This post is 1 month overdue but I hope it would still be of help to anyone who’s researching on US Visa for Filipino tourists and families or any aspiring resident of the Philippines.
Note: This is strictly for those who wish to visit the US for a holiday/vacation and touristic purposes or for business. We care for our fellow Filipino people and we want them to have a good livelihood, but we care so much that we don’t want them to get into harms way because they entered a foreign territory illegally or they stayed longer than the prescribed maximum limit for reasons other than tourism.
1. Pay the Visa Fee
You might say, “wait a minute, hold it! I haven’t signed any forms yet and I’m paying this X amount already?!”. Yes, for your convenience in the application, you need to pay first. Currently, the fee is US$ 160 per applicant or its equivalent in Philippine Peso (based on the US Embassy’s Exchange Rate). You can pay it at any BPI Branch (You can use this Bank Locator to find one near you) or pay online with embassy’s online payment gateway. You will need your passport because your Passport Number (for new applicants) or Visa Control Number (US Visa Renewal) will be your receipt number. We highly recommend you make the payment first because at the page prior to setting your appointment, they will require a receipt number as proof of your payment. The payment you made in the bank does not post or get sent to the embassy immediately. If you paid through BPI before 3:00PM, you will be allowed to schedule your appointment anytime after 3:00PM. If you made the payment after that time, you can only schedule your appointment the next banking day. Online payments get posted the following day, so after filling up the application form, you might need to wait again. Once payment is done, you can use the receipt number within 90 days. That is more than what you need for when applying. Please note that the visa fee is non refundable whether your visa is approved or denied. These fees are used to pay operational costs in running the embassy.
Tip: call a BPI branch or the embassy at 832-0826 to check for the exact amount in Philippine Peso before making the payment. This would make the preparation easier.
2. Fill up DS-160 Electronic Application Form
Before filling up the form, please have these ready as it will make the answering of the application easier:
a. Passport (latest and valid for at least 1 year) – some or most information can be found in your passport
b. Old passport (if you have renewed your passport within the last 5 years) – You will be asked about your travel history in the middle of the application. Your old passport can remind you of the places and dates you have been to.
c. Scanned 2 inch x 2 inch colored photo – there are specification on how you should look like in the photo and you will need to scan your picture for you to be able to upload it. Some or most Photo studio provide additional services like downloading your picture to a CD. Please avail of this (even for a minimal fee) as the Photo studio most likely know the exact specifications required by the embassy website on photo submissions. You can view the Photo guidelines at the US Embassy’s Photo requirement: http://travel.state.gov/visa/visaphotoreq/digitalimagereq/digitalimagereq_5327.html
If you have recently gotten your photo and you have a scanner, have your file tested and cropped by the embassy’s tool: http://travel.state.gov/_res/flash/cropper/FIG_cropper.html
Once you have them, go to https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ and then select “Philippines, Manila” under the drop down menu at the upper right portion.
Click on “Start An Application”. On the following screen, before doing anything, write down in a piece of paper your Application ID. This will come useful in case you got timed out during the filling up process or you need to finish your application some other time. Better yet, print the application ID (a link can be found under the application ID image).
Select a security question that you could easily remember the answer and type it in the box provided. Click on “Continue” and fill up the rest of the form. At the end of the application you have to electronically sign the application by typing your passport number, but before you do so, review your answers because as soon as you sign the application, you can no longer change any answers you have provided.
After signing, you will be prompted to either Print, View or add a family (member) application.
Print the “Confirmation” as this is what the embassy will look for during your interview day. You can print the “Application” but it will not be required by the embassy. You can also e-mail to yourself the confirmation and application form so you could easily get back to it for review. Any unfinished application form can be retrieved within 30 days, otherwise the embassy will remove it from their system until you complete the submission.
Tip: highlight, copy and paste your Application ID and answer to your security question in Notepad or Microsoft Word for easier access. You may need to access your application in the future and also, it lessens the risk of misspelling. Also, answer the application form as honestly as possible.
3. Schedule Your Interview
Open a new tab/screen and go to https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/ and then click on “New User“.
Select “Philippines” and type in your e-mail address under Username and then type in your First Name, Last Name and password. Retype your password and type in the characters showing in the Captcha.
Click on submit and the go back to the main page and log in using the same credentials. Have all information complete (including your family or travel companion) and click on schedule an interview.
Once you have selected the date and time for the interview, print and the appointment confirmation. E-mail it to you so you can be reminded of the date and you can re-print the confirmation in case of loss.
4. Go for the Interview
Visit the embassy on the day you selected and what is printed out on your appointment confirmation. Bring along your appointment confirmation, DS 160 application confirmation and the rest of your documents. Do not bring any electronic device (except pacemakers, but if you do have one, inform the security and bring a medical certificate about your pacemaker so you won’t have to pass through the magnetic fields of the metal detectors).Arrive at the embassy at least 1 hour prior to the scheduled time (30 minutes is what the embassy recommends but the queue is long).
The earlier you arrive at the designated time, the sooner you will be able to enter the embassy and finish your interview earlier. Get a number at the first window and then wait for your turn. There are marshals inside the embassy, you can always ask them where you can go next. Current process requires you to go through 3 windows. First window, they assess your application form. If you have missed some answers or if they have questions about answers you have indicated.
Second window is for finger printing. Third and last window is the final interview.
At this point, they may ask for anything related to your application like travel history, your relationship with your travel companions, your proof of funds, your connection here in the Philippines, etc. The visa officer will be frank with you and will tell you immediately and directly if your application is approved (the officer will take your passport only and will tell you to wait for your passport to be delivered) or denied (the officer will return your passport and describe the reason why you were denied). Once approved, keep calm and exit the embassy quietly. Wait for a week or two for the arrival of your visa (if you chose to have it delivered) or go back to the embassy to pick it up.
Tips: Make sure you had heavy breakfast prior to your arrival. There are some food stalls inside the waiting area but are quite expensive. The wait can be long and you are not allowed to bring food inside the building (waiting area is not within the interview area). You don’t have to pay for anything when inside the US Embassy except when you buy food or water. There’s no ATM machine inside either (I know because I realized I forgot to bring cash and my daughter and husband got so hungry waiting for our turn but we couldn’t do anything because I forgot to bring moolah).
I. What are the “required” documents? It doesn’t say specifically on the embassy website.
The embassy did not indicate exactly what are the requirements simply because they do not apply to all applicants. It is best to be prepared in case the visa officer looks for it. Below are the general requirements that you may need to prepare. There could be more and if you feel that you need to bring something other than what is listed below, follow your intuition and bring it. For senior citizens, just bring items a – f.
a. Passports (bring them all, but the embassy will only get the latest) – for identification and proof of travel history
b. DS 160 and appointment confirmation
c. Bank Certificate and Bank Statement (issued within 30 days of the scheduled interview / both are different documents and it is best to provide them) – the more issuing bank, the better. Amount? Some would say it really doesn’t matter but what the embassy needs to see is if you could fund the cost of travel (air and land arrangement) and still have considerable large amount left for you to return to. If what you have is just enough for the trip, then they would think you will look for the rest of the amount there.
– Though in our experience, we were not asked any of these financial documents.
d. Birth Certificate – in case there are name amendments or as proof that the child is indeed the son or daughter of these parents.
– This is the only document that was asked from us.
e. Marriage Certificate – for couples as proof that they are indeed married.
f. Other government IDs – (photocopy and original) just to prove age and consistency of name
g. Business Permit and DTI or SEC registration (photocopy) – To establish that you own a business and for how long already.
if you are an employee, provide this instead:
Certificate of Employment with Salary Declaration and Approved Leave of Absence – To establish how long have you been employed
h. Income Tax Return – another way to check how much you earn
i. Other documents indicating your employment or financial status in the Philippines (Car Registration, Land Title, etc.)
j. Community Tax Certificate (Cedula) – yes, sometimes if you bring all what is mentioned above, just for the sake of looking at a document they will check for your Cedula.
Depending on these documents and their contents, the visa officer can already check if you are qualified for a US Visa.
II. I got denied, why? I don’t exactly understand what the visa officer told me.
There can be many reasons why a visa application is denied. One of the reasons are:
a. Economic stability – the visa officer may decline your application if they see that you do not have enough money in the bank or your business or employment is not that established yet (Newly opened or newly hired).
b. Insufficient Travel History – going to ASEAN or non visa countries are not counted as travel history. Even if you have been to Hong Kong or Singapore hundreds of times they will not be counted as such. These countries do not have screening regulations of tourist and they can find it as a security risk. Visit Australia, Korea, Japan or Europe first before applying for a US Visa and it will surely help.
c. Inconsistencies with the Application and documents – discrepancies in the application form can give the visa officer some trouble and would take time to re verify them, eventually denying the application. Answer the application form as truthfully as possible. Do not hide or withhold any information that you think the embassy needs to know. For bank transactions, they could check if there was a spike in the deposits made which means you are just inflating the bank account for the sake of visa approval but actually doesn’t own that much money. Answer the visa officer directly without hesitation as this is another way they check if you are not telling the truth.
– If you have been denied from your previous US visa application, they have information from that as well and they verify your current application from your previous. Bottomline is BE TRUTHFUL.
III. Is it easier if I use a travel agency to apply for a Visa?
Yes, for the application, it would be easier if you get the assistance of a travel agent, BUT, they cannot, will not and should not guarantee your visa approval. The approval comes from the judgement of the visa officer and no one else. Joining a tour or getting the assistance of a travel agency does not guarantee or qualify you for a non-immigrant (tourist) US Visa. Even if you are joining a legitimate tour or cruise, Visa is your responsibility including the documents that you bring. The travel agent or any third party is not and will not be liable for any visa denial.
– This I highly advise on group/family applications as it becomes tedious.
Lastly, I do not claim to be an expert on US Visa application but I wish to impart whatever knowledge I have on the matter. If you have questions, I’d love to give my opinion on them. Before my family and myself applied for the US visa, I did research on these HOW TOs and I hope I am able to help you by writing down what I’ve experienced and learned.
I want to thank you for these tips you posted. It has helped me a lot in filling out my application form.
You\’re very much welcome!
Good luck on your application.
i'm germaine liza villanueva,23 years old.married.i'm from pangasinan,i just want to ask if how much will i spend in fixing all those papers in getting visa for hawaii.my husband is a us citizen already,he is in hawaii right now,and i want to visit him,and i still have a papers for petition so i just want to go there just for tourist.so can you help me,explain more further about this us visa.and do i still need to have income tax return,or any proof of bank statement?cause i don't have bank account he is just sending me money through western union.so please i need your help and reply..thanks alot…
Hi Mrs Villanueva,
This is Troy, husband of Renz, and part owner of http://www.pirkkotroy.com, Pirkko & Troy Tours, Inc. Aside from the travel expenses you will be spending going to the US Embassy from Pangasinan, you will need P 6400 (approximate and may change depending on embassy regulations) for the Visa processing fee (non refundable, approved or denied), and cost for procuring other documents (Bank certificates, statements, etc).
Based on experience, applicants with existing immigrant petition are not recommended to apply for any other visa category until a result is provided with the current application. This is not a regulation but for the US embassy's security and control (prevent entry by tourist visa and stay in the US more than the prescribed duration of stay until the result of the petition is released), they will not grant you a tourist visa.
As much as we want you to be reunited with your husband, in our professional opinion, it would be difficult for your case to acquire a visa mainly because:
1. You need to have a bank account with a deposited amount substantial in the embassy's terms that you will, and guarantee that you will, return back to the Philippines (granting you are applying as a tourist).
2. You do not have a fixed, stable and substantial source of income originating here in the Philippines that will be enough reason for you to return.
You can try and apply for the US visa as tourist (no guarantee and we have no experience of a successful application with an existing petition for immigrant status). Indicate there that you are a housewife in the application. As soon as you complete your online application and had them printed, another concern would be your supporting documents. Here a few that we believe has a bearing and something you might need to look at:
1. Bank Certificate and bank statement (last 3 months transaction)
2. Travel history (places you've been, visas you've had from other countries, etc)
3. Letter of invitation from your husband (stipulated there that he will shoulder ALL expenses from your trip)
physically signed by him (no e-mail, must be through snail mail or FedEx)
4. Photocopy of his passport or any government issued ID
Sorry if it may sound pessimistic but due to the activities of our kababayans in US and other parts of the globe who stay in those countries without proper documentations, has branded every Filipino tourists (legitimate or not) as TNT (illegal immigrants) and thus we pass through scrutinizing visa processing. However, if you have all documents complete and you could physically prove you will return back (through legal documents) then you should have no problems or concern.
hi again,i just want to say thanks and maybe i will just say to my husband about this.its really hard.but thanks alot…=)
You\’re very much welcome Germaine!
Hi Sir Roy, I just want to ask lang po. I want to try again to apply for tourist visa this 2nd time around after my first visa denial last 2009. I want to visit Hawaii next year of March with my fiancee, because his parents in Hawaii wants me to visit them there and to tour me around. By the way my fiancee is holding dual passport a Philippines passport and U.S. Passport too, he is U.S. Citizen as well as his parents. He is currently working as a Pilot in one of the Airlines company here in the Philippines. He will going to have a vacation in Hawaii in March 2016 & he wants me to come with him because his parents likes me to come and visit them this time. Btw, they had previously visited us Last May of this year. His dad send me these documents like invitation letter, affidavit of support, ITR, Bank Statements and Passport. Would you think it can help for me to get a tourist visa by having those documents? I am 36, yrs old & engaged. Am working in Bank for 12 years now, I have money in the bank, small investment in stock market & owned a property. And on my previous interview, I told the consul that I don’t have relatives in the U.S as well as my father is not in the U.S. But the truth is I have a lots of relatives in the U.S. & my father is there too but he abandoned us when I was 9 years old. My Auntie(his sister) was the one told me not to tell the consul that I have relatives in the U.S and my father was not there too. But now, I want to be fully honest will all the questions in DS169 would you think the consul will give consideration on my new application? Can I be fully honest now or panindigan ko na yung statement ko before that I don’t have relatives in the U.S and I don’t have father in the U.S? And gusto ko sana na yung fiancee ko nalang ang ilagay ko sa question na “Who will sponsor your trip?” Instead of his dad kasi kaya naman ng boyfriend sagutin lahat ng expenses if I am in the U.S. But sayang naman yung mga documents that his father sent to me. Pls give me an advae sir & I will do appreciate it.
Thank you for the details.
I am quite unsure why the visa officer denied your application last 2009 when you are working in a banking industry for 6 years that time. It would have been a proof as a strong ties to the Philippines. I am sure that having an estranged father prompted your denial but would be something else. Perhaps your course in college? Or perhaps the amount of money you owned that time was not enough for your intended stay in the US?
Anyway, fast forward to what you have today, all those documents you mentioned will definitely help (if the visa officer thinks that your own assets are not enough). If your fiancee can be the main source of those document types (he is the one named under the ITR, bank certificates, affidavit of support, etc) then it would be much better. Currently, you have an indirect relationship with your future father-in-law (technically he is just your friend) and I assume that he stated in the affidavit of support that you are engaged with his son, however, that scenario is not an outright fact on who is supporting who and how strong is their relationship. His assistance is very much appreciated but it is not very common for US citizen to sponsor a “Filipino friend” (sorry if it sounds naive or harsh, but I hope you are getting my point).
DS-169 is for immigrant visa applicants and this is highly technical. If you have filed for this application 6 years ago then you might not have provided all the requirements. There are more extensive documents for this application and is not the same as DS-160 (Tourist visa). You need to double check for the requirements for this one.
If you are filing for DS-160, make sure to indicate that you will be staying for a short time (1-2 weeks) because the visa officers know that nobody in the Philippines take a 30 day holiday vacation and still get back to work. Also, they will assume that the sponsors have the amount already to support you for more than 3 weeks. This is where most of the applicants get denied. Even if the embassy can issue 30 days, 60 days or 1 year valid visa, tourists are not suppose to maximize that length of stay as it will raise questions (are you still coming back to the Philippines? Do you still have work in the Philippines or are you going to work in the US without going through the correct process?)
Since you mentioned that your fiancee will be supporting you, you need to set your mind that you are still going back to the Philippines after a short stay in Hawaii. But if you are deciding to stay there then you need to apply for a fiancee visa (process may take longer than a tourist visa but would ensure immigration to the US once approved).
Mentioning your relatives (not including your father since you don’t know his residence I assume), is also important because they just need to establish all your possible ties with US citizens, doing a background check and to confirm your identity. If you meet those requirements, it will bring them peace of mind and would appreciate your honesty (and possibly grant you a tourist visa).
With your age and employment status, I believe you have a good chance of getting a visa already (hopefully you have visited Japan, China or other countries that also require a visa). But if you are planning to migrate, it is best to consult with a US immigration specialist to ensure your documents are complete.
Good luck and best regards to you and your fiancee,
Hello Sir Troy, I am so glad to read your replied on my query. My apologized also because I should say DS160 and not DS169..that was the form I filled-up on my first attempt and will do the same again in my 2nd try probably this month. Actually on my 1st interview with the consul way back August 2009, I was not really prepared that time. My Auntie from the U.S. just give me Php 50k that time to put in a bank account(old active account) and it was just a matter of weeks before I had my interview. And my reason “Why I want to go to the U.S.” was to attend a Picpa convention for all the accounting graduates but am not an accounting graduate rather an Banking & Finance graduate. But my Auntie used this opportunity that she thought I can easily get a tourist visa having an invitation letter from the Picpa President. And with the question “Who will pay for your trip?” And I answered it “Myself” which I only have 50k on my account. And that time I was single so I think that was the reason I was denied and also I don’t have sufficient funds that time that might cause of my tourist visa denial. I only want to go to Hawaii to visit his parents and not going to stay there or leave there. That is why I want to put him(my fiancée) as the one to sponsor me and have all the documents ready and not his father, as you said currently I don’t have indirect relationship with his father. We both have work here in the Philippines and we need to go back after a short vacation and my fiancée just only want me to take there so I can visit his parents and to tour me around. And Sir Roy, regarding affidavit of support it should be formal letter ba or not really as long as I will habe it notarized?
Sir Roy, my father is the U.S. but I don’t where he live at. In the question is DS160 “Is your Father in the U.S.?” –Can I say Yes to it since I really want to be honest this time? Because my first interviewed I put “No” on the same question. I was wondering it will might affect my application once they checked that I denied the last time? I hope they give me consideration on my new application.
You should definitely declare that your father is in the US. Lying or wrongful declaration will be an immediate grounds for denial 🙂
Also, your father’s current state or your relationship to him will definitely not affect your application because you are of age. They will not care if you are in communication or not… if they question you about it, that’s the only time to bring it up.
Remember… answer in as few sentence as possible. Do not elaborate because that will lead to more questions for them.
If you are going for affidavit of support, make sure you have all ORIGINAL documents ready (including bank statement of the supporting party) and yes, have it notarized.
Just to give you an idea… technically the money in the bank should be able to support your:
1. round trip ticket
2. stay in the US (lodging, food, etc)
3. plus few more money to get by when you return home
money in the bank should not be just enough for the trip. The money you have should be able to support you still when you come home 🙂
Good luck on your application!
Hi! My name is Anna, I'm 23 yrs old, med student, and I had a multiple entry tourist visa that just got expired last year. I was able to use it four times for vacation and never stayed longer than 3 months. And then I applied under the Visa Reissuance Program, and to my surprise, I got a phone call few days after asking me for interview and then got denied after. I tried to apply again this year and I was denied again for the second time. Now heres my dilemma, as much as i hated to apply again, my Dad wants me to apply again so i can be his travel companion to the US. My dad is a green card holder and he is very apprehensive about his resident status if he doesnt come back this November since it witll already be his 6th month here in PI. He was suppose to come back last september but he suffered from stroke and he obviously needs a travel companion. What are my chances of getting a visa? And is it possible to have an expedited appointment for this? I hope you can give your opinion in this matter, thanks.
It would also be wise to review the cause of denial on your previous interview. The consul will most likely be checking on that and see if the \”problem\” was addressed. My advice is to be honest and very transparent of your intent to travel with your Dad- they can see through that.
And love and light to your Dad
Hi Anna, thank you for your comment!
If I am not mistaken, you were granted visa before when you were below 18-20 years old, right? This would mean that you were still a dependent of your parents, and now that you are 23, the embassy assumes that you are already working part time or independent while taking your medical course. Unfortunately, the American culture is way different than ours and they believe that by the time you have graduated, you should be standing on your own, financially and career wise (if you also notice most tv series, those who go to medical school in the US usually have part time jobs). Another concern would be your set skills (especially if your pre-med courses are nursing, medical technologist or physical therapists) which are very much in demand there and sometimes is used as a potential gateway to illegally work in the US. There are some institutions there that are not really concerned with the citizenship as long as the set of skills can be delivered.
I understand you have good intent in visiting the United States of America, but as I have replied to Mrs Villanueva, due to the unfavorable activities of some of our kababayan worldwide, all or most Filipino tourist applicants are branded as potential TNT (illegal immigrant) unless proven otherwise through presentation of valid documents.
Embassies and consulates are looking and checking for an individual's / applicant's ages 18 – 20 years of age and above to support his own travel and still has substantial finances and career in the Philippines that will be reason enough to return to. What I could recommend, in case you wish to apply again, are the following:
1. provide an affidavit of support from your father/mother/parents (notarized) stating that they will be supporting and financing your trip and that they will guarantee your return.
2. provide the latest bank certificate (issued within 30 days before your personal appearance) and bank statement (3 months transaction) of your father/mother/parents (who ever is signing and executing the affidavit).
3. Answer the DS 160 application form as truthfully as possible and if a space is provided where you can explain that you are accompanying your father and will return back immediately within 30 days (you cannot wait until he completes a year there, he is in the process of citizenship, you are only there as a tourist).
4. other documents that you think may help you in your application (personal bank certificate, PRC Id photocopy, etc)
There is an avenue for requesting expedited appointments, however, they will only accept it only if:
– the applicant requires immediate medical attention
– an immediate relative of the applicant died within US soil
– urgent business travel
– student or exchange visitor
(read more from here: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-expeditedap…
*which all will require a letter supporting those claims
In my personal opinion, depending on the documents you present, your application has a 50% chance (given the history and nature of your trip, there is no guarantee for approval). Providing a document that your father required medical attention causing delay for his return and his requirement for a travel companion, the visa "might" approve your application out of compassion.
Good luck on your application and wishing your dad good health!
hello… I was wondering if I and my daughter can go in US Disneyland ,,since my husband is working in BFP ( Bureau of Fire Protection),, and he promised our daughter we could go there as a gift for her 10th birthday next year March 2013,,,,would our application be possible to accept?
Hi Mrs Delmundo,
The possible questions for you would be:
– do you have enough reason to go back?
– can your finances support your travel and still be able to live comfortably after?
– have you been outside the PH?
– What\’s your status at work?
– How long will you stay and where?
– What will happen to your job/position if you are to travel?
– do you have relatives in the US?
I really don\’t know the possibility of a visa issuance or denial but my advice is to come prepared, be truthful and relax.
yes,, I have reason to go back ,, my husband job is stable,,, we have some business here,,, I own a photoshop,,, we have small farm in Quezon and Mindoro with ricefield and and raise some animal farm there like cows and goats,, pigs and the likes,,,we have some savings,,, I wish to stay in US for just a week,, to go to disnelyland and met some old classmates there,, I have relatives there but not yet in contact with them,,,going to Disneyland is a gift for my daughter from his father,,,
Hi Mrs. Delmundo,
I say go for it! Nothing to be scared of 🙂 one week though seems a bit short if you ask me 🙂
Good luck on your application!
Thank you so much Miss Renz and Sir Troy. And yes, i think that's also another thing- nursing was my premed. *sigh* well thank you so much and would certainly follow your advise. 🙂
hi..im jocelyn and im applying for US visa as tourist…my husband is in cruise ship and based in asia right now..i got my appointment on dec 14, 2012..me and my son are applying for us visa…is it possible for us to get a visa if my husband have c1/c2 visa? and we have a business since 2009..
I wouldn\’t know the consul\’s decision over granting you a visa or not. But what I can advise is to come prepared.
Bring all the necessary documents to support that you have something to go back to and still have enough money left after your US tour.
Also it\’s best to map out your itinerary because the consul would want to know what your plans are when you arrive in the US.
Good luck on your application and let us know!
Thank you very much for th info. One more thing, do they check your email account and facebook accounts? Thanks again!
ok thank u..have a nice day!
hi! im brenda, 40yrs. old, married and have been in the government service for more than 20 yrs. am planning to apply for a US visa this month and I would like to know if it is ok to apply alone? Needless to say, i've already been in hongkong, macau, singapore, kuala lumpur (2x), bangkok and south korea. Just wanna hear from you if it is better to apply for US visa together with my husband?
Sorry for the late reply, it has been a busy holiday and December is a peak season. Anyway, Happy New Year and I hope you were able to apply and got approved with your US Visa application together with your husband. Your tenure in the government service is very good which will give you a better chance of being granted a tourist visa.
Just for reference to others who could possibly read this:
1. Applying alone as a "tourist" may or may not affect your application (depending on how much money you have in the bank and what are your travel patterns, if you travel alone always before or has been with others)
2. visiting Asian countries that do not require visa does not have any weight in your travel history. The US embassy would prefer that you have been to other countries that required visa as well.
It is always better to apply with someone (possible travel companion) as it is a general conception that people always "Travel" with someone because it will make them happier.
hi po! i’m jean,19.my sister and i will be graduating in college this year and my tita is planning to take us to california for a vacation after graduation on april. im just wondering if we can already have the visa by then since we’ll be applying palang this january.thank u po
sorry for the late reply. If you will be applying by this month (January) the appointment shouldn't be that far and the visa may come out (once granted) before April, granting that the queue is not that long. But I commend you and your family for preparing early for the visa and we hope you and your family will be granted a tourist visa to US.
Best of luck!
this is a very very informative and comprehensive post
Very much welcome, Rio.
hi, Im 21, a newly grad and my dad who's in the US wants me to visit there. usually how long ang scheduling of interviews since you called for an appointment? what's the nearest date they can give? thanks
it depends on the site and the embassy's system. We have no way of finding that out unless we actually schedule a real appointment (meaning pay and then go online).
Thanks and goodluck with your application 🙂
hi! very good post thread here… very insightful…
i also have a question… starting next year, i will be staying in sydney using a student visa. what are the chances that i could get a us tourist visa if i'm a student in sydney with part-time work? i only wish to stay in the us for about 15-20 days for the holiday break. thank you very much.
Having a student visa in Sydney is a big plus in your application. It is difficult to get visa in Australia as well so, as mentioned above, go ahead and try to apply, be as honest in answering the question as you can and best of luck!
I hope you could answer my questions 🙂
I have been to some of the Asian countries, sad to hear that it's not included in Travel History/Background 🙁
I am planning to apply for US visa, my American boyfriend who is a teacher here in Manila will be spending summer vacation in the US this 2013 and would like me to bring there and maybe spend two weeks there just for a tour/visit and go back to the Philippines alone by myself since I have a job and is also currently taking MBA classes. He will stay there for the rest of the summer since he will attend a Doctorate class too.
I want to know if it would be easier for me to apply US visa since I will be with my boyfriend and he'll be the one to spend for all the expenses (including air fare, accommodation is not a problem since we will be staying at his parents house).
I am not really sure what to do, the visa website isn't clear on the steps/process and requirements kinda confusing. Please I want to know everything before I fill up for the appointment.
PS. I have been with job for almost a year now and is earning a good amount of money, I would say its more than the average salary here in the Philippines.
Im hoping for your immediate response 🙂
Thanks in advance!
Thanks for your question and it is quite interesting (and we get a lot of calls with the same question).
Having a US citizen boyfriend will not affect your application "unless" you apply for FIANCE VISA (which will fall under Immigrant Visa as against to tourist visa which is under Non-Immigrant Visa). This process takes longer than the usual tourist visa and processing may vary depending on documents (simply like a petition). This is the reason why there are no category for "Friends, Invited Friends, Boyfriends, Girlfriends, Partners". They need to make sure that you are with a legal relationship with a US citizen to have a bearing in the US visa application.
Your chances of getting a visa may depend on your age (20-40 years old and single is quite a red blip in the embassy's radar = critical). By work, I don't think it would be a threat to them since it is a non medical profession, although a job with less than a year of tenure may not add that much points to your application.
Should you still be very much interested in joining your boyfriend this year, go ahead and apply keeping in mind that you are a tourist. There are portions there that you can indicate who will be traveling with you (your boyfriend), a portion where you will be staying (enter your boyfriend's parent's address) and how long you will be staying. With the documents, include an affidavit of support coming from your boyfriend saying:
"I, <BF name goes here>, single, <age>, with legal address at <BF's US address> do certify that I will be supporting <your full name here>, single, <age>, living in <Philippine address>. I also certify that I shall be covering all her expenses from airfare, transportation and accommodation to <address> our trip to US from <departure date> to <return date>. That I shall guarantee that she will return back to the Philippines no later than the indicated return date."
Edit it as necessary and as presentable, have it NOTARIZED within 30 days of appointment date. Aside from this, include a photocopy of his passport and a photocopy of his bank certificates (here or from the US as proof that he could support you and his trip).
This suggestion is just to offer the visa officer that your boyfriend will act as your guarantor, BUT, it will still be up to them to decide whether or not to grant you a visa.
We wish you the best of luck and we hope that you application will be a success!
how if i dont have any business or big amount on my bank account.but my fiancee will support me to get tourist visa or sponsor me to visit him,can i apply tourist visa by my own or my fiancee will be the one to apply for me?if ever what is my requirements to apply US tourist visa?
thanks and i look forward to answer and advise…
Thanks for your message and congratulations with your engagement. As I have continuously mentioned above, it is best to approach the US visa as honestly as possible. Applying for a tourist visa without the proper credentials could possibly get you denied of it.
Although you could apply for Fiancee visa (Non-Immigrant Visa for Fiancee – K1) :
K-1 application – http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/typ…
Ask your fiancee to come over, get married and then file for Non-Immigrant Visa for spouse – K3 and he must apply the petition in your behalf:
K-3 application – http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/typ…
Instructions for both are available here: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-129finstr.pdf
procedures are different for each case and documents must come from both of you. If you would ask me which will take you to the US faster? It would depend on how soon you could complete the documents and application, and how long it would take for the petition process to finish.
hi! i just want to know if applying for a visa really require for an appearance? my mom wants to apply for a US visa because she will be going to canada on May, and she wants to visit some relatives in the US so she wants to apply for a visa. is there an application same as the application in canada for a tourist visa? because when she applied for a visa in Canda we just sent the application together with the documents needed. my mother is in the province so i want to know if the appearance is a must. thank you so much
Yes, personal appearance is a must for US visa application.
Yes, personal appearance is required whether you are applying for a new tourist visa or renewing your visa. Different embassies have different policies. Australian, New Zealand and Canadian embassies are one of the few that does not require personal appearance, but for the US embassy requires you to be there for finger printing.
hello! i just wanna ask about the bank stuff. my friend told me that u should have a big amount of money in ur bank account "3 months" before the interview. Is that necessary? i just put money on my bank this month and i can't wait for 3 months to apply for a tourist visa. but if it's true, that it has to be 3 months before the interview, can i just use my son-in-laws (my daughter's husband) bank statements, credit card statements, income tax returns, (etc) ?? they will be taking care of me anyways, when i get in the US to visit them. thanks a lot! 🙂
I don\’t know much about how the US embassy checks on your financial statement/status but what makes sense is to have an amount thrice to what you could be spending in the US as a tourist. This is to support that you still have money left in your bank and continue living in the PH after your US trip.
I believe that bank statements don\’t count as much anymore because surely they know that people can \”borrow\” money to show that they have \”x\” amount on their bank.
but is it possible that i can use my son-in-laws infomation on his bank account? he will be funding me wen i get there. and he will be paying my back and forth tickets too. and i also have a big amount of money on my bank but i just put it there this month. so i was thinking i can use his, so that i don't have to wait for 3 months to apply my tourist visa. they will visit here in the philippines in March, and by the time they will go back to the US, in April, i wanna go with them, so that i don't have to fly solo on my visit. thank you 🙂
IF that\’s the case, yes you should definitely bring financial credentials from your sponsor 🙂
I would also suggest that you apply now and have your scheduled interview.
Good luck and let us know, ok?
yeep! i will you know 🙂 umm, i got a few questions. if i'm gonna apply now, how long does it usually take before the interview? is it like a week? or a couple of weeks? and ooh, i also have no travel experience yet. is that gonna be a problem? and if ever i'll be approved, hopefully .. umm, is there gonna be a specific time wen i'm goin to leave? thank you sooo much for your help! 🙂
I don\’t know when\’s the earliest interview schedule- they will let you choose. As for my past experiences, it\’s like 2 months maximum. I don\’t think you can get a week\’s time.
Your travel history will be asked- just be honest.
No specific time as to when you want to use your visa but at least use it 🙂 or else you\’ll be having problems when you renew.
thank you! 🙂
one more thing, english speaking po ba ang interviewer? thaaaaaankksss! 🙂
Yes! The consuls are all Americans. Other windows (processing areas) are all Pinoys.
Regarding your question about the bank certificate, the embassy would appreciate if you have your own regardless of how small or big the amount in it. In the DS-160 form there is a question there "Who will finance your trip" (or something like that, indicate there "A relative" or children. Secure an affidavit of support from your son-in-law (indicating that your son-in-law will be supporting your trip and will guarantee your return in the Philippines. Have it notarized as well). 3 months bank statement is REQUIRED because this is a way for them to know that you did not just borrow money, issue a bank certificate and then transfer back to the lender (which was the tradition of some Filipinos). They could (and may) always call the bank to verify. Procure whatever you have right now, complete your DS-160 application and set your appointment. While waiting, ask for an affidavit of support of your son-in-law, his bank certificate, bank statement and other possible financial documents (Business permit, ITR, etc). The schedule for interview varies (depending on the applicant load of the embassy), like for those who are traveling this summer, the embassy might give you an interview by March or later because many are applying and trying to make their way to the US during the summer time. Same goes before december. Visa officers vary in nationality origin (some are Korean, African American or American) but the language that will be used is always English. There was once a myth that a Korean visa officer and a Filipina visa officer gave less approval compared to the American visa officers. It's hard to tell as you are called by a control number.
Good luck on your application!
hi! sorry i've been busy lately. anyway, i finally submitted my application 3 days ago. thank u! and, my interview will be on april 26th 🙂
i hope everything will be fine and i will pass the interview. just lil bit worried about something, heh 🙂
if ever i'm gonna pass, how long does it usually gonna take for my visa gonna be delivered?
Ours took a week.
just about the money stuff, hehe. coz i'll show them my son-in-law's bank stuff, he's gonna be funding me everything. my plane tickets, food, my needs, etc. the reason why i'm gonna use his, is because i don't wanna wait for 3months to have my interview. people are saying that i can use his coz he is my sponsor. what i worry about is, they might ask me about my money on the bank. it's new, i just deposited the money last month, and actually it's my son-in-law's money. he gave it to me, just in case they gonna ask if i have money and i do have, but it's not 3months yet :/
It's ok to use your son-in-law's financial credentials, have you secured an affidavit of support already? Even if you have a small amount in the bank, please still include it. What they want to know is that you are saving some money even if it was just recent. There is really a possibility that they will ask for you own personal bank account, even though yes you do, they will look for a bank certificate of it. It's better to be over prepared than being denied because of lacking document. As we have indicated above, try to be as honest with your application as possible. Even if you have to be an open book to them, they would highly appreciate it.
ooh, i see. umm, yea, he's workin on it. thanks a lot for the infos. soo glad i found this page 🙂
What\’s worrying you? Don\’t let it dampen your spirit. You have to try, you\’ll never know what\’s in store.
If you\’re given a visa, then good. If not, there\’s always a next time!
Hello guys! What is my chance of getting a US visa if I don't have any international travel experience? I am asked by my company to apply for a visa because they need me to be there for a project to work out. All expenses will be shouldered by them. I am just so discouraged about the feedback of those who got denied. Hope you can give me an insights. Thanks a lot!
Don\’t be discouraged! We are all being considered depending on our circumstances.
Big plus if your company is one of the \”big\” players in our counrty.
The most important thing to do now is focus your energy into completing your documents. I suggest the following:
1. Show your tenure on your company. Why were you chosen to be sent to the US? Give them the proof.
2. Bring your company\’s business permit and registration since they are sending you there and will finance your travel.
3. Written recommendation from your company or immediate supervisor.
4. Proof that you\’re coming back to the Philippines:
– do you have a family? bring photos of your kids/wife.
– financial statement
– properties you own here if any
5. Make sure you understand the \”project\” you are being sent to. Possibly the consul will ask you about it. Remember they have access to Google hehehe.
They are known to ask technical questions relating to your purpose of travel.
I really appreciate for your quick response. Thank you for taking an effort of giving me some important guidelines. I really appreciate it. I will show it to the company for them to prepare too. My visit is acually first step for me to be relocated in the United States, eventually, in the future that's why right now, I am also doing my master's degree. Again, thank you for the encouragement. May God bless you!
I hope everything turns out well!
Hi! Im planning to renew my visa that expired last 2011. I had a 10 year visa and ive been to the states 3 times and the latest was 2006. Ive been to australia last 2010 and ive been to hong kong this year. I didnt violate any us rules when i was there and my longest stay there was 3 months. I have my own business but i am single. Do you think i have a chance of renewing my visa? Thanks!
Oh no, why did you wait so long to renew it? The US embassy now has a new process for expired visa (within 6 months of expiration I think)and you don\’t go through the brutal process again, just comply with requirements and little scrutiny and it\’ll be over.
With your case since it\’s 2011…. I\’m really not sure!
I\’ll ask my husband, Troy of Pirkko and Troy Tours if he can give you more ideas.
Yeah. When i got back from australia i got pre occupied with my business so i never had the time to renew it. Kaya im having doubts if they will renew my visa. You think that would be a valid reason why i never had the time to renew it? And me being single, will that affect my chances? Thanks again!
The VRP (Visa Renewal Program) of the US Embassy in Manila covers those who have an expired visa of less than 12 months. Given your situation, you can still apply as a "new" application. Since you were issued with a tourist visa before, it would be a big plus already (they have a record of your previous visas). You will be interviewed again (as opposed to renewal which will only comprise of finger printing) and will be required to bring your documents (business permits, ITR, etc.). Being single may not matter anymore because they were able to issue you a visa before. I am sure they will not question why you didn't renew your visa during those times because you may not have any plans or business in the USA during those dates.
Good luck and very best,
Oh i forgot to mention, im 28 and my last 10 year visa i was still a dependent. But it was renewed 3 times. Will this matter? If my parents will renew with me, will this be a factor too? Thanks in advance and thanks for the info,.
Thanks for the info. Honestly speaking im very stressed because i know a lot of people who got denied. So being single affects only the 1st timers? Having a business is a plus ba in renewingg? Kasi the last time i went to the states was 2006 pa. will that matter? Na i didnt go to the states before the year my visa expired? But i was in australia last 2010. Will that help me too? Thanks!
Being single is not really a factor if you have the right documents (sufficient money, having a business for a more than a year or long tenure in a company, good travel history to other countries requiring visa, etc). I believe why singles who apply are having a hard time is because either they don't have enough money, they graduated from a skilled degree (i.e. nursing), they just newly graduated, or never been to another country that requires visa (i.e. Australia, China, etc.) Don't be stressed out because when you had your visa before, you did use it right? You will get a better chance of approval if they saw that you were granted a visa before, you used your visa in entering the USA once or many times, and you have the financial capacity to support yourself during your tip with a substantial amount of money and property (or business) to go back to here in the Philippines. I hope we were able to lessen your stress with this and wish you the best of luck in your application 🙂
Oh i forgot to mention, im 28 and my last 10 year visa i was still a dependent. But it was renewed 3 times. Will this matter? If my parents will renew with me, will this be a factor too? Thanks in advance and thanks for the info,.