ago asking them.

When is this happening? I may know how to beat it
by: Anonymous

Please, how much time do you have to dodge this? And what part of Russia is she living in? I need these 2 things to know 100% I can help you first.

1. For now I would keep an open mind. There may be an agency, and she doesn't know better.

2. Just April this year I married my Russian Wife, on Fiancee Visa. So I know a lot. Knowledge about all this is perishable. Requirements change so on.

A, 1. It's also possible there is no agency. You need first to work understanding if she's being mislead? I know it sounds bad but if she's not honest at this point drop her. If she is being honest you don't need to waist money. Yes something is wrong about the Visa's. I'll look to hear from you n this site.

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