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After being denied a Visa, I cried and refused to leave the compound

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BY BOB MWITI

The tribulations some of us have gone through in the quest for studying overseas, only God knows!

In early 2002, after spending sleepless nights in the last year of high school studying like crazy, sleeping at midnight & waking up at 4am, I managed to score a B+ mean grade in the 2001 KCSE.

I’ve always said that high school education is the toughest that I have ever faced in my entire 8-4-4-2 education journey. College was a piece of cake, especially here in America.

Anyways, this score was enough to land me a software engineering degree course at the London School Of Management.

I had no good knowledge of what this degree course entailed though. I had only started learning computers around that time (MS Dos to be specific).My father was the one who had applied for the course for me.

In order to study in the UK, I was faced with the challenge of convincing the visa officer that I was qualified for a British student visa. In December 2001, I had applied for a visit visa, and was denied but this time round, I needed a student visa.

I prayed hard, fasted, and hoped that this time round the outcome would be favorable.

Those days there used to be no appointment booking at the embassy. It was on a first come, first served basis.

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In the company of my uncle, one sunday afternoon, we left Meru aboard Kensilver Express bus to attend the visa interview. To calm my nerves, we bought some khat (miraa) that were to be chewed througout the journey.Off we left for the city under the sun.

We arrived in Nairobi late that evening and headed to my uncle’s friend’s place in Githurai 44 where we spent the night, before waking up at 4am the following day to attend the interview at the BHC offices in upper hill Nairobi.

We were at BHC by 6am…and to our surprise a throng of people were already queueing.We immediately knew there was no chance for an interview that day.The BHC used to interview less than 20 people a day between 9-11 am. Out of those 20, less than 5 would get the visa😆😆

Unsurprisingly, that day I never got a chance to interview…After talking to a few people, we were told that those that got the chance to be in the front line that day had spent the previous night outside the British high commission offices.

After thinking about it, we decided to spend the night there as well .It was a long night of extreme cold and sure enough a lot of other people were spending the night out there as well.

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The security at the high commission decided to chase us away from the vicinity as we “posed a security threat” to the embassy and we were pushed to stay further up on Mara road which joins upper hill road at entrance of the BHC.

After a very cold night , early in the morning at 4 am, we went and queued in front of the BHC in the hope of getting picked that day……and then BOOM!…..A few minutes after 8am just before the embassy opened, there was a huge commotion and the line disappeared😂😂😂😂..A group of idiots had disrupted the peaceful line and new faces appeared in front of me and I found myself at the rear end of the line😭😭😭.

That day I never managed to get in for the interview. We were back again to the roadside to spend another cold night to try our luck the following day. The following day, I went to queue at 3 am in order to make the cut. Luckily that day, I was among those who were picked for the interview. It was such a relief getting inside the tall gates of the high commission. It felt like the biblical Noah’s ark moment!

This happiness and relief was short-lived as it took me less than 3 mins of visa interview for the visa officer to pass the verdict that I was not qualified for the student visa!..☹️☹️😭😭. I broke down and cried and threw a few expletives in Kimeru 🤣🤣🤣 to the lady who interviewed me before the security guys pushed me out of the building. I was so devastated!

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This is an experience I will never forget. At that time, I told myself I was never going to that embassy again, but I found myself there again 2 more times in the next 7 years, which still ended up in getting denied the visa😂😂.

I then decided to try my luck at the American embassy, and luckily, I managed to get the visa at the first attempt in 2009.

If you are out there facing similar disappointments, never give up. You never know when the doors will open. BUT you need to be well prepared before going for a visa. Never make same mistakes that I did- I lacked the confidence and didn’t know much about my program of study!

Please share with anyone in your life who you know has struggled with visas and needs uplifting. They need to hear this message. Please share!

To know more about me and my amazing programs for internationals students who wish to come and study in USA, please visit my website at www.successwithbobmwiti.com.

You can also send me an email at success@successwithbobmwiti.com

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Diaspora

No Quarantine for Passengers Flying to Kenya, Government says

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Transport CS James Macharia, on Wednesday, July 8, announced that passengers arriving in Kenya from other countries would not be forced to quarantine if they did not exhibit flu symptoms.

“All passengers shall be exempt from quarantine on arrival at their destinations if their body temperature is not above 37.5 degrees celsius and they do not have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing and other flu-like symptoms.

“This is important because we do not expect a tourist to come from wherever they land here and then they are quarantined for 14 days,” the CS explained.

Speaking during a press briefing at Transcom House in Nairobi, CS Macharia revealed that the new protocols were aimed at encouraging tourism, one of the hardest-hit industries following the pandemic.

Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia speaking at KICC on March 17, 2016.
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia speaking at KICC on March 17, 2016.
DAILY NATION

In addition, the CS explained that airline crew and passengers would be allowed to the airports and that all crew would be exempted from quarantine after a flight, if their body temperatures were below 37 degrees, and if there was no suspected Covid-19 case in the flight.

However, the crew is expected to be quarantined in case of a suspected case from the flight.

Passengers flying into the country will be allowed to be dropped and picked at the various airports past curfew hours, provided that they are able to present a boarding pass.

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With the resumption of air transport slated for July 15, 2020, as per President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive, CS Macharia revealed that only 5 airlines had so far confirmed that they would be operational.

The five were identified as Kenya Airways, Jambojet, Aim Air, Boskovic Air, and Scenic Safaris.

In case of a suspected case of COVID-19 on a flight, CS Macharia revealed that the passengers within two rows of the passenger with the symptoms would be tested. If their results turned out to be negative, they would be then allowed to leave the airport, however, the reverse would result in the passengers being quarantined in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines.”

Watch CS Macharia’s briefing below:

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Diaspora

Kenyan students in the US to lose visas if their classes move online

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Kenyan students in the United States may soon be forced to return home if their colleges or universities opt for online learning only, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

In a statement on Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that students on non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 visas who attend universities that operate entirely online amid the Covid-19 pandemic may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States.

FULL ONLINE COURSES

“Students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States,” said ICE.

The agency added that F-1 students who attend schools that provide a mixture of online and in-person classes will be permitted to take some online courses.

According to ICE, the schools must certify to the Student Exchange Visitor Program “that the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree.”

F-1 students whose universities will maintain full in-person classes will remain bound by federal laws that allow a maximum of one class or three credit hours online.

IMMIGRATION CONSEQUENCES

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“Students who remain in the United States while taking only online courses could face immigration consequences, including the initiation of removal proceedings,” ICE said.

Last year, the number of Kenyans enrolled in US higher-education institutions rose by nearly four per cent, reaching a total of 3,451 students, according to a 2019 study published by a State Department Bureau and Institute of International Education, a New York-based NGO.

Africans overall account for 40,000 of the 1,095,000 international students in the US.

The updated guidance comes as schools in the US consider reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, while imposing restrictions on students’ return that will force some students to stay off-campus and learn remotely for entire semesters at a time.

The ICE announcement comes at a time when the US leads the world in coronavirus caseload. More than 2.9 million Americans have contracted Covid-19 with 130,000 deaths reported.

By Nairobi News

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Family of Kenyan man in US accused of rape by Uber customer seeks help

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A 24-year-old Kenyan in the United States who has been accused of rape is looking for financial support to secure freedom.

The family of Kennedy Wambua Masila who resides in Corona, California is raising funds for their kin who has been held in jail since June 10, 2020, on allegations of rape.

According to the family, Mr Musila, who had just recently migrated to the US from Kenya, is a college student and was working as an Uber driver to make ends meet.

The family in a GoFundMe page, says that on the fateful night, he received a request from the Uber app to pick up a passenger. He then picked her up and dropped her off at her destination.

The woman later called the police and said that he had raped her. He was subsequently arrested and has been held in jail in lieu of Sh2 million ($20,000) bail.

“Ken drove to the pickup location where he picked up a lady who seemed to be intoxicated. Just like he always did, he drove his passenger to her destination and dropped her off. Ken has assured us that during this trip nothing happened and that it was just one of the many trips he had completed that day. He was later arrested on the aforementioned accusation,” says Dr Fastac Mutua, who is organising the fundraiser to raise the bail amount and an additional Sh1.2 million ($12,500) in legal fees.

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According to Dr Mutua, Musila was barely getting settled in the United States and was working two jobs to support his family and also going to school to secure a promising future for himself.

“He has been falsely accused and his promising future put in jeopardy,” says Kennedy’s family,” he adds.

Please donate here: GoFundMe.com

-Nairobi news

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