I have friend that is working with a travel agency in Russia to visit me here in the US. She informed me that the travel agent told her she will have to prove solvency of 4500$ to get the visa or she would be denied. She has gotten her passport and the visa office in Russia has called and spoke with me and had me answer some basic questions. I very weary at this point cause she says she doesn't have the 4500$ and that she about 1900$ short of the 4500$. I would like to know if the solvency check is an actual thing?


Unfortunately, this is a classic scam.

From how you worded the question, I guess you might already have suspected that.

The next step is probably that your ‘friend’ will ask you to loan them that $1900. Don’t send them anything. If you do, you’ll never see the money again. As for the friend: either you’ll never hear from them again, or they’ll find some other excuse to ask for money (they might claim to be detained at customs until they pay some amount, or need to buy new flight tickets, or something else) which will be equally untrue.

I would like to know if the solvency check is an actual thing?

There is a financial aspect to visa applications, but this isn’t how it works. There’s no magic amount required like the $4500 your ‘friend’ is claiming. What they want to see is a steady, consistent pattern of sustainable income and outgoings over a reasonable period of time (I don’t know about the US specifically, but for most countries that might be typically 3-6 months, depending on other circumstances). A sudden unexplained deposit of almost $2000 would be suspicious and almost certainly hurt somebody’s chances of being granted the visa, not help.

In short: if I were you, I would immediately cut all contact with this person.

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