Applicants may not know that U.S. Embassy Manila has recently changed its nonimmigrant visa interview process. Here are four important steps to keep in mind on the day of your visa interview:
1. Please arrive at the U.S. Embassy no earlier than 15 minutes before your appointment
Contrary to popular belief, applicants DO NOT need to be at the Embassy hours before their appointment. Sure, you may hear stories about applicants waiting in long lines outside the Embassy, but those stories came from applicants who chose to come early and stand in line. Remember, the only one that will decide if you wait in line is you!
2. Bring the required documents
You may be surprised to know that the DS-160, also known as the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, often has sufficient information for an interviewing officer to determine if an applicant qualifies for a nonimmigrant visa. Because of this, consular officers may not always look at supporting documents or ask extensive questions, unless there are points in the application form or interview that need further clarification. For this reason, it is important that each applicant reads and fills out the information accurately on their visa application form. It is okay to have assistance in completing the form, but applicants should ensure that the information is true and correct since the applicant is attesting to the facts within their application through its submission.
Remember, the only required documents for your visa application are:
- Interview appointment letter
- DS-160 confirmation page
- Valid passport
- 2” x 2” photo
- All expired passports and U.S. visas, if applicable
Please be aware that other visa types require additional documents. For details about each visa class, visit http://manila.usembassy.gov/nivisatype.html.
3. Go to pre-screening and finger scanning
Upon arriving at the U.S. Embassy, applicants will pass through security and enter inside the waiting area. Embassy greeters will direct applicants to the pre-screening windows where staff will verify each applicant’s information in the DS-160 and confirm who filled out the form. After that, applicants will undergo electronic finger-scanning before moving to the final step.
4. Be interviewed by a consular officer
The final step, perhaps also the most intimidating step for many applicants, is the interview with a Consular Officer. Applicants will be guided by Embassy greeters from the fingerprint area to the nonimmigrant visa interview area where they will wait to be interviewed. Unlike before, applicants will not receive a number that will decide when they’re interviewed. Instead, applicants will wait in a line until they are directed to an open interview window.
As for the actual interview, each applicant’s case if different. There’s no trick to getting approved for a nonimmigrant visa; just make sure that you answer the questions truthfully and relax. Remember, the Consular Officer may not need to see supporting documents during the interview; however, once an officer has made their determination, he or she will inform the applicant at the window if the visa is approved or denied. Regardless of the outcome, applicants will always be treated with respect.
We hope this guide helps to explain the new visa process at U.S. Embassy Manila, but don’t worry if you can’t remember all the steps! Embassy personnel are always ready to guide and assist you on the day of your interview, especially those with special needs and the elderly.
For more information on nonimmigrant visa application procedures, please ALWAYS refer to our official website: http://manila.usembassy.gov/nonimmigrant-visa.html