If you are a Filipino who wants to travel to the United States of America, you will need to get a visa to enter there. Here’s a guide on USA Visa Application Tips for Filipinos.
USA is undeniably in many Filipino’s bucket list. We know at least one person who works or lives in the US; personally, I got relatives who have become US Citizens. There are many good and comforting points in going to the US; language is not hard as we speak English, flights available (some even direct), and big Filipino communities there.
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Many are scared to apply for a US Tourist Visa; we have heard of denial stories, especially being speechless during the interview. Understanding the process of application will be a key, which will be in this article. Read our tips so that you have a closer chance of getting your US Visa!
1. Know which visa type you are applying
There are two categories of visas – Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visas. Types then depend on the purpose of travel: work, vacation, cohabitation, etc. What most Filipinos get are the temporary visitor visas (Category B). Under that are B1 Visas for business, B2 for tourism, and B1/B2 for both. In this article, we will be tackling the B2 US Visas as many visit the US for sightseeing or visiting relatives.
2. Fill up your DS-160 Form Properly
The first step in applying for a US Tourist Visa is filling-up the Form DS-160 or the Non-Immigrant Visa Application. This is very important as the interviewer’s questions will be based on what you have entered. If you are not sure what you have typed, you can save it and go back to it later. Make sure to double-check it before submitting it.
Here’s an article on how to fill up your Form DS-160.
P.S. You will be uploading also a passport-sized picture, so have it prepared. You’ll also be submitting that during the interview.
3. Pay the Exact Amount
The Visa Application Fee for a US Visa is USD 160. However, the exchange rates may change, so before going to the bank, ready your deposit slip. Pay before the expiration. There’s also an online banking option. You can refer here.
P.S. Take note of the receipt number as you will be using it when you book an appointment. No payment, no appointment.
P.P.S. It’s non-refundable, so you better make sure you will be at the Embassy on the date of your schedule.
4. Book on a date you are comfortable with.
If your DS-160 form is ready and you have already paid, you can book an appointment for the US Embassy interview online. Make sure you are comfortable with the schedule, and you have ample time to collect your supporting documents. Usually, the Embassy is fully booked, so you have to do it in the next months. If there is a vacancy within a week or two, make sure you will be ready with everything by then.
You don’t want to be on your interview and stressing out because your supporting documents are incomplete, baka mablanko ka during interview. If you are not near the Embassy, make sure you are there at least a day before; there may be flight delays, so at least di ka na ma-stress if ma-late ka kasi next day pa yung interview.
5. Prepare Supporting Documents
You might need the appointment letter, your passports, a photograph, and your DS-160 confirmation page are required when you go to the Embassy. But preparing supporting documents will also be a key to getting the US Visa. Some may not be asked, but it’s better to have it rather than saying to the consul, “I don’t have it with me.”
Supporting documents for your application may be Bank Certificate or Bank Statement (your own, if you will be paying for your trip or your sponsor’s if they are paying for you). For those with jobs, then a Certificate of Employment or a No Objection Letter may be asked. Business owners may be asked for a registration and Income Tax Returns. If you have a sponsor, you may prepare an invitation letter, proof of relationship, US passport or residency permit, etc. You may also be asked of Flight Reservations or Hotel Bookings. But it’s not limited to those, marami pa.
What the interviewers ask may differ from applicant to applicant. So better be prepared with everything. I have heard of someone getting denied because he said in his interview that his parents were sponsoring him, but he only bought is Bank Certificate and not theirs. Some weren’t even asked for anything but their passport for travel history and got approved. It really depends on the interviewer, your answers, and how it goes.
6. Get ready for your interview.
One of the crucial parts, if not the most vital, is the interview. Though you have prepared complete documents and filled-up the DS-160 form, you’ll get denied if your answers are not consistent or not the same as the form. What do you have to do to avoid this? Get ready for your interview. How? Well, you can check out these sample questions and answers. Here’s another one for those with partners in the US.
Write your answers and practice them in front of the mirror. So when you are there in front of the interviewer, you will be at ease and confident. Make sure your answers corroborate with what you have typed in the DS-160 form and your supporting documents. If you have a boyfriend and will be meeting him in the US, as per the form, then don’t say you’ll be meeting a relative or nobody. Be honest!
7. Be on time
Don’t be late for your interview; however, don’t be too early either as they won’t let you in the Embassy yet. You can be there 15-30 minutes before your schedule. Ready your documents and make sure you do not wear watches or bring phones as they are not allowed inside. When you’re off to the interviewer, smile, be polite, be honest, and keep positive (and pray). They will tell you that you will be accepted or rejected for your US Visa after your interview.
Those are US Visa Application for Filipinos, and could be useful for foreigners, too! Applying for a US Visas may sound scary, but once you know what to do and what the flow is, you’ll be a step closer to getting one. In case you need help in your application or want to be coached by Ms. Kach, who has helped many clients get their US Visas, you can check this link.
- How to Apply for USA Tourist Visa
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- How to Travel and Work in The USA Legally – Complete Guide on Getting J1 US Visa
- 10 USA Visa Denial Rumors – Is it a Myth or Fact for USA Visa Application of Philippines Passport Holders??
About the Writer
Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I’m aiming to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, photography, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.
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