If you’re a Filipino citizen planning to visit the United States for tourism, you’ll need to apply for a US tourist visa or B-2 visa from the US Embassy in Manila. Obtaining a US tourist visa can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it’s necessary to ensure that you’re allowed entry into the United States. In this blog, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to get a US tourist visa from the US Embassy in Manila, including eligibility requirements, the application process, required documents, and what to expect during your interview. By following these steps and providing accurate and complete information, you can increase your chances of obtaining a US tourist visa. Be honest and truthful in filling out the form.
Planning a trip to the US soon? Check out how much I spent during my 10-day visit to the US: 10 Days in America – USA Itinerary & Expenses
With a B-2 category visa, you can visit the US for:
- Vacation (holiday)
- Visit with friends or relatives
- Medical treatment
- Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
- Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
- Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)
Here’s the step-by-step process for getting a US tourist visa:
- Determine your eligibility: Before applying for a US tourist visa, you need to make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria. The US embassy in Manila provides a comprehensive list of eligibility requirements on its website. Technically, you only need a passport and a 2×2 photo to proceed with your application but the consular officer might ask you for supporting documents during the interview so it’s still better to prepare a bank certificate and other pertinent documents that will demonstrate your strong ties to the Philippines and financial resources to support your trip.
- Complete the online application: Once you have confirmed your eligibility, you need to complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form online. Make sure to answer all questions truthfully and accurately.
- Select a location where you will be applying for this visa – Philippines, Manila
- Enter the verification code
- Click Start Application
- You will be provided with an application ID, save it so you can easily access your application. You don’t need to complete the form in one sitting, you can save it and come back later to complete it.
- Pay the application fee: The next step is to pay the non-refundable application fee, which can be paid online via PesoNet or in person through RCBC. The current application fee for a US tourist visa is now $185 (as of 17 June 2023). You will pay in Php equivalent to around Php10,700.
- You visit this link for a detailed payment guideline
- I personally paid via PesoNet and it took around 24 hours before I was able to schedule an interview. If you will pay in person, the deposit slip is also in the link I provided above.
- If paying via PesoNet, take note of the eight-digit unique identification (UID) number, it will serve as your receipt number in booking your appointment
- Schedule your interview: After paying the fee, you need to schedule an interview appointment at the US embassy in Manila. You can do this online by registering through this link. After you register, you will need to input your receipt number. If it says it cannot be found, don’t worry, that means your payment has not been posted yet. Wait for 24-48 hours or just check from time to time. You will need your passport number and the CGI reference number from your DS-160 confirmation page when scheduling your interview.
- Gather your documents: You need to gather all the required documents, including your passport, photographs, and supporting documents such as proof of financial support and travel itinerary.
- I prepared a 2×2 photo, bank certificate, earning receipts, ITR, and bank statement but I was not asked by the consular officer who interviewed me. He only took my passport. But, of course, it’s case to case basis so you better prepare supporting documents to strengthen your case.
- Attend your interview: On the day of your interview, you need to arrive at the embassy at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Bring all the required documents, and be prepared to answer questions about your travel plans, financial status, and other relevant information. The consular officer will review your application and may ask you additional questions to verify your eligibility for a US tourist visa.
- During the interview, you will need to bring your original passport, 2×2 photo, supporting documents, payment confirmation, and D-160 confirmation.
- Please take note that you are NOT allowed to bring any gadgets like celphones, etc. Leave it in your car or hotel. If you have it with you, there are vendors outside the perimeter that can keep it for you for a fee.
- The guard at the entrance will call the applicants according to their schedule.
- Then, you will proceed to the first screening area where you will tell them your appointment time and they will stick a sticker on the back of your passport.
- You will proceed to the non-immigrant section and undergo two security checks.
- There are three stages before the actual interview. In the first stage, you will submit your photo and passport for verification. Then you will have your biometrics taken (fingerprint) in the second stage. The third stage is to wait. There are 5 windows that were open during my interview, windows 25-29. An usher will tell you which window to queue.
- Wait for the decision: After the interview, the consular officer will let you know if your application is approved or denied. If approved, he/she will keep your passport and will tell you when you’ll get it back. If denied, the officer will return your passport along with a blue form.
Hotels Near the US Embassy in Manila
If you are looking for a place to stay near the US Embassy during your scheduled interview, please check this list.
What questions were asked during the interview?
- What’s the purpose of your visit to the US?
- What’s your job in the Philippines?
- How many countries have you visited?
- Do you have a website?
- So, you worked in a US contracting firm before?
- How many days you’re going to stay in the US?
If you want to know my answers to these questions and learn some tips, please watch my YouTube video below.
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