Jump to content

Bribery and corruption


12 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Filed: Other Country: Taiwan
P.S. sweetliewynn:

It's not necessary to have a lawyer to pay a bribe.

We're supposed to navigate the law. Bribes are illegal.

The stories I hear in Saigon usally go like this:

1. For $--- someone (not working for the consulate but who is related to

or friends with someone working inside the consulate ) can speed up the processing.

If you don't pay this someone - your case will be stuck for years.

2. The consular officers just sign off on anything the Vietnamese employees

put in front of them. It's the Vietnamese clerks who are really making the

decisions at the consulate. Someone has a friend or a family member who has a friend

who works at the consulate. The friend will take care of everything. You just need

to pay $--- to someone who doesn't work at the consulate.

3. A certain VN lawyer is allowed to attend interviews and translate for beneficiaries.

If his or her name is on your paperwork - your case will sail through. To have his name

on your paperwork costs $----.

4. I've even heard that if you put $--- inside your passport, the translator or the

officer will pocket the money and approve your visa.

5. A certain travel agency will get your tourist visa approved. It has a relationship

with the consular officer. It pays him or her $---for every visa.


Suckers pay their money and end up with nothing or worse than nothing.

I heard of one poor lady who believed number 4. Now she's inadmissible to the US

for life. Attempting to bribe or conspiring to bribe a Federal law enforcement officer

is a felony. 18 USC Ch.11 Sec. 201

Well, I have to admit Ellis, you're right. I posted that when I was at a real peak of frustration and now that I look back I wish I hadn't posted my thoughts at the time and you're also right about knowing where these rumours are coming from. You pretty much nailed all the stories I'd heard and well, it's good to know for certain from someone who knows for certain because he is around there locally all the time that actually no, the system is working but can just really really drive a person nuts if they let it. Thanks Ellis for restoring my faith in the system and also for getting me calmed down here. I know you're right and it's all a bunch of B.S. to get money from people by offering false hopes and it gave me fears that there was something I was missing which must be required but not spoken. If that were the case I wouldn't want to be missing that element. Actually I have a close family member who worked in a different embassy and he told me that everything was always done by the book too. There are a lot of rumours out there flying around and not only in Saigon. It seems everyone I talk to about this subject tells me the very first thing "It's about money" or "you need to give them some money" or on and on.. it's the first thing they think so it was really getting to me and making me think I was the last honest person out there trying to do this the right way and not even hiring an attorney because he thought his case would fly through without a hitch but ended up with all the hitches and still hitching..

Actually I feel the need to make a sort of an explanation. First I was angry and when I get angry I like to make things extreme, more extreme than reality by using strong language. for example, by bribery and corruption well, in my mind that can mean filing some sort of form to get action but it requires a fee. So if you think about it, you could be paying a bribe with a receipt (the form) or you could look at it as a form with a fee. Sometimes I feel like they are bribes with receipts rather than forms with fees. So I used my strongest language and got the post locked....I'd prefer it were deleted personally but when something's on my mind I like to write and get it out.

Anyone who knows Nha and I know that actually corruption really is something I hate so much that I am also very suspicious and am a watcher for such things and actually have done my best to try to find any and had no success. I don't know, I guess hearing the rumours that I know get circulated oh so too easily and now I am a part of helping them circulate too and trying to correct this. As far as I know these rumours you mentioned are indeed rumour only and I have looked for evidence of it because if somebody's getting in before us and causing our delays I am going to be pissed.

Phew! Sometimes VisaJourney makes this process bearable and thanks to all of you.

“I never was and never shall be what is commonly termed a popular man,” Adams concluded. “I have no powers of fascination; none of the honey…” John Quincy Adams

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Filed: Other Country: Taiwan

Being suspicious about the consular officers being involved in a conspiracy and accepting bribes as the method of visa issuance or denial decision making isn't unfounded. They were caught just a few years ago. I don't know why this article from the U.S. Department of Justice has been cut-off prematurely but it has been widely reported that a very high up officer within the US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City was found guilty in a huge case of consular fraud. She lived in the same neighborhood with all the other heavily protected and shielded people so the real question for me is, was she the only one? Did they really catch everyone or did some slip through the cracks and have found better ways to hide their activities. I am not accusing but it will be interesting to see how everyone's cases are handled. It also gets very interesting hearing of all the people who somehow receive their I-129F visa within 4 months, from start to finish all the way from USCIS to visa in hand in 4 months but just need the correct attorney... It gets more interesting all the time and will be interesting to see over the next few years if anyone is able to overturn something again.

"WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Attorney General Christopher A. Wray of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott of the Eastern District of California announced today that three key �visa brokers� received sentences of 57, 41 and 30 months in prison for their roles in facilitating a bribery and visa fraud scheme involving the unlawful issuance of approximately 200 visas from the U.S. Embassies in Sri Lanka, Fiji and Vietnam"

from: http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2005/February/05_crm_062.htm

Edited by sweetiewynn

“I never was and never shall be what is commonly termed a popular man,” Adams concluded. “I have no powers of fascination; none of the honey…” John Quincy Adams

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Vietnam

Money talks everywhere!


K1 Timeline

12/27/2005...I-129F Sent (Nebraska Service Center)

07/19/2006...Visa Approved

AOS Timeline

01/23/2007...AOS Sent

03/08/2007...AOS Approved

Removing Conditions

01/12/2009...I-751 Sent

06/10/2009...I-751 Approved


03/27/2010...N-400 Sent


12/09/2011...Oath Ceremony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Filed: Other Country: Taiwan

Oh, wait guys, more evidence of rampant corruption within our consulates and embassies... Here's a long read that some of you might find interesting. What I get from it is this sort of thing is commonplace - so common in fact that when you read through the document they casually mention that 7 were caught selling visa issuance recommendations from people with Consular credentials and casually mention how they can't prosecute people they know about dealing in visa fraud or related because of the local laws... How the policing of the staff is pretty much left to the staff... When I was reading this document it sounds like a mob-boss instructing the thugs on how to make more money in their criminal dealings:


Edited by sweetiewynn

“I never was and never shall be what is commonly termed a popular man,” Adams concluded. “I have no powers of fascination; none of the honey…” John Quincy Adams

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Filed: Other Country: Taiwan

I realize many of you won't want to read the whole thing so I will give my summary of it in relative briefness.

from pp. 5 "Results in Brief":

"State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has a set of internal controls to prevent

visa malfeasance and has taken actions to improve them; however, these

internal controls are not being fully and consistently implemented at the

posts we visited. While State’s controls are consistent with accepted

control standards, we found noncompliance with required supervisory

oversight of the visa process at 6 of the 11 posts we visited."

Basically, the October, 2005 the publication goes on to say that they looked at 11 visa issuing posts to see if the regulations they had implemented after incidents in 2002 prompted investigations, prosecutions, and sentencing for the guilty had weeded out the corruption and bribery that they had found before. What they found was that the controls they had put in place to stop the very problems which have been found within several Consular offices were not even being implemented and therefore could not possibly be stopping anything. The report also tells us that even if the controls had been implemented those controls still rely upon the honesty and integrity of the people within the Consulate or post and therefore the same bad apples can be making hundreds of thousands of dollars, just as they have been found to be doing just a few years ago, and nothing has changed. The 11 posts visited and found to have problems were:

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam; Nogales, Guadalajara, and Mexico City, Mexico; Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador; Lima, Peru; Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Mumbai, India.

I invite anyone to read starting from the section entitled "Consular Affairs Has Internal Controls over the Visa Process, but Controls Are Not Being Fully Implemented.." It tells all the ways that corrupt individuals within these posts can get a visa through in an unjustified, expedited fashion. I think it's something which needs serious attention. The previous serious attention has not been found to have made any difference and if it is something which is stopping law abiding, honest visa seekers and we find out about it I for one am going to be pissed.

“I never was and never shall be what is commonly termed a popular man,” Adams concluded. “I have no powers of fascination; none of the honey…” John Quincy Adams

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Filed: Timeline

That's all I can stand, and I can't stands no more.

Sweetiewynn, regarding the case you mentioned involving the "very high up officer" -- she was, in fact, a consular officer working at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi in 1995 - 1997. She wasn't working in Ho Chi Minh City; in fact, the U.S. Consulate in HCMC wasn't opened til 1997. While working in Hanoi, she would have been working on non-immigrant visas such as tourist and student visas. She would not have worked on immigrant visas or fiance visas since the consular section at the embassy in Hanoi was never set up to do those categories of visas. She's going to go to prison now because she was a corrupt consular officer, but her malfeasance is not all that relevant to immigrant visa processing in HCMC, except I guess you could say she was a consular officer and so are the people in HCMC. And I guess, to follow this line of reasoning, if one consular officer was corrupt, maybe they all are. Just like all dry cleaners are evil because of that one that "lost" my shirt a few weeks ago.

On the second point, the GAO report -- again, Sweetiewynn, they were doing a study of non-immigrant visa units. That's why they kept talking about "referral systems", which are systems by which U.S. officials serving under the Chief of Mission at an Embassy can refer applicants for priority treatment for their tourist/student/temporary business visas if they can show that it's within the U.S. national interest for them to do so. While fiance visas are technically a non-immigrant visa, they are in fact processed by Immigrant Visa Units because, in the vast majority of cases, the applicant will end up residing permanently in the U.S. Now, it certainly is true that consular sections should take what the GAO says to heart, because it's very important for non-immigrant visa units -- and indeed, all visa units of every sort -- to do everything they can to prevent both internal and external fraud. But the folks who are processing your case weren't the subject of the report, so it's not all that relevant -- unless you want to use the dry cleaner logic (see paragraph one).

As to your assertions of "rampant corruption", I read the report (thanks for the link!) and it said they had 28 cases between 2001 and 2004. An average of seven cases per year. Some of whom (since we're talking about non-immigrant visas here) could have included non-consular officers who were abusing the referral system. Is seven per year a lot? It's seven per year too many, certainly. But "rampant"?

I'm sorry. I've been reading this site for a long time now, and this is the first time I've ever decided to put in my two cents. I understand you're upset with how long your case is taking, Sweetiewynn. But making these sort of accusations doesn't do anything to help you, and could end up misleading others. Remember Ellis Island's woman, who believed rumor number four? If you have specific information regarding USG employees who are corrupt, by all means take it to the authorities. You'll be doing everyone a public service. But making broad, categorical accusations doesn't really help anyone, except perhaps dishonest individuals who prey on desperate and naive visa applicants.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Filed: Country: Vietnam
Just like all dry cleaners are evil because of that one that "lost" my shirt a few weeks ago.

It's true. All dry cleaners ARE evil.

20-July -03 Meet Nicole

17-May -04 Divorce Final. I-129F submitted to USCIS

02-July -04 NOA1

30-Aug -04 NOA2 (Approved)

13-Sept-04 NVC to HCMC

08-Oc t -04 Pack 3 received and sent

15-Dec -04 Pack 4 received.

24-Jan-05 Interview----------------Passed

28-Feb-05 Visa Issued

06-Mar-05 ----Nicole is here!!EVERYBODY DANCE!

10-Mar-05 --US Marriage

01-Nov-05 -AOS complete

14-Nov-07 -10 year green card approved

12-Mar-09 Citizenship Oath Montebello, CA

May '04- Mar '09! The 5 year journey is complete!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam

I don't know anything about fraud at the USA Consulate but I know 2 things for certain: As I've stated on this site before.

I have a friend who teaches Vietnamese Language for the future consulate officers in Northern Virginia and these officers come from the top universities and are put through a very challenging course and other requirements before they start their assignment in HCMC. Basically, after working 2 or 3 years in HCMC, the officer looks forward to being assigned a better location in a modern European country or better yet Australia. In other words, HCMC is a stepping stone in a long foreign service career. Why risk a life time career for a few bucks; they already live comfortably?

Secondly, I personally met some of the local Vietnamese Officers during Bill Clinton's visit in Nov. 2000 and these ladies were very professional, had good English skills and most importantly these posisitons are highly valued in Vietnam (lifetime career).

Is it perfect, probably not. But, I highly doubt if there's intense corruption and behind the scenes payoffs?

FYI: "Du Roi" is a useful expression that means "enough already".......especially after Mot, Hai, Ba, YO! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Filed: Other Country: Taiwan

Maybe I was a bit harsh in my choice of words and upset some of the c/o's or government workers and related on here. I am sorry for that and not going to blame every dry cleaner in the world for the shirt. I admit that sometimes I can punch out a pretty harsh criticism. I think the majority of the people within the consulates and embassies are good honest diligent government employees who unfortunately for them are also subject to a higher level of scrutiny from the public, and maybe the occasional overly suspicious inquisitions, etc. too. It's an important thing to point out and for the people not involved they deserve a good deal of respect and thanks for their work. These same people are the people we count on not to let things get out of hand and let's all hope the problems are going to be fixed soon or are fixed now. I'm sure it is a never-ending task for them and one that offers little back-patting from outside their circles. I don't think they have the best jobs in the world either because they have to live under this blanket of eyes and protection and though they are probably comfortably taken care of financially it's probably not all fun and games for them either. Then they get some jerk like me making broad accusations and it is a shame that the masses of govt. employees have to work so much harder and always be on the lookout for the bad apples. To those people I say kudos and please keep an open eye to make sure everything is done according to law not only for yourselves but also for everyone around you. Part of my reason for posting is to collect possible information and yes, if I do find anything worthy of reporting that can be verified I will certainly do so. I have already done it in the past, though let me clarify it was another group of people and not embassy related people. I certainly don't want to give anyone the impression that they should try for themselves anything like going to a visa broker or other scammers and no, I don't want people preying on the naive visa applicants. We don't need any more of that.

Now let me explain why I think this relates to not only our case but to any case going through one of these posts. I was told by an attorney the other day that all fiance visa cases had been or may still be currently held up because of this very issue. He was getting the informaiton as he told me so there could have been errors in the conversation but this is what he was hearing and then I told him I had heard about that but I had also heard that they had resumed processing cases. We never got a clear answer but I heard this from more than one source. It seemed as if they had internal problems which, according to the DOJ report, "FINAL THREE VISA BROKERS SENTENCED FOR WIDESPREAD INTERNATIONAL BRIBES-FOR-VISAS SCHEME" haven't necessarily been fixed and by that I mean the new procedures had not been implemented. By the way, I used the word "rampant" before taking it from the DOJ title where they use the word "widespread." I realize they have different meanings and two different things so I stand corrected about that. However, it is still concerning that 28 cases. Let's be clear that this is 28 people busted in some form or other even if only about half of them were actually able to be prosecuted. It is not the number of visas issued. According to the report, the final 3 sentenced had sold around 200 visas, so this is about 66 average per case.. .then do the math we are talking about a potential of somewhere above 1800 visas. That's not a small deal, even if spread over a few posts and my thinking tells me that if there were people to do this method of fraudulent activity, visa malfeasance, then I personally feel they would use any means available. So I personally feel like they really should get on these controls which according to the report would most likely be able to stop the majority of any insider selling of visas.

Edited by sweetiewynn

“I never was and never shall be what is commonly termed a popular man,” Adams concluded. “I have no powers of fascination; none of the honey…” John Quincy Adams

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Filed: Country: Vietnam

If someone wants to say beneficiaries don't get a fair chance

in their interviews at a lot of consulates, I agree. But there are

other possible causes for this problem than consular officers being corrupt.

If the goal is to determine the merits of IV visa applications,

the consular IV interview process isn't very well designed.

At least, that's my opinion. If I were in charge, I'd make some big


But that's not my job.

I think if someone examines the IV process at consulates objectively,

he or she will find it would be very difficult for consular officers

to maintain a free-lance visas for cash scheme.

How would such a scheme work?

Officers really couldn't threaten to deny a visa application unless a certain sum is paid.

Every denial is reviewed by a chief. So that would mean both the officer and the chief

would need to be on the take for the scheme to work.

Then there is the problem of DHS. Every family visa petition where the

visa application is denied, is kicked back to DHS. Even if a chief and an officer

start a visas for cash business, eventually, DHS will complain about all the specious

denials they are having to spend hundreds of manhours reviewing.

So a "Pay cash or we'll deny your visa" scheme wouldn't work.

That leaves only a "If you pay $___, we'll approve your visa.

Otherwise, the file will get lost or delayed.

This kind of scheme poses a lot of problems too. For one thing, people tend

to complain. And word gets around fast especially in a town like Saigon. When people

run out of things to talk about here, they start gossiping.

Actually, Saigonese will gossip even when they have real stuff to talk about.

And also, the free-lancing officer would probably have a very high percentage of lost

or delayed files. That would attract suspicion.

Because the family-IV processing system has built-in oversight by DOS and interagency

(DHS/DOS) oversight, I don't think it's very susceptible to free-lancing.

If I thought that were the case, I'd say so. I'd be complaining very loudly about it.

But I'm not an aggrieved petitioner. I have the luxury of viewing the system more or

less objectively.

Don't bet your whole future on what you read

on a message board or in a chat room.

This is not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is intended.

You should not infer one.It's information of general applicablity.

Do not take any action without first consulting a qualified immigration attorney in greater detail.

John Marcus "Marc" Ellis, Attorney

American Immigration Lawyers (AILA)

membership number 10373

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -

Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
  • Create New...