Visa agency duped us, allege residents
August 13, 2017 Share

Visa agency duped us, allege residents

Customers lodge complaint with authorities saying firm refusing to refund cash deposits

Dubai: An agency that is charging up to Dh5,000 for visa services has come under fire from residents who say they been swindled.

The Dubai-based company that promotes itself as a Schengen visa specialist is allegedly duping people by guaranteeing them a visa, even if they do not meet eligibility criteria.

Residents said they have lodged a complaint with the authorities against the agency Easy Reach Management Services.

Complainants said their visas were either never applied for or rejected due to missing documents that the agency was responsible for arranging.

In most cases, the company asks people to first pay a deposit of Dh2,000-Dh2,500 and guarantees a full refund in case the visa was declined.

However, the deposit money is never refunded, residents alleged.

Daily Sun News contacted Easy Reach Management Services on several occasions regarding the customer complaints but the company officials declined to comment on the issue.

Customer Mohammad Al Islam, a Bangladeshi expatriate from Sharjah, said he believes the company failed to apply for his visa to Korea.

In his complaint, Islam, who works for a maintenance company, said the company asked him to pay Dh4,000 for arranging a visit visa to Korea in July as he wanted to spend his holidays there.

Islam said they first said the fee includes the application service and air ticket, but after I paid the Dh2,000 deposit, they told me that the Dh4,000 is only for the visa service. “I was told I would get the visa in five days when I submitted my application to them on July 6,” said Islam.

After waiting for more than a month, when Islam did not get his visa, he checked his visa status online, and to his surprise he came to know, the agency never applied for his visa.

“When I confronted them on the issue they still said they applied for it. When I asked them to return my passport and money they gave me only my passport,” he said.

Islam said: “I call them every single day to get my money back, the company keeps telling me to come the day after. I have spent Dh700 on transportation from Sharjah to their office in Dubai. I have lost all hopes to get my money back,” Islam said.

“They assured me that there is no need for my bank statement and a non-objection letter from my company to get a visa despite the fact it is not possible to apply for visa without these documents,” he said.

Another client said that after he clicked on the company’s advertisement on Facebook, an employee repeatedly sent him messages on WhatsApp to apply for a Schengen visa.

“They kept pushing me to apply for the visa. A woman named Sadiya would constantly call me. When I went to their office, they said the total fee is Dh5,000 with a Dh2,000 payment in advance and the remaining amount to be paid after issuance of the visa. I was told the appointment for the interview will take one week, but it took a month,” said Pintu H., who is also from Bangladesh and earns a monthly salary of less than Dh4,000.

Pintu said he was told at the time of submitting his application that Dh5,000 he was paying includes the consular-service fee, finder’s fee for an air ticket and hotel and the travel insurance.

However, when Daily Sun News checked with another visa agency, they said the same service costs around Dh1,000. Nationality of the applicant, the agency said, is an important factor in determining whether his application would be successful, and this is communicated to the client beforehand. Other requirements such as bank statements, are important to get a Schengen visa.

Pintu alleged the agency did not submit her visa application documents properly. He was also not told by the company that his Emirates ID would affect his visa application since it’s being renewed. “They submitted the old Emirates ID and the hotel booking was not confirmed, which were both their responsibility. When I collected my passport, the visa was rejected. When I asked them to refund my money they have not done so for two months. They either say the manager is not there or come back after some days,” he said.

Both Islam and Pintu said they have lodged complaints with the Department of Economic Development on the issue.


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