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How to Apply for a U.S. Tourist Visa From the Philippines

Learn how to apply for a b1 or b2 visa for u.s. travel when you’re from the philippines, in this guide.

  • Completing the Travel Visa Application
  • Visa Appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Manila
  • Travel Visa Tips for Filipinos
  • Related Information

Are you from the Philippines and planning a trip to the United States? Filipino nationals looking to travel to the U.S. for temporary tourism or business purposes must first obtain a B-1/B-2 travel visa in order to enter the country.

In this guide, we’ll cover how to apply for a U.S. tourist visa from the Philippines, what steps to take, and other helpful tips for Filipino applicants .

Want more information on travel visa costs, processing times, and requirements? We can help. Learn more about what Boundless can do to help.

Charmay, from the Philippines

Start planning your immigration journey today with Boundless.

Filing form ds-160.

The first step in the travel visa process for every Filipino applicant is filing Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application). Form DS-160, filed online, requests basic information about the applicant’s life in the Philippines, their intended trip to the U.S., and any past immigration history.

You can learn more about filing Form DS-160 in Boundless’ guide , including what questions to expect and how the online submission process works.

Travel Visa Costs

When filing the DS-160, all applicants are required to pay a $185 government filing fee. The fee must be paid upfront. Filipino applicants can pay by one of the following payment methods :

  • Paying by cash at a bank: Print out a deposit slip, make the $185 payment in a Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI), and save the payment slip/receipt to bring to your visa appointment later in the process.
  • Paying online: You can pay the $185 filing fee online if you are a client of Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) or using the online platform PesoNet .

You can find more details about completing your travel visa application payment on the U.S. government’s website here .

Embassy Information

All nonimmigrant visa applications filed in the Philippines (including tourist visa applications) are processed at the U.S. Embassy in Manila :

U.S. Embassy in Manila

1201 Roxas Boulevard

Manila, Philippines 1000

(+63) 2 5301-2000

Scheduling Your Appointment

After you’ve filed your travel visa application, the next step is to schedule your visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. In order to schedule your appointment, you’ll need your DS-160 confirmation page and fee payment receipt, to prove you have a pending tourist visa application.

Appointment availability at the U.S. Embassy in Manila fluctuates, depending on demand at the time you are applying and the current visa backlog. The embassy recommends that travel visa applicants start the application process well in advance of their intended travel dates to the U.S. to avoid long appointment wait times.

You can calculate your estimated appointment wait time on the State Department’s official appointment tracker . As of March 2023, the current wait time for a B visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Manila is 144 calendar days .

Preparing for the Travel Visa Interview

Once you’ve scheduled your visa appointment, it’s time to prepare for your travel visa interview!

The visa interview can feel like the most stressful part of the tourist visa process, but you don’t have to go through the process on your own. We’ve put together a helpful guide on how to prepare for your travel visa interview with confidence and compiled a list of common interview questions to practice from.

Tips for Tourist Visa Approval

Now that you’ve read up on the travel visa process, is there anything you can do to increase your chances of getting approved? Boundless put together some helpful tips on how to strengthen your B1/B2 application and navigate all of the tricky travel visa requirements. Check them out here !

Travel Insurance

Once your travel visa is approved and you’re starting to plan your trip, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance for your time in the U.S. Healthcare in the U.S. is notoriously expensive, so temporary travel insurance plans can help reduce any emergency medical costs. Travel insurance can also alleviate the financial burden of travel mishaps, such as lost luggage, flight delays, and more.

Flying Into the U.S.

You’ve booked your flight and packed your bags — what’s next? Getting through the U.S. airport smoothly! If it’s your first time flying to the U.S., be sure to read up on what to expect for security protocols, U.S. customs, and required documents before boarding your flight.

Want more U.S. immigration help? Check out Boundless’ Philippines-specific visa guide for everything you need to know.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Filipino citizens who are issued a B-2 visa are subject to a reciprocity fee . The fee must be paid after the visa is approved but before it is issued. The exact amount can be found on the U.S. Department of State’s website .

Yes, you can apply for a U.S. visa from the Philippines, even if you have been refused in the past. However, it’s important that you understand the reasons for the refusal and address those in your new application.

You must apply at the U.S. Embassy in Manila where visa interviews are conducted. Applicants from any part of the Philippines can apply. However, they will need to travel to Manila for the interview.

If your other citizenship allows for visa-free travel or easier visa application process to the U.S., you might want to use that passport. Otherwise, you can apply with either, but make sure to use the same one throughout the entire process.

Holding a different U.S. visa in the past does not prevent you from applying for a tourist visa. During the application process, you will likely be asked about your previous stays in the U.S.

Immigration guides

  • Switching Status From a Travel Visa to a Green Card
  • Nonimmigrant Visas, Explained
  • Renewing a B-1/B-2 Travel Visa
  • B-1/B-2 Visa Sample Interview Questions
  • How to Prepare for Your Travel Visa Interview
  • Letter of Invitation for a Travel Visa
  • Required Documents for Travel Visas
  • Tips for Travel Visa Approval
  • Visa Guide: How to move from the Philippines to the U.S.
  • How to Apply for a B-1/B-2 Visa

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Baguhin ang Wika: Change to Tagalog

Apply for a U.S. Visa

In the philippines.

As of July 15, the United States Embassy in Manila has resumed certain nonimmigrant services, including: F, M, certain J categories (alien physician, government visitor, international visitor professor, research scholars, short-term research scholar, specialist, secondary school student and college/university student), C1/D, E, I, O, and P visas, and certain immigrant visas including IR1, CR2, and E3. The MRV fee is valid and may be used to schedule an interview appointment in the country where it was purchased. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately on visa category not listed above, please follow the guidance provided at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-expeditedappointment.asp to request an emergency appointment.

Applicants for H1B, H2B, L1, and certain J categories and their dependents covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052 should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation here .

The Presidential Proclamations suspending the entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within 14 days in certain countries prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States (Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 9993, 9996, and 10041), and the Presidential Proclamations suspending the entry of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who present a risk to the U.S. labor market following the coronavirus outbreak (Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052) remain in effect. For details about these Presidential Proclamations click here .

The U.S. Mission to the Philippines understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment.  We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible.  In the meantime, rest assured that the U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until December 31, 2021, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.  Please continue to monitor this site for information on when we will return to routine visa operations.

For more information on how to pay your visa fee, please visit https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-paymentinfo.asp .

On Monday, June 22, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who present a risk to the U.S. labor market following the coronavirus outbreak. Effective immediately, the proclamation extends the suspension of entry for certain immigrants ( Presidential Proclamation 10014 ) through December 31, 2020. The new restrictions imposed by the proclamation are effective at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 24 and expire on December 31, 2020, unless continued by the President. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and aliens who are or were inside the United States or those holding valid nonimmigrant or immigrant visas on the effective date are not subject to the proclamation.

The proclamation suspends entry of nonimmigrants in the following categories: H-1B, H-2B, J (for aliens participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program) and L, along with their spouses and children.  No valid visas will be revoked under the proclamation. Presidential Proclamation 10014 and this proclamation provide exceptions to their restrictions for certain categories of immigrants and nonimmigrants. The full text of the presidential proclamations are available on the White House website at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-aliens-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-following-coronavirus-outbreak/

Entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within the following list of countries within 14 days prior their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 9993, 9996 and the subsequent proclamation issued May 24, 2020:

  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe;
  • The Republic of Ireland;
  • The 26 countries that comprise the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland)
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran;
  • The People’s Republic of China, not including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau

There are certain exceptions to the suspension of entry, including exceptions for U.S. lawful permanent residents and certain family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, among other exceptions listed in the proclamations. If you reside in, have traveled recently to, or intend to transit or travel to the above listed countries prior to your planned trip to the United States, we recommend you postpone your visa interview appointment until 14 days subsequent to your departure from the subject country(ries). Additionally, if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or believe you may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, you are required to postpone your appointment by at least 14 days. There is no fee to change an appointment and visa application fees are valid for one year in the country where the fee was paid. For questions about rescheduling a pending consular appointment, please contact us at [email protected] for specific guidance.

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Welcome to the U.S. Visa Information Service for the Philippines. On this website you can find information about U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visas and the requirements to apply for each. You can also learn how to pay the required visa application fee, and book an interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

This is the official visa information website of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines.

Nonimmigrant Visa Information

  • Bank and Payment Options
  • DS-160 Information
  • Appointment Wait Times
  • Photos and Fingerprints
  • Visa Waiver Program
  • Security Regulations

Nonimmigrant Visa Application

  • Apply for a Visa
  • Pay My Visa Fee
  • Complete My DS-160
  • Schedule My Appointment
  • Change Document Delivery Address
  • Retrieve My Passport/Visa
  • Apply for an Expedited Appointment
  • Renew My Visa
  • Application Pending Further Action

Immigrant Visas

  • Visa Information
  • Check My Petition Status
  • Visa Wait Times
  • Select Document Delivery Address

Local Visa Programs

  • Travel Coordinator
  • Priority Interview Program
  • Crew and Manning Program
  • Group Appointments
  • Diplomatic and Government Officials
  • Visas for Children
  • U.S. Embassy, Manila
  • Passport/Visa Collection Locations
  • Document Drop-Off Locations
  • Bank Locations

General Information

  • Holidays and Closures
  • Helpful Links

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Department of State

  • usvisas.state.gov

Baguhin ang Wika: Change to Tagalog

Apply for a U.S. Visa

In the philippines.

We have online resources on this site to answer all your visa questions. Once you determine your visa type you can pay your visa fee, access your DS-160 form to complete online, and schedule your visa appointment online.

Are you applying for a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa?

Nonimmigrant    Immigrant    I don't know

Immigrant Visa

If you are immigrating to the United States, you need to have a petition approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). See the Immigrant Visa Information page for additional information. This process is handled separately by the Embassy.

I don't know

Read the Visa Types section and Immigrant Visa Information to determine if you are applying for a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa.

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Visitor Visa

Visa Waiver Program

Travel Without a Visa

Citizens of Canada and Bermuda

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

Here are some examples of activities permitted with a visitor visa:

Business (B-1)

  • Consult with business associates
  • Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
  • Settle an estate
  • Negotiate a contract

Tourism (B-2)

  • Vacation (holiday)
  • Visit with friends or relatives
  • Medical treatment
  • Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
  • Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
  • Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)

Travel Purposes Not Permitted On Visitor Visas

These are some examples of activities that require different categories of visas and cannot be done while on a visitor visa:

  • Paid performances, or any professional performance before a paying audience
  • Arrival as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft
  • Work as foreign press, in radio, film, print journalism, or other information media
  • Permanent residence in the United States

Visitor visas will also not be issued for birth tourism (travel for the primary purpose of giving birth in the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship for their child).

How to Apply

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions on the  U.S. Embassy or Consulate website .

Complete the Online Visa Application

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160 . You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements .

Schedule an Interview

Interviews are generally required for visa applicants with certain limited exceptions below. Consular officers may require an interview of any visa applicant.

You should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the  U.S. Embassy or Consulate  in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be more difficult to qualify for a visa outside of the country where you live. 

Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Review the interview wait time for the location where you will apply: 

Appointment Wait Time

Check the estimated wait time for a nonimmigrant visa interview appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Note: Please check the individual Embassy or Consulate website to determine if your case is eligible for a waiver of the in-person interview.

Applicants scheduling visa appointments in a location different from their place of residence should check post websites for nonresident wait times.

Select a U.S. Embassy or Consulate:

Prepare for your interview.

  • Fees - Pay the non-refundable visa application fee , if you are required to pay it before your interview. If your visa is approved, you may also need to pay a visa issuance fee, if applicable to your nationality. Fee information is provided below:

Select your nationality to see Issuance Fee

  • Review the instructions available on the website of the  U.S. Embassy or Consulate  where you will apply to learn more about fee payment.

Gather Required Documentation

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements ). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements .

Additional Documentation May Be Required

Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

  • The purpose of your trip,
  • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip, and/or
  • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.   

Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover all the costs for your trip, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your trip.

Note:  Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant's residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a visitor visa. If you choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember it is not one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa.

Attend Your Visa Interview

A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive a visitor visa. You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a visa.   Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are taken as part of the application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.

After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further  administrative processing .  The consular officer will inform you if this required.

After the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee (if applicable to your nationality), and make arrangements for the return of the passport and visa to you.  Review the  visa processing times  to learn more.

Entering the United States

A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website .

Extending Your Stay

See  Extend Your Stay  on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website to learn about requesting to extend your stay beyond the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94. 

Failure to depart the United States on time will result in being  out of status . Under U.S. law, visas of individuals who are out of status are automatically voided ( Section 222(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ).  Any multiple entry visa that was voided due to being out of status will not be valid for future entries into the United States. 

Failure to depart the United States on time may also result in you being ineligible for visas in the future. Review  Visa Denials  and  Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws  to learn more.

Change of Status

If your plans change while in the United States (for example, you marry a U.S. citizen or receive an offer of employment), you may be able to request a change in your nonimmigrant status to another category through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). See  Change My Nonimmigrant Status  on the USCIS website to learn more.

While you are in the United States, receiving a change of status from USCIS does not require you to apply for a new visa.  However, once you depart the United States you must apply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the appropriate category for your travel.

Additional Information

  • An individual on a visitor visa (B1/B2) is not permitted to accept employment or work in the United States.
  • There is no guarantee you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
  • A valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States. 

Travel for Medical Treatment

If you are seeking medical treatment in the United States, the consular officer may ask for further documents at your visa interview, which may include:

  • Medical diagnosis from a local physician, explaining the nature of the ailment and the reason you need treatment in the United States.
  • Letter from a physician or medical facility in the United States, stating they are willing to treat your specific ailment and detailing the projected length and cost of treatment (including doctors’ fees, hospitalization fees, and all medical-related expenses).
  • Proof that your transportation, medical, and living expenses in the United States will be paid. This may be in the form of bank or other statements of income/savings or certified copies of income tax returns (either yours or the person or organization paying for your treatment).

Visitor Visas for Personal or Domestic Employees (B-1)

You may apply for a B-1 visitor visa to work in the United States as a personal or domestic employee for your employer in limited situations. You may work in the United States on a visitor visa if your employer is:

  • A U.S. citizen who has a permanent home or is stationed in a foreign country, but is visiting or is assigned to the United States temporarily; or
  • A foreign citizen who is in the United States on one of the following nonimmigrant visa categories:  B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or Q.

Learn more about your rights in the United States and protection available to you by reading the Legal Rights and Protections pamphlet.

Visa Renewal

Whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your visa, you will use the same application process (please review How to Apply , above). Some applicants seeking to renew their visas in certain visa classes may be eligible for the Interview Waiver (IW) which allows qualified individuals to apply for visa renewals without being interviewed in person by a U.S. consular officer. Review the instructions on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply to determine if the IW is available and if you qualify.

Do I need a visa if I have an ABTC?

Yes, you will still need a visa to travel to the United States, unless you qualify for the  Visa Waiver Program . Having an Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travelers Card (ABTC) does not change visa requirements, your visa status, or the visa process for travel to the United States.

How can I use my ABTC when I apply for my visa?

If you have an Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travelers Card (ABTC),  you might be able to schedule an expedited visa interview appointment. Review the instructions for scheduling expedited appointments on the website of the  embassy or consulate  where you will apply. 

Visa Annotations for Certain Maritime Industry Workers

Certain foreign maritime workers are eligible to apply for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) once in the U.S. If you, as a maritime industry worker, will perform services in secure port areas, your visa must be annotated “TWIC Letter Received.” Workers whose visas are not annotated will not be permitted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to apply for a TWIC.

In order for your visa to be annotated, you must obtain a letter from your employer explaining the need for a TWIC and that you are a potential TWIC applicant. See a template example of this letter. You must present this letter when you apply for the B-1 visa. You must meet all other eligibility requirements for a B-1 visa. 

Complete information about the TWIC program is available on TSA’s website at  https://www.tsa.gov/for-industry/twic .

Visa Denial and Ineligibility

Review  Visa Denials  for detailed information about visa ineligibilities, denials and waivers.

I was refused a visa, under Section 214(b). May I reapply?

Yes, if you feel circumstances have changed regarding your application. Review  Visa Denials  to learn more.

Misrepresentation or Fraud

Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States.

Review  Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws .

Citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not require visas to enter the United States, for visit, tourism and temporary business travel purposes. For more information see  U.S. Embassy Ottawa website ,  U.S. Consulate Hamilton website  and  CBP website .

Additional resources for Canadian visitors to the United States can be found on the U.S. Embassy and Consulate websites in Canada.

Citizens of China

In accordance with the agreement signed between the United States and China to extend visa validity, beginning on November 29, 2016, Chinese citizens with 10-year B1, B2 or B1/B2 visas in Peoples’ Republic of China passports will be required to update their biographical and other information from their visa application via a website every two years, or upon getting a new passport or B1, B2, or B1/B2 visa, whichever occurs first.  This mechanism is called EVUS - Electronic Visa Update System.

The EVUS website is now open to the public for enrollments at www.EVUS.gov .  CBP will not collect a fee for EVUS enrollment at this time. CBP anticipates the eventual implementation of an EVUS enrollment fee, but does not have a time frame. Until the implementation of a fee, travelers can enroll in EVUS without charge.  The Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will keep visa holders informed of new information throughout the year. For further information, please visit  www.cbp.gov/EVUS .‎

根据美中双方签署的延长签证有效期的协议,自2016年11月29日起,凡持有10 年 期B1,B2 或 B1/B2签证的中华人民共和国护照持有人需要每两年或在获取新护照或最长有效期的B1、B2或B1/B2签证时时(以先到者为准),通过网站更新他们签证申请上的个人资料及其它信息。这个机制我们称之为EVUS –签证更新电子系统。

EVUS的登记网站 www.EVUS.gov 现已开放接受登记。美国海关和边境保护局(CBP)目前不会收取登记费用。美国海关和边境保护局预期EVUS登记收费最终会实施,但目前尚未落实执行时间。在收费实施前,旅客可以免费完成EVUS登记。美国国土安全部海关和边境保护局将在今年及时向签证持有人公布最新的信息。获取更多的信息,请访问 www.cbp.gov/EVUS 。

Citizens of Mexico

Citizens and permanent residents of Mexico generally must have a nonimmigrant visa or Border Crossing Card (also known as a "Laser Visa"). For ease of travel, the B-1/B-2 and the Border Crossing Card have been combined into one document (DSP-150). Select  Border Crossing Card  to learn more about this card.

Please visit  U.S. Embassy or Consulate  websites for more information regarding applying for a visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Mexico.

Further Questions

  • Case-Specific Questions - Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate handling your visa application for status information. Select  U.S. Embassy or Consulate  for contact information.
  • General Questions - review  Contact Us .

Visa Waiver Program  (VWP)

Tourist or business travelers who are citizens of participating countries may be eligible to visit the United States without a visa. Visits must be 90 days or less, and travelers must meet all requirements.

Citizens of Canada and Bermuda generally do not need visas for tourism and visits.

More Information

A-Z Index Legal Rights & Protections Lost/Stolen Travel Documents Denials Fraud Warning Visa Expiration Date Automatic Revalidation Nonimmigrants in the United States–Applying for Visas in Canada or Mexico Visa Applicants - State Sponsors of Terrorism Border Security/Safety Find a U.S. Embassy or Consulate Customer Service Statement

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How to apply for or renew a U.S. tourist visa

If you visit the U.S. for tourism or business, you may need a visitor visa, also known as a tourist visa. Learn how to get and renew this type of nonimmigrant visa.

To enter the U.S., you must bring a passport issued by your country of citizenship along with your visa. Officials at your port of entry into the U.S. will also issue you a Form I-94, which electronically records your arrival and departure dates. Learn more about Form I-94 and how to apply .

Find out if you need a visa to visit the U.S.

Check to see if your country participates in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) . If it does, you can get a waiver and will not need a visa. If you do not see your country listed, you will need a visitor visa.

Visitor (tourist) visa

The visitor visa, also known as a tourist visa, is a type of nonimmigrant visa for people who wish to temporarily enter the U.S. There are two categories:

  • B-1 for business travel
  • B-2 for tourism and medical treatment

Learn about B-1 and B-2 visas , including:

  • Reasons you would need each type of visitor visa
  • How to apply
  • What documents you will need
  • Application fees
  • How to prepare for your interview at your U.S. embassy or consulate

How to renew a visitor visa

You must renew your visitor visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Only diplomatic visa holders and their dependents can renew their visas within the U.S.

The process to renew a visitor visa is the same as getting one for the first time. Follow the process to apply for a visitor visa from the Department of State.

Find the contact information for your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and contact them for visa renewal information.

LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2023

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US tourist visa application guide: Tips and reminders

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This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

US tourist visa application guide: Tips and reminders

Hi! I’m Jacklynne, 21 years old, not a millionaire, and I have no relatives in the States. Yet, the U.S. Embassy granted me a 10-year multiple entry visa. How? This is my detailed guide. 

It has been my dream to go to New York City ever since I was a child. I want to try their famous dollar hotdogs, visit their museums, and watch a Broadway show. However, I wasn’t born rich, I don’t have a relative in the U.S., and I know that getting a visa will be hard. I have heard a lot of horror stories on getting their visa rejected even when they presented millions of pesos as a “show money.” Because of this, I already accepted the fact that it would take me years to go to the US.

As time went on, I forgot about my NYC dream, focused on another one and that was to visit Europe. Luckily, because of my hard work and dedication, I achieved it at the age of 21. I traveled Europe for 65 days without quitting my 9-6 job. I blogged about How to travel without quitting your job on my website. 

Getting a Schengen visa which allowed me to travel Europe was hard because of all the strict requirements. I am fortunate that I was able to get a multiple-entry visa despite having graduated college less than a year at the time, and a also as a single female. I had all the red flags but I was still granted that visa.

The moment I came back from my Eurotrip, I decided to face my fear and apply for a U.S. visa. Best risk ever as I arrived at the Embassy at 8 in the morning and exited it with an approved visa at 8:45 am! J ust 45 minutes to get a 10-year multiple entry U.S. Visa!

Here’s how!

Note: This guide is focused on how to get a U.S. visa as a tourist. The process is different for work, immigrant, and any other type of visa. 

1.)  Register at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs

Here, you can fill out your information as an individual or as a family/group, check the available interview date, and verify your payment.

a.) Click New Application/Schedule Appointment and answer the visa type, post, category, and visa class

For the visa type, choose Nonimmigrant visa >> Manila >> Business/Tourism >> B1/B2.

b.) Fill out your personal data

For the DS-160 confirmation number, refer to the latter part of this post.

c.) You can also add your family members if you’re applying together

d.) Finally, choose how you would like to receive your passport.

In this page, you can now see the earliest appointment date. However, you can’t book that unless you’re already paid and you’ve already completed the DS-160 form.

2.) Complete the DS-160 application form

Click this link for the DS-160 form.

a.) Start a new application and take note of your application ID. Be sure to also have a soft copy of your 2×2 photo as you need to have it uploaded here. 

Copy this one and paste it on your Consular Affairs form stated above.

b.) Answer the form

The form consists of your personal details, address and phone, passport travel, travel companions, previous US travel, US contact, family, work / education / training, and security and background. It’s super lengthy but answer it as completely as you can. This is where they base their questions on.

If you can’t answer it in one go, save it and retrieve it once you’re available. Be sure to read your answers more than once before confirming it as once you’ve hit the submit button, you can no longer edit it.

c.) Print the application confirmation

After submitting, you will be directed to this. Print this is at is one of the requirements.

3.) Pay the non-refundable U.S. visa application fee ($160)

One of the things that set people off in applying a US visa is the fee. This $160 or P7,840 (conversion at the time of writing) is non-refundable whether you got approved or denied. It was P7,680 when I applied months ago. Payment depends on the conversion so always check the link provided below for accurate payment.

It’s a risk to take but it will be worth it if you get a 10-year multiple entry visa!

To pay, check first if you are fine with the earliest appointment date. Please take note that the earliest appointment date doesn’t mean that it’s the only option for your interview. You can choose a date different from the one in the sidebar and can only be visible after you paid the fee.

You can pay in cash at a bank counter or do online transaction.

a) Over-the-counter transaction

Go to this link and print the page. Present this to a BPI bank teller and keep your copy. Make sure that it’s in a safe place because it is one of the requirements for the interview.

b.) Online transaction

I paid the fee online as this was easier. You can do this through BPI or Bancnet online payment.

Take note of your reference number that you can find here if you choose to pay via BPI or here for Bancnet customers.

After that, all you need to do is to enroll the U.S. visa for your online bill payment.

Here’s the detailed PDF file on how to do that.

You will receive an email confirmation once this has been completed. Print this as this will act as your receipt to be presented at the U.S. Embassy.

4.) Confirm your payment

a.) Go to this link and enter your receipt number as soon as you paid. 

b) After confirming your payment, you will need to wait a minimum of 4 hours depending on your payment process to book an interview date. Here’s a table on how soon you can book the date:

5.) Choose your appointment date

a.) Go to the bottom of this link to schedule your appointment. You will see a calendar when you book your appointment. Choose a time and date that you prefer.

b.) You will receive a confirmation of your appointment on your email. Print this as it is also one of the requirements on your interview.

6.) Prepare your documents

Here are the requirements to bring on your visa interview.

  • Passport valid for another 6 months
  • DS-160 confirmation page
  • Visa fee payment receipt
  • Appointment confirmation
  • 2×2 photo

You can bring additional documents that you think could help. Some bring land titles, proof of business, bank statement, and other documents that could prove their tie in this country.

They rarely look at these documents but if you like it could help, then do it. I only brought the requirements along with my Certificate of Employment and Income Tax Return. They didn’t ask for it.

7.) Show up to your interview 15 minutes before your scheduled time

Note: Phones, tablets, MP3 players, USB, and other electronic device are prohibited inside the Embassy.

On your interview date, will have to line up outside the Embassy and there’s no shed or chairs for you to wait so make sure not to arrive too early. There are coffee shops near the place for you to kill time if you prefer. The additional 15 minutes is used for security checks so be on time. Outside the embassy, you will see signage of different interview schedule. Fall in line on the signage that indicates your time.

After that, here are the next steps:

a.) A staff member will ask for your passport and DS-160 form

b.) You will be instructed to go to another staffer where you will presentyour appointment form, passport, and 2×2 picture. They will also attach a sticker on your passport for tracking purposes.

c.) You will then be asked to put your belongings in a conveyor belt

d.) You will be directed to a shaded part with chairs and also snacks. We were instructed to sit there but in less than 2 minutes, they asked us to go straight inside the Embassy.

e.) Get your bags checked manually by the security inside the Embassy

f.) Fall in line for pre-screening. You will just be asked here about your visa type, name, birthday, and marital status.

g.) Finger scanning


This is the most important part of the application process. The interviewer will base his decision on the answers on your DS-160 form and your answer in the interview. Everything went so fast that I was called to go to the booth. Only 5 questions were asked: why I was visiting the US, my work, course in college, the university I attended, and countries that I’ve been to. You can take a look at my story about the interview on my blog, here’s the link .

In less than 2 minutes:  “Approved!”

I arrived at the Embassy around 8:00 am and exited it with a smile around 8:45 in the morning. I read a lot of blogs and they said that they had to wait at least 5 hours to be interviewed. It’s really nice to hear that the US Embassy has a faster process now. In less than 45 minutes, I was given a 10-year multiple entry US visa! As they said, don’t knock it until you try it.

Just prepare your documents that could prove your rootedness here and answer the questions honestly. Smile and don’t be nervous. Besides, if you’re not planning on going there illegally,  there’s no reason to be nervous!

Good luck! – Rappler.com

us visa tourist application philippines

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US Visa Interview Philippines 2023: Effective Tips To Pass

US Visa Interview Philippines 2023: Effective Tips To Pass

The internet never runs out of horror stories of people who have failed the US visa interview.

Worse, no precise blueprint can guarantee anyone an easy pass.

In other words, you can still leave the US Embassy with tears no matter how superior your English-speaking skills or how fat your bank account is.

However, knowing the dos and don’ts of a US visa interview will make you one step ahead of everyone clueless about what to expect. This guide should get you started.

Table of Contents

How does the us visa interview work.

As some of the past applicants may have already told you, it’s not unusual for a US visa interview to last for just 2 to 5 minutes (sometimes slightly longer).

Consular officers usually review the applicants’ application forms (the DS-160) in advance. Come interview time, they expect the answers they’ll get and only need the applicants to confirm or clarify them.

On the other hand, the applicants must come to the US Embassy on time (at least 15 to 30 minutes before your appointment schedule).

Located at 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Ermita, Manila, the US Embassy requires the applicants to queue up and undergo initial security checks before entering.

Leave your gadgets as much as possible at home, as they’re not allowed inside the building. Otherwise, bring a companion who will care for it as you go inside for the interview.

us visa interview 1

Here’s an overview of the procedures you’ll go through after you make it inside the US Embassy building:

  • Pre-screening : You will be welcomed by embassy personnel who will request your Philippine passport and 2 x 2 picture to be affixed to your DS-160 form. If you forgot to bring pictures, you can avail of rush ID pictures at the photo booth in the US Embassy’s waiting area. You may be asked a few questions like your name, civil status, or citizenship but nothing substantial like what they ask in the US visa interview.
  • Fingerprint scanning : Another embassy personnel will guide you to the next station, where your fingerprints will be scanned. When the procedure is over, wait for your number to be displayed on the overhead screen. Once it shows up, head towards the interview booth for the US visa interview.
  • Interview : The last and the most crucial of the three, the US visa interview, determines the fate of your US visa application. Instead of an office, there are several booths designated for the interview. Hand over your passport to the consular officer and prepare to answer the questions that may be fired at you. Most of the questions are based on the data you’ve provided on the DS-160 form, so ensure that you provide consistent and honest answers—present supporting documents only when requested.

If it’s any consolation, the US visa interview is swift, and you’ll get the result immediately.

If approved, the Consul will keep and deliver your passport after five working days. If denied, the Consul will return the passport and a blue slip explaining why you got denied.

How To Pass US Visa Interview in the Philippines: 6 Strategies

To save you a lot of time, we’ve compiled tips from Filipinos who successfully passed the dreaded US visa interview. Some of them have never been to the United States of America before, so if they can do it, so can you!

Note : Almost all of these tips came from people who applied for the B-1/B-2 visa (business/tourist visa). If you’re applying for a different US visa, these tips may also apply to you but expect the Consular officer to ask questions relevant to the visa you’re aiming for. 

1. Know the Commonly Asked US Visa Interview Questions

This is like a cheat sheet that you don’t have to memorize. Remember, you should never sound robotic, rehearsed, or unnatural.

Know the possible questions that might be asked so you will never be caught off guard and end up speechless during the interview.

Based on our research, here are some of the US visa interview questions you should be prepared for:

a. What will you do in the US?/What’s the purpose of your travel?/Why are you planning to visit the United States?

This is the first question usually asked by the Consular officer, which often sets the tone for the rest of the interview. For example, if you answer “to visit a family/friend,” the Consul will ask you a follow-up question to determine who this family/friend is, their occupations, and where they’re located.

Since we’re focusing on B-1/B-2 visas here, be straight to the point and let the Consul know that you’ll be in the US for business purposes or to relax and tour the US.

b. Where are you going to stay in the US?

Be honest with the Consular officer and say that you’ll be staying in a hotel, Airbnb, a friend’s house, or a relative’s house, whichever is applicable. Keep a note of the exact address and provide this information in case the Consul asks for it.

c. How long do you plan to stay in the US?

The safest answer here is probably 3 to 4 weeks or less. Remember, you want to prove to the Consular officer that you never intended to overstay in the United States, especially now that their government is cracking down on illegal immigrants.

Never dilly-dally with your answer. If you respond with “Hmm, I think about three weeks or so,” the Consul will take it as a sign that you’re not sure about your length of stay and are probably planning to be an illegal immigrant.

d. How much will it cost you to stay in the US?

Although there’s no specific “show money” requirement in the US visa application , you must prove to the Consul that you’ve done your assignment.

Your budget will depend on the city/state you’ll be visiting, and you can get an estimate through a simple Google search. If you are staying with a friend or relative, that will be better because it means fewer expenses for accommodation.

e. What is your job in the Philippines?/What do you do for a living?/How much do you earn in the Philippines?

This one usually follows the previous question as it will help the Consul determine whether you have the means to support yourself during the trip.

If you’re employed, your tenure in the company matters a lot as it will prove that you’re not looking for job opportunities.

If you’re running a business, let the Consular officer know how much net profit you earn each month. Also, the interviewer will most likely wonder what will happen to your business once you’re in the US, so show proof that you’ve hired someone to take care of it or you own a business that can be managed remotely.

The bottom line is that you must convince the Consular Officer that you’re pretty established here and have a solid reason to return to the Philippines. Also, be ready to provide a certificate of employment , business permit , bank statement, and proof of income if requested.

f. Who is sponsoring your travel?/Who will pay for your trip?

If your monthly income (please refer to the previous question) isn’t enough, tell the truth that your parents or relatives in the US will be sponsoring your trip.

While your application may not be as strong if you’re not paying for your trip, the Consular officer may give you a chance if you can provide enough proof. For example, if you’re still a student who isn’t employed, you can show your parents’ financial documents to prove you have the money to cover the travel expenses.

Meanwhile, if the sponsor is an American boyfriend/girlfriend you only met online, it’s a red flag that may cause your application to be denied almost instantly. Should you decide to meet personally, it’s better to let your special someone visit you in the Philippines first so you can get to know each other better.

g. What’s your travel history?/Have you traveled to another country before?/Where have you been traveling and why?

Applicants with little to no travel history are less likely to get approved. If you haven’t been to any country before, start with countries near the Philippines, like Thailand, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

It will also help if you have been approved to get tourist visas from Australia , Japan , Korea , and Schengen countries . The more visas you get, the more likely you’ll get approved.

For frequent travelers, prove that your trip to the US is for pleasure/vacation, just like what you’ve always done in other countries before. If requested, enumerate the countries you’ve visited so far and the reason/s why you visited them (e.g., personal or work).

h. Have you been to the US before?

If you’ve been to the US, your chances of getting approved may increase. However, the Consul will dig deeper into your answer and ask you additional questions like the exact date/s you traveled to the US, how long the trip was, and the reason/s why you’re there.

i. Do you have any family in the US?/Do you have friends or relatives in the US?

You have to know the difference between a family and a relative. A family consists of your parents and siblings, while relatives include your extended family, like aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

Therefore, if you’re asked if you have a family in the US, don’t answer with “Yes. My cousins.” Some applicants get denied for this simple mistake, so have a presence of mind.

If you’re visiting an American “friend” you only met online, ensure he/she visits you first in the Philippines. Otherwise, the Consular officer might assume the trip is just an excuse to get married in the US. Trust me, they know better.

Depending on your answer, the Consul may give you follow-up questions to ensure you’re telling the truth. These questions could be one or all of the following:

  • When did you last see your family/friend/relative? (No need to be specific. Say “6 years ago” if that’s what you remember).
  • What are their exact addresses in the US? (You’ll be staying with them, so the Consular officer expects you to have this information with you).
  • How long have they been living in the US, and what is their current status there? (Through this question, the interviewer will be able to gauge if you know this friend/family/relative, so make sure you’re aware whether they’re US citizens or green card holders).
  • What do they do in the US? (If they’re working in the office, the Consular officer will wonder what you will do while they’re at work during office hours. Just be honest and tell them the itinerary and that you’ll be exploring the city alone).

j. Do you have an itinerary for your US trip?/What’s your travel plan?/Which places in the US will you be visiting?

This question is why preparing an itinerary before the US visa interview is essential. In this itinerary, you should include all the places you plan to visit in the US. The more specific, the better.

Please print it out and bring it on the day of your interview to prove you’re not traveling to the United States on a whim.

k. When do you plan to travel?/Have you already booked your flight?

Ideally, you should apply for a US tourist visa 2 to 3 months before your intended travel date.

Because there’s no guarantee that you’ll be approved to get a US visa, don’t book plane tickets yet. Remember, international airlines don’t issue refunds for applicants whose US visa applications have been rejected.

l. How can you assure me you’ll return from the US?/What would make you return to the Philippines?

Whether it’s a business, career, property, or continuing education, explain to the Consular officer that you have strong ties to the Philippines because of something important you left behind.

Provide as many supporting documents as needed. If you won’t return to the Philippines anytime soon, be honest and give a valid reason, like your desire to travel to more countries after your US trip.

m. Other possible questions

  • What’s your highest educational attainment? (Consular officers may give extra points to candidates for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree since they have a reason to return to the Philippines).
  • Have you been denied a visa earlier? (If you have applied for any foreign visa in the past, rest assured the Consular officer knows about it. Be honest).
  • Why have you chosen the US over other countries? (This is in line with the purpose of your trip, so make sure you have a valid reason to be there).
  • When will you come back to the Philippines? (Your answer here must not contradict what’s on your itinerary).
  • Will you be traveling with a companion? (If yes, expect the Consul to ask additional questions about that companion’s status, source of income, etc.).
  • Who will take care of your property while you’re in the US? (If you include some properties as proof of your solid ties to the country, explain to the interviewer that a family or friend will look after it while you’re in the US).

2. Show Proof of Strong Ties to the Philippines

The US visa interview aims to weed out applicants who may intend to hide in the US as illegal immigrants.

So how can you beat the odds and increase your chances of getting a US visa?

According to the US Embassy and based on the data we’ve gathered so far, the following factors can increase the likelihood of your US visa application getting approved:

a. Travel experience/history

The more countries you’ve visited before your US visa application, the better your chances of getting approved.

Extensive travel experience indicates that you never overstayed your welcome in any country in the past and that you’ll most likely do the same thing in the US.

If you haven’t been to any country, start earning stamps by visiting neighboring Asian countries, preferably those requiring visas like Japan , South Korea , etc.

If you have a newly released passport and the Consul asks for your travel history, present your old passport with stamps to prove that you have traveled to several countries.

The US Embassy may also use the number of travel stamps on your passport to gauge your financial standing. In a 2023 interview with the Philippine Star 1 , United States Embassy Consul General Mark McGovern reveals that bank statements may be easy to forge, so they may rely on the applicant’s travel history to know how well off an individual is. The more travel stamps you have, the more likely you will convince them that you can afford to travel anywhere, including the United States of America.

b. Financial stability/capability

A trip to the US is expensive, so you must prove to the Consul that you can support yourself or someone else (a sponsor) will cover your expenses.

You must back this up by showing your bank certificate/s (only if requested).

The Consul doesn’t only look at your financial status to ensure you can afford your US trip; they also review it to ensure you have enough assets to compel you to return to the Philippines.

Therefore, if you have little to no money in your bank account and zero property under your name, the Consular officer will see you as someone who got nothing to lose and can potentially stay in the US as an illegal immigrant.

However, as long as you can prove that you have enough income and can specify the source of this income, you still have the chance to be approved.

Meanwhile, applicants from wealthy families are not immune to rejection. They can still be denied if they can’t pinpoint where their money comes from or if they’re fresh graduates relying only on their parent’s money.

Note that the US Embassy has never set a specific amount that you must have in your bank account. Again, they’ve already interviewed thousands of US visa applicants and are aware of different shenanigans. They know it’s easy for somebody to deposit money into a bank account one day and withdraw it the next. They’ve also dealt with fake bank statements, so don’t try submitting one.

According to United States Embassy Consul General Mark McGovern, financial capability and travel history are often tied together; the more stamps on one’s passport, the more likely that person has the means to travel. In other words, they may look at your travel stamps as a more reliable indicator of your financial standing than the numbers on your bank account.

Proof of financial stability, like bank statements or land titles, is not required, but there’s still a chance that the interviewer may ask for it. However, being unable to provide one when the interviewer asks for it won’t automatically result in rejection. They will hold on to your application until you submit the requested documents. It’s a temporary type of refusal, but they’re willing to wait.

c. Established career/tenure in the company

A stable job is one of the most substantial proof that you will return to the Philippines as soon as your US trip ends.

If requested, show your certificate of employment and other documents that can attest to how many years you’ve worked in your current company.

  • Applying with a family. Those applying for a US visa (especially a tourist visa) with their family are more likely to be approved because applicants with the potential to be illegal immigrants usually apply alone.
  • Properties/assets in the Philippines.
  • Enrollment in a school/university (for students).
  • An employer sponsoring the visa (for US work visas).

3. Wear Decent Attire

The US Embassy doesn’t impose any dress code on US visa applicants, but that doesn’t mean you can go to your interview wearing anything you like.

Just treat it as your usual job interview.

No need to wear suits or formal attire, but don’t go there with a simple T-shirt and shorts either. The US visa interview attire in the Philippines is smart casual.

Avoid wearing excessive pieces of jewelry to impress. If you’re a student, lawyer, or employee, you can also wear what you usually wear daily.

Look presentable. Never overdress.

4. Keep Your Answers Short and Simple

Remember one important rule when answering the interviewer’s questions: Less talk, fewer mistakes.

Only provide the information requested and never volunteer information that isn’t being asked. This isn’t a speech contest or a beauty pageant, so the length of your answers won’t be the basis for your rejection.

If you’re talkative, this is the time to hold back. Giving long answers to simple questions will make you appear desperate and even suggest to the Consular officer that you may be hiding something.

So, for example, if you’re being asked what you will do in the US, give a short response like “To have a vacation” or “To visit my relatives.” Only provide additional information when you’re asked to.

The interviewer doesn’t care if your relatives are sick, who your cousins are, and what family history you have, no matter how enthralling it is.

More importantly, don’t be too naive and say, “You’ll be looking for opportunities in the US.” At this point, you’re probably aware already that it’s one of the sure ways to ruin your chances of getting a US visa.

Don’t argue with the interviewer, either. If you cannot hear the question correctly or need clarification, ask him/her to repeat it.

Regardless of the result of the interview, treat the Consular officer with the utmost respect.

5. Be Honest

This one’s common sense, but you’ll be surprised how many applicants are denied a US visa by lying through their teeth.

Always remember that the Consul officers are trained to spot liars, and they’ve been doing it for years, so it’s almost impossible to fool them.

In other words, don’t even attempt to make up stories. The interviewers are trained to expose fabricated stories.

They’re also keeping a record of every piece of information you share. So in case you fail the interview the first time and come back for a second chance, there’s no way you can peddle the same lies all over again.

Please don’t lie to the Consular officer’s face because it will backfire faster than you’ve ever imagined.

6. Be Confident

Don’t ever think that the US visa interview is a life-or-death situation.

For one, it’s just a visa; getting denied isn’t the end. It will also put undue pressure on yourself to “perform” and look desperate for a US visa.

You can’t fake confidence. It will come naturally if you trust yourself and know deep inside that you’re not hiding anything.

Why feel nervous if you’re not planning on becoming an illegal immigrant?

So the best you can do is remain calm and just be yourself. Don’t pay attention to other nervous applicants or those who come out of the Embassy with “denied” stamps.

Listen to your favorite music, read a book, do positive self-talk, or try anything to keep your composure until it’s your turn to be interviewed.

Most importantly, don’t let the Consul officers intimidate you. Remember, they’re just interviewing because it’s part of their job.

Look at them as co-equals. Otherwise, it will get on your nerves, and you risk becoming speechless during the interview.

us visa interview 2

(Other) Tips and Warnings

In addition to the strategies discussed above, also keep in mind the following reminders:

1. We already mentioned this at the beginning of this article, but it’s worth repeating: Gadgets (phones, laptops, etc.) aren’t allowed inside the US Embassy . If you can’t leave them at home, bring a companion who will take care of your stuff while you’re inside. Plenty of convenience stores or cafes nearby where your companion can stay while waiting.

2 . Arrive at the Embassy at least 15 minutes before your appointment schedule so you can have time to prepare yourself and ensure you bring all the needed documents.

3. The Consular officers seldom request supporting documents during the interview; however, you should be prepared in case the one assigned to you will. The documents requested differ from one applicant to another. It ultimately depends on the circumstances surrounding your application. For example, if you run a business, be ready to present your business permit and proof of income.

4. If you plan to go shopping or play at casinos in the US, feel free to mention it whenever appropriate and without sounding too desperate. Consul officers prefer tourists who will spend money during their trip.

5. The US Embassy doesn’t set a quota for how many people they can interview daily.

6. Brush up on your communication skills. Since you’ll be traveling to an English-speaking country, the Consular officer expects you can use their language well. If the interviewer can’t understand you, how are you supposed to survive your trip to the United States? Avoid using slang and “Carabao English.”

7. Just because the Consul approved your US visa after the interview doesn’t mean the scrutiny is over. The US Embassy also conducts background checks before releasing passports to applicants. If they find a discrepancy in your application, you will receive your passport and a refusal letter.

8. Due to the backlogs of cases in some embassies, the National Visa Center (NVC) has decided not to accept any cases from individuals who are “ineligible” for immigrant visa interviews until further notice 2 . These include the following:

  • Individuals who were already interviewed for an immigrant or K visa and were deemed by the consul as ineligible due to suspicions and findings that the relationship is fraud.
  • Principal beneficiaries who failed to reschedule their postponed interview within a year from the original date, whether the interview is canceled by the person himself or the embassy.
  • K2 (non-immigrant visa for children aged 21 years and below of K1 fiancé holders) individuals who failed to apply for a K2 visa within a year from the date of their parent’s K1 visa issuance.
  • Persons whose priority date is not current.
  • Persons whose cases are still pending in the NVC.
  • Persons who the NVC or embassy does not yet instruct to schedule their visa interview.
  • Spouses or children “Following to join (FTJ)” whose principal applicant adjusted status in the US.
  • Returning Resident Status (SB1) applicants who are also green card holders and are still outside the US for more than a year due to reasons beyond their control.

9. Social media profiles in your application form won’t affect your visa chances . They only ask them for formality, but the US Embassy has no time or budget to dig deeper into each applicant’s social media profile and history.

10. Recommendation letters or endorsements from a third party, like your teacher, governor, or mayor, aren’t needed . You’re only wasting your time if an agency includes this requirement in their unofficial checklist. First, there’s no official checklist released by the US Embassy detailing all documents you must bring and provide on the day of your interview. Second, US Embassy Consul General Mark McGovern reveals that they don’t even look at these recommendation letters.

  • Valmonte, K. (2023). Retrieved from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2023/06/05/2271657/scared-your-us-visa-application-here-are-tips-embassy
  • Gurfinkel, M. (2022). Who is not eligible for an immigrant visa interview?. Retrieved 28 March 2022, from https://www.philstar.com/opinion/2022/03/06/2165199/who-not-eligible-immigrant-visa-interview

Written by Luisito Batongbakal Jr.

in Government Services , Juander How

Last Updated September 21, 2023 10:12 AM

us visa tourist application philippines

Luisito Batongbakal Jr.

Luisito E. Batongbakal Jr. is the founder, editor, and chief content strategist of FilipiKnow, a leading online portal for free educational, Filipino-centric content. His curiosity and passion for learning have helped millions of Filipinos around the world get access to free insightful and practical information at the touch of their fingertips. With him at the helm, FilipiKnow has won numerous awards including the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs 2013, the 2015 Globe Tatt Awards, and the 2015 Philippine Bloggys Awards.

Browse all articles written by Luisito Batongbakal Jr.

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