If you are a Filipino, and if you are wondering if it is hard to get a tourist visa for your trip to the United States, then the answer is no. But, there are things you would need to consider in order for you to be approved. This is what makes tourist visa processing hard, not really the steps on how to apply one, but on how you will get one. We will tell you more on what’s the difference.
As a travel agency in Makati, this post will not be bias. If you can do it yourself, you can simply opt to apply directly in the US Embassy Website. Usually, experienced travelers with good travel history are the ones applying for themselves. Additionally, if you have the time, might as well apply on your own. The secret is here, basically just create an account in the website, and then fill out the information. It is that simple. However, US Tourist Visa applicants must remember, that when applying a for a US Tourist Visa or a B2 Visa on your own, especially if you are a first time traveler, has poor finances, has no travel history… there is a big chance of being rejected. This is not to discourage you, but also to help you out. There are things to consider when applying for a US Tourist Visa.
US Visa Interview
Upon filling out the form online, you will then set a schedule or an appointment with the US Embassy in Manila. Yes, you will be talking visa officer. The interview part can make or break your application. Go on and don’t come unprepared. With our clients, we usually assess them before filing their application. Our visa consultant will be able to identify if the US visa applicant has big chances of getting approved. This is because, once you have failed the visa interview, you will need to reapply again after 6 months to a year. Moreover, failing the visa application will cost you money. Visa fee will be paid as you fill out the form. Lastly, the result of US Visa application will be advised directly after your interview in the US Embassy in the Philippines. In any case that you will fail, the visa officer will not explain why you weren’t granted for a visa. Applying through a travel agency will help save you from experiencing that part. Most of our clients are first time travelers, travelers with sponsors, and travelers who was rejected by the US Embassy in the past. Our visa consultant will also check all of your requirements, for possible loopholes in your visa application.
US Tourist Visa Eligibility
So if you are thinking on how you will know if you are eligible for a B2 Visa, here’s how. Foremost, your passport should be valid. Remember, in any government office, you must transact with a valid ID, especially if it is the US Embassy in Manila. When applying for a travel agency like us, the visa consultant will give time in checking your requirements. Most of the time, in our experience, DIY applicants fail on this part. They thought, that having complete requirements will grant you a tourist visa. That is really not the case. Things like validity, content of documents, and what documents will serve as additional requirements are neglected by US Tourist Visa applicants.
Here are some of our reliable experiences from clients reached for our assistance, all of which are Filipinos. Client 1 is a first time traveler. He does not have any travel history even locally. But, he was a retired teacher. He tried applying for a US Tourist Visa last 2016, but failed to acquire one. The reason? He had no money in the bank, and no relatives to visit. The catch? When Client 1 applied for a US Tourist Visa with us, we see no deep problem with his bank accounts, but the strength was he was a retired government teacher. Also, he was 62 years old at time of application, he needed everything to be in order. Our visa consultant was thrilled to help Client 1.
Client 2 has a good travel history. She already visited 6 countries, but was a former deportee by the US government. And yes, we did not invent this. She was a former US citizen, but was deported to the Philippines way back 1988. She was deported back to country when she was a teen used for drug trafficking. And now, Client 2 is a business owner. She initially planned of applying on her own, but later asked for our help. Our visa consultant was able to research if her ban to the US is still on going. Good thing, her ban to the USA is already lifted. And now, Client 2 has been our repeat client since then.
Now, here’s a lighter experience with a client. Client 3 is a Filipina, single mother but is currently dating a Foreign national – American to be exact. She is wondering if she can visit the US, without any occupation and no savings account. Our visa consultant was truthful enough that this can hinder her application. Even though she was sponsored, there is a bigger chance of being rejected. She was later on taught on how to answer sample interview questions for her appointment to the US Embassy in Manila.
Things like these should be identified for eligibility purposes. Depending on your part, you can choose to research – to learn things from trial or error, or go for a travel agency to makes things easier.
US Tourist Visa Requirements
Here are primary requirements for applying a US Tourist Visa.
- Valid Philippine Passport & Photocopy of Passport’s Bio Page
- Passport size in 2pcs white background
- Previous Philippine Passport and Visa
- Notarized Cover Letter
- Application and Visa Forms
- Original PSA Birth Certificate
- Original PSA Marriage Certificate (If applicable)
- Original Bank Certificate
- Original Bank Statement of the Latest 3 months
- Travel Insurance (We can also help you out.)
- Booking Certificate or Travel Itinerary
- Flight Itinerary (FREE! We will provide if you will avail of our visa assistance.)
- If employee, original Signed Certificate of Employment
- If employee, approved Leave of Absence or Authority To Leave
- If employee, clear & colored photocopy of Company ID
- If business owner, provide all business permits in clear colored copies
- If professional, PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable)
- Income Tax Return – Form 2316 for individual, Form 1701/ 1702 for companies. (If no ITR, please consult with us.)
- If minor, original copy of school certificate or enrollment form and photocopy of school ID
Note that there are other requirements that must be presented at embassy’s discretion. You may refer to this link for specific guidelines on our US Visa application process.
Above all, this will be depending on you if you will do it on your own, or through a travel agency. If you have the time, go on and research. But we will be honest that not everything can be found in the internet. The reason for being is that every application is different from one another. Experience may vary. If you fully trust on yourself, there’s no harm in trying. But, we must be mindful that in case your US Visa application will be rejected, so as money and time will be wasted. And at the end of the day, we do not want anyone to fail. If you want things simple, and direct, always go with a travel agency. Use your resources wisely.
Reach 926 Asia Travel and Tours through [email protected] or set an appointment in our office in Makati City, Philippines.