iVisa is an online visa processing company that offers travel visas to individuals for various countries. Due to this company’s ubiquitous presence on Google, it has become the choice for many travelers.
But pre-paid “search engine optimization” doesn’t equate to professional integrity. As of January 2024 alone, there are over 3,000 reports of scams and unethical business practices from customers who have used iVisa’s services (see below).
So, here we go again… reporting on yet another company out to scam your money, and this time – before you even leave home.
You may recall the issues we reported with the Turkish Airlines Help Desk. We had a lot of feedback on that, and we’d like to continue helping travelers avoid the pitfalls of unscrupulous companies out to fleece you before you arrive at your destination.
In this article, we reveal the ways in which customers are being scammed out of their cash by iVisa, and what should be done to prevent this.
- Lack of Transparency – Limited & Misleading Information
- Zero iVisa Accountability
- Denied Refunds: The Shady Reality of iVisa’s Policies
- Poor iVisa Customer Service
- Lack of Helpful & Knowledgeable Representatives
- Slow Processing Times
- One Applicant’s Experience…
- “Frustrated & Disappointed” The Dark Side of iVisa’s Customer Service
- Check out iVisa’s Customer Reviews
One of the main problems with iVisa is the lack of transparency in the company’s visa processing system. Customers have reported feeling misled about the cost and timeline of their visa applications, or that they were given incorrect information about the requirements for their visas.
Another reason for dissatisfaction is the lack of clear and concise information provided by iVisa. Some customers have reported feeling confused or overwhelmed by the information provided on the company’s website and in their communications with customer service representatives.
It is evident that iVisa fail to provide clear, concise, and accurate information to customers about the visa processing process and what they can expect.
The lack of accountability in the company’s customer service is another issue. Customers report that their complaints were not taken seriously or were not addressed in a timely manner.
Other customers reported that they were not kept informed about the status of their visa applications, or that they were given incorrect information about their visas.
To improve transparency and accountability, iVisa should have a customer-friendly refund policy with a system for tracking and resolving customer complaints, especially those related to refunds.
Just check the reviews: There are multiple reports of denied refunds by iVisa, even in cases where the company failed to provide the services promised.
One of the excuses customers are denied refunds by iVisa is the company’s strict (i.e. ‘zero’ ) refund policy. Customers have reported that iVisa refuses to issue refunds even in cases where the visa application was rejected. The company clearly does not implement any kind of refund policy that considers the unique circumstances of each customer’s situation.
To address this issue, iVisa must provide clear, concise, and easy-to-understand information to customers about refunds and what they can expect if they are dissatisfied with the company’s services.
iVisa’s support has received numerous reports of poor service, including long wait times and being disconnected or transferred without resolving issues. This not only wastes the customer’s time but also creates frustration and dissatisfaction with the company.
The company should improve their phone and email support systems and hire additional customer service representatives. Additionally, their representatives need to be better trained and equipped to assist customers.
Another reason for dissatisfaction with iVisa’s customer service is the lack of helpful and knowledgeable representatives. Customers have reported speaking with representatives who are not well-informed about their visa application process or who are not able to provide a solution to their issue.
iVisa need to invest in training their service representatives and providing them with the necessary tools and resources to actually assist customers.
iVisa’s slow processing times cause significant stress and inconvenience for travelers, with customers waiting for weeks or even months to receive their visas.
The company lacks fast processing systems and fails to provide clear updates to customers about the status of their visa applications.
A recent visa applicant reported being scammed out of £169 by iVisa. She had requested a visa for a 2-week trip to Australia and was assured of an efficient and painless process on the iVisa website.
However, after paying the full fee upfront, she was presented with an extensive list of requirements and a multiple-page application form. She spent hours on the website trying to complete the form and was asked for extensive personal information including flight tickets, hotel reservations, marital status, sponsorship and financial details. She was also required to upload 47 pages of her passport (and iVisa’s scanning tool only accepts one photo at a time!).
She didn’t understand how she could be expected to pay thousands for flight tickets and hotels when she didn’t even know if she would be granted a visa (the Australian Home Affairs Dept often refuses visas with no reason provided).
So there was another email exchange (and delay) while she waited for iVisa’s response.
iVisa replied that she didn’t have to buy a flight ticket before applying for a visa. Instead, they told her to present a flight itinerary which could be booked without paying the full price of the travel ticket, and once she obtained her visa she could purchase the real flight ticket. This could also be applied for a hotel reservation.
Regarding sponsorship she would have to provide a letter stating that she was married and her husband would be responsible for the expenses.
So, iVisa required a flight itinerary, details of the accommodation where she *planned* to stay, and a letter to indicate her marital status and the fact she was being financially supported.
She also needed to provide biometric fingerprinting, results of a full health examination, and a chest Xray
Since a registered biometrics office was not available in her country of residence, they suggested the solution for this would be if she travelled either to France or Greece for the biometrics appointment. All this had to be done within 14 days, otherwise her visa application would be cancelled.
Even after supplying such data, the Australian Dept of Home Affairs clearly stated that: “The provision of personal identifiers is only one of several stages in the visa assessment process”… so there is still no assurance of being granted a visa.
It was at this point she decided that she could not proceed further. She calculated that the actual costs involved just to make this one visa application would be in excess of £700.
At no point did iVisa staff indicate in advance exactly what is involved in this type of application, as well as the ‘íncidental’ costs. To ensure that potential customers are not deterred, the iVisa website also fails to highlight these important, time-consuming and costly requirements.
In this particular case, although the customer understood that iVisa incurred some incidental costs on her behalf for their initial enquiries, she felt that a refund was in order since the process ended early, and she would not be receiving the visa she applied for.
iVisa replied that she was not eligible for a refund because they used their resources filling out and submitting her application to the government.
In our view, clearly her application was not complete – it was barely started. iVisa’s contribution was simply to forward an application to the Australian Dept of Home Affairs, and then to return their reply. iVisa did not explain in advance the time necessary and the multiple requirements involved. Since the majority of the steps in this process were in any case not completed, iVisa are not entitled to withhold the funds they initially accepted.
Throughout this lengthy and frustrating process, the applicant reported that iVisa’s email responses were invariably polite boiler-plate messages full of platitudes and with little genuine consideration or substance.
In conclusion, iVisa’s lack of transparency, accountability, customer-friendly policies, poor customer service, slow processing times, and misleading information are a cause for concern for travelers. The company needs to address these concerns if they want to avoid permanently damaging their credibility and avoiding litigation.
You don’t need to take our word for it – Check out the Trustpilot reviews just since December 2023:
If you’re thinking of taking a trip without all this hassle, take a look at our Tropical Travel Plans. You may also like: