US Visa Application Guide for Filipino Travelers
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There are far too many Filipinos living the “American Dream”. In fact, Filipinos Visa applicants are one of the largest in Asia in terms of US Visa Application. In 2011, the United States Department of State estimated that there were at least 4 million Filipinos living in the United States, tantamount to 1.1% of the U.S.’ population. Apparently, Filipinos are the second largest Asian group living in the U.S., with the Chinese occupying first place.
Filipinos living in the U.S. are comprised of immigrants, workers, exchange students, and those brought there through interracial marriage and birth. What, though, if you merely want to try “living the American Dream” for a few weeks, give or take, months? Indeed, there are people who would rather stay here in the Philippines and just visit the United States for leisure. If you’re one of those people but don’t have a US visa yet, you’ve come to the right place.
How to Apply for a US Visa in Manila?
If you are planning to visit any US State or Teritory for leisure, you need to apply for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa, a combination of two types of visas for business (B-1) or for pleasure (B-2). You can read more about this by visiting the U.S. Embassy’s website. Nevertheless, when applying for a B-1/B-2 visa, you need to convince the consular officer that you are qualified to be issued one in accordance with the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
US Visa Application Guide in Manila
It’s important to change this legal presumption and you may do so by doing the following:
- Clearly state to the officer that the purpose of your trip to the U.S. is temporary – business, medical treatment, or pleasure.
- Clearly state that you’re merely staying there for a specific period only.
- Present evidence of funds (bank statements, financial documents) to prove that you have enough to cover your expenses while in the United States.
- Prove that you have a home in the Philippines to return to, as well as other proof (social or economic) to ensure you will return after your specified visiting period.
Here is a list of things you must submit to the consulate:
- A Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Application Form (DS-160). Visit to Embassy’s website to find out how to download the form.
- A valid passport. The validity date of the passport must at least be six months beyond your period of stay in the United States.
- One 2”x2” photograph. Again, please check the website to find out the specific photo format, as you must strictly comply with it.
- Proof that you paid the US$160 non-refundable non-immigrant visa application processing fee. This should be paid in the local currency.
- Present an interview appointment letter that confirms you booked an appointment online.
- Any supporting documents you think will support the information you will share to the consular officer.
For a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a US visa in the Philippines, check below:
- Signup for a Visa Application Account (here)
- Fill out the Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form online.
- Pay for Visa Application Fee (Bank and Payment Options)
- Book an appointment through the U.S. Embassy website. Make sure you have your passport number, payment receipt number (for the application fee), and the 10-digit barcode provided at the confirmation page upon completion of the DS-160 form when scheduling your appointment.
- Go to the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your scheduled visa interview. Don’t forget to bring a printed copy of the appointment letter, the DS-160 confirmation page, a recent photograph, and current passport (if applicable, bring all your old passports as well).
Keep in mind that failure to bring the items in step number 4 may result in the rejection of your application. Other supporting documents you must bring (you need just bring them out in case the consular officer asks for them):
- Proof of income, tax payment receipts, property or business ownership (title deed, etc.), or assets.
- Travel itinerary or any document explaining the purpose of the trip (should the trip be for business or medical purposes).
- Certificate of employment detailing your position, salary, tenure, etc.
- Criminal or court records.
For a more detailed guide of what you need to bring, check out the US Embassy’s website, particular the FAQs so you wouldn’t be in the dark when processing your US Visa Application.