So a lot of people have been asking how and what I did to get my US Visa. As you all know, I have a Philippine Passport, and I basically need a visa to travel mostly in North America and in Europe. So I thought why not post an entry regarding my experience on how I got my US Tourist Visa. Here goes:
At first I was really nerve wrecked because I have this bad habit of reading bad reviews on the internet and just being paranoid that it might happen to me. Hahaha! I know, I should get rid of that. But yeah, I prayed and asked God for direction if this trip really was for me. So I gathered all of the documents needed for the application and just prayed some more. If you would want to read further about the application process, click HERE to be redirected to the US Embassy in Manila’s website.
So basically you need very few documents. All I brought with me were:
- My passport, obviously. The most important document! Don’t lose it!
- Proof of Payment for the Fee. I paid my fee in BPI and all the tellers were completely kind and they will assist you in every way they can. Just tell them that you’re paying for US Visa and they’ll know exactly what to do!
- DS-160 Online Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. This is required and there’s no paper application for this one. If you’re applying for a US Visa, answering this electronic application form is a MUST! You can find this electronic form HERE.
- One 2×2 standard photo. You’ll need this one because one of the consuls will ask a photo of you for your visa.
- Bank Statement. This is optional. I brought with me my mom’s ITR (Income Taxt Return) because I’m a jobless nut fresh out of university who can’t finance herself nor her travels. Thank you, Mommy.
- Birth Certificate. Again, not optional, I just like bringing documents just in case the consul asks to see it.
- Diploma. This trip was a graduation and birthday present from my mother so I needed a proof that I’ve just graduated from university that’s why I brought it with me.
Technically, all you need are the ones from numbers 1 to 4. The ones from numbers 5 to 6 are optional.
After submitting the online application form and paying for the fee, you need to schedule an interview. You can call the Embassy for this or you can schedule an interview online. I scheduled mine online and it was less hassle. I recommend scheduling the interview online. You can click HERE to be redirected to the interview page. And since I was really paranoid if whether I’d get my visa or not, I picked the interview date that’s nearest. I mean, what’s the point of prolonging your paranoia, right?
So the interview date came. I just prayed to God that whatever His will may be, that let it be done in my life. I recollected my documents and went to the US Embassy in Manila. I was there 30 minutes before my scheduled interview. They recommend you to be by the gate 15 minutes earlier than your scheduled interview. Better be punctual than late, right? I wore a simple dress, cardigan and flats. You don’t need to wear something very formal because everyone is dressed either casually or semi-formal. No need to take it over the top. Also, lest I forget, leave all your gadgets, chargers, USB’s or any electronic devices at home because it will be confiscated and it will take you a much longer time entering the Embassy premises. I think it will be returned though, but I recommend leaving it at home.
When I entered the Embassy, there was a line and I had to stand for about 30 minutes before I got to the first window. There was a guy who took my passport and my photo. He scanned both my passport and photo then he returned my passport, but not the photo. The second window was an old lady. She asked for my passport and she asked me for my finger prints and palm prints so I did that on that window. The last window was the interview proper. I waited for about 20 minutes to be interviewed.
The consul on the window I was assigned to was rather young. Probably around late 20’s. So I will be typing how our conversation went:
Danica: Hello there, good morning.
C: Good morning. So what will you be doing in the US?
D: Well I just graduated from university and it’s going to be my birthday soon, so I asked my mother if she could send me to the US as a present.
C: Okay. Where in the US will you be staying?
D: I’ll be staying in New York.
C: Who is in New York?
D: My grandmother is in New York.
C: What’s your address in New York?
D: *gave my address in NY*
C: You said you just graduated university? What did you study?
D: I studied Creative Writing.
C: Okay, and how long will you be staying in the US?
D: Probably a month or two.
C: Okay, your US Visa will be delivered in 5 days. Good luck on your trip and happy birthday!
D: Thank you so much!
So basically my interview went really well and fast. The consul didn’t ask for any follow up documents like bank statement, etc. But in case they do, I suggest you bring it.
After 5 days, I got my passport back with my US Visa stamped on it. I was given a 10-year Multiple Entry Visa and I couldn’t be happier! God, indeed, answers prayers! He will never fail whoever trusts in Him.
If you have questions about applying for a US Visa, just drop a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer.
Remember, prayer is the key. And of course, just always be prepared for what’s about to happen. God bless, everyone!
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Exodus 14:14 NIV