How to apply for a US Visa [Plus Firsthand Tips!]

What is your purpose for your USA trip? Your visa application will revolve around this question so be sure this is crystal clear to you. I tried my best to keep this article short but the tips I want to share with you won’t let me do that. Trying to be a good Samaritan here.

Read till the end of this article to learn firsthand tips. I am not assuring that you will get your visa, but these tips will help you get a closer chance for that approved US visa.

Before going to first step, I believe you already have decided what type of visa you are applying for:

Here’s a list of visa types:

US visa types.png

Source: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-visafeeinfo.asp

 

Step 1 : Complete the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application Form

Note: Save your Application Number. You will need this when editing your application. You can find this on the top right corner of your application.

 

Step 2: Pay the Visa Fee

  • Instruction on how to pay in BPI is explained at the bottom of your Bank Copy.
  • After payment, keep the receipt.

More instructions on how to pay and other payment options http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-paymentinfo.asp#feepaymentoptions

 

Step 3:  Schedule an Interview

 

Step 4: Complete the requirements

Visa Requirements depend on what type of visa you are applying for. Go to this link to see what requirements are needed for your visa type http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-typeb1b2.asp

For tourist visa applicants, if someone from USA will sponsor you, here are the requirements they need to provide for you http://www.immihelp.com/visitor-visa/sponsor-documents.html

I’ve had experience organising requirements for the visa types below, read on for first hand tips:

  • Tourist Visa:
    • Provide documents that will serve as proof that you have strong ties. Such ties include professional, social, work, family, or school.
      • Documents that can prove you have strong ties here in the Philippines are your assets like; If you own a company/business, property, car, investment etc.
      • Your Job Title
      • Your Salary
    • Consul officer (this is the person that who will interview you) usually asks for an Invite letter, so make sure you can pull this document when asked.
  • Business Visa
    • Be clear on the purpose of your trip. If it’s a conference, the consul may ask what is this conference about and what can your company benefit for this.

Please take note, the consul officer might not ask for any documents but it’s good that you are ready to show any proof that supports your application for a US Visa.

 

On your interview

  1. Come 1hr before your interview.
  2. Do not bring these items inside the embassy:
    1. battery-operated or electronic devices such as mobile phones,
    2.  digital diaries,
    3. digital watches,
    4. pagers,
    5. cameras,
    6. audio/video cassettes,
    7. compact discs,
    8. MP3s,
    9. floppy disks,
    10. laptops, or portable music players
    11. More Lists here http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-securityinfo.asp
  1. If you accidentally bring them, there are people outside the embassy who can secure your items. 1 item costs 100 each. For example, 1 cell phone costs 100 pesos, 1 power bank costs 100, 1 pocket wifi costs 100, etc.
  2. Pray, Be honest, Keep Calm and Relax

 

If your Visa is approve

If your relatives will claim your visa, make sure to give them an authorization letter, and a photocopy of your government id’s and their Id.

The Authorization letter should include the following:

  • Your fullname
  • Fullname of the person receiving your visa
  • MRV Receipt Number

Here’s a sample of an Authorization letter

[DATE]

To whom it may concern,

I, [YOUR COMPLETE NAME] with Receipt Number: #########, authorized my [YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE RECEIVER] [FULLNAME OF THE RECEIVER] to receive my passport and my Non Immigrant US Visa.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

[YOUR COMPLETE NAME]

PASSPORT AND VISA HOLDER

Note: You do not have to pay any fee to the courier. The delivery fee was already included in your Visa fee.

How’s my experience getting a Visa?

I got denied twice! First was a Tourist Visa, second was a Business Visa. Both application happened on the 3rd quarter of 2016.

On the third time, I applied for a Business Visa and was approved January 24, 2017. My Passport with the US Visa was delivered at home 3 days after my interview. Quite fast hey!

My Final Tip

Schedule your interview from January to May. I highly recommend getting a visa on the first quarter of the year. Email me to know why.

You’re welcome!

P.S. How was your experience acquiring a US Visa? Share yours on the comments below. Love to hear your thoughts about this article too.

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