February 03, 2017 12:27
Visa agents here have lost no time trying to cash in on U.S. President Donald Trump's shock immigration ban on seven Muslim-majority countries.
Agents warn potential customers that they need to hurry to get their visas due to the likelihood of stricter regulations.
Under the current visa waiver, Koreans can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa, but they need a visa for longer stays.
A visa agency told the Chosun Ilbo, "Since Trump's election win, visa interviews have already got tougher and the rejection rate has risen. But we can help you prepare the documents so that you have your visa safely in hand."
Others claim even tourist visas will get harder, to say nothing of work visas. But the Foreign Ministry here said this is fear-mongering.
Under Trump's executive order, virtually all citizens from the seven countries including Iran and Iraq are banned from entering the U.S. for three months. But there were no signs that the ban will be extended to countries that the U.S. public does not vaguely associate with terrorism.
Still, the visa agents' strategy seems to be paying off. A staffer at one agency said it is getting over 30 percent more calls asking for help compared to last year.
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