In order to qualify for the Visa Reissuance Program (VRP), applicants must meet nine criteria listed on our website. However, qualifying for VRP does not mean that you automatically qualify for a visa.
A consular officer will review each VRP application carefully. The Embassy reserves the right to call any applicant for an interview, even if he/she qualifies for VRP. If an interview is required, a representative of the Embassy will contact the applicant within two business days of his/her VRP appointment.
Being called back for an interview is not an automatic refusal. It simply means that the consular officer needs to speak with you in person to clarify some aspects of your application. At the end of this interview, the officer will let you know whether you qualify for the visa.
Please note: If a VRP applicant receives a call, he/she is requested to return to the Embassy for an interview and may appear from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, Tuesdays or Thursdays, except Philippine and U.S. holidays. Please bring your green 221(g) letter, your passports, and any other documents you submitted with the original application.
For more information about VRP, see our blog post.
Have you checked out the U.S. Embassy Manila Facebook page recently? If you have, you may have noticed our “Fifty States in Fifty Days” campaign, where each day we showcase one of the many states that make up the U.S. To give our readers a local’s perspective on what to do on a visit to the U.S., we’re launching “Hometown America,” a series of guest posts by Embassy staff who will provide their personal recommendations for things to do on a visit to the U.S.
For more information about cool places to visit and interesting things to do in the U.S., visit the Discover America website. Or stay tuned for posts tagged “My Hometown Your Destination.”
My E-3 employer is no longer in business; can I keep my priority date if I find a new petitioner?
Yes. Per the Foreign Affairs Manual: “Unless revoked pursuant to 8 CFR 205.2 for fraud or misrepresentation, a priority date accorded by approval of an employment-based first, second, or third preference petition is retained by the beneficiary for any other first, second, or third preference petition approved subsequently for the same beneficiary. In all cases, the beneficiary of multiple petitions is entitled to the earliest of the filing dates of the various petitions.”
Your new prospective employer will need, however, to file a new I-140 and complete all the necessary associate paperwork before your interview with a consular officer can be scheduled.
Before you apply for a nonimmigrant visa, make sure you have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States. The passport must be in good condition: photo lamination is undamaged and all passport pages are intact.
In printing visas, the passport biographic information will be followed. If you will be issued a visa and you used a passport that reflects your incorrect, old, or assumed name, such as the examples below, you may need to reapply for a nonimmigrant visa:
- incorrect spelling of the name
- without the second name (e.g.: “Jose Reyes dela Cruz” instead of “Jose Pedro Reyes dela Cruz”)
- without a suffix (Jr., Sr., III, etc.)
- Ma. instead of Maria
Married applicants may use a valid passport that is under their single name. In printing the visa, the single name will be reflected.
Taiwanese passport holders who do not have Taiwan personal identification numbers listed above the date of birth on the biographic data page in their passports must present their original Philippine residency permit.
For information on nonimmigrant visa application requirements, please visit the Nonimmigrant Visa website.
Bong Voyage, our perpetual immigrant visa applicant, is at the U.S. Embassy for his visa interview.
Consul Jimmy Murdochs: Good morning, Mr. Voyage. I see you are applying today for an E3 employment visa. Have you ever lived or worked outside of the Philippines before?
Bong Voyage: Yes, I was a nurse in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom.
Consul Jimmy Murdochs: Great experience! How long did you reside in each place?
Bong Voyage: Hhmmm, well I was in Singapore for almost two years, Saudi for three years, and the U.K. for just six months.
Consul Jimmy Murdochs: Were you able to obtain police clearances from Singapore and Saudi Arabia?
Bong Voyage: No Sir, I was not aware these documents were required for my visa. Do I need them from Singapore and Saudi? What about the U.K? I worked there too.
Consul Jimmy Murdochs: A police clearance is required for any immigrant visa applicant who has resided in a foreign country for a period exceeding one year. With that in mind, your six month residence in the U.K. does not necessitate a police clearance. In addition, police clearances are not available to those residing outside Saudi Arabia. The Singapore police clearance, however, is available to non-residents, so we request that you go ahead and obtain one.
As you can see, the rules regarding obtaining police clearances from former countries of residence can be a bit confusing! When you go home, you may wish to consult our website for specific instructions on how to obtain certain foreign country clearances. Just click here and look under “police” for your former country of residence.
Bong Voyage: Ok, so I guess for me, I just need the Singapore police clearance then? Does that mean I will not be issued my E3 visa today?
Consul Jimmy Murdochs: That’s correct, Mr. Voyage. Your case will be temporarily refused until you submit the necessary police clearance from Singapore. Once we receive this document, we will review it for any criminal history that may render you inadmissible to the United States. If your police record indicates no criminal convictions, then we will move forward with processing your visa.
Bong Voyage: Ah, I see. Thanks so much! I guess I’m one step closer to getting my immigrant visa!
Note: Philippine police (NBI) or foreign police clearances should be in the applicant’s current name, birth certificate name, maiden name, and any aliases or nicknames used, including different spellings used of those names.
Once your visa is delivered, you should carefully check the information printed on it. You must ensure that all biographic information is correct and accurate, matching all the data found in your passport. Visa inconsistencies must be corrected to prevent any difficulty while traveling.
- Incorrect visa classification
- Misspelled name(s)
- Incorrect date of birth, gender, or nationality
The Embassy does not accept walk-ins for visa corrections. For instructions on how to send documents/passports for visa correction, kindly call the Embassy call center at 02-982-5555 or 902-8930, Mondays through Fridays from 8 am to 8 pm. When you send in your passport, please attach a letter that identifies the error. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit verifies the legitimacy of all visa correction requests.
For detailed instructions regarding other visa concerns like Cancelled Visa, Change in Marital Status, Change of Name, Damaged Visa, Lost Visa, Multiple-Entry, Indefinite Visas, Overstay, and Visa in Expired Passport, please visit our website.
I was petitioned by my mother many years ago and finally had my immigrant visa interview yesterday. However, the consular officer asked me to submit a picture of my elderly mother holding a newspaper in front of a U.S. post office. I must admit, this strikes me as a very strange request, especially considering that my mother is 89 years old and does not easily get out the house. Did I misinterpret the consular officer’s request?
Ma. Lourdes Castillo
You did not misinterpret the consular officer’s request. The reason the officer requested the photo of your mother is twofold: first, to establish that your mother is still living; and second, to establish that she is domiciled in the United States.
Remember, the underlying concept of family-based immigrant visas to the United States is to reunite family members who have been living apart on account of immigrating to the United States. That is why, in most cases, the death of a petitioner renders that petitioner’s immigrant petition for his/her family members invalid. See our previous post on the death of a petitioner for more information.
Reunification is also the underlying concept behind domicile. If your mother, despite being an American citizen, has been residing in the Philippines for the last 20 years with only infrequent travel to the United States, she is no longer domiciled in the United States and the beneficiaries of her immigrant petition are no longer eligible for immigrant visas because you are already “reunited” with the petitioner here in the Philippines.
If your mother has retired here in the Philippines but plans to return permanently to the U.S. with you and your family upon your being issued immigrant visas, you will need to submit detailed travel and residence plans to the consular officer. More information can be found on our website.
Does the photo of your mother make more sense now? The picture of her with the newspaper establishes that she is alive and well on a proven date, and the post office backdrop shows exactly where she is in the United States! It may indeed seem a bit strange, and we do understand it isn’t always easy for the elderly to pose for these pictures, but we sometimes need these photographs to ensure that you and other visa applicants qualify for immigrant visas under all facets of U.S. immigration law.
Below are responses to common questions about nonimmigrant visas for children or minors:
Who are considered minors?
Applicants who are 17 years old and below.
Do children need a visa to travel to the United States?
All foreign nationals visiting the U.S., regardless of age, must obtain a visa or must qualify to travel without a visa through the Visa Waiver Program.
Do children need to schedule an interview appointment and pay the visa application fee?
Yes. Every applicant (except those applying for diplomatic visas) requires an interview appointment and needs to pay the machine-readable visa application fee.
Do children need to appear at the Embassy for the interview?
Yes. Minor applicants must appear at the Embassy with at least one parent for the interview. If the minor is an orphan or if both parents are outside of the Philippines, a legal guardian must be present during the interview.
What documents should parents bring to their children’s interviews?
In addition to other documents visa applicants may prepare, parents should always bring their own passports with valid U.S. visas and the children’s original birth certificates on National Statistics Office (NSO) security paper.
Do children need to give 10-print finger scans?
Applicants below 14 years old are exempt from the 10-print finger scan requirement.
How do consular officers evaluate the visa applications of children?
In adjudicating the applications of minors, the interviewing officer will look at their parents’ social, family, and economic ties and the applicants’ educational status, grades, and long-term plans and prospects in the Philippines.