Demeaned & rejected: Stories of visa interview woes at the US Embassy in Kenya

When you apply for a visa to travel to a country other than that whose citizenship you hold, it is the visa officer handling your application who ultimately decides on whether you will get the visa or not. To the visa officer, your application is a privilege and not a right.

However, the experiences that visa applicants in Kenya get at various embassies whose countries they seek to visit are not always very positive. Some leave very sour tastes in the mouths of those who apply and are rejected.

Some of the seemingly bitter rejections for many Kenyans occur at the US embassy in Nairobi whose visas are most-sought after.

Many who are rejected are lost on the reasons why they were denied despite meeting what appear as the requirements. Others lament that the attitude displayed by the consular officers is too demeaning. Take this Kenya  who recently got a decision at the US embassy in Kenya.

“Someone tell me what’s happening in the US Embassy in Nairobi. I went for the visa interview last week on 25, 04,2024 and let me tell you I was denied (pink paper).

Mind you, I have a rich traveling history and I was in the USA in 2018 and my 5 year visa expired in December 2022. I also traveled to Zanzibar last year. I have a job, family ties and let’s say all the requirements.

Everyone who was in front of me ( more than 10 people) were all denied. It was a 7 am appointment and you know how Gigiri is cold. I almost missed my exit door. I am yet to heal. The money, time and the heartbreak.

The lady consular asked me only 3 questions⁉️ My travel history, purpose of visit and even before I was done answering, pink paper pap! They should refund our money. My question is; when is the best time to reapply?”

Another Kenyan who also got denied shared as follows:

“I went to US embassy last week and was given the pink paper. I have good ties; a good job, married, kids, many investments and I was still denied. I saw many denials that day and wondered who was getting the blue paper… I had a genuine reason and would only be there for two weeks since I was to travel alone and I have a two week break from work.

A guy I was sitting with had gotten a job in US and he seemed really excited but the consular could hear none of it , when we met outside he burst into tears and I really felt bad for him.

I have been to two countries outside Africa and I thought that would be sufficient but I was wrong… I am really curious on what criteria they use to approve.The consular did not even return my greetings and hardly gave me any eye contact.”

In reaction to the two experiences that were shared by these two Kenyans, many other applicants who had faced the same fate came out to share their opinions and experiences on what they found out at the US embassy in Kenya during their interviews.

Visa fees is big business for embassies, its a complete cash cow. A study on number of applications per day, approvals, rejects, resubmission etc could tell a story. – Philip

Those people don’t issue based on genuineness. It’s a picky picky ponky game and business. The day they will process and determine visa issuance based on documentation, and proper background check instead of a 2 minute interview, many people will get fair responses. – Norman.

Am sorry about that. Sounds like me 6 years ago… I had all the right documents and a genuine reason and had even carried a bank statement which the consular never even asked for. When I got that pink paper, I felt dizzy instantly. I also tend to think the verdict is pre-dermined before the interview day. – Esther.

Depends on the mood of those hasty girls at the counter. They ask a question and before you can answer they ask another then say denied. That Embassy treats people badly. Last time I was there, some 3 priests were also denied the Visa to go for a church event. Mine was fully paid for by the organizational we were visiting, fare, accommodation, pocket money name it. Still got denied. – Jace.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.