Maybe everyone of us wanted to go the US. However, going to the US could be difficult aside from being expensive, visa application could be tough to comply. According to some people who were denied visa application, the reason of the denial is arbitrary. They could not realised why their visa applications were denied. Some of the visa consultancy promises a lot just to get your money and in the end your visa application is denied. When I went to the US embassy I saw a big poster posted in their premises saying “WALANG SEKRETO” in applying the US visa. If there is no secret, then what should we do to secure approval of our visa application from the consul? Here’s what I did when I apply for visa in the US Embassy:
Step by step guide in applying for a US visa application:
1. Payment of application fee. First thing that you should do before you fill up the DS-160 form is you have to pay your application fee to the Bank of Philippine Islands. You cannot just walk in the BPI and pay. All you have to do is secure a payment deposit slip (please see picture below) at http://ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-paymentinfo.asp.
Do not forget to bring your passport to the bank so that the teller will just copy your name from your passport. Also, right after paying keep the customer copy and bring it with you because it will be necessary in filling up the DS-160 form. It will also be needed in your appointment to the embassy. Remember, you cannot replace a copy if it’s lost.
2. Preparing for the required documents. The very first thing you will prepare that is needed in your application is your picture. You have to go to a professional photographer to get your picture. Remember the embassy has a unique requirement of your digital picture including your hard copy picture. Professional photographer knows already the requirement of the US embassy. After that, you have to fill up the DS-160 form online. Gone were the days that DS-160 form and other documents are mailed. Nowadays, you can do it over the internet. You will need the following information when you fill up the DS-160 form: (complete you application here)
- Digital Photograph. Remember the requirement of a digital photograph if you cannot upload it the embassy website has its own photograph editor for you to accommodate the requirement of the embassy. If the photo will not pass the standards of the embassy repeat editing the photo until it will be accepted.
- Passport Details. Your name, date of birth, place of birth, expiration of the passport, date of issue, place of issue, passport number, etc.
- Family information. Family information of the applicant includes the parents, status, occupation, residential address, work address, income, etc.
- Address where you have to stay in the US. If it is a hotel you have to write the hotel’s address.
- Address of your relatives in the US in case you have.
- Recent travel abroad. When I fill out my application form I was ask to fill up my recent travel abroad but when my wife filled up her application form she was not asked her travel abroad. I don’t really know the reason why my wife have different form.
- Your date of your travel to the US.
You have to bring also other documents which you might think it is helpful to support your application. In my case, not even one document was ask but it is better to be prepared in case the consul will ask. Establish your ties here in the Philippines and that you have to go back because of these ties.
- NBI Clearance
- NSO Birth Certificate
- Bank certificate – proof that you can afford to travel to the US.
- Land Titles if you have
- Employment Certificate
- Certificate of Vehicle Registration (OR/CR)
- Invitation from a friend or relative
- Invitation from agency in case your invitation is business or conference
After filling up the DS-160 form you will be prompted to print a barcode which will also be emailed to you. Print it and bring it with you together with your passport and other documents. Note also that electronic gadgets are not allowed inside the embassy premises.
3. Schedule for an interview. You can schedule your interview by calling the embassy through the following numbers (02) 982-5555 and (02) 902-8930 or you can do it online through http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph. Please be ready with your schedule so that you can easily schedule your interview. Remember you are paying your call and calling to the embassy is more expensive than ordinary call. If you still have to decide when to go for an interview you can do it online so that you can properly discern your travel as the website will prompt you to a calendar.
4. On the day of your scheduled interview, please be early. The embassy will no longer allow you to get inside the embassy if you are late in coming to the embassy. Bring your passport and your U.S. DoS – CEAC Confirmation and other documents. Get the earliest schedule of interview because earlier schedule could let you go out from the embassy before lunch time. In my case I schedule my interview at 7:30am and I went out from the embassy at 11:30am. So, it is better to get a schedule maybe 6:30am. Please come in decent attire or your usual clothes that is generally acceptable. In my case, I often wear polo shirt. On the day of my interview, I wear the same. Do not wear short pants even if that is your usual attire as it is not generally acceptable especially in business. You must come to the embassy presentable. Eat your breakfast and have your stomach full. When you come to the embassy, you will realise that the queuing is long and exhaustive. You will undergo to 3 stages and all of these stages are in a long queue.
I hope this short article will help you in applying for a US visitor’s visa. Last thing, I want to share with your application in applying for visa is Be Honest in your interview. The consuls are trained in human psychology. They could easily detect people who lied and this could be the reason of the visa denial. Good luck!