All applicants must complete the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application. Applicants can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website: https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/.
In order to avoid delays in processing visa applications, visa applicants must ensure that the following information is correctly provided: complete name (surname, first name, middle name), passport information (the passport used in filling out the form must be the same passport presented on the day of the interview), other names (for married female applicants, type complete maiden name), purpose of trip (if the answer falls under “Other,” specify the purpose of travel in the blank provided), primary occupation (if the answer falls under “Other,” specify the occupation in the blank provided), contact person and address in the U.S., and the complete names of the applicant’s parents.
The Embassy is CLOSED to the public on Tuesday, September 27, and Wednesday, September 28, due to heavy storms brought by Typhoon Pedring. The Embassy anticipates reopening on Thursday, September 29.
Non-Immigrant and Immigrant Visa appointments for these two dates will need to be rescheduled. You may call the Embassy’s Call Center at (02) 982-5555 or 902-8930 or visit the online appointment website at http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph to reschedule your visa appointment.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the storm.
U.S. Embassy Manila processes thousands of visas every week. Due to the large volume of visa applicants, we can only grant emergency appointments in limited circumstances. Emergency appointments will be considered for the following reasons: medical emergency, funeral of family member, business travel when the travel requirement could not be predicted sufficiently in advance, and students and temporary employees who cannot otherwise get an interview date to fit their schedule. To request an emergency appointment, you must first schedule a regular appointment at www.ustraveldocs.com/ph, and then request an emergency appointment through that website. Once you have submitted the request, you will receive a notification of approval or denial via email. Please note that same-day and next-day appointments are unavailable.
THE K PACKET
Each K nonimmigrant visa applicant must first pay the visa application fee of $350 at any Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) branch. There are three ways to pay the K visa application fee:
• Cash payment at BPI.
• Online payment option provided by BPI to their clients.
• Online payment through Bancnet.
Visit http://manila.usembassy.gov/wwwh3023.html for detailed K visa payment instructions.
VISA FEE PAID? GO AHEAD AND SCHEDULE YOUR INTERVIEW.
Once the visa fee has been paid, you may proceed to schedule a visa appointment via the online appointment website http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph or the Embassy’s Visa Call Center at (632) 982-5555 or (632) 902-8930.
BE SURE TO BRING REQUIRED DOCUMENTS.
Applicants should bring the following on the day of their interview:
• Proof of payment of visa application fee (each applicant needs to pay a fee).
• Valid passport for at least six months from the time of the visa issuance.
• Medical examination results from St. Luke’s Extension Clinic.
• Three (3) visa photos.
• Birth certificate issued on security paper by the Philippine National Statistics Office (NSO).
• Philippine police (NBI) clearance (for applicants aged 16 years and older).
• Affidavit of Support (Form I-134), most recent Federal income tax return (Form 1040), and wage statements (W2) from the petitioner.
• Evidence of ongoing relationship with the petitioner (e.g. photographs with the petitioner taken over a period of time, letters/emails/chat logs, telephone records, and remittance records).
• Certificate of No Marriage Record (CENOMAR) issued on security paper by the Philippine National Statistics Office (NSO).
• Police certificate(s) from each foreign country lived in for at least six months since attaining the age of 16, if applicable.
• Court and prison records, if applicable.
• Proof of termination of a prior marriage, if applicable (divorce decree, annulment decree, or death certificate).
Myth: You need international travel to qualify for a non-immigrant visa to the U.S.; visit Hong Kong, Macau and/or Singapore before applying for a U.S. visa.
Fact: Each individual is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Prior travel to regional destinations is not a prerequisite to obtaining a U.S. visa. If applicants are denied a U.S. visa, it is because they do not meet the criteria under U.S. immigration law.
THE ADVENTURES OF BONG VOYAGE
Bong Voyage, VISAtisfied Voyager’s perpetual visa applicant, is at the Embassy and was just issued his immigrant visa. He has a few questions for the American Consul, Jimmy Murdochs, about life in America.
Bong Voyage: Thank you for issuing my immigrant visa! I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and now all my dreams are about to come true. I have a few questions, though, and would need your advice. People say life is easy in the U.S. Do you think I can make it there?
Consul: It’s true that the standard of living is relatively high in the United States, but just like everywhere else in the world, different people have different experiences, and life can be difficult. While you may earn more money in the U.S. than in the Philippines, goods and services can be more expensive as well. Some newcomers are surprised to learn that Americans often work long hours, and we generally get less vacation time than in other countries. The pace of work and daily activities in the U.S. can be fast. While life may not always be easy, if you work hard you can create a good life for yourself and your family in the U.S.
Bong Voyage: Another question: Do you think money is all I need to think about, and then I’m all set to travel?
Consul: Traveling abroad is never easy, especially if it involves migration; it is a major change in one’s life. When you become a permanent resident in the U.S., you have decided to call it your home. Adjusting to this new life takes time. There are a lot of things you will probably want to consider before, during, and after your move:
• Finding a place to live
• Getting a social security number and driver’s license
• Getting a job
• Registering your children for school
• Finding healthcare
• Locating English language and adult education classes
• Preparing for emergencies
• Finding community organizations that assist immigrants
Bong Voyage: Thank you for all your responses. You have been really helpful. Those are all my questions for now, and I am hoping you could still assist me next time. Until then…
If you’re working for any period of time in the United States you have the right to:
- Be treated and paid fairly
- Not be held in a job against your will
- Keep your passport and other identification documents in your possession
- Report abuse without retaliation
- Not be treated differently or badly at work because of your gender, race, national origin, color, religion, or disability
- Request help from unions, immigrant and labor rights groups, and other groups, and
- Seek justice in U.S. courts
If you are mistreated or your rights are violated, call these toll-free numbers:
- 24 hour National Human Trafficking Resource Center – 1-888-373-7888
- Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line – 1-888-428-7581
If you are in immediate danger, call 911 and contact the Philippine embassy. The telephone number of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. is 202-467-9300.
VISAtisfied Voyager’s immigration wizard protects you from the evils of wrong information
My U.S. citizen father filed a visa petition for me, my husband, and our two minor children in 1998. My priority date was September 15, 1998 (the date my visa petition was filed). The visa petition was approved, but we still had to wait for the priority date to become current for processing. On August 11, 2008, while we were still waiting for my priority date to become current, my father died. What will happen to my petition? Is there any chance left that my family and I can still immigrate to the U.S.?
Ma. Saya D. PagAsa
Ma. Saya emailed her question to VISAtisfied Voyager, hoping for a positive response from Vizard. Unbeknownst to her, Lord Visamort hacked into her system and obtained a copy of her email. A few moments later, she received this INCORRECT response:
Dear Ma. Saya,
I regret to inform you that your visa petition died with your father. Unfortunately, your petition will be revoked immediately! Therefore, a new visa petition must be filed on your behalf. But don’t lose hope. For a very minimal fee, we can discuss your options and I can provide you with more information on the matter. Email me right now if you are interested.
Lord Visamort, Esq.
Ma. Saya was about to contact Lord Visamort when, fortunately, she received this CORRECT response from Vizard:
Dear Ms. PagAsa,
Although by law a family-based petition like yours is automatically revoked upon the death of the petitioner, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can reinstate the visa petition (Form I-130) even after the petitioner dies and allow the beneficiary to continue the process for an immigrant visa, if USCIS finds that the revocation would be inappropriate for humanitarian reasons.
To benefit from this, you need to have a substitute sponsor (a Legal Permanent Resident or a U.S. Citizen) request USCIS for humanitarian reinstatement of your previously approved I-130 visa petition. If your substitute sponsor meets USCIS requirements, your visa petition will be reinstated and assigned the same priority date of September 15, 1998. Once your priority date becomes current for processing, the National Visa Center will contact you and your substitute sponsor regarding completion of documentary requirements.
I hope this information has been helpful to you, Ma. Saya.
THE K PACKET
Wondering what a Fiancé(e) K1 visa is?
A K1 visa is what United States citizens apply for when they want to bring their foreign fiancé(e) to the U.S. The K1 visa allows the alien fiancé(e) to travel to the U.S., and the fiancé(e) must marry his/her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. Should the marriage not push through, the alien fiancé(e) is required to depart the U.S. before the K1 visa expires.
Are you qualified?
To qualify for a K1 visa, both parties must be free to marry. This means that both the alien fiancé(e) and U.S. citizen sponsor are unmarried or that any previous marriages have ended through divorce, annulment, or death.
Both parties must have previously met in person within 2 years before the date of filing the K1 visa petition.
Both parties must have a bona fide relationship and intention to get married within 90 days of the alien fiancé(e)’s arrival in the U.S.
Do you want to apply?
The U.S. citizen sponsor must first file a Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)) nonimmigrant visa petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that has jurisdiction over the sponsor’s place of residence. Once the petition is approved, the petition is then forwarded to the State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) for pre-processing. The NVC subsequently forwards the case file to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where the foreign fiancé(e) resides.
What about my children?
Minor children (unmarried and below 21 years of age) of a K1 applicant are allowed to receive derivative (K2) status from his/her parent’s I-129F petition. Derivatives may apply at the same time as the principal applicant parent or may apply later, but must be issued K2 visas within one year from the date the K1 visa was issued to the parent. Extensions are not allowed.
More on the K1 visa in our next blog post. Stay tuned!
Everyone who is applying for a visa, regardless of age (excluding those applying for diplomatic visas), has to appear at the Embassy. If you qualify for the VRP, you may not need an interview, but will still need to come for prescreening and fingerscanning. We ask that you arrive at the Embassy no earlier than one hour, but no less than 15 minutes before your appointment time. For customer service and security reasons, we may not be able to admit you early.
When you come to the Embassy, make sure you bring all the basic application requirements: your interview appointment letter, DS-160 confirmation page, valid passport, one 2” x 2” photo, and all prior passports and U.S. visas, if available.
Don’t worry about getting lost! We have Embassy personnel available to provide assistance at each stage. If you need an interpreter, we have staff who speak Tagalog, Ilocano, Cebuano, and other dialects from the Philippines, as well as many other languages. There is no need to bring a relative or a friend to act as an interpreter!
When you get to the Embassy, you will not be allowed to bring in any electronic devices (including your cell phone). Please leave these at home.
After the interview:
If the consular officer tells you that you qualify for a visa, congratulations! It will take us about a week to get your visa processed and on its way to you through our courier service, 2Go. If you need your visa faster, you can pick up your passport from 2Go’s location at Mall of Asia. Ask the interviewing officer for details on how to do this, or check with the call center. You do NOT need to pay any more fees. The cost of the courier delivery is included in the MRV fee you pay at the bank.
If the consular officer tells you that your visa has been refused under 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, don’t panic. You will be given instructions on what to do next. Sometimes we need more information from you, and sometimes we need to hold your application for administrative processing. You can check the status of your application online at http://manila.usembassy.gov/adminprocessing2.html.
If the consular officer tells you that you do not qualify for a visa, you can reapply at any time. Before you do so, please read the blue letter you were given at the end of your interview, and check out our post on ties to the Philippines: Social, Family and Economic Ties (NIV).