An applicant’s eligibility for a tourist visa will be determined at the time of the interview with a consular officer. To qualify for a visa, the applicant must be able to prove that he or she is not an intending immigrant by demonstrating sufficiently strong familial, social, professional, and economic ties to a country outside the United States that would compel return after a temporary stay in the U.S.
Consular officers will look at each application individually and consider the applicant’s travel plans and ties outside the U.S. that would ensure departure after a temporary visit. Consular officers generally use the information in the DS-160 application to process the visa application and, combined with a personal interview, determine an applicant’s eligibility for a tourist visa.
Applicants may bring supporting documents to validate their purpose of travel and ties to their home country. Examples of supporting documents are invitation letters from U.S. sponsors, employment certification, and bank statements. All documents must be originals. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit does not accept documents before the interview.
However, applicants must be aware that presentation of supporting documents does not guarantee visa issuance. Supporting documents may or may not be requested from visa applicants, and consular officers often do not look at them. Consular officers may choose to look at supporting documents only when there are items in the application form or in the interview that require clarification. If an officer would like to view your documents, he/she will ask for them during the interview. There is no need to present documents if the officer does not ask for them.
An affidavit of support, sponsors’ bank statements and guarantee letters, and posting of bonds are not requirements for tourist visa applicants. These are not considered as familial, social, economic, or professional ties that can affect the applicant’s eligibility for a visa. Each applicant will be evaluated on his/her own merits, and not on the merits of his/her sponsor in the U.S.
The State Department has announced the August 2012 Visa Bulletin. Because of the continued high demand on the family-sponsored first preference immigrant visa category (F1) for Philippine-born applicants, the Philippine priority cut-off date for this category has retrogressed to March 1, 1994.
Beginning August 1, 2012, only Philippine-born F1 applicants with priority dates earlier than March 1, 1994 are eligible for processing.
If your case is affected by the retrogression and you have previously received a visa appointment notification from us, please do not continue with your medical exam and interview appointment at this time. When your case becomes current, you will receive notification from us on how to proceed with your application.
To keep abreast of the movement of priority date cutoffs and visa number availability, you may visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html.
If you need more information, please contact us by email at IVManilaReplies@state.gov or by phone at (632) 301-2000, extension 5484 or 5185.
In addition to having interpreters available in multiple languages for visa applicants who require assistance, several of the consular officers at Embassy Manila are trained in Tagalog. One of these officers, Kevin, has written the following blog post on why we need NBI clearances in AKAs. Kevin was previously featured in the US Embassy Manila’s “Kwentuhan Tayo, Pinoy Style!” YouTube series.
Tanong ng maraming tao, bakit gusto ng Embahada ang NBI in AKA at ano ang ‘AKA’? Ayon sa batas ng America, ang lahat ng mga aplikante ay kailangan ang police clearance para sa lahat ng mga pangalan at apelyido na ginagamit nila. Ano ang ibig sabihin nito? Kung sa birth certificate mo ang pangalan mo ay Ma. Christina at sa iyong marriage contract ang pangalan mo ay Maria at sa birth certificate ng anak mo ang pangalan mo ay Christina, kailangan mo ang NBI clearance para sa lahat ng mga pangalan na ito. Pareho rin para sa apelyido mo sa pagka dalaga. Naiintindihan ng Embahada na maaring magkamali sa birth certificate. Pero kahit na hindi mo ginagamit ang pangalan na ito at ang dahilan ay pagkakamali kailangan mo pa rin mag sumite ng NBI clearance na may ibat ibang pangalan.
Ang ibig sabihin ng “AKA” ay alyas o ibat ibang pangalan na ginagamit mo at nasa mga dokumento mo. Hindi mahirap ang proseso pero mas maganda kung handa ang mga aplikante at nabasa at narepaso nila ang kanilang dokumento ng maraming beses. Kung hindi handa, maaantala ang inyong bisa dahil kailangan mong itama at ayusin ang mga mali sa iyong dokumento.
Maaring mahirap gawin ito pero ito ay naaayon sa batas ng America at kung walang tamang papeles na ipapakita maaring hindi kayo mabigyan ng bisa.
I have trouble with English. Can I bring someone to the interview to interpret for me?
Some applicants are concerned about conducting the visa interview in English and may wish to have an interpreter in Tagalog or another language.
Embassy personnel are available to provide assistance throughout the interview process. Applicants who require interpreters should inform the consular officer at the beginning of their interviews. The Embassy has interpreters on hand who can provide language assistance. There is no need to bring a relative or friend to act as an interpreter.
Hi, my name is…
My hometown is known for…
Being the birthplace of America. The Declaration of Independence was signed there on July 4, 1776. It’s also where the American Constitution was written.
My favorite thing about my hometown is…
The sports teams! Philadelphians are famous for being passionate sports fans, whether cheering for the Eagles (football), Flyers (ice hockey), Phillies (baseball), or 76ers (basketball). Don’t make the mistake of wearing any New York Giants or Mets gear on game day—Philly fans will be sure to let you know what they think of your team.
If you came to visit me, I’d take you…
Shopping at the King of Prussia Mall, the second largest mall in the US located half an hour outside of the city. And then on to Hershey, Pennsylvania, the headquarters of the Hershey company and Hershey Park, the “sweetest place on earth.” I used to go every summer growing up. The town’s streetlamps are in the shape of Hershey’s Kisses and after a day of rollercoasters, you either relax at the spa or take a free tour of the Hershey facilitywhere you get a special Hershey’s treat at the end.
Things you have to try before you leave…
A Philly cheesesteak for lunch and a water ice for dessert. True Philadelphians know to order a cheesesteak with Cheez Wiz and call it “wooder” ice.
For more information about visiting Pennsylvania, check out Discover America.
Many Filipino-Americans residing in the Philippines often allow their passports to expire without renewing them. The U.S. Embassy in Manila would like to remind all American citizens in the Philippines that it is important to keep your passport up to date.
A U.S. passport is your key to international travel. When presented abroad, it is a request to foreign governments to permit you to travel or temporarily reside in their territories and access all lawful local aid and protection. It allows you access to U.S. consular services and assistance while abroad. In the event of an emergency or evacuation of American citizens, having a valid U.S. passport will enable consular officers to more quickly and efficiently assist American citizens in need.
The Department of State’s Passport Services Directorate issues U.S. passports to Americans who are traveling or residing abroad. We protect the integrity of the U.S. passport as proof of U.S. citizenship at home and around the world.
The State Department reminds and encourages all American citizen parents residing outside of the United States to register all their American citizen children and ensure that everyone in the family has valid passports. Whether in the case of emergency or to facilitate routine travel, having a valid passport is important to everyone.
For more information on passport services provided by the U.S. Embassy in Manila, including passport renewals or how to replace a lost or stolen passport, visit our website. Our website also contains information on how to register children born abroad as U.S. citizens.
Are you a relative or a sponsor of a visa applicant and wish to inquire about the status of the applicant’s case? Please be aware that visa records are confidential! Only visa applicants and their legal representatives with a Form G-28 can inquire about a visa case.
Section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states, in part, “The records of the Department of State and of diplomatic and consular offices of the United States pertaining to the issuance or refusal of visas or permits to enter the United States shall be considered confidential.”
The U.S. Embassy in Manila will respond to case-specific inquiries from visa applicants, parents or legal guardians of minor applicants (unmarried, 17 years old and below), and applicants’ legal representatives with a signed Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative.
The Form G-28 is available for download at the USCIS website. The Form G-28 can be submitted to the Embassy via email at ConsManilaNIV@state.gov. It must be signed by the visa applicant and the legal representative.
Because of the widespread e-mail scams regarding the Diversity Visa (DV) Program, Filipino citizens and Philippine residents should be aware that only natives of countries who are determined by the U.S. Attorney General to be “low admission” countries may compete for immigration under this program. Philippine-born applicants are excluded from DV Program.
E-mail notification about winning the DV Program with instructions to send money to a fictitious person (for instance, at the U.S. Embassy in London via Western Union) must be ignored.
DV-2012 and DV-2013 applicants will not receive a notification letter or email informing them that they are successful DV entrants. The only way to determine if the applicants were selected to continue with the DV process is by checking the status online at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov.
To learn more about the DV Lottery Program scams, visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1749.html. For additional information regarding the DV Program, please see this link: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1322.html.
Tagalog translation – Scam sa Diversity Visa
Dahil sa laganap na e-mail scam ukol sa Diveristy Visa Program, kailangang mabatid ng mga mamamayang Pilipino at residente ng Pilipinas na tanging ang mga mamamayan lamang ng mga bansang tinakda ng U.S. Attorney General na tinatawag na bansang “low admission” ang maaaring makipagkompetensya sa ilalim ng programang ito. Ang mga ipinanganak sa Pilipinas ay hindi kasama sa DV Program.
Ang notipikasyon sa pamamagitan ng e-mail tungkol sa pagkapanalo sa DV Program na may tagubilin na magpadala ng pera sa isang hindi totoong tao (tulad ng, sa U.S. Embassy London sa pamamagitan ng Western Union) ay hindi dapat bigyan ng pansin.
Ang mga aplikante ng DV-2012 at DV-2013 ay hindi makakatanggap ng mga notipikasyon o e-mail na nilalahad na sila ay mapalad na aplikante ng DV. Ang tanging paraan upang malaman kung ang mga aplikante ay napili at magpatuloy ng proseso ng DV ay sa pag-check ng status sa http://www.dvlottery.state.gov.
Para sa karagdagang kaalaman sa scams ukol DV Lottery Program, maaaring bumisita sa http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1749.html. Maaari din na tingnan ang link na ito: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1322.html.
All nonimmigrant visa applicants must appear at the Embassy (except those applying for diplomatic visas). If you have had a B1/B2 visa in the past, you may qualify for the Visa Reissuance Program (VRP) and bypass some of the steps below. See our website for more information on VRP.
For all other applicants, you will follow the process outlined below:
Step 1: Arrive at the Embassy
Applicants are requested to arrive at the Embassy gate at least 15 minutes before the time listed on the appointment letter. The line on the right side is for seafarers, and the line on the left is for all other nonimmigrant visa applicants. Applicants must bring all the basic application requirements: the interview appointment letter, the DS-160 confirmation page, a valid passport, one 2” x 2” photo, and all prior passports and U.S. visas, if available.
Additional documents may be required based on the visa class for which you are applying. Please see our website to view the details for each visa class.
Note: Electronic devices are not permitted on Embassy grounds.
Step 2: Receive a Number
Once through security, applicants must line up and submit their passports and DS-160s at the window. Applicants will receive a small pink slip, which you should fill out correctly in order to avoid any delays later in the process, and a queue number stapled on the left corner of the DS-160. The queue number will be used in the pre-screening, finger-scanning, and interview processes. Applicants then proceed to the Pavilion Waiting Area and wait for Embassy personnel to assist with the interview process.
Step 3: Interview Process
1. Pre-screening (Windows 21-29): checking and verifying information in the application form and confirming who filled out the form
2. Finger scanning (Windows 14-19, except 17): scanning applicants’ fingerprints electronically
3. Interview (Windows 1-13): conversation between the consular officer and the applicant; the consular officer will let you know at the end of the interview if you are qualified for the visa
Make sure to check the queue numbers on the queuing board. Embassy personnel are ready to assist applicants at every step of the process.
For more information, read our blog post “Tips for Your Next Embassy Visit.”
Hi, my name is…
My home state is known for…
Beaches, retirement, Lebron James, and of course, DISNEYWORLD, the original home of the mouse. We’re also known for our delicious orange juice, beautiful sunsets, and hurricanes.
My favorite thing about my home state is…
There’s no state income tax!
If you came to visit me, I’d take you…
I would take you to Gatorland, a 110-acre alligator home and wildlife preserve. We would drive around on fan boats through the swamps, and look for the most feared resident of Florida—the massive alligator! We would also keep an eye out for the invasive python, which is not an indigenous species in Florida, but which has presented itself as a major problem for the everglades and the wildlife there. On occasion, photographers will catch epic battles between gators and pythons, and I would take you to the swamp to let you try to capture that moment!
Things you have to try before you leave…
Fried gator tail (tastes like chicken), South Beach in Miami, walking on the white beaches on the Gulf Coast, Epcot Center, and the space coast, where one of NASA’s main headquarters is situated and where a large museum to U.S. space exploration is located.
My favorite place in the U.S. is…
Portland, Oregon, because they have an incredible micro-brewery culture, laid-back attitude, and beautiful dark, rainy weather.
You’ll have to take home…
A bag of Florida oranges!
For more things to do in Brian’s home state, visit Discover America.