How to Apply for a US Tourist Visa In the Philippines

This post is 1 month overdue but I hope it would still be of help to anyone who’s researching on US Visa for Filipino tourists and families or any aspiring resident of the Philippines.

Note: This is strictly for those who wish to visit the US for a holiday/vacation and touristic purposes or for business. We care for our fellow Filipino people and we want them to have a good livelihood, but we care so much that we don’t want them to get into harms way because they entered a foreign territory illegally or they stayed longer than the prescribed maximum limit for reasons other than tourism.

1. Pay the Visa Fee

You might say, “wait a minute, hold it! I haven’t signed any forms yet and I’m paying this X amount already?!”. Yes, for your convenience in the application, you need to pay first. Currently, the fee is US$ 160 per applicant or its equivalent in Philippine Peso (based on the US Embassy’s Exchange Rate). You can pay it at any BPI Branch (You can use this Bank Locator to find one near you) or pay online with embassy’s online payment gateway. You will need your passport because your Passport Number (for new applicants) or Visa Control Number (US Visa Renewal)  will be your receipt number. We highly recommend you make the payment first because at the page prior to setting your appointment, they will require a receipt number as proof of your payment. The payment you made in the bank does not post or get sent to the embassy immediately. If you paid through BPI before 3:00PM, you will be allowed to schedule your appointment anytime after 3:00PM. If you made the payment after that time, you can only schedule your appointment the next banking day. Online payments get posted the following day, so after filling up the application form, you might need to wait again. Once payment is done, you can use the receipt number within 90 days. That is more than what you need for when applying. Please note that the visa fee is non refundable whether your visa is approved or denied. These fees are used to pay operational costs in running the embassy.

Tip: call a BPI branch or the embassy at 832-0826 to check for the exact amount in Philippine Peso before making the payment. This would make the preparation easier.

 

2. Fill up DS-160 Electronic Application Form

Before filling up the form, please have these ready as it will make the answering of the application easier:

a. Passport (latest and valid for at least 1 year) – some or most information can be found in your passport

b. Old passport (if you have renewed your passport within the last 5 years) – You will be asked about your travel history in the middle of the application. Your old passport can remind you of the places and dates you have been to.

c. Scanned 2 inch x 2 inch colored photo – there are specification on how you should look like in the photo and you will need to scan your picture for you to be able to upload it. Some or most Photo studio provide additional services like downloading your picture to a CD. Please avail of this (even for a minimal fee) as the Photo studio most likely know the exact specifications required by the embassy website on photo submissions. You can view the Photo guidelines at the US Embassy’s Photo requirement: http://travel.state.gov/visa/visaphotoreq/digitalimagereq/digitalimagereq_5327.html

If you have recently gotten your photo and you have a scanner, have your file tested and cropped by the embassy’s tool: http://travel.state.gov/_res/flash/cropper/FIG_cropper.html

Once you have them, go to https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ and then select “Philippines, Manila” under the drop down menu at the upper right portion.

Click on “Start An Application”. On the following screen, before doing anything, write down in a piece of paper your Application ID. This will come useful in case you got timed out during the filling up process or you need to finish your application some other time. Better yet, print the application ID (a link can be found under the application ID image).

Select a security question that you could easily remember the answer and type it in the box provided. Click on “Continue” and fill up the rest of the form. At the end of the application you have to electronically sign the application by typing your passport number, but before you do so, review your answers because as soon as you sign the application, you can no longer change any answers you have provided.

After signing, you will be prompted to either Print, View or add a family (member) application.

Print the “Confirmation” as this is what the embassy will look for during your interview day. You can print the “Application” but it will not be required by the embassy. You can also e-mail to yourself the confirmation and application form so you could easily get back to it for review. Any unfinished application form can be retrieved within 30 days, otherwise the embassy will remove it from their system until you complete the submission.

Tip: highlight, copy and paste your Application ID and answer to your security question in Notepad or Microsoft Word for easier access.  You may need to access your application in the future and also, it lessens the risk of misspelling. Also, answer the application form as honestly as possible.

3. Schedule Your Interview

Open a new tab/screen and go to  https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/ and then click on “New User“.

Select “Philippines” and type in your e-mail address under Username and then type in your First Name, Last Name and password. Retype your password and type in the characters showing in the Captcha.

Click on submit and the go back to the main page and log in using the same credentials. Have all information complete (including your family or travel companion) and click on schedule an interview.

Once you have selected the date and time for the interview, print and the appointment confirmation. E-mail it to you so you can be reminded of the date and you can re-print the confirmation in case of loss.

 

4. Go for the Interview

Visit the embassy on the day you selected and what is printed out on your appointment confirmation. Bring along your appointment confirmation, DS 160 application confirmation and the rest of your documents. Do not bring any electronic device (except pacemakers, but if you do have one, inform the security and bring a medical certificate about your pacemaker so you won’t have to pass through the magnetic fields of the metal detectors).Arrive at the embassy at least 1 hour prior to the scheduled time (30 minutes is what the embassy recommends but the queue is long).

The earlier you arrive at the designated time, the sooner you will be able to enter the embassy and finish your interview earlier. Get a number at the first window and then wait for your turn. There are marshals inside the embassy, you can always ask them where you can go next. Current process requires you to go through 3 windows. First window, they assess your application form. If you have missed some answers or if they have questions about answers you have indicated.

Second window is for finger printing. Third and last window is the final interview.

At this point, they may ask for anything related to your application like travel history, your relationship with your travel companions, your proof of funds, your connection here in the Philippines, etc. The visa officer will be frank with you and will tell you immediately and directly if your application is approved (the officer will take your passport only and will tell you to wait for your passport to be delivered) or denied (the officer will return your passport and describe the reason why you were denied). Once approved, keep calm and exit the embassy quietly. Wait for a week or two for the arrival of your visa (if you chose to have it delivered) or go back to the embassy to pick it up.

Tips: Make sure you had heavy breakfast prior to your arrival. There are some food stalls inside the waiting area but are quite expensive. The wait can be long and you are not allowed to bring food inside the building (waiting area is not within the interview area).  You don’t have to pay for anything when inside the US Embassy except when you buy food or water. There’s no ATM machine inside either (I know because I realized I forgot to bring cash and my daughter and husband got so hungry waiting for our turn but we couldn’t do anything because I forgot to bring moolah).

 

FAQs 

I. What are the “required” documents? It doesn’t say specifically on the embassy website.

The embassy did not indicate exactly what are the requirements simply because they do not apply to all applicants. It is best to be prepared in case the visa officer looks for it. Below are the general requirements that you may need to prepare. There could be more and if you feel that you need to bring something other than what is listed below, follow your intuition and bring it. For senior citizens, just bring items a – f.

a. Passports (bring them all, but the embassy will only get the latest) – for identification and proof of travel history

b. DS 160 and appointment confirmation

c. Bank Certificate and Bank Statement (issued within 30 days of the scheduled interview / both are different documents and it is best to provide them) – the more issuing bank, the better. Amount? Some would say it really doesn’t matter but what the embassy needs to see is if you could fund the cost of travel (air and land arrangement) and still have considerable large amount left for you to return to. If what you have is just enough for the trip, then they would think you will look for the rest of the amount there.

- Though in our experience, we were not asked any of these financial documents. 

d. Birth Certificate – in case there are name amendments or as proof that the child is indeed the son or daughter of these parents.

- This is the only document that was asked from us. 

e. Marriage Certificate – for couples as proof that they are indeed married.

f. Other government IDs – (photocopy and original) just to prove age and consistency of name

g. Business Permit and DTI or SEC registration (photocopy) – To establish that you own a business and for how long already.

if you are an employee, provide this instead:

Certificate of Employment with Salary Declaration and Approved Leave of Absence – To establish how long have you been employed

h. Income Tax  Return – another way to check how much you earn

i. Other documents indicating your employment or financial status in the Philippines (Car Registration, Land Title, etc.)

j. Community Tax Certificate (Cedula) – yes, sometimes if you bring all what is mentioned above, just for the sake of looking at a document they will check for your Cedula.

Depending on these documents and their contents, the visa officer can already check if you are qualified for a US Visa.

 

II. I got denied, why? I don’t exactly understand what the visa officer told me.

There can be many reasons why a visa application is denied. One of the reasons are:

a. Economic stability – the visa officer may decline your application if they see that you do not have enough money in the bank or your business or employment is not that established yet (Newly opened or newly hired).

b. Insufficient Travel History – going to ASEAN or non visa countries are not counted as travel history. Even if you have been to Hong Kong or Singapore hundreds of times they will not be counted as such. These countries do not have screening regulations of tourist and they can find it as a security risk. Visit Australia, Korea, Japan or Europe first before applying for a US Visa and it will surely help.

c. Inconsistencies with the Application and documents – discrepancies in the application form can give the visa officer some trouble and would take time to re verify them, eventually denying the application. Answer the application form as truthfully as possible. Do not hide or withhold any information that you think the embassy needs to know. For bank transactions, they could check if there was a spike in the deposits made which means you are just inflating the bank account for the sake of visa approval but actually doesn’t own that much money. Answer the visa officer directly without hesitation as this is another way they check if you are not telling the truth.

- If you have been denied from your previous US visa application, they have information from that as well and they verify your current application from your previous. Bottomline is BE TRUTHFUL.

 

III. Is it easier if I use a travel agency to apply for a Visa?

Yes, for the application, it would be easier if you get the assistance of a travel agent, BUT,  they cannot, will not and should not guarantee your visa approval. The approval comes from the judgement of the visa officer and no one else. Joining a tour or getting the assistance of a travel agency does not guarantee or qualify you for a non-immigrant (tourist) US Visa. Even if you are joining a legitimate tour or cruise, Visa is your responsibility including the documents that you bring. The travel agent or any third party is not and will not be liable for any visa denial.

 - This I highly advise on group/family applications as it becomes tedious. 

 

Lastly, I do not claim to be an expert on US Visa application but I wish to impart whatever knowledge I have on the matter. If you have questions, I’d love to give my opinion on them. Before my family and myself applied for the US visa, I did research on these HOW TOs and I hope I am able to help you by writing down what I’ve experienced and learned.


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Comments

  1. Hoshikane says:

    I want to thank you for these tips you posted. It has helped me a lot in filling out my application form.

  2. germaine villanueva says:

    hi renzalcantara
    i'm germaine liza villanueva,23 years old.married.i'm from pangasinan,i just want to ask if how much will i spend in fixing all those papers in getting visa for hawaii.my husband is a us citizen already,he is in hawaii right now,and i want to visit him,and i still have a papers for petition so i just want to go there just for tourist.so can you help me,explain more further about this us visa.and do i still need to have income tax return,or any proof of bank statement?cause i don't have bank account he is just sending me money through western union.so please i need your help and reply..thanks alot…

  3. Hi Mrs Villanueva,
    This is Troy, husband of Renz, and part owner of http://www.pirkkotroy.com, Pirkko & Troy Tours, Inc. Aside from the travel expenses you will be spending going to the US Embassy from Pangasinan, you will need P 6400 (approximate and may change depending on embassy regulations) for the Visa processing fee (non refundable, approved or denied), and cost for procuring other documents (Bank certificates, statements, etc).

    Based on experience, applicants with existing immigrant petition are not recommended to apply for any other visa category until a result is provided with the current application. This is not a regulation but for the US embassy's security and control (prevent entry by tourist visa and stay in the US more than the prescribed duration of stay until the result of the petition is released), they will not grant you a tourist visa.

    As much as we want you to be reunited with your husband, in our professional opinion, it would be difficult for your case to acquire a visa mainly because:

    1. You need to have a bank account with a deposited amount substantial in the embassy's terms that you will, and guarantee that you will, return back to the Philippines (granting you are applying as a tourist).
    2. You do not have a fixed, stable and substantial source of income originating here in the Philippines that will be enough reason for you to return.

    You can try and apply for the US visa as tourist (no guarantee and we have no experience of a successful application with an existing petition for immigrant status). Indicate there that you are a housewife in the application. As soon as you complete your online application and had them printed, another concern would be your supporting documents. Here a few that we believe has a bearing and something you might need to look at:

    1. Bank Certificate and bank statement (last 3 months transaction)
    2. Travel history (places you've been, visas you've had from other countries, etc)
    3. Letter of invitation from your husband (stipulated there that he will shoulder ALL expenses from your trip)
    physically signed by him (no e-mail, must be through snail mail or FedEx)
    4. Photocopy of his passport or any government issued ID

    Sorry if it may sound pessimistic but due to the activities of our kababayans in US and other parts of the globe who stay in those countries without proper documentations, has branded every Filipino tourists (legitimate or not) as TNT (illegal immigrants) and thus we pass through scrutinizing visa processing. However, if you have all documents complete and you could physically prove you will return back (through legal documents) then you should have no problems or concern.

    Thank you,

    Troy Alcantara

  4. Hi! My name is Anna, I'm 23 yrs old, med student, and I had a multiple entry tourist visa that just got expired last year. I was able to use it four times for vacation and never stayed longer than 3 months. And then I applied under the Visa Reissuance Program, and to my surprise, I got a phone call few days after asking me for interview and then got denied after. I tried to apply again this year and I was denied again for the second time. Now heres my dilemma, as much as i hated to apply again, my Dad wants me to apply again so i can be his travel companion to the US. My dad is a green card holder and he is very apprehensive about his resident status if he doesnt come back this November since it witll already be his 6th month here in PI. He was suppose to come back last september but he suffered from stroke and he obviously needs a travel companion. What are my chances of getting a visa? And is it possible to have an expedited appointment for this? I hope you can give your opinion in this matter, thanks.

    • renzalcantara says:

      Hi Anna,

      It would also be wise to review the cause of denial on your previous interview. The consul will most likely be checking on that and see if the \”problem\” was addressed. My advice is to be honest and very transparent of your intent to travel with your Dad- they can see through that.

      God Bless!

      And love and light to your Dad

  5. Hi Anna, thank you for your comment!

    If I am not mistaken, you were granted visa before when you were below 18-20 years old, right? This would mean that you were still a dependent of your parents, and now that you are 23, the embassy assumes that you are already working part time or independent while taking your medical course. Unfortunately, the American culture is way different than ours and they believe that by the time you have graduated, you should be standing on your own, financially and career wise (if you also notice most tv series, those who go to medical school in the US usually have part time jobs). Another concern would be your set skills (especially if your pre-med courses are nursing, medical technologist or physical therapists) which are very much in demand there and sometimes is used as a potential gateway to illegally work in the US. There are some institutions there that are not really concerned with the citizenship as long as the set of skills can be delivered.

    I understand you have good intent in visiting the United States of America, but as I have replied to Mrs Villanueva, due to the unfavorable activities of some of our kababayan worldwide, all or most Filipino tourist applicants are branded as potential TNT (illegal immigrant) unless proven otherwise through presentation of valid documents.

    Embassies and consulates are looking and checking for an individual's / applicant's ages 18 – 20 years of age and above to support his own travel and still has substantial finances and career in the Philippines that will be reason enough to return to. What I could recommend, in case you wish to apply again, are the following:

    1. provide an affidavit of support from your father/mother/parents (notarized) stating that they will be supporting and financing your trip and that they will guarantee your return.

    2. provide the latest bank certificate (issued within 30 days before your personal appearance) and bank statement (3 months transaction) of your father/mother/parents (who ever is signing and executing the affidavit).

    3. Answer the DS 160 application form as truthfully as possible and if a space is provided where you can explain that you are accompanying your father and will return back immediately within 30 days (you cannot wait until he completes a year there, he is in the process of citizenship, you are only there as a tourist).

    4. other documents that you think may help you in your application (personal bank certificate, PRC Id photocopy, etc)

    There is an avenue for requesting expedited appointments, however, they will only accept it only if:
    - the applicant requires immediate medical attention
    - an immediate relative of the applicant died within US soil
    - urgent business travel
    - student or exchange visitor
    (read more from here: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-expeditedap
    *which all will require a letter supporting those claims

    In my personal opinion, depending on the documents you present, your application has a 50% chance (given the history and nature of your trip, there is no guarantee for approval). Providing a document that your father required medical attention causing delay for his return and his requirement for a travel companion, the visa "might" approve your application out of compassion.

    Good luck on your application and wishing your dad good health!

    Troy Alcantara

  6. Mrs Delmundo says:

    hello… I was wondering if I and my daughter can go in US Disneyland ,,since my husband is working in BFP ( Bureau of Fire Protection),, and he promised our daughter we could go there as a gift for her 10th birthday next year March 2013,,,,would our application be possible to accept?

    • renzalcantara says:

      Hi Mrs Delmundo,
      The possible questions for you would be:
      - do you have enough reason to go back?
      - can your finances support your travel and still be able to live comfortably after?
      - have you been outside the PH?
      - What\’s your status at work?
      - How long will you stay and where?
      - What will happen to your job/position if you are to travel?
      - do you have relatives in the US?

      I really don\’t know the possibility of a visa issuance or denial but my advice is to come prepared, be truthful and relax.

      • Mrs Delmundo says:

        yes,, I have reason to go back ,, my husband job is stable,,, we have some business here,,, I own a photoshop,,, we have small farm in Quezon and Mindoro with ricefield and and raise some animal farm there like cows and goats,, pigs and the likes,,,we have some savings,,, I wish to stay in US for just a week,, to go to disnelyland and met some old classmates there,, I have relatives there but not yet in contact with them,,,going to Disneyland is a gift for my daughter from his father,,,

        • renzalcantara says:

          Hi Mrs. Delmundo,

          I say go for it! Nothing to be scared of :-) one week though seems a bit short if you ask me :)

          Good luck on your application!

  7. Thank you so much Miss Renz and Sir Troy. And yes, i think that's also another thing- nursing was my premed. *sigh* well thank you so much and would certainly follow your advise. :)

  8. hi..im jocelyn and im applying for US visa as tourist…my husband is in cruise ship and based in asia right now..i got my appointment on dec 14, 2012..me and my son are applying for us visa…is it possible for us to get a visa if my husband have c1/c2 visa? and we have a business since 2009..

    • renzalcantara says:

      Hi Jocelyn,

      I wouldn\’t know the consul\’s decision over granting you a visa or not. But what I can advise is to come prepared.
      Bring all the necessary documents to support that you have something to go back to and still have enough money left after your US tour.

      Also it\’s best to map out your itinerary because the consul would want to know what your plans are when you arrive in the US.

      Good luck on your application and let us know!

      • Thank you very much for th info. One more thing, do they check your email account and facebook accounts? Thanks again!

  9. ok thank u..have a nice day!

  10. hi! im brenda, 40yrs. old, married and have been in the government service for more than 20 yrs. am planning to apply for a US visa this month and I would like to know if it is ok to apply alone? Needless to say, i've already been in hongkong, macau, singapore, kuala lumpur (2x), bangkok and south korea. Just wanna hear from you if it is better to apply for US visa together with my husband?

    • Hi Brenda,

      Sorry for the late reply, it has been a busy holiday and December is a peak season. Anyway, Happy New Year and I hope you were able to apply and got approved with your US Visa application together with your husband. Your tenure in the government service is very good which will give you a better chance of being granted a tourist visa.

      Just for reference to others who could possibly read this:
      1. Applying alone as a "tourist" may or may not affect your application (depending on how much money you have in the bank and what are your travel patterns, if you travel alone always before or has been with others)

      2. visiting Asian countries that do not require visa does not have any weight in your travel history. The US embassy would prefer that you have been to other countries that required visa as well.

      It is always better to apply with someone (possible travel companion) as it is a general conception that people always "Travel" with someone because it will make them happier.

      :)
      -Troy

  11. hi po! i’m jean,19.my sister and i will be graduating in college this year and my tita is planning to take us to california for a vacation after graduation on april. im just wondering if we can already have the visa by then since we’ll be applying palang this january.thank u po

    • Hi Jean,

      sorry for the late reply. If you will be applying by this month (January) the appointment shouldn't be that far and the visa may come out (once granted) before April, granting that the queue is not that long. But I commend you and your family for preparing early for the visa and we hope you and your family will be granted a tourist visa to US.

      Best of luck!

      -Troy

  12. this is a very very informative and comprehensive post

  13. hi, Im 21, a newly grad and my dad who's in the US wants me to visit there. usually how long ang scheduling of interviews since you called for an appointment? what's the nearest date they can give? thanks

    • Hi Kristine,

      it depends on the site and the embassy's system. We have no way of finding that out unless we actually schedule a real appointment (meaning pay and then go online).

      Thanks and goodluck with your application :)

      Troy

  14. hi! very good post thread here… very insightful…

    i also have a question… starting next year, i will be staying in sydney using a student visa. what are the chances that i could get a us tourist visa if i'm a student in sydney with part-time work? i only wish to stay in the us for about 15-20 days for the holiday break. thank you very much.

    • Hi Nian,

      Having a student visa in Sydney is a big plus in your application. It is difficult to get visa in Australia as well so, as mentioned above, go ahead and try to apply, be as honest in answering the question as you can and best of luck!

      - Troy

  15. Hi Troy,

    I hope you could answer my questions :)

    I have been to some of the Asian countries, sad to hear that it's not included in Travel History/Background :(

    I am planning to apply for US visa, my American boyfriend who is a teacher here in Manila will be spending summer vacation in the US this 2013 and would like me to bring there and maybe spend two weeks there just for a tour/visit and go back to the Philippines alone by myself since I have a job and is also currently taking MBA classes. He will stay there for the rest of the summer since he will attend a Doctorate class too.

    I want to know if it would be easier for me to apply US visa since I will be with my boyfriend and he'll be the one to spend for all the expenses (including air fare, accommodation is not a problem since we will be staying at his parents house).

    I am not really sure what to do, the visa website isn't clear on the steps/process and requirements kinda confusing. Please I want to know everything before I fill up for the appointment.

    PS. I have been with job for almost a year now and is earning a good amount of money, I would say its more than the average salary here in the Philippines.

    Im hoping for your immediate response :)

    Thanks in advance!

  16. Hi Melanie,

    Thanks for your question and it is quite interesting (and we get a lot of calls with the same question).

    Having a US citizen boyfriend will not affect your application "unless" you apply for FIANCE VISA (which will fall under Immigrant Visa as against to tourist visa which is under Non-Immigrant Visa). This process takes longer than the usual tourist visa and processing may vary depending on documents (simply like a petition). This is the reason why there are no category for "Friends, Invited Friends, Boyfriends, Girlfriends, Partners". They need to make sure that you are with a legal relationship with a US citizen to have a bearing in the US visa application.

    Your chances of getting a visa may depend on your age (20-40 years old and single is quite a red blip in the embassy's radar = critical). By work, I don't think it would be a threat to them since it is a non medical profession, although a job with less than a year of tenure may not add that much points to your application.

    Should you still be very much interested in joining your boyfriend this year, go ahead and apply keeping in mind that you are a tourist. There are portions there that you can indicate who will be traveling with you (your boyfriend), a portion where you will be staying (enter your boyfriend's parent's address) and how long you will be staying. With the documents, include an affidavit of support coming from your boyfriend saying:

    "I, <BF name goes here>, single, <age>, with legal address at <BF's US address> do certify that I will be supporting <your full name here>, single, <age>, living in <Philippine address>. I also certify that I shall be covering all her expenses from airfare, transportation and accommodation to <address> our trip to US from <departure date> to <return date>. That I shall guarantee that she will return back to the Philippines no later than the indicated return date."

    Edit it as necessary and as presentable, have it NOTARIZED within 30 days of appointment date. Aside from this, include a photocopy of his passport and a photocopy of his bank certificates (here or from the US as proof that he could support you and his trip).

    This suggestion is just to offer the visa officer that your boyfriend will act as your guarantor, BUT, it will still be up to them to decide whether or not to grant you a visa.

    We wish you the best of luck and we hope that you application will be a success!

    -Troy

  17. how if i dont have any business or big amount on my bank account.but my fiancee will support me to get tourist visa or sponsor me to visit him,can i apply tourist visa by my own or my fiancee will be the one to apply for me?if ever what is my requirements to apply US tourist visa?
    thanks and i look forward to answer and advise…

  18. Hi May,

    Thanks for your message and congratulations with your engagement. As I have continuously mentioned above, it is best to approach the US visa as honestly as possible. Applying for a tourist visa without the proper credentials could possibly get you denied of it.

    Although you could apply for Fiancee visa (Non-Immigrant Visa for Fiancee – K1) :
    K-1 application – http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/typ

    or

    Ask your fiancee to come over, get married and then file for Non-Immigrant Visa for spouse – K3 and he must apply the petition in your behalf:
    K-3 application – http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/typ

    Instructions for both are available here: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-129finstr.pdf

    procedures are different for each case and documents must come from both of you. If you would ask me which will take you to the US faster? It would depend on how soon you could complete the documents and application, and how long it would take for the petition process to finish.

    Good luck!

    -Troy

  19. hi! i just want to know if applying for a visa really require for an appearance? my mom wants to apply for a US visa because she will be going to canada on May, and she wants to visit some relatives in the US so she wants to apply for a visa. is there an application same as the application in canada for a tourist visa? because when she applied for a visa in Canda we just sent the application together with the documents needed. my mother is in the province so i want to know if the appearance is a must. thank you so much

    • renzalcantara says:

      Hi Janet,

      Yes, personal appearance is a must for US visa application.

    • Hi Janet,

      Yes, personal appearance is required whether you are applying for a new tourist visa or renewing your visa. Different embassies have different policies. Australian, New Zealand and Canadian embassies are one of the few that does not require personal appearance, but for the US embassy requires you to be there for finger printing.

      Good luck!

      -Troy

  20. hello! i just wanna ask about the bank stuff. my friend told me that u should have a big amount of money in ur bank account "3 months" before the interview. Is that necessary? i just put money on my bank this month and i can't wait for 3 months to apply for a tourist visa. but if it's true, that it has to be 3 months before the interview, can i just use my son-in-laws (my daughter's husband) bank statements, credit card statements, income tax returns, (etc) ?? they will be taking care of me anyways, when i get in the US to visit them. thanks a lot! :)

    • renzalcantara says:

      Hi Merz,

      I don\’t know much about how the US embassy checks on your financial statement/status but what makes sense is to have an amount thrice to what you could be spending in the US as a tourist. This is to support that you still have money left in your bank and continue living in the PH after your US trip.

      I believe that bank statements don\’t count as much anymore because surely they know that people can \”borrow\” money to show that they have \”x\” amount on their bank.

      • but is it possible that i can use my son-in-laws infomation on his bank account? he will be funding me wen i get there. and he will be paying my back and forth tickets too. and i also have a big amount of money on my bank but i just put it there this month. so i was thinking i can use his, so that i don't have to wait for 3 months to apply my tourist visa. they will visit here in the philippines in March, and by the time they will go back to the US, in April, i wanna go with them, so that i don't have to fly solo on my visit. thank you :)

        • renzalcantara says:

          Hi Merz,

          IF that\’s the case, yes you should definitely bring financial credentials from your sponsor :)
          I would also suggest that you apply now and have your scheduled interview.

          Good luck and let us know, ok?

        • yeep! i will you know :) umm, i got a few questions. if i'm gonna apply now, how long does it usually take before the interview? is it like a week? or a couple of weeks? and ooh, i also have no travel experience yet. is that gonna be a problem? and if ever i'll be approved, hopefully .. umm, is there gonna be a specific time wen i'm goin to leave? thank you sooo much for your help! :)

          • renzalcantara says:

            Hi Merz,

            I don\’t know when\’s the earliest interview schedule- they will let you choose. As for my past experiences, it\’s like 2 months maximum. I don\’t think you can get a week\’s time.

            Your travel history will be asked- just be honest.

            No specific time as to when you want to use your visa but at least use it :) or else you\’ll be having problems when you renew.

            Good luck!

          • thank you! :)

          • one more thing, english speaking po ba ang interviewer? thaaaaaankksss! :)

          • renzalcantara says:

            Hi Merz,

            Yes! The consuls are all Americans. Other windows (processing areas) are all Pinoys.

          • Troy Alcantara says:

            Hi Merz,

            Regarding your question about the bank certificate, the embassy would appreciate if you have your own regardless of how small or big the amount in it. In the DS-160 form there is a question there "Who will finance your trip" (or something like that, indicate there "A relative" or children. Secure an affidavit of support from your son-in-law (indicating that your son-in-law will be supporting your trip and will guarantee your return in the Philippines. Have it notarized as well). 3 months bank statement is REQUIRED because this is a way for them to know that you did not just borrow money, issue a bank certificate and then transfer back to the lender (which was the tradition of some Filipinos). They could (and may) always call the bank to verify. Procure whatever you have right now, complete your DS-160 application and set your appointment. While waiting, ask for an affidavit of support of your son-in-law, his bank certificate, bank statement and other possible financial documents (Business permit, ITR, etc). The schedule for interview varies (depending on the applicant load of the embassy), like for those who are traveling this summer, the embassy might give you an interview by March or later because many are applying and trying to make their way to the US during the summer time. Same goes before december. Visa officers vary in nationality origin (some are Korean, African American or American) but the language that will be used is always English. There was once a myth that a Korean visa officer and a Filipina visa officer gave less approval compared to the American visa officers. It's hard to tell as you are called by a control number.

            Good luck on your application!

            -Troy

    • hi! sorry i've been busy lately. anyway, i finally submitted my application 3 days ago. thank u! and, my interview will be on april 26th :)

      • i hope everything will be fine and i will pass the interview. just lil bit worried about something, heh :)

        • if ever i'm gonna pass, how long does it usually gonna take for my visa gonna be delivered?

          • renzalcantara says:

            Ours took a week.

          • just about the money stuff, hehe. coz i'll show them my son-in-law's bank stuff, he's gonna be funding me everything. my plane tickets, food, my needs, etc. the reason why i'm gonna use his, is because i don't wanna wait for 3months to have my interview. people are saying that i can use his coz he is my sponsor. what i worry about is, they might ask me about my money on the bank. it's new, i just deposited the money last month, and actually it's my son-in-law's money. he gave it to me, just in case they gonna ask if i have money and i do have, but it's not 3months yet :/

          • Hi Merz,

            It's ok to use your son-in-law's financial credentials, have you secured an affidavit of support already? Even if you have a small amount in the bank, please still include it. What they want to know is that you are saving some money even if it was just recent. There is really a possibility that they will ask for you own personal bank account, even though yes you do, they will look for a bank certificate of it. It's better to be over prepared than being denied because of lacking document. As we have indicated above, try to be as honest with your application as possible. Even if you have to be an open book to them, they would highly appreciate it.

          • ooh, i see. umm, yea, he's workin on it. thanks a lot for the infos. soo glad i found this page :)

        • renzalcantara says:

          What\’s worrying you? Don\’t let it dampen your spirit. You have to try, you\’ll never know what\’s in store.
          If you\’re given a visa, then good. If not, there\’s always a next time!

  21. Hello guys! What is my chance of getting a US visa if I don't have any international travel experience? I am asked by my company to apply for a visa because they need me to be there for a project to work out. All expenses will be shouldered by them. I am just so discouraged about the feedback of those who got denied. Hope you can give me an insights. Thanks a lot!

    • renzalcantara says:

      Hi Ollevoj,

      Don\’t be discouraged! We are all being considered depending on our circumstances.
      Big plus if your company is one of the \”big\” players in our counrty.

      The most important thing to do now is focus your energy into completing your documents. I suggest the following:
      1. Show your tenure on your company. Why were you chosen to be sent to the US? Give them the proof.
      2. Bring your company\’s business permit and registration since they are sending you there and will finance your travel.
      3. Written recommendation from your company or immediate supervisor.
      4. Proof that you\’re coming back to the Philippines:
      - do you have a family? bring photos of your kids/wife.
      - financial statement
      - properties you own here if any
      5. Make sure you understand the \”project\” you are being sent to. Possibly the consul will ask you about it. Remember they have access to Google hehehe.
      They are known to ask technical questions relating to your purpose of travel.

      Keep calm.

      • Hi Renz,

        I really appreciate for your quick response. Thank you for taking an effort of giving me some important guidelines. I really appreciate it. I will show it to the company for them to prepare too. My visit is acually first step for me to be relocated in the United States, eventually, in the future that's why right now, I am also doing my master's degree. Again, thank you for the encouragement. May God bless you!

        ollevoj

  22. Cornelius says:

    Hi! Im planning to renew my visa that expired last 2011. I had a 10 year visa and ive been to the states 3 times and the latest was 2006. Ive been to australia last 2010 and ive been to hong kong this year. I didnt violate any us rules when i was there and my longest stay there was 3 months. I have my own business but i am single. Do you think i have a chance of renewing my visa? Thanks!

    • renzalcantara says:

      Hi Cornelius,

      Oh no, why did you wait so long to renew it? The US embassy now has a new process for expired visa (within 6 months of expiration I think)and you don\’t go through the brutal process again, just comply with requirements and little scrutiny and it\’ll be over.

      With your case since it\’s 2011…. I\’m really not sure!

      I\’ll ask my husband, Troy of Pirkko and Troy Tours if he can give you more ideas.

      Best,
      Renz

      • Cornelius says:

        Yeah. When i got back from australia i got pre occupied with my business so i never had the time to renew it. Kaya im having doubts if they will renew my visa. You think that would be a valid reason why i never had the time to renew it? And me being single, will that affect my chances? Thanks again!

        • Hi Cornelius,

          The VRP (Visa Renewal Program) of the US Embassy in Manila covers those who have an expired visa of less than 12 months. Given your situation, you can still apply as a "new" application. Since you were issued with a tourist visa before, it would be a big plus already (they have a record of your previous visas). You will be interviewed again (as opposed to renewal which will only comprise of finger printing) and will be required to bring your documents (business permits, ITR, etc.). Being single may not matter anymore because they were able to issue you a visa before. I am sure they will not question why you didn't renew your visa during those times because you may not have any plans or business in the USA during those dates.

          Good luck and very best,

          -Troy

    • Oh i forgot to mention, im 28 and my last 10 year visa i was still a dependent. But it was renewed 3 times. Will this matter? If my parents will renew with me, will this be a factor too? Thanks in advance and thanks for the info,.

  23. Cornelius says:

    Thanks for the info. Honestly speaking im very stressed because i know a lot of people who got denied. So being single affects only the 1st timers? Having a business is a plus ba in renewingg? Kasi the last time i went to the states was 2006 pa. will that matter? Na i didnt go to the states before the year my visa expired? But i was in australia last 2010. Will that help me too? Thanks!

    • Being single is not really a factor if you have the right documents (sufficient money, having a business for a more than a year or long tenure in a company, good travel history to other countries requiring visa, etc). I believe why singles who apply are having a hard time is because either they don't have enough money, they graduated from a skilled degree (i.e. nursing), they just newly graduated, or never been to another country that requires visa (i.e. Australia, China, etc.) Don't be stressed out because when you had your visa before, you did use it right? You will get a better chance of approval if they saw that you were granted a visa before, you used your visa in entering the USA once or many times, and you have the financial capacity to support yourself during your tip with a substantial amount of money and property (or business) to go back to here in the Philippines. I hope we were able to lessen your stress with this and wish you the best of luck in your application :)

      -Troy

      • Oh i forgot to mention, im 28 and my last 10 year visa i was still a dependent. But it was renewed 3 times. Will this matter? If my parents will renew with me, will this be a factor too? Thanks in advance and thanks for the info,.

        • At your age, renewing your visa application with your parents will have no bearing. You have used your old visas and they will see that in their system, which will help in your application. :)

          -Troy

  24. Hi ! Is there a chance that I would be given a tourist visa? I am a nurse by profession but currently taking up my master's degree in UP (not related to nursing). I applied for the same visa two years ago but got denied. I I wasnt able to establish a stable career out of my nursing profession since most of the hospitals here hire volunteer nurses. Some people say that it is now easy to get tourist visa this year; my aunt even told me that she knows someone who was given one who is a fresh grad of nursing. I Hope you could enlighten me on this one. thanks

    • Hi Gege,

      sorry for the overdue response. Well, there are conflicting rumors about the immigration proceedings lately because of President Obama's campaign for amnesty for illegal migrants in the USA. Every year, each US embassies worldwide have a quota (I think around 10,000 but it varies yearly). Every start of the year, the quota restarts, hence the feeling that more are being granted, but procedure and protocol are the same (they just grant applicants faster if they meet the requirements but still deny those who are incomplete). The fresh grad your aunt mentioned may have possibly applied with his/her parents and supporting documents were provided. We haven't heard of a fresh grad of any course applying for visa by him/herself and got granted, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's impossible as long as the documents are complete. We would recommend you take some work experience in your profession and soon (after a couple of years or more) you will be more than eligible to be granted with a US tourist visa. Travel some more as well, visit China (Hong Kong not counted), Korea or Japan. It adds up to your credentials.

      Very best,

      Troy A

  25. Hi, Is it possible if we can go together for an interview with my grandmother? Grandmother and I has no travel history, although i went to singapore once. But she was requested by her daughther to visit at US.. Is there possibility we can be denied?

  26. Hi Emilyn,

    If your grandmother is already a senior citizen, with a business or have a substantial amount of monetary reserves or have a letter from her daughter in the USA that she will be supported during her stay, then it would raise the chances of her being granted a visa. With you as her travel companion can benefit with this as well. We recommend that your aunt from the US send a letter of invitation stating that you and your grandmother are being invited to visit there and that she will be supporting both of you and shoulder your expenses. Let her indicate there as well that it is important that you join your grandmother as a travel companion due to her age. Include this letter in your usual documents (appointment confirmation, bank certificate, your business permit or employment certificate, etc).

    Good luck on your application :)

    Troy

  27. Hi good day im glad i found this sighful websight, my friend is working as Caregiver in the US for two years and she stayin in at her boss house her boss is quadriplegic and is invited me to come and will sponsored all my expenses to come in the US.He invited me to come in the US so that my friend could take him on a vacation to have a trip in any other places in the US. Because of my experienced in Caregiving field he has offered me a free visit in the US and stayin at his house with my friend. So that i could help my friend to take him a trip.We are planning to apply for 3 months tourist visa . Just wanna ask If its possible for me to get a visa?

    • Hi Alicia,

      Thanks for your comment. In this day and age, anything is possible as long as you dream hard and work for it. As we have mentioned above, the success of your application will depend on the documents you will present during the interview. If you have been working here in the Philippines for several years already, you have been to countries that requires visa, you have a substantial amount in the bank, etc then you will raise your chances to get approved. Sponsorship is most of the time misunderstood as it mostly apply to Fiance and relatives. So in your case (and your friend's), they can help you by asking them to send over a letter of invitation and/or an affidavit of support, together with their bank certificate and a photocopy of their ID (social security or passport). Include those in your application, together with your own documents (as indicated in the requirements). While waiting for their letters, go ahead and fill up your DS 160 form and schedule your appointment (last we read – as of this writing – the earliest appointment now is mid April). Once all your documents are complete, be present on your day of interview and be honest with the visa officer. It is up to them to decide (depending on your documents) whether to grant/deny you visa, grant 3 months, 6 months or more.

      Goodluck on your application :)
      -Troy

  28. Thank you so much for providing this thread. Me and my son had a 10 year Multiple Entry visa that has expired on Feb 2010. We already had our interview scheduled this coming April. We've visited the US 3x together staying for 2 months each visit. What i'm anxious about is that on my 3rd visit (without my son), i applied for an F1 visa and studied there but left the states after 20 months since i can't bare being alone, without my son. That was on 2006. My son and I visited US for the last time on January 2010 and have stayed for 2 months again. My son's father is a green card holder (we're divorced and annulled). Now that we're travelling together with my "new" husband, do you think those data might be a problem in getting a visa? I would very much appreciate your comments about this. Thanks! =)

    • i really need your advise on this troy and renz please…

      • Troy Alcantara says:

        Hi Jen,

        Thank you for your comment and really sorry for the delayed response. I might have overlooked this. anyway, your previous visas will affect your application in a better way actually, even if you are traveling with your new husband. Although it will only affect your application, not your husband's. I don't see any violation of use in any of your visit so it should make your application impressive.

        Thanks and apologies for the delay.
        -Troy A,

  29. myrna m. bautista says:

    hi good day…i have a daughter who lives in usa for about 6 months,she is married to a us navy american citizen.. she is pragnant and she want me to visit and take good care of her because of her condition..where do i start on applying us visa…and pls tell me all the documents needed for my case about visiting my daughter..tnx..godbless…

  30. Hi Mrs Bautista,

    Thank you for your comment. There are several things to consider regarding your application for US visa like:

    1. What is the status of your daughter in the USA? Fiancee visa (immigrant) ? Tourist? US passport holder already?
    2. How long will you need to stay in the US?

    As we have constantly mentioned in the post and the replies, it is best to be as honest as possible in applying for your US visa. If your daughter is in a Fiancee visa already or in the process of gaining citizenship, she can file for a petition for you to migrate to USA but this process may take several months or years. If she is still using a tourist visa, no document from her can help in your application. If the latter is the case and you really need to go there, and, If you are already either in the 40's – 50's (years old), have a long employment tenure, with a long standing business, have substantial amount of money in the bank, and/or have been to other countries requiring visa (i.e. Japan, China, Korea, Europe, etc) then you can apply as a tourist visa with better chances. However, if you are granted with a visa, the immigration officer (upon entering US soil) will only stamp 1 month, 3 months or 6 months maximum stay. You can request for an extension but it is at their discretion. Just simply follow the steps above and the documents are under FAQs item I.

    Goodluck and congratulations to you and your daughter for having a baby!

    -Troy

  31. hi i would like to obtain a tourist visa,my parents are both green cardholders and my sister is a US citizen,she is married for a long time with her american husband,my other sister is also married with an american.i want to visit my parents in Florida. Im married here in phils.,i own a small business and my husband has a stable work here for almost 9yrs.we dont have kids yet,much as possible me and my husband want to travel to US together,my question what are our chances of getting B2 visa,what are our chances of both being approved of B2 visa?is it true if we both apply that may lower the chance of getting approved and if i travel alone and leave my husband here in phils i could have a better chance to be approved.please enlighten us.thank u so much

    • Hi Lanie,

      Thanks for the interesting questions. Many ask the same regarding which situation helps increase your chances of getting a visa.

      On the first few sentences of your comments, you seem to be gearing towards acquiring visa through petition by your sister. However, you are already married making your last name different from theirs already. If you were single and your sister or your parents (after acquiring citizenship), it would have been faster and easier that way.

      Being married, having a stable work and a small business is good, but not enough. Have you or your husband been to countries that require visas as well (i.e. Europe, Japan, Korea, etc). It would be a big help if both you have and also present a bank certificate with a good amount of money in it. Apply together and all should be well with your application.

      Goodluck!

      -Troy

  32. Michele Ema says:

    Hi, would like to ask, I'm not yet married but I have 1 son turning 2 this july my sister is married to an American guy, she wanted me to go with them is it possible to apply a visa since I don't have any bank account, his husband will sponsored us including my son? Thanks in advance…..

  33. Hi Michele,

    Not having a personal bank account can be a problem, even if there is only a small amount there. Please open one so at least you have something that the embassy would think that should get back to here in the Philippines. Ask for a letter of invitation and a photocopy of the bank certificate of your brother-in-law, to be included in your application.

    Goodluck on your application :)
    -Troy

  34. Hi,
    I was wondering whether i have a chance of getting a tourist visa. I just quit my job in Singapore and will be going back to the Philippines and pursue other career. But obviously I am unemployed by the time i get back there. I want to go to the US for 2 week vacation first before i start my new career. It was planned last year but silly of me to prolong the application until I'm about to go home. I'm not sure what strong ties I could possibly project to the embassy given my current situation. Financially i have no problem with that as i can support myself for the whole trip. I have relatives there and i still haven't decided whether it would help if i ask them for sponsorship stuff (that they will take me in when i get there) or something like that or I don't need that to apply.
    I am not in any medical industry.
    Thank you i hope you could help me on this

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Jamie,

      Sorry for the delayed reply. By the way, have you quit your job already? Because the best approach regarding your concern is to apply for tourist visa in Singapore while you are still employed and you could still provide papers. Visa officers of most embassy would always think or ask "If you have no work or job in Singapore or Philippines, you might look for a job in the US which is contrary to the terms of the tourist visa". Surely, the visa officer will ask you "what do you do?" or "what type of work or business are you in to right now?" and answering "nothing" would be a big blow and a turn down to your visa. Even if you could financially support yourself or someone else can support you, they will see you as a "risk". I'm sorry for this but I believe the visa officer will just tell you that "You are a good candidate for a tourist visa -some other time – "

  35. kristel says:

    hi.very nice blog.i just want to ask about my brother who is applying for a visa for seasonal employment in US.he is applying through an agency in PH with a job order as an amusement park worker.According to the agency the contract will be finish in november within this year. he is already fit to work (medical) and for appointment in the embassy.he is 21 years old and a college graduate(masscom) and has a 6 months experience from his previous work.can i ask what are his chances to pass the interview and what do you think about the possible questions?tnx in advance.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Kristel,

      Our experience and expertise are just around acquiring "Tourist / Business Visa" (B1/B2). For employment cases and migration, you could perhaps consult another expert on that.

      Goodluck to you brother!

  36. hi Troy and Renz,

    i am a Fili[ina and currently working here in Hong Kong since 2004,i have an American boyfriend since 2009 i met him online, he used to work in the Philippines in the year 1984 to 1985,,he is now in the US and managing his own business. He wanted me to visit him in the US,we never meet yet in person,,is there a big chance for me to avail a tourist visa if i am going to apply at the US Immigration HK? i still wanted to go back here after a month due to my work.,,,what are the documents needed?

    thanks a lot..

  37. Hello Mr. Troy and Maám Reena,

    i just want to correct the years my boyfriend worked in the Philippines…he used to work there in the year 1984 to 1992..is there a possibility that i can apply for my tourist visa here in HK? my bf will sponsor me in paying a visit over there..what shall i do??because i don't want yet to go back in the Philippines,i still need to work..is the us immigration will allow me to avail here?
    thanks again..god bless..

  38. donna delgado says:

    hello there..i am donna, married, have 3 pre-teen kids, and a housewife..my gramdmother (a US citizen) will go back to the US and wants me to accompany her (she has parkinsons and is 86 y/o). i want to know what visa to apply for since i will take care of her and if DS-160 applies to me. please help? thanks! email me pls!

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Donna,

      Yes, the DS-160 application form applies to you (and to most applicants). It will be just you who will accompany her and you won't be staying for a long time there, right? You can visit as a tourist accompanying a US citizen for that case.

      -Troy

  39. donna delgado says:

    hello there..i am donna, married, have 3 pre-teen kids, and a housewife..my gramdmother (a US citizen) will go back to the US and wants me to accompany her (she has parkinsons and is 86 y/o). i want to know what visa to apply for since i will take care of her and if DS-160 applies to me. please help? thanks! email me pls!

  40. hi Troy and renz,

    here is my situation..

    i am filipina, single and currently working as a civil engineer for 2 years in my present company here in manila. I have applied for a visitor visa and be interviewed next month by God's grace. My boyfriend invited me to visit him in US and he will be shouldering all the expenses for my travel including my ticket as to what i filled out in the online form (who will be paying for your trip). I'll visit him there and he'll visit me here on December. It's like we will be visiting each other alternately. Yes you're right, it doesn't include in the list for boyfriend, etc. He is a filipino too but a US citizen already. He is completing his degree while having a part time job. I can only stay there for 3 weeks which is indicated in my letter of leave the company approved of. I have a bank account and I am not sure if it's enough since my boyfriend will be paying all my expenses. The documents i can only show are employment cert., letter of leave, credit card statements, bank account with small amount,family pics including our house, my mom's piggery & my cow, mobile billing statement, invitation letter from him,latest income tax of me & my bf. I never traveled abroad yet but issued a passport more than 2 years ago.

    Now, my questions are, would there be a big chance my visa would be approved? With these said documents, am I establishing a strong ties to the country? The first common question they asked as others tell is what will you goin to do in US, will i get denied immediately if ill tell them i only want to visit my boyfriend and spend some time with him?
    Will it still be okay if my boyfriend has only a part time job but will be shouldering all my expenses? I only want to see him and spend time with each other because its been 13 months since the last we meet.(when he had his vacation here). How much do I need to settle in my bank account? Will 30 0r 40 grand enough already since my bf will be sponsoring me?

    I appreciate a lot if you can answer these questions. Thank you.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Ena,

      thanks for your questions. It is good that you have went through the right process in the application. In reference to your questions:

      1. chance of visa approval?
      - based on the documents you provided, it is 50/50. But you can increase your chances by:
      a. provide an affidavit of support from your mom together with her bank certificate, business permits or documents in reference to the piggery, certificate of ownership (for the cow, if there is).
      b. affidavit of support from your boyfriend, including a photocopy of his bank statement (as proof he could support you)

      2. documents establishing strong ties to the country?
      -honestly, it is still not strong enough. 2 years employment is long but not as long as they expect because usual company tenure benefits come in by 5-10 years (I believe by practice here in the Philippines).

      3. will you get denied if you say you will spend some time with bf in USA?
      - unlikely, with this kind of reason I don't believe so.

      4. BF has part time job:
      - your boyfriend's employment may or may not affect your application but on how much money he have and can he support you during your 3 weeks stay (including his). So it would depend on his bank certificate / statement.

      5. How much money in the bank?
      -P30,000 – P40,000 is really not enough. If the visa officer asks "If your boyfriend dumps you in the middle of the USA, what can you do and how will you be able to get back to the Philippines?" and also, "If your boyfriend does not remit the money to pay for your roundtrip ticket, and we grant you a visa for at least a year, do you have enough money to purchase your own? surely P30k is not enough and if the visa is not used in that span of time, it would be a waste of paper and the slot should have been provided to somebody else" (sorry for the frank statement but I know people who have been given those kinds of words by visa officers).

      Good luck on your application and add more documents to your application, think positive and I am sure you can make it.

      -Troy

      • Thank you for the information Mr. Troy.
        From Q1, my mom doesn't have business permits for them. I thought affidavit of support only needs for immigrants? He only send me his W2.

        From Q5, Do i need like a hundred grand in the bank? Will it be okay if i can settle an amount few weeks before my interview?

        Thanks alot.

        • Troy Alcantara says:

          Hi Ena,

          Affidavit of support can be submitted irregardless of application and is a good document to support your application. If your mom doesn't have a business permit or any business documentation regarding the piggery then her bank certificate is your best chance to increase your probability of being granted a visa.

          Most embassies do not set a minimum or maximum amount in the bank certificate (except China which is at least P50,000 per person would already be ok). They usually compute how much is the living expenses of a tourist in the US per day, multiplied by the number of days of your stay, plus the cost of 2 roundtrip tickets (one for you to use and another in case of emergency and you plan to return to the Philippines earlier or much later). If you or anyone supporting you cannot meet that amount for the whole duration of your stay in US, then your chances go down. If you could put money as early as possible and leave the money there as long as possible, then the embassy "may/might" consider that the money in the bank is truly yours.

          Thanks
          -Troy

          • Thanks for the reply Mr. Troy. My interview will be on 2nd week next month. Is it possible that I could settle that amount few weeks from now? I mean won't they question it during interview? Is 150 grand enough? Please help thanks.

          • Troy Alcantara says:

            Hi Ena, Yes, you could settle the amount few weeks prior to the interview, the earlier have it and the longer the money stays there, the better. However, please note that we do not encourage this practice. It is best that you save money in the bank, keep a good standing account in progression for a long period of time for cases like this. I believe the people from the US embassy already know that Filipinos borrow big money and deposit it in their account just to show that they have money, and then withdraw it days after approval, so they may look into other aspects like asking the bank how long they have this amount of money or check other credentials. I know someone who have millions of pesos in their bank account already but still got denied. As for the amount, again, there is no fixed or best answer if it is "enough" or not. They will check your other documents like employment tenure, registered business, what places have you been to (countries where visa was also required), etc. It is best to complete your documents and be honest with your answers and it is also better to be over prepared than otherwise.

          • Hello again Mr. Troy! My interview is nearly coming. I'm praying hard for it. So help me God.

            I wouldn't be able to borrow a huge amount of money so I tried to loan for it. Will it be okay then? I don't have any other way to settle that amount so I needed to apply for a loan. As for my cow, I have already the document named after me. ( I don't think if this asset is enough).

            If my boyfriend will give me an invitation letter, does it need to be formal, addressed to the US embassy? How about the affidavit of support? Is it just like a simple letter and have it notarized here? Just like this, I, <bf's name>, do hereby support my girlfriend <your name> for her trip to the USA, <address of bf here>, from <exact dates of stay in US>, and I shall ensure and guarantee her return to the Philippines". As simple as that?

            Thanks in advance.

          • Hi Ena,

            Some Filipinos do loan and I think the US Embassy is aware of this practice and at certain point ask for bank statement for the last 3 months transaction. And as I have mentioned in my previous comments that we do not encourage this practice. Any asset or proof of your financial stability here in the Philippines will be of great help.

            If a foreign national (US citizen) will be inviting you, a casual invitation letter will suffice (hand written and snail mailed/courier). Just have him write something like "Hi honey, I want to invite you over here at <BF's place or address>, on <date of entry> until <date of exit>, for a vacation and to meet my family… I'll help finance your trip in any way and help in your visa application as much as I can… I can only accommodate for you until <date of exit> because I have work by then but I will finance and ensure that you shall return to the Philippines" something of that sort. Have him include a photocopy of his passport and bank certificate.

            Affidavit of support is issued by a direct family member here in the Philippines (not a foreign national) and must be notarized.

            Thanks and goodluck!

            Troy

          • Thanks alot for the advice Mr. Troy. I'll just hope and pray my documents still be considered and have it approved.

            As for the letter, I think an email would do this time because I only few more days before the interview. I don't think if the snail mail can still be received before that day.

  41. hi there,,,i got my US visa long time ago since 2007,but then i never entered US due to some reasons….just i wanted to know,how will i check or where will i ask if that visa is still valid?its a visit visa..
    please help me…thnx

  42. Hi im joris! Ask q po lng sana f maka avail pa bah kame sa vrp.our visa expired last feb 29,2012.b1/b2 po yong visa namin,valid for 10 yrs po.ano po kailangn nmin gawin .thanks

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Joris,

      According to the VRP (Visa Reissuance Program) item #3: My visa is still valid or it has expired within the last twelve months.

      lagpas na po ng 12 months expired ang visa niyo po, so hindi na po kayo eligible for the VRP. Halos pareho naman po ang procedure ng VRP and new application, except sa VRP wala na pong final (or 3rd) interview. Apply/renew na po kayo ng mas maaga kahit hindi pa po kayo aalis papuntang USA para mas madali po kayong makapag apply. Mas marami po kasing tatanungin pag pinatagal niyo po.

      Thanks,

      -Troy

  43. judy vaughan says:

    helloo …ako po si judy im 32 yrs old nagustohan kopo ang mga comment ng mga gaya kong gustong magbisita ng ibang bansa .gaya din nila ako ay na dinied long time ago,years 2003 nuon po hindi kuna sinubukan mag apply uli ng visa pero ngayon po nabasa ko ang mga comment ng iba naliwanagan po ang isipan ko ,at gusto ko uli mag apply ng visa para po maka bisita sa asawa ko sa u.s .salamat sa mga coments at salamat sa post nyo na messges…

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Judy,

      Thank you very much for the comment too. Bakit po hindi niyo po uling subukan mag apply uli? 10 years ago na po yung last application niyo and for sure marami na po kayong ma idadagdag sa application niyo po. If your husband is already a US citizen, pwede na rin po niya kayong ipetition under Spouse Visa which is faster and easier.

      Goodluck on your next visa application and thanks!

      -Troy

      • Hello i just want to ask po if what chances i have in getting a tourist visa., nakapunta na po ako ng Us for 9 months last 2010 using a dependent visa and my mom applied na for my petition habang andun ako, this time my mom wants us with my grandmother to apply for a tourist visa .im 23 but not working yet but nagvolunteer po ako sa isang hospital since i was a nurse.

        • Hi Nikki,

          Thanks for your comment. Honestly, by looking at your description, you have a slim chance to be approved of a visa. First is your age (employable, can work anywhere and should be independent already), next is your employment status (unemployed and volunteering is not counted, which the US embassy would think that you will look for a job in USA instead), and lastly, you are in the process of a petition already right? I would suggest that you wait for that to be approved and then let your grandmother apply for a (B-1) tourist visa. She has a bigger chance of getting one since most likely she is retired already. If you are already in the process of a petition, you are not allowed to apply for any other visa category as it will confuse your application. Just wait and once approved, everything will be easier.

          Thanks,

          Troy

  44. hi can i have a week vacation here in america after my contract in the the cruiseline? i only have a c1d visa.

    • Hi Jayson,

      To answer your question, it would depend on the validity of your C-1/D visa. (C-1) Transit and (D) Crew member visa allows you to stay 29 days upon entering and as long as it is within the expiration date. You need to leave U.S. a day prior to your expiry date. The best who could answer that is the immigration officer who will stamp your passport on how long you could stay, or if you need to proceed to the nearest airport as soon as possible to go to your final destination.

      Thanks,
      Troy

  45. Yeng Oliva says:

    Hi I'm 22 years old, single nurse by profession and will be taking my IT certification or degree this year.. I have my own bank account with enough savings. the thing is my friend who is a greencardholder is inviting me to go to US just for a tour specifically in california and I am going to stay at their house during the visit I'm not planning on staying long 2weeks is my maximum stay since I have classes I plan to go during the sembreak what other things should we do or requirements we need to prove that I'm just going for a tour there? originally she was inviting me for her birthday celebration but that is on the month of september sadly I'm not available since I will be still having classes.. any advice on how we could work things out?

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Yeng,

      thanks for the comment and for providing something of a fresh perspective. Your green card holder friend's invitation may not be of help here because he/she may not be able to (or not capable of) support you. What we recommend that you include in your application/supporting documents are the following:
      1. Certificate of employment from your current work.
      2. Certificate of enrollment from the school you are applying.
      3. Affidavit of support from your parents (with the phrase "We, <parents names>, do hereby support our daughter <your name> for her trip to the USA, <address of friend here>, from <exact dates of stay in US>, and we shall ensure and guarantee her return to the Philippines". Please also have it notarized prior to submission.
      4. Bank certificate of your parents
      5. Business documents of your parents (if they own properties or businesses)

      With all these, it would increase your chances and hopefully the visa officer forgets or looks away from your current profession and clear any doubt you will be looking for work there.

      Thanks and good luck!

      Troy

  46. angelito says:

    hi im newly here… and first time to do this…. im angelito,33 and currently working here in jeddah ,saudi arabia for 2 yr and 3mos.. and im planning to apply a tourist visa for U.S here in jeddah.. and my aunt told me that they are the one to provide all the expences i needed.. but the problem for me now is, i dont have any bank certificate or business cert. to show,once i interview.
    please can you help me what am i going to do and what are those requirements needed. once i go for interview.. hope you can advice me.. thanks and more power…

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Angelito,

      Thank you for your comment. We are not really sure what are the banking policies in Saudi Arabia (if they allow foreign nationals to deposit their money, because Philippine banks do allow as long as the foreigner have an Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR)). Also with business permits and papers, we are really not sure how is the system there, so we are not really sure how will the US Embassy handle your application there. Your financials, no matter how small they are, is important in any visa application. Embassies world wide would first have to prove that you are really not capable of financing your trip before they look into any affidavit of support. This is also a way for them to prevent money laundering. You can e-mail the embassy there at riyadhiv@state.gov and ask the same questions and I am sure they are more than happy to assist you. You can also check http://riyadh.usembassy.gov/visas/b1b2.html for the step by step process.

      Thanks,
      Troy

  47. hi! just want to ask: im scheduled to present a paper at a conference in chicago on may 3-5, 2013 but i only received the email confirming that my paper was accepted on march 7. after paying visa fee and completing the form, i found out that the earliest schedule for interview is may 2. is there something i can do to get an early interview?-

  48. Hi TroY!

    I hope you could answer my questions.

    Im planning to apply for a US Visa, my American boyfriend who works in the US navy and stationed in Japan will be spending his mandatory leave in the states, late this year or early next year for at least 30 days. He would like to take me there to meet his family because were planning to get married next year. After 30 days he will go back to Japan to continue with his Navy service and I`m going back here.

    Is it possible for me to get a US visa since I`m with my boyfriend and he`s paying all the expenses.

    I dont know what to do or where to start. Were both confused with some of the instructions provided by the different websites we`ve checked. I want to b sure before I fill out any documents.

    PS. Im a nurse by profession <— red blip

    Hoping for your soonest response.

    Thank you very much.

    • Hi Madel,

      Thanks for your comment and congratulations with your engagement!

      Don't worry about your profession because given your situation, you are a good candidate for (K-1) Fiancee Visa. I would recommend that he (yes, it must start from his side first in order for this to work) file for a petition to grant you a nonimmigrant Visa for Fiancee. Please let him go the following link for guidance:
      1. http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/typ
      2. http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/typ

      He must file a petition using Form I-129F at a USCIS office near him (probably he could do it in his base in Japan or courier it to the nearest perhaps Hawaii or California). Once approved, it will be sent here in the US Embassy in Manila.

      Once you have confirmed that they received it (they will notify you in any means of communication i.e. call, email, snail mail), go to the nearest BPI and pay the peso equivalent of US$240 visa fee for Fiancee. This will make setting the appointment faster. fill up forms Form DS-156 (print 2 copies) and set your appointment right after. Fill up Form DS-156K and Form DS-230 (links to the forms can be found on second link above), print them in 2 copies. Include in your application the following:
      1. Valid passport (at least 6 months valid and 2 pages without any stamp)
      2. Police and NBI Clearance
      3. Your bank certificate(s) (have your boyfriend fill up Form I-134 as well just to be sure)
      4. 2×2 Photo – 2 pieces with white background
      5. print out all your communications (chats, e-mail, photos, facebook chats, everything)

      Once complete and months prior to your appointment, schedule your medical examination (check out http://travel.state.gov/pdf/medical/MNL-MED-MULT-…. Make sure you get the medical first before the actual interview/appointment to avoid delay. Read the links I have provided well so the processing will be faster.

      Goodluck and best wishes!

      Troy

  49. Hi! Iam kevin 24 years old. I'm still studying 9units left in my curriculum and already married for 4 years and already have a son turning 4. We are going to apply for a US visa with my cousin. May dad and my mom will sponsor me in all the expenses that i need for the tour in US. I also have plenty of relatives in US were i can stay for the rest of vacation there and they promise that they will also sponsor me in all the expenses in my stay there. I just want to ask if want supporting documents do i need to show in my interview so that the possiblity of my visa application will be granted by the consul. Thank you very much. Hoping for you reply god bless

    • Hi Kevin,

      There are really no "fool proof" documents that can grant you visa, but there are those that could "increase your chances" depending on your status (financially and socially). Based on your situation, these documents are good to increase your family's probability of getting a visa:

      1. You and your spouse's bank certificate
      2. Employment certificate of your spouse (or business registration if she has a business)
      3. Your wife's ITR (include yours if you have)
      4. Certificate of enrollment from your school.
      5. Notarized affidavit of support from your parents (must clearly mention your name, your wife and son)
      6. Bank certificate of your parents
      7. Business registration of your parents businesses
      8. Affidavit of support / Invitation letter from your relatives in US (must clearly mention your name, your wife and son)
      9. Photocopy of the US passports of your relatvies in US
      10. Photocopy or original copy of the bank certificates of your relatives in US

      Now, depending on the amount of money your parents and relatives have and the duration of your stay will determine if you will be granted or not. There are no specific amount and it is a case to case basis.

      Good luck on your application and thanks!

      Troy

      • Thank you very much for the reply troy. Actually me and my cousin will apply for the tourist visa. Do i need those (1 to 3) that you mentioned? Thanks

      • Ok thank you very much Troy. Actually me and my cousin will apply for the tourist visa not with my wife and my son, do I still need those (1 to 3) documents that you have mentioned. Thanks troy

        • Troy Alcantara says:

          Thanks Kevin,

          Replace #1 – 3 with:
          1. Your bank certificate
          2. Your employment certificate or business permit if you have a job or business
          3. Your ITR if you have one

          Thanks

  50. hi there. im maureen and im 24 years old and still a student. My sister's family is planning on applying for a u.s visa (she has 3 kids) and she wants me to apply for a visa too. back in 2006(i was 17) my parents and i applied for a visa and were granted single entry for 6 months. we went to the u.s at around march of 2006 and came back to the philippines april 2006. but now, my mom is a green card holder since she got petitioned from my eldest sister who is an american citizen already. but since then i havent renewed my visa because i dropped out of nursing school at the age of 19, and mainly i Helped my dad with the family business. Then i went back to school again at the age of 23. im just really nervous about applying for a visa because i might get denied because i'am already independent. but my dad is ready to fund my travel in case i wil go through with applying the visa again. what else do i need to reassure them that im coming back?and also the reason that im applying for a visa is for a vacation with the whole family and its also going to be my dad's birthday gift for me. thanks!

    • Hi Maureen,

      Thanks for the comment. It is good that you were issued a US visa before and within the last 10 years, this would make things easier for you and the embassy. You can set your application in a combined approach: a student and a part time employee of your family business. Fill up your DS-160 form and include the following in your application:

      1. Certificate of enrollment from your current school
      2. Photocopy of the front and back of your school ID
      3. Employment certificate from your family business ( it is also good if you are turned into as one of the directors or incorporators)
      4. Business permit
      5. ITR (yours and family business)
      6. Bank certificate of the family business
      7. Affidavit of support from your parents (notarized)

      Be confident especially when answering the visa officer and think positive :)

      Goodluck and advance happy birthday!

      Thanks,

      -Troy

      • hi troy. thank you for the reply.

        now my dad wants to apply for a visa too but since he wasnt petitioned by my sister (because he refused. doesnt wanna live in the u.s) he just wants to visit. is it an advantage for me that my dad will come along?and about the certificate of enrollment, im thinking that maybe my school wont issue me a certificate of enrollment since im not going to enroll for summer classes this year (mainly because the subjects they offered me got accredited). is it okay not to bring a certificate of enrollment?but surely i will enroll for s.y 2013-2014. should i enroll earlier?im sorry im just really nervous about this.

        thanks troy :)

        • Hi Maureen,

          For your application, you could just include your current semester’s registration form (the one that just ended). It’s important that they know you are still studying and you have something to show them in writing issued by the current school. If you could enroll earlier for June then that would be great! and yes, it would be a big help if your dad is joining you since he is a co-signee of the affidavit of support. He could speak in your behalf during the interview and definitely could guarantee your return.

          Thanks,
          Troy

          • thank you troy :) we just finished applying and we are now scheduled for an interview. thank you so much for the help. this blog is amazing. our conversation made me feel better. More blessing to your family. have a wonderful day.

          • hi troy, do i still need to bring a certificate of employment?and during the time we were applying for the ds-160, i typed in that my dad is a government employee because that is his main job. the family business is just his back up plan if he retires from his job. do we still need to ask for a letter from the local government that he is going out of town?because the last time that we went out of the country(Macau), we got held at the immigration and was asked if my dad had a letter that he had permission to leave the country. and btw, my dad is already 69 years old but he looks way younger than 69.

            thanks troy :)

          • Hi Maureen,

            sorry for the delayed reply. Yes, you need a certificate of employment as mentioned in my previous reply (Item #3). For your father as well, if his office could issue a certificate of what is his position, how long has it been and if possible, annual salary declaration. Once approved of the visa and you are about to depart, your father, as a government official, need to secure a permit to travel from his office weeks prior so you could present that in the NAIA immigration.

            Thanks and goodluck!
            Troy

  51. Hi There,

    I'm 25 years old, my fiancee is a Guam Immigrant and now staying there(not yet a citizen), her parents are already a US citizen. I'm Planning to visit her, a 5days-1month stay would be fine for me, but i'm afraid that consuls would not grant me a tourist/visitor visa. I have a stable job (4 years+ employed to an IT company) with more or less 360000 annual income, I also have a bank account but with only P120000 deposits on it (i think enough to support my travel to Guam), my only property is a car and a motorbike and still living with parents(mom has a stable job and father is a retired OFW), my sister is also an Australian Immigrant. please share me some ideas regarding my visa application based on the credentials above. this blog is a big help!

    thank you very much and im hoping to get some ideas to my visa application

    -Mackoo

    • Hi Mackoo,

      Thank you for your comment. Based on what you mentioned, you are a good candidate for a US tourist visa. You have good employment tenure and you are doing well in the financial aspects. Just a few questions remain: Have you been to other countries that require visas like Korea, China or Japan? Much better if you have been to Europe or Australia. If yes, then lodge your application in full confidence as you have higher chances of being granted a visa with that. If you haven't been to any of those countries, then your chances may get lower but not slim (safe to say about 60% chance compared to 75% chance when you have been granted visa to other countries).

      You can either visit any of those countries first before trying to get a tourist US visa or you could take your chances now and hope for the best. Adding an affidavit of support from your parents may not matter because the embassy needs to check if you have a good travel history.

      Thanks and Good luck!
      -Troy

      • Hi Sir Troy,

        This will be my first travel outside Philippines just in case. I also want to hear your thoughts, if me being in a relationship to a green card holder in the US (and possible citizen in the future), will it greatly affect my application for a visitor visa now?(im just worried that consuls might think we'll be getting married or i might not come back to philippines due to the relationship we have).

        Thank you very much for your advice, somehow increasing my confidecen to pursue visa application.

        -Mackoo

        • Troy Alcantara says:

          Hi Mackoo,

          A US Green card holder is "still in the process" of acquiring citizenship and having one is a privilege. They are also under scrutiny with a different set of standards (there are regulations and some must and must not do's for green card holders and one of the regulations is arriving or staying in the US with a non immigrant or tourist wife and kids, so how much more for friends, boyfriends or fiancees) like that of a tourist visa applicant, although she do enjoy most of the rights that an ordinary US citizen receives. Your thoughts could possibly their thoughts as well, they may think that you will skip the process (wait for her to acquire a citizenship and then file a Fiancee visa to invite you and help you permanently stay in US). This may jeopardize her Green Card as well. Although your intentions are clear that you are only staying within 5 – 30 days in the US but you need to prove to them that you can support your own trip or someone from the Philippines will and guarantee your return. Your application stand out already, I have heard of applicants being granted a tourist visa even if is their first time to leave the country. At the same time, I would suggest you visit other country as well (perhaps to China with your mom and dad) to make your application more impressive.

          Thanks,
          Troy

          • Hi Sir Troy,

            it's really a nice thing hearing your thoughts. Another concern I have is the contact person to US and place where to stay(as needed in the application form), do you think its fine if I state my fiancée’s(or her parent's) address and name as a contact person and on where I’m going to stay there in Guam? or is there a bigger chance for me to be granted a visitor/tourist visa if I wouldn’t state my reason of visiting my fiancée there and that I will be going there on my own for relaxation or purely tourism visit?(for purely tourism visit I choose to put the hotel's contact as my contact organization and place to stay). Sorry if this is getting long sir Troy, I just want to know all the possibilities of every scenarios that I might encounter, specially I’m a first timer.

            thank you very much and I really appreciate your warm replies! =)

            -Mackoo

          • Troy Alcantara says:

            Hi Mackoo,

            It's fine :) I actually appreciate that the comments are rolling and I am sure there are more who have the same case as yours who are reading this as well and get more enlightened. :) If you your fiancee's parents are willing to send you a letter of invitation then you may indicate in your application their address. If it is kind of uncomfortable to them then you can put in an address of a hotel you would plan to stay in as a backup (you know you should also consider this as well because who knows, they might have a pet dog or cat you are allergic to or they have a rowdy neighbor or some sort, I am just telling). I almost forgot, keep your visit short, because being a month away from work might bring a red flag to the embassy, they might think that you will no longer have a job back here and look there already. Some companies are understanding and may grant you a month long vacation but most embassies will generalize the policies in the country of their installation.

            Thanks,
            Troy

  52. Hi Renz and Tory! I just want to ask what are the things i need to do in applying a tourist visa. Me and my daughter is planning to visit my husband who has a permanent residency and we want to go to Disneyland as well, for my daughter's 2nd birthday.
    I've been in the US for a J1 visa it has a rule that i cannot go back to the states for 2 years i finishes that already since i went back here in the Philippine last feb 2011.
    i have a business under my name and i'm working in our family business will that be enough for my financial stability. for the bank statements how much money do you think is the enough to be in my bank for the financial stability. I don't have any property here in the Philippines we bought a house but it's other my Mom's finances in her bank but we are the one paying for it i don't know if there will consider that since the loans and stuff is not under my name.
    i'm just really scared i got denied with the financial stability and since my husband is already living there they will think we will not coming back.
    by the way we got married in the states but my daughter was born here in the Philippines.

    thanks
    debs bartolo

    • Hi Debs,

      Thank you for your comment. If you are planning to apply for Non-Immigrant US Tourist visa, you cannot mention anything about your husband as he is still in the process of acquiring citizenship through his Green Card (Permanent Resident Card). It will not only bring a problem to your husband’s citizenship but also, like what you mentioned, the visa officer will think that since your husband and the father of your child is there then you will permanently stay there using the wrong process. I am not really sure how to do that because in the application, you need to fill up a portion relating to your spouse. I still believe that you need to answer it in honesty but again, it may or may not affect your husband’s green card depending on how your application is presented.

      There are 2 options for you:
      1. Wait for your husband to get his citizenship and then apply for spouse/immigrant visa (including your daughter)
      2. Visit as a Tourist using tourist visa but return back to the Philippines to avoid any problem

      If you wish to visit as a tourist, having been issued with a J1 (Exchange Visitor Program visa) before (you did not overstay and you have no civil or criminal record during your stay) then you already have an edge (or plus points to your application). You will just need to show proof that you can financially support yourself and your daughter’s trip depending on the duration of your holiday there. There are no fixed amount of money that is truly “acceptable” to the embassy as they base it on how long you will be staying, how much is a standard hotel per night, food, entrance fees on tours, etc. If you indicate in your application that you will just be visiting for 2 weeks, then they will compute an amount based on that (roundtrip airfare + accommodations + food (x3) + transportation + substantial money left in the Philippines that will give enough reason for you to return). Let me also note that they need a “Bank Certificate” as well, not just a Bank Statement. They are different and I suggest that you check with your bank about it.

      If you feel that your finances are not enough, you can get the assistance of your mom by having her provide you with a notarized affidavit of support, Her latest bank certificate, and photocopy of all land titles and properties under her name. Include that in your application and hope for the best.

      Thanks and goodluck!
      Troy

  53. Cris Guilbeau says:

    Hi Sir troy:) thanks for this blog…
    I am married to an american and we both living here in phil for more than a year now and have our son.. I was qualified by our company for US TRAVEL incentives this year.. Tentatively living by May. I am applying for tourist visa not a spouse visa since we stay here in phil. Our company will be providing all the documents i needed, especially an invitation from our partner company from US. any advice for me please or any tips that will help me get more confident in getting my visa,..i need this visa not only to visit for my travel incentives but to meet my in-laws sincei never meet them yet as well as letting them see my son.
    I have my own bank account with more than enough savings. Have my ITr for 3years, have my car which im still paying.

    Whatelse do i need to provide..( we will be applying for american passport for my son next month too)
    Thanks a lot for your advice

    • Hi Cris,

      Thank you for your comment :) You have high chances of getting a US Tourist visa and you actually have everything you need even if you don't have an impressive travel history. You have good tenure (having 3 years work as stated in your ITR), you have an invitation from a US company and your company will be helping you with the documents as well. Just make sure you include the following:

      1. The usual documents as stated in the article above
      2. Printed invitation letter from the US company (partner)
      3. Certificate of employment with approved leave of absence and salary declaration.
      4. Affidavit of support from the company (that they will support your trip and guarantee your return here)
      5 & 6. Bank Certificate of the company you currently work with and their ITR
      7. Your car registration
      8. Your marriage contract

      Keep with you a photocopy of the following in case the visa officer asks about it during the interview:
      1. A photocopy of your spouse's ACR (Alien Certificate of Registration Card, front and back)
      2. A photocopy of the data page of your spouse (where the photo, name, birthday, etc can be found)
      3. A Community/Residence Tax Certificate (Cedula)

      I'm just saying these because I believe it's better to be overprepared and get granted a visa than being under prepared and get denied of one, but looking at the amount of support being provided to you, there should be no problem with your application as long as your documents are complete.

      Thanks and goodluck!
      -Troy

  54. Hi Renz and Troy,

    Just got married last December 2012 and have not changed my passport since it will expire in 2015. I will be applying for B1/B2 visa. Do I need to change my passport to have my marital status updated before I apply for the US visa? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Melan,

      I would suggest that you do, because you need to add your spouse's details in your DS-160 application and your name there should match what is showing in your passport, otherwise questions will be raised about it.

      Thanks and goodluck!
      -Troy

  55. nazarethcocharo says:

    ,. gud evening
    dear sir troy i want to know how to get a tourist visa
    i dnt have any businesses or big amount my bank all
    but my bf u.s will support me 2 get tourist visa or sponsor 2 visit him
    can i apply my tourist visa by my own boyfriend will be the one will apply for me
    if whatever.
    what is my requirements to apply us, visa
    thanks and i will wait or ur response
    tnx again and godbless

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi! thanks for your comment :)

      Sorry but your boyfriend can't apply a non-immigrant tourist visa for you. If he is that serious about you and would eventually marry you then he could file for a petition to grant you a "Fiancee Visa" (Immigrant). If that is the case then please see quote below

      Please have him visit these two links:

      1. http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/typ
      2. http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/typ

      and then he must file a petition using Form I-129F at a USCIS office near him (probably he could do it in his base in Japan or courier it to the nearest perhaps Hawaii or California). Once approved, it will be sent here in the US Embassy in Manila.

      Once you have confirmed that they received it (they will notify you in any means of communication i.e. call, email, snail mail), go to the nearest BPI and pay the peso equivalent of US$240 visa fee for Fiancee. This will make setting the appointment faster. fill up forms Form DS-156 (print 2 copies) and set your appointment right after. Fill up Form DS-156K and Form DS-230 (links to the forms can be found on second link above), print them in 2 copies. Include in your application the following:
      1. Valid passport (at least 6 months valid and 2 pages without any stamp)
      2. Police and NBI Clearance
      3. Your bank certificate(s) (have your boyfriend fill up Form I-134 as well just to be sure)
      4. 2×2 Photo – 2 pieces with white background
      5. print out all your communications (chats, e-mail, photos, facebook chats, everything)

      Once complete and months prior to your appointment, schedule your medical examination (check out http://travel.state.gov/pdf/medical/MNL-MED-MULT-…. Make sure you get the medical first before the actual interview/appointment to avoid delay. Read the links I have provided well so the processing will be faster.

      Goodluck!

      Troy

  56. This is a highly informative post. Thank you for this post Reena, this will be helpful for our Filipino friends hoping to gain visa approval to the US.

    Travel agency can make your visa application faster and easier but our friends can opt in to consulting an immigration attorney to help them out with the process and to give them the higher rate or probability in obtaining visa approval.

    My recent post Accident With An Uninsured Driver: Scope And Liabilities

  57. Hi there!

    First of, thank you so much for the very helpful entry! Your website provides a wealth of information for 1st time US visa applicants like me. I'm grateful for it! :)

    I'd like to inquire on something: I'm a 26 year old FIl-Chinese and ever since I graduated from college, I never registered for ITR or employment papers because I've been helping for the family business and I have been paid on allowance basis ever since. On the side I have been taking freelance jobs as a graphic designer but eventually I will take over the family business when it's time. I'm planning to visit the US for 4-6 months just purely for leisure and to visit friends and relatives late this year. Does my unusual employment history make me less qualified for a visa despite having more than sufficient personal funds for travel? Or do you think an affidavit of sponsorship from my parents, for instance, is a better option when applying?

    Had I known that employment papers are important, I would've insisted on getting them when I was just starting.

    Thanks again and hoping for your response. :D

    • Hi Ashley,

      Thank you for your comments and kind words :)

      I also work and help the family business like you do and there are ways or work around for your case, but most definitely you mus not mention anything about your part time freelance jobs as a graphic designer as this will show instability in your part as an individual. Also, I do not suggest you be far away from the Philippines that long, the immigration officer stamps 1 month, 3 months and 6 months maximum stay for tourist and you cannot go ahead and "pangunahan ang immigration officer", they will get mad and force you to only stay for a maximum of 1 month. What I suggest that you do Ashley is to ask your parents to include your name as part of the board of directors or incorporators, meaning, you partially own the family business. Next, include all the business permits and papers of the family business, including bank certificate and ITR of the business. You could have your in house auditor file your income tax for last year or 1st quarter of this year so you could have one already. Lastly, include an employment certificate (issued by your parents stating that you are holding a position of so and so in the company, you were granted leave of absence specifically for this SPECIFIC amount of time and not just 4-6 months, you also draw this amount of salary and that you are required to report back to work a day after the specific return date). For more peace of mind, you could also include an affidavit of support from your parents that they will support your trip and guarantee your return.

      It would also be a big help if you had traveled to other countries that require visa (like China, Japan or Korea). Your travel history is just as important as your financial status.

      Thanks and good luck!

      Troy

      • Hi Troy! Thank you so much for the info! I talked to my parents about incorporating my name into the board and turns out that the process will take another year because not everyone in the board is present to make a decision at this time.

        Do you think that securing an ITR and permit for my graphic design work as self-employed would add to my credentials? I've started my freelance work a year ago and I'm presently earning 300k/year from the design work alone so I thought that this might be a good route in place of being part of the board (for the meantime). I've travelled to Japan, China and Taiwan, and I've no problems in securing an affidavit from my parents. Do you think the embassy would find the nature of my work (being a graphic designer and can flexibly work anywhere) questionable despite having papers?

        Thanks again!

        • Hi Ashley,

          It is good that you already have an impressive travel history and your parents are willing to issue an affidavit of support. In reference to your employment, what embassies look for are Tenure (how long have you continuously worked with an employer or how long have you been running a business; The longer the better) and the security and continuity of your work and income (is there a guarantee that you will always and must have work and money coming in from clients every month?). So, as you have said, you just started doing freelance work a year ago would not weight that much for your application and being that it is a freelance job, then there is no security for them that you will return back to the Philippines since there are no businesses or entities that needs you or that you need to return to, i.e. designer firm. They might suspect that you might look for freelance works in the USA. In this case, I would suggest restructuring the documents of your application and provide these instead:

          1. Your portfolio (printed out in A4 size paper, indicate your full name, your professional affiliations like being a member of any design board or association, specific date that you officially start doing freelance design work, a short description about you and generally the work you'v made and then a sample of your works in the succeeding pages all laid out presentably)
          2. Income Tax Return (ITR)
          3. Certificate of employment from your family business (indicate there your position in the business, monthly/annual salary, approved leave of absence)
          4. Affidavit of support from your parents (have them indicate that they are supporting you and guarantee your return)
          5. Bank Certificates and Bank Statements (last 3 months transaction) – from you and your parents

          As I have mentioned in my previous reply, please cut the trip short so that you will not be questioned like "why so long? can you support yourself for that long?" as generally a tourist may have a vacation for a month, but anything longer may mean they are jobless, or looking for a job.

          Thanks and goodluck!
          -Troy

          • Hi Troy,

            Thanks again for your advice! Luckily I'll be able to come up with all the documents. I'll give the application a shot and I'll tell you how it goes.

            Thank you! More power to you and Reena!

  58. Hello Troy…I need Your advise.

    My boyfriend invited me to go with him and his sisters for a Royal Carribean Cruise this July with all his expenses.

    I have read a lot of blogs and a tourist visa requirements needed for travel and It scared me to be denied at first…since, I have no properties and have a little amount of savings in my bank accounts. Do I still have a chance to get the visa?
    I am 41 and still single, have a work here for year already and have traveled to Mideast and Asia too and I have a mother to attend to as in my intention and my bf is just to let me see and experience the cruise.
    What If I marry here, Is It possible to get the tourist visa as spouse first than K3 because I don't wish yet to immigrate there? Hope enlighten my mind.
    Thank You so much then….

  59. Hi Nenet,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Firstly, Royal Caribbean Cruise is a global company name so it is hard to tell if the ports you will be visiting needs a US visa. Where will the cruise start and end? Royal Caribbean Cruise lines have Asean destinations as well. If it will be a "CARIBBEAN" Cruise the definitely you will need a US tourist visa or at least a transit visa.

    I understand your concern and apprehensions but, let me ask you these:
    1. have you been to Israel in the middle east?
    2. have you been to middle east countries that have good or neutral ties with the US?
    3. Have you been to China, Japan, or Korea?
    4. Is your boyfriend willing to send you an invitation letter, together with a photocopy of his passport and bank statement?
    If you have answered yes to all the questions above then you have a bigger chance of being approved a visa. Just complete your documents (whatever and everything you've got) and include an invitation letter from your boyfriend (with his other documents), a booking reservations for the cruise and hopefully the visa officer would consider.

    If you get married with your boyfriend (who I assume is a US citizen) and then apply for a tourist visa, the visa officer will deny you a visa under the suspicion that you will migrate in the US without using the proper channels (spouse visa) because who in their right sense will not live with their spouse right? If you file for a petition for spouse visa, the processing time could be very long and you might miss the cruise. Also, applying for an immigrant visa (spouse, fiancee, family member) without the intention of really immediately staying in USA will deny or revoke your visa.

    Getting a tourist visa is not so hard but not that easy as well, so it is better to be fully prepared, be decided in your course of action and be specifically honest with the application questions.

    Thanks and Good luck!

    Troy

    • nenet40 says:

      Hi Troy. I am really happy for Your reply.

      Yes my boyfriend had planned this already since December and He has all the documents to support my travel esp. his bank statements/certificate and invitation and cruise ticket copy. And the cruise will start in Florida.

      I have been in Kuwait and Lebanon and Singapore for job opportunity.

      Now, I will really try to apply tourist visa as You have been so encouraging, so helpful and have enlightened up my mind and my fears.

      Thank You very much Troy. You're the best and More Power to your site! God Bless You and Your family!

      Nenet

  60. Hello Troy, I need your view on my plan to get a B2 visa. I am an OFW residing here in Dubai for 3 years, but i have been abroad since 2007, in Bahrain back then. I also have my wife and son with me here in Dubai. My USC sister is going to graduate from college this May and she's inviting us to come and attend the ceremony. However, my wife is not able to take a leave so I will be travelling alone. This will be my third time to apply, the first was in Manila 2007, I was denied because I was stil single and no suffcient funds. When I applied in Bahrain 2009, the consul asked me if I was able to overcome the reasons, I said I have enough funds but then got denied again due to I am still single and no family ties. And now I think I already overcome these reasons since I have enough funds, also married and I will be leaving my family here, definitely a reason to come back. I plan to stay there for 12 days since I am needed in my job. I also have a approved visa petition by mom when I was still single but then I decided to get married potentially scrapping or prolonging the petition which I think is a good sign to prove that I dont intend to immigrate soon . What are my chances? Thanks very much.

    Paul

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your comment. Just a question though, when you received the visa petition by your mom, was that approved prior to your first application? The reason why I asked is because you cannot apply for a B1/B2 visa if you are in the process of a non-immigrant visa application (petition). This could also be the reason aside from you being single or not having a stable finance. Getting married will not automatically stop the visa petition even though it will make you ineligible for it already, you need to inform the US embassy near you that you are no longer pursuing that process to enter USA. Once you have informed them, make sure to include the following in your application to increase your chances:

      1. Invitation letter from your mother (preferably an adult and not your sister but include in the letter about the graduation ceremony). If they will also shoulder your expenses, have them indicate it in the invitation letter.
      2. Certificate of employment from your current employer with approved leave of absence and salary declaration. Please have them include a phrase or statement that you must return on this specific date so the embassy will know that you really need to return. (Embassies know that leaving a family behind is not be substantial enough to return to because there are illegal migrants there that sacrifice their presence for their family in exchange for the money they send back).
      3. A bank certificate issued where you are at.
      4. Marriage certificate issued where you are at.

      Goodluck to your application and congratulations to your sister!
      -Troy

  61. Hi good pm! My mom applied for family us visa and been approved for a multiple visa (10yrs). But we never got the chance to use it.unfortunately she passed away when i was 4th yr highschool and im the eldestl. So never na talaga namin nagamit yung visa,dahil bata pa kami ng mga kapatid ko nung nawala yung mom namin. Just when i turned 21, a friend invited me to california so i spontaneously bought a ticket and i flew to l.a. I stayed there for 5 months.that was july 2010. Napatagal ng napatagal yung stay ko kasi they want me to attend all the occasions and holidays. Right before christmas eve ng 2010 nakabalik ako dito sa pinas. Then september 2011 i decided to go back for another inivitation of a friend. Pag dating sa lax nahold ako questioning about my last stay dahil nga sa sobrang tagal. They asked some questions then released me after an hour. While on vacation there naisip ko mag aral ng short course regarding sa business ko so i applied student visa ng december 2011 and got aproved right before my entry expired. Short course lang naman kinuha ko.then june 2012 i came back here in philippines. Ang tanong ko ngayon, my visa has been expired since april 2012. Do i have the chance na makakuha ulit ng visa after what i've done in my two visits. Please help. Im thinking of applying kase yung kapatid ko na may visa din at never nya nagamit kasi she was busy sa studies (she just turned 18 last december) and could not come with me every time na naglilibot ako sa states. She wanted to go there too pero ang gusto kasama nya ko. Parehas expired na yung visa namin ngayon yung kanya never nagamit, yung akin naman overstayed. Isang 5months and 9months altough legal naman yung pagstay ko dahil nga nag aral ako dun. But still, its not a good impression in the embassy. So pls someone can give advise on what to do. Thanks po.

    • Hi Angela,

      thank you for your message. Your thoughts are correct, not using your visa and/or overstaying will be a cause for questioning and a cause for denial of a tourist visa. Overstaying twice can be considered habitual and literally saying that you will not do it again may not be enough to convince them that you won't do it again. You have 2 options (more like 2 suggestions from me):

      1. reapply now, especially on the month of April so that you will still be eligible for the Visa Reissuance Program (VRP) which will reduce questioning during the application (but still, there is a risk that you will be questioned again upon arrival in any US port). You can say you are just touring with your little sister but please make sure to return within the specified time.

      2. Travel to other countries like Europe, Korea, Japan or China and do not overstay. It will document that you are not habitually overstaying on places you go.

      These are the only options I could offer since you were already approved of a visa before (which is a big edge compared to other applicants) and the approval of your current visa application is now solely in the hands of the visa officer's discretion and the entry is in the power of the US immigration officer.

      This is a bad habit of us Filipinos thinking "sayang ang pamasahe" and "kung makakalusot, sige lang" without thinking of the risk involved. When an opportunity comes, it is just right that we take it but there are limits set and we should not abuse it. Being granted a visa is a privilege and not a right, so it is best that we abide with their rules so we could continue to enjoy such privileges.

      Goodluck on your next application!
      -Troy

    • Renz Alcantara says:

      Hi Angela,

      All I can advise is to be honest during your interview.
      Present a solid case that you are not going to overstay again and will return back to the Philippines.
      Bring all necessary document that will prove your ties to the Philippines are too valuable to just leave behind.

      Good luck,
      Renz

  62. Desiree Villaflor says:

    hi Im desiree Villaflor im 22yrs old, and my dad is already USA citizen, he worked there, and i was planning to have a vacation there about 1 month and and i also need to go back here in phil. to finish my studies, and my prob is that i dont have a bank or job any.. etc. and my father will be the one who will paid for the expenses. is it possible that i can get approved?

  63. desiree villaflor says:

    hi im desiree and im 22 yrs. old still studying here in the phil. and my father is already a US citizen and my both brother already petition them, and i would like to have a tourist visa for a short vacation coz i also need to go back to finish my studies, all i just wanted to have a vacation in LA thats all, and i dont have any banks or so..i also do a part time job like my own online shop in facebook but i dont save it up it is just for my daily expnses.. but my father will pay all the expnces and even when i go back here in the philippines..is this a good valid reason for applying a tourist visa?

    • Hi Desiree,

      Thank you for your comment. Just a question though, weren't you included in the petition with your brother? If not, are you still single? because your father can petition you as well and that is the easiest and cost efficient way. I am not sure how the embassy will take it if you apply for a tourist visa and include an affidavit of support / invitation letter from you dad (indicating that he will support your trip and ensure your return here plus his bank certificate and a photocopy of his US passport data page) but you could try including that in your application. Sorry if I can't seem to help you on this because if I place myself in the shoes of the visa officer, I would think that either a US citizen is helping someone enter the USA and possibly let that person stay either illegally or may not go through proper channels for migrations (petition), OR, you as a 22 year old who haven't finished studying and is running a small business, almost independent does not have documents that could satisfy the requirements of the embassy. Either way, you have slim chance of getting one because with your age (being an adult), you are already expected that you are already able to support yourself so when you apply for a tourist visa, the embassy will be looking at your documents (not your father's). Please check with your dad again for your petition.

      Thanks,
      Troy

  64. Hi! I find this post very insightful and helpful. First of all, I’m 22 years old. I’m engaged to an American citizen but no plans about the wedding yet. This year for my incoming birthday, my parents would like to give me a US trip gift. Probably 2-3 weeks. They will fund everything, but I will be traveling alone. I work as an online tutor but have been working for only for a couple months. :/ I’m quite worried about the application. Also, I have been to Japan twice. :) I hope you can enlighten me with this. Hoping to hear from you soon. Thanks!

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Glory,

      Thanks for your comment and kind words :) For your US Tourist visa application, given your employment tenure and age, it could really be quite worrisome, but having visited Japan would be a plus points to your application. In my opinion, you have 50/50 chance of being granted a visa even if you complete your documents. Because of your age, financial instability and being newly employed, it would really be hard to convince the visa officer that you will be returning back here. I have 3 suggestions for you:
      1. The easiest would be to have your boyfriend file a petition for a fiancee visa (please back read some comments, I have indicated there the steps on how to get that).
      2. Travel somewhere else other than the USA. Visit the Holyland (3 visas and entry stamps in 1 trip) or Europe. Bring your family with you, it would definitely be a great birthday if you spend it with them overseas. This way, you build more of your travel history and additional proof that you don't overstay in any country. Then apply again for US visa when you have made those trips, got longer employment period and bigger savings in the bank.
      3. Apply now, include an affidavit of support from your parents, including their bank certificates and never mention about your boyfriend (because they will instantly think you will get married there without going through the right visa which is Fiancee visa, no matter what you say they will think that way. It is your word against theirs and no legal document can stop you from doing that). Once you do this, hope for the best and gather all the luck you can have so you will be granted a visa.

      Thanks and goodluck!

      Troy

      • Hi! I'd definitely have to weigh everything carefully. Thank you so much for the response! :) I really appreciate it.

  65. Cams Louise says:

    Hi! I'm Camille, 21 years old. Nursing graduate just last year. After taking the board exam the same year as I graduated, luckily I passed. And as my Aunt has promised me, (Siya ang nagpaaral sa akin), she will take me to the US and shoulder all the expenses as a reward of passing the board exam. Vacation Tour lang to visit the Disneyland, Colorado and other interesting places there. Though I am excited because as soon as I get my passport (on the process), I will apply for US tourist visa, but then I have this worry na hindi maapprove. First, I am working now at a callcenter para makapagipon for my other trainings, 2months palang, so I dont have a proof na matagal na ako sa company, and I dont have that bank account na may malaking pera same as my parents. I dont know how can I back up myself with documents to show na babalik din naman ako dito. Kapatid ng mom ko yung nagiinvite sa akin. And same as her she doesnt know ano bang mga hindi at dapat kong sabihin sa interview. Is it safe to say pinag aral nya ako? Im worried na iisipin nilang magwowork ako dun since never pa akong nagNurse dito sa Manila. Please help. I will appreciate.

  66. Troy Alcantara says:

    Hi Camille,

    Thank you for your comment. Honestly speaking and based on our experience, at your age, employment and financial status, it would be very difficult for you to be granted a US tourist visa. Add in to that that you are a nursing graduate (a red flag) and you just got a passport (meaning zero travel history and first time for you to travel outside the Philippines), you are flashing all the red flags/lights every visa officer don't want to see. I would suggest that you travel somewhere else first, like China (anywhere that requires a visa; ASEAN countries are not counted). As soon as you have established a good travel history, by that time you have a longer employment tenure, most likely have saved some money and then apply for a US tourist visa. Another approach, which I am honestly telling you that we have no experience with, is have your aunt fill up form I-134 – Affidavit of Support Form (click on the link to know more and have her complete the items there). Add all the papers that she will send you to your current documents (same as indicated in the blog article). If this works then you will be the first person I know who got successful in this approach.

    Thanks and goodluck!
    Troy

  67. hi, this is blair i already had my b1 visa for training last year. and im planning to apply for a tourist visa, is there a chance for me to get a b2 since i already had my b1? i stayed there for 1 month and i did not overstay. im still employed in the same company who sponsored my trip last year. thank you!

    • Hi Blair,

      Thank you for your comment. Is your B1 visa expired already? If you were granted a B1 visa before then applying for B1/B2 visa would be much easier. Same documents but at least they will no longer ask more questions (they will just ask simple ones). It is also good that you did not overstay which would build more confidence in your application.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  68. hi! we will have to renew our visa this coming april 15. I'm 26 years old already, a 3rd year med student. i finished biology (my premed course) in UST. i just want to ask what are my requirements? should i bring my transcript of records from my biology years and also from my med course? is it enough if i bring only a certificate na proof that i was enrolled in my present school? i'm nervous kasi :(

    Thanks!

    • Hi Jennie,

      Thank you for your comments and sorry for the delayed response. I hope you get to read this before April 15.
      Honestly, it seems that you are preparing in a very short time as some are very hard or may take a long time to get, but basically, you as a student will be needing the following:

      1. DS 160 form (signed)
      2. Passport
      3. Passport size photo
      4. NSO Birth Certificate
      5. Affidavit of support from parents
      6. bank certificate of your parents
      7. Registration form or certificate of employment from UST
      8. Photocopy of front and back of your school ID

      It is best that you apply with your parents instead of applying by yourself so that it would build a strong application that you are traveling as a tourist.

      Goodluck!

      -Troy A

  69. Hi, your tips are of great help. Could you please enlighten me on some aspects ;
    My husband and I is going to apply for US tourist VISA, both of us are government employee holding key positions in our office . we have financial capacity and other properties which we think sufficient enough.. We are now on the process of securing Employment Certificate and other relevant documents such as approved leave of absence, authority to travel abroad. My concerns are the following
    1. Do we need to apply individually or as a couple
    2. Is there a need for us to produce 2 sets of original
    documents ( bank certificates and bank statements)
    3. For land titles and car registrations are the originals be submitted to the embassy which I understand once submitted it to them they won't retuned it.
    4. My sister petitioned me ( filed last C Y 2012) . But truthfully I don't want to stay in USA for good .i prefer to leave here in the Phil.

    Please council me on my doubts and guide me on the proper way to do, so that we could both travel together .God bless and more power.

    • Hi Jean,

      Thank you for your comments and kind words! :)

      Here are what I recommend for you and your husband’s application:
      1. Apply as a couple/family, it would minimize procuring so much documents.
      2. as I have mentioned in item #1, you can simply compile 1 set of documents. add in both of your bank certificates in 1 envelope and so with the rest of the papers.
      3. Only put photocopies of your car registrations and land titles in your envelope, but bring the originals in a separate clear book so they could easily verify it.
      4. Your sister’s petition is very recent and most likely active. Get in touch with the US Embassy first before applying your US Tourist visa and cancel your petition. An active petition will cause denial for your US tourist visa application as you cannot apply or process 2 types of visa at the same time.

      I am pretty confident you and your husband will be able to get a US visa, just make sure to cancel the petition from your sister so it would be proof that you really want to live here in the Philippines.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  70. Good day! I hope someone could help me. I’m a Filipina married to a Japanese national. We were married November 2009. But the sad thing no documents was received especially certificate of eligibility so I could go to Japan. He didnt process my documents i suppose. Since 2010 no communication at all until now. He already abandoned me. I have a US citizen boyfriend now, and he wanted me to go to US for holiday. The problem is all of my documents are in my single name. No married name because my Japanese husband abandoned me and I don’t want to use my married name. What name should I use in the application? Cause it will be a conflict to my application. Or should I change my passport and all documents to married so it will be easier? And there would be no conflict. Please help! Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Karen,

      Thank you for your comment and sorry to hear about your predicament. Anyway, the best answer to your US tourist visa application question about which name to use is use what reflects to your passport. If your passport shows your maiden name, then go with it and show papers as if you never got married. If you show that you are married, you need to show a marriage contract and based on what you said, there are no documents pertaining to the matrimony, it’s as if it never happened. I hope I have answered your question and good luck to your application :)

      - Troy A.

  71. Hello,

    I am applying for a US Visa. I'm currently 20 years old and still studying (incoming senior in a university). My family and I have been travelling almost every year, and I've been to the States thrice already, however all my visas then would always be 1-year, multiple entries. Do you think this time around I will be able to have a shot at a 10-year, multiple-entry visa? I have bank certificates, however as it is summer time, and I am pressed for time, I might not be able to furnish a certificate of enrollment. Do you think my school ID will do? Or tuition payment for summer classes will do?

    What other pertinent documents do you deem I present to the consul? It will be my first time to appear alone in a US Visa interview… Please help!

    Thanks,
    J

    p.s. am I right? I am to appear alone in my interview now, right?

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Jo,

      thank you for your comment. The tuition payment and registration form will do. A photocopy of your school ID (front and back) is also necessary so include it with your documents. Also include an affidavit of support from your parents, including their bank certificates in your papers as you are still a student.

      Since you are applying/renewing on your own, and you are of legal age already, yes you will appear or visit the embassy by yourself. You've been granted a US tourist visa before so don't be scared. I presume you and your family did not over stay in any of your visits so I don't think there will be any problem. Most of call, answer the visa officer's questions with confidence. You have a good and remarkable record with them and you have a very good chance of being granted a visa. As for the 10 year multiple, it is really at the discretion of the visa officer and no one can help you with that, but being granted a US visa, no matter how long the validity is, is a great privilege. :)

      Good luck!
      -Troy

  72. mylene jones says:

    hi have a good day can i ask u a few question can i apply my self tourist visa in us im married in us army but negleted me for so many years i want to look my husband there i have friend there where i can stay

  73. hello,
    I am Mila, 27 years old. i really need your answer. my boyfriend is US citizen. he had major operation last year and this month he have schedule for his second operation. He ask me to visit him there and also he wants me to take care of him while healing. we are almost 1 years and 5 months. It is possible to get visitors visa visit him? he will shoulder everything i need. and the problem is i am not working since 2011. it is possible to grant my application. please response. i really need your help. thank in advance

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Mila,

      Thank you for your comment. Given your situation, the quickest way to get there is to indeed apply a tourist visa, but the easiest way is through a fiancee visa. However, since your boyfriend will need your assistance and you have no work for almost 2 years, then he needs to file and fill up form I-134 – Affidavit of Support Form. Include it in your application, together with what you have (items a – f at the list above/in the blog). Hopefully the visa officer will consider and be understanding.

      Good luck!
      -Troy A.

      • Troy,

        thank u for your kind response. i have another question. how can we apply fiancee visa if we are not meet in person yet. is that possible the consular will consider our request. thank u in advance.

        • From Mila:

          Troy,

          thank u for your kind response. i have another question. how can we apply fiancee visa if we are not meet in person yet. is that possible the consular will consider our request. thank u in advance.

          Hi Mila,

          With the coming of the internet age and social media, relationships no longer have boundaries. We have personal friends and relatives who have experienced what you are going through right now and they are in the US already. Yes, the visa officer will consider your request and they should. Just make sure to print out all your e-mail exchanges, chats and conversations (written) as far back as possible (no matter how long it is and no matter how naughty it is). This will establish how long have you two have been communicating even when you have not physically met. We assume you have met him through a video call right(skype, YM or facetime)? As long as you have written documents of your relationship then that would make things easier for you.

          -Troy A.

  74. hi ms..i just want to know if i can apply tourist visa to go US..I been there last 2011 i got married in US citizen but after a month of marriage i come to phils so my visa is FIANCEE visa..because im not wait my green so now i cant come back because i dont have visa..is it ok to apply tourist visa even i have prevoius fiance visa? because i got annulled just after a year of marriage so i dont think i can still use the fiancee visa..and i have son he is a US citizen but he is only 6 years old..i want to go visit US again so i can bring my son to his father for vacation..and my work is just a realty agent not enough the salary for vacation but my ex husband will sponsor our expenses while we there in US and we stay in his place..pls give me advise im really seeking your help..and also i accompanied with my daughter..thank u im really wish u could answer me..thanks

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi,

      Thank you for your comment. Your situation seems to be quite puzzling but there are ways that we could approach this. Firstly, please get in touch with US Embassy in Manila and check if you have any pending visa or immigration application (Fiancee, immigrant or non-immigrant). Expect a lot of questions as you have not finished the processing of your green card. If you have no pending transactions, then you can apply for a tourist visa. Have your ex husband fill up a form I-134 – Affidavit of Support Form so that he could prove support for you and his son. Expect a lot of questions as well from the visa officer.

      Goodluck on your application!
      -Troy A.

  75. is it ok to apply po tourist visa without any credit cards??
    and pano po step by step to apply tourist visa

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi,

      There are no mention of credit cards as part of the required documents, BUT, it would be nice to include it in your application. It would help you establish your financial stability. Steps are posted on the blog article above.

      Thanks,
      Troy

  76. Good day! appreciate your effort in helping us out trying to apply for US visa.
    My situation is this, my company (IT) plans to send me to Guam to oversea a project involving the company's hotel system. So my role would be as Project Manager. I have never been in any country outside the philippines.
    I'm 49 now and i've been with the company for 4 years. What bothers me is the bank statement since I'm sending my eldest to college and i'm supporting my 90 yo father in his health needs. In other words, i dont have a big savings.
    What could be my chances that my application would be approved. Honestly, i'm clueless
    Also what items could i ask from my employer as a support to my application.

    thanks for your help. God bless you

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Bel,

      Thank you for your comment. From my point of view, you only have a good employment tenure and that is your only ace in this application but it is not enough to increase your chances in being granted a visa. What I would suggest is that your company / employer provide the following aside from your bank certificate and documents:

      1. Affidavit of support (notarized) have them indicate there that they are sending you for business and oversee the project in Guam and that they will guarantee your return to the Philippines.
      2. Bank certificate of the company
      3. DTI/SEC and business permits
      4. ITR of the company
      5. Project portfolio, scope of the project, and how long it would take.

      Once they provide these and any other supporting documents, add them into your application and it should increase your chances.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

      • Sir Troy,
        I got approved B1 US visa last Tuesday :-)
        I prepared all the items you listed and have researched answers for possible questions (ie. No travel history)
        And of course with much, much prayers to our Lord.
        The US consul didnt glance a single paper i brought :-)
        Thanks for all your HELP!
        Bel

  77. I would like to ask po ano po ung passport control number na hinihingi po sa us visa application po? Thank u!

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Mauri,

      Passport control number is either your passport number (if you are applying for a new US tourist visa) or the Visa control number (control number in your existing or old visa if you are renewing) which both can be found on the upper right part of the data page (passport or visa page).

      If you are renewing your visa, please refer to image below:

      control number is at the upper right.

      Thanks,

      Troy A.

  78. Hello Mr. Troy, my fiancé is just back in the states from japan, he is a US navy and we both really miss each other… while he is station in japan I been there for a few times as a tourist visa, the first I stay with him for 2 weeks, then second is 90 days, then 3rd time is 3 weeks, and the last before he move back in the states I got 90 days visa again, and now we are planning to apply a tourist visa because he wants me to meet his family then I can go back in the Philippines, as I always do, and we are going to start process fiancé visa. My question is, if we are going to apply tourist visa it can affect our application for fiancé visa in the future?

    • Hi Carla,

      Thank you for your comment. Your application for a US tourist visa will not affect your Fiancee visa. On the contrary, if you were granted a 10 year multiple entry US Tourist visa and then apply for a Fiancee visa the following year, they will revoke your US tourist visa once they approve your petition for the Fiancee visa. This will ensure that you will enter the USA as a Fiancee of a US citizen and not a tourist, preventing any confusion. Your travel history seems to be quite impressive, I believe you have a good chance of being granted a US visa.

      Goodluck!

      -Troy A.

  79. Hello this is Mari, My mom had her interview today for her non immigrant visa. She is going there for the purpose of visiting their company warehouse. Her boss who is American provided her an invitation letter. They are in the import/export industry. She has all the necessary documents. She traveled to China last year for business purposes too, and we also recently got back from SG for a weekend vacation. From googling about people's experience with their interviews, they know within the date of the scheduled interview if they are approved or not, but with my Mom, she was told that she is going to be called for her final interview and all her documents including her passport was left at the US embassy. What does that mean? Why does she have to come back for a final interview? Is it because there are too many applicants that they cannot process them all now in just one day? really hope you could enlighten us. Thanks!
    My recent post audreyhepburncomplex:

    Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan in May’s…

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Mari,

      Thank you for your comment. When the embassy asked for your mom's documents and passport but did not return them means that they are considering in providing your mom with a "Visitor for Business" visa (B1). They are just to verify the company in the United States if the invitation is legitimate and who will be shouldering the expenses. If they were to deny your mom a visa, they would outright return all the documents, so right now everything is looking good in her application. Think positive and good luck!

      -Troy

  80. Joanna T. Zabanal says:

    Hi! Joan here. My live-in partner got his us immigrant visa together with our 2 kids, and they will be leaving soon. Now My question is what are my chances of having an approved us tourist visa, when they find out that my 2 kids are already there. I dont have a job, but I have a business for less than a year now, a personal bank account but money is less than 100 thousand. Please advise. Thanks

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Joan,

      Thank you for your comment. Just a few questions, was your live-in partner petitioned by a family member of his? What visa does your children hold, tourist or immigrant? When you let them leave without getting married, then you reduce your chances of getting a US tourist visa. Chances are higher when you apply as a family, husband and wife with young kids. Now you are applying as an individual applicant and that would directly make your chances are slim. UNLESS you have a good travel history, your age is about 50 years or older and can increase your money in the bank at most 5 folds then you should have no problem.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  81. Hi im carol 30yrs old…married. seaman po asawa ko, he’s an officer and we have two kids. Natry na rin po naming magtravel sa china..and we’re planning na magtour sa US with the kids. May chance po ba kami to get a USvisakahit di po land base work ng husband ko? Ilang beses na rin nakakuha husband ko ng transient visa sa US.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Carol,

      Thank you for your comment. Wala naman pong kaso kung land based or hindi ang work ng asawa nyo po, maganda nga po na meron at matgal na po siyang seaman. Maganda din po na naaprubahan na siya ng transient visa nuon dahil malaking bagay na nabigyan siya, ginamit niya at hindi siya lumagpas sa maximum stay. Basta po may ipon po kayo na sa tingin po ng visa officer ay sapat para sa tour niyo sa US at higit pa na magiging rason para balikan niyo sa Pilipinas, magiging madali po para sa inyo ang pag kuha ng US tourist visa. Maganda din po na nag travel na kayo sa China dahil dagdag puntos din po yun.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  82. HI and thanks for posting this information.
    Julie Ann and I have a different situation. I am an American citizen and Julie Ann is a filipina. We are living together in Mexico and both have resident alien status here so coming and going is no problem. Julie also has a job here for the last 7 months. My question is this: would it be easier for Julie to get a TOURIST VISA in the USA if we were married here in Mexico? She was just denied a tourist visa and the reason given was she didn't have a Mexican work contract, though we did provide a letter from the company owner stating how long she worked there, her pay and 3 months of pay stubs. My plan was to marry her in the USA while she was there with a tourist visa but that exploded when she was rejected. Now I am thinking if I married her here in Mexico, she could then get a tourist visa more easily but then, if I married her here it might make it harder for her to get a green card later on when we eventually move to the USA.

  83. Troy Alcantara says:

    Hi Mike,

    thank you for your comment and I am very excited to have someone from the American side this time. Sorry to hear about Julie Ann's visa application but definitely there is a work around on that. Just to asses the response of the visa officer and her recent application, the visa officer was looking for a longer employment tenure and/or an approved leave of absence with a statement that she needs to return back to Mexico as she is needed for work (anything that will guarantee her return to the Philippines or Mexico. We suggest for her next US tourist visa application, include in her application an affidavit of support (anything similar in the legal system of Mexico, notarized if necessary) or fill up form I-134 which you could download at the link here: http://www.immihelp.com/visitor-visa/form-i-134-a…. Make sure to complete the form especially item #11 in the form, place a check on the box 'I intend' and write down on the space provided all the services you will support for her. This way, even if an employer doesn't guarantee her stay and return to place of origin, an American citizen will. Hopefully the visa officer will approve of her application this time. If you intend to marry her, this will be the fastest way (if granted) but not the right procedure, it is best to file for a Fiancee visa but the process may take some time.

    Thanks and goodluck!
    -Troy A.

  84. I'm new here…I will have my interview next week for non immigrant visa…I would like to know my chances..I'm 47 single mom. my son is 14 years old. I have a business established feb 2008. I look after my 84 year old mom and 44 year old brother who is mentally disable. I have lost my passport more than 15 years ago. it was misplaced. got denied visa before bec. I will be accompanying my youngest brother with disability for a tour. I have an elder brother who entered the US on a tourist visa and later changed to immigrant visa. for short he and family stayed there illegally for some years. Please do send me a reply end of month thru my email. thanks

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Merian,

      Thank you for your message/comment. Based on what you wrote, it is still difficult to asses if you have a better chance of being granted a US visa now or not. Firstly, After losing your passport, did you apply for a new one already? If yes, what countries have you been to already that requires a visa? If you have been to some already (like China, Japan, Korea, Europe or Australia) then that should increase your chances. Also, what was the reason you got denied of a visa before? If you try again now, with no changes in your documents as the last time you applied then you will most likely get the same result. Since you are joining a tour with your younger brother, why don't you ask or get the opinion of your travel agent (where you will be getting the tour) and let them asses you documents. If your older brother is a US citizen already, they could send a letter of invitation or an affidavit of support (Form I-134 – http://www.immihelp.com/visitor-visa/form-i-134-a… but there are still no guarantees.

      Thanks and goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  85. Hi, my name is Ralph, 18 years old. Just wanna ask if I could still bring a parent with me during the interview because I’m still studying in college and my grandmother wants me to have a vacation with her there. My parents have 10 year multiple-entry visa. I also went to Singapore last 2010 and to Spain last 2011. What possible question they might ask me during the interview? By the way my grandmother is already a US Citizen. Thanks a lot.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Ralph,

      Thank you for your comment. 18 years of age is actually legal age for them already so you are required to apply by yourself, alone. as per the embassy's website FAQ: http://manila.usembassy.gov/wwwhniv5.html

      "At least one parent should plan to be present for the application of any individual aged 17 or below. Exceptions will be made only in cases where it is impossible for a parent/guardian to appear for interview. "

      Since you are 18 already, you could speak for yourself already and go to the interview by yourslef. Just make sure to include an affidavit of support from your parent (notarized) and if your grandmother could send an invitation letter and an accomplished I-134 form (http://www.immihelp.com/visitor-visa/form-i-134-affidavit-of-support-form.pdf), it would greatly help.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  86. hi im mark 28 year old , im a nurse base in abu dhabi for almost 3 years, i work in a government hospital here . I plan to visit my brother in the US this november .. What are my chances in getting a tourist visa. i've been to UK last oct 2012 for 23 days then my latest trip was last month in hongkong and macau.
    thank you

    • Hi Mark,

      Thank you for your comment. I am not quite sure what your question is, but if you are planning to apply for a US visa there in Abu Dhabi, the general requirements are similar. If you plan to apply in the Philippines, then you should have an edge already since you have been to UK already (Hong Kong and Macau has no travel bearing) and you have been at work for almost 3 years already. Your though is a red flag since you are a nurse.

      Thanks and goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  87. hi im mark 28 im a nurse base here in abu dhabi, im planning to apply for US visa i'll visit my brother this novemver what is may chance in getting a visa , i already went to UK last october 2012 and my latest travel was ast month hongkong and macau.
    thank you

  88. Hi, Im 27, single and recently graduated a post grad course (not bs nursing), im planning to take a foreign equivalency exam in the US, i dont have enough funds since im a full time student but im a professional here in the philippines. My family and relatives will sponsor me.. ill be staying in the states for 3 months only.. can i apply for a tourist visa for this reason?

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Yas,

      Thank you for your comment. When filing for an application with any embassy, it is always a best practice to be honest and sincere with the application. Since you intend to study, you need to have a student visa (F). First off, apply at the school you intend to go to in the US and then request for for a certificate of eligibility. Mention that you are from the Philippines and they should know that both of you should complete a form I-20. Once you have an electronic or paper copy of that, follow the same procedure as mentioned in the blog but keep in mind that you are a student and is applying for a student visa. For additional support, have your family and relatives fill up a Form I-134 (http://www.immihelp.com/visitor-visa/form-i-134-affidavit-of-support-form.pdf) and include it in your application. If all is well and if the visa officer finds your application compelling, then you should be good then.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  89. Rufely A. Welsh says:

    Hello Good Day, I need some help here. I want to migrate with my American husband to the US, I was wondering if whats the first step should we do to get a Visa Including our child. Does he need to fill a petition first? how much will it cost? where you can get the application form? Me and my husband has been married last Oct. 08, 2010.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Rufely,

      Good day and thank you for your comment. Firstly, your husband needs to file a petition (Form I-130) and submit it to the nearest USCIS center. Once the petition is approved, the embassy near you will inform you that you can pick up the package for your immigration papers, you might need to pay once you have collected it. Accomplish them completely and add documents like you would with a US tourist visa (bank certificate, etc). Prepare for the interview be honest when answering the visa officer.

      Goodluck and we pray for the immediate union of your family :)

      -Troy A.

  90. Hello.
    This blog is quite helpful for us aspiring Filipinos who wants to have a tourist visa.
    I have few questions.
    I have an American friend in California, and he want me to have a month vacation there.
    Actually, he is willing to shoulder all the expences.
    Do you think this matter would grant me a tourist visa?
    I’m a call center agent. 1 year and 8 months and counting in this field. I just turned 7 months here in my new company. I have some money in the bank. I don’t have travel history yet. This is my first time to travel outside the country.
    My collegue told me that, there’s an option for me to get a tourist visa, however the person whom I want to visit will be the one to process my visa in the US Embassy in California.
    Is this true?

    Looking forward to hear from you soon.
    Thanks.

  91. Troy Alcantara says:

    Hi JL,

    Thank you for your comment. Most visa application starts from the applicant, sponsors only visit the nearest USCIS (there are no US Embassy in any US state) for emigrating their immediate relatives, spouse and children. Your friend can help by letting him fill up form I-134 (http://www.immihelp.com/visitor-visa/form-i-134-affidavit-of-support-form.pdf) and send a copy to you to include in your application. It will depend on your his capacity to support you during the whole month stay, as well as the documents you will present during the interview. You could try, but as we have mentioned, there is no guarantee and it is up to the visa officer to decide to grant you a visa or not.

    Goodluck!
    -Troy A.

  92. Hi Im Mark 28, a filipino nurse here in abu dhabi im planning to visit my brother in the US this coming november, my brother is not yet a US citizen he's just dependent to his wife he's in the US since 2010. Do i have a chance in getting a tourist visa. I already went to United Kingdom for 23 days last October 2012, then Hongkong and MAcau last March 2013.
    thank you

  93. Thank you for your response.
    So people says that, applicant should have a land title as part of the requirements.
    But, I don’t think my parents would allow me to borrow that.
    And also, once he filled up the Affidavit of Support form, he will be sending it to me through snail mail, right? not e-mail.
    By the way, If ever they granted me a visa (crossed fingers), how many months do I have to wait to get my visa?
    Thank you so much.

    - JL

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Most welcome. Land titles need to be under the name of the applicant. If you use your parents then it will not be considered. If the show a transfer of sale to your name then it can be used.

      As much as possible, send the Form I-134 via snail mail or courier (i.e. UPS or LBC) but if you are already in a hurry, have him scan and e-mail you the accomplished form. Print it with the best laser printer that you have and hopefully they will accept it.

      Once you are granted with a visa, wait for 7 – 10 days for the US Embassy to deliver your passports with visa via mail/courier.

      Good luck!
      -Troy A.

  94. Bianca says:

    Hi Ms. Reena (and anyone who would like to comment),

    I'm thinking about visiting my mother who is in the US and is currently a green card holder. Getting a visa is my primary concern so I want to "build up" my credentials first so my chances of getting one will be greater. I'm 25 years old, single, working full-time but is also a part-time student taking up my masters degree. I am not under petition from my mother and I just want to visit her there. What do you think are the documents that I should present in getting my visa? What is a good amount of savings, assets, etc that I should present?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Bianca,

      Thank you for your comment. It is good that you are preparing ahead of time for your US Tourist Visa application. If you have checked or noticed their website, there are no fixed amount or rule regarding "how many" and "how much". It really depends on how long you will be staying in the USA and if you could support your trip with enough amount of money to return to. The longer you plan to stay in the US, the more money should appear on your savings. The more solid assets you have (land titles, cars, etc) that you also have, the more reason you could prove you will return to the Philippines. Another thing you need to check is your travel history. Have you been to other countries that require visa like Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, Australia or New Zealand? If yes, then it would be a big plus. At your age, it doesn't really matter if you are still studying or working already as you are of legal and working age.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  95. Kristine says:

    Hi! I'm 32 yrs. old & been working since 2010. I''m planning to apply for a tourist visa this year but next year ko pa po balak umalis to attend my sisters graduation & visit my family na din. Ask ko lng po, when is the best time to apply for a visa & if my passport will expire next year should i renew my passport first before i fill-out the visa application form? Thanks in advance! :)

    • Kristine says:

      Sory forgot to add. I'm planning to leave June 2014 & my passport will expire on the month & year. I know that one of the requirements is passport valid at least 6 months. Yun po… :D

      • Troy Alcantara says:

        Hi Kristine,

        Thank you for your comment. I would suggest that you renew your passport already before the end of the year because you will definitely encounter delays in your application. The best time to apply is during lean travel season (July – October) as only a few apply during those months. Most people tend to apply only when they plan to go on a holiday during vacation months and usually a month or two prior, which means longer queue during scheduling your interview.

        Goodluck!
        -Troy A.

  96. Hi glory my name is bani we filed ds-160 for my husband and choose a date but I didnt print out our confirmation page what do I do this is for a b2 visa please get to us soon I heard they won’t let us in without it

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Bani, simply go back to the DS 160 application page and instead of starting a new application, retrieve your application. You can fill up information there that may lead you back to your accomplished DS 160 form. The security in the US embassy will look for your printed appointment form, not your DS 160, but you still need to have a DS 160 printed out because they will look for it once you get in.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  97. hi, i have a friend, we meet from a dating site 6 months ago.we always chatting everyday. he wants i will visit him in california to meet him because he doesn't have much time to travel here in Philippines to visit me. So he wants me to visit there to meet him.its our first meeting. He said if its possible that i can get tourist visa, he will sponsor me for all the expenses including accommodation,allowance,flight ticket back and forth and he will provide all the requirements needed including bank certificate, invitation letter,ect…And i said i will stay only for one week there in california and i will come back here in Philippines since i run a small business here of my sister and no one will take care of it,my sister is in in korea… Is it possible that i can visit my friend in california?or to get a tourist visa in u.s? Thanks.
    My recent post Trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Roselyn,

      Thank you for your comment. There is nothing impossible as long as you believe in it. If you believe your documents are strong enough to convince the visa officer to grant you one then your application should be a success. You have been to South Korea which is a plus.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  98. I’m sorry I mean Troy I got mixed up please excuse me

  99. sheenlyn says:

    hi, i have a friend from california, we meet in a dating site and we always chat most of the days over 6 months now. He wants me to come and visit him in california if its possible for me to get a tourist visa. He will shoulders all my expenses including my two way ticket,accommodations,food and allowances.Also, he will provides all the documents needed to get a visa including his bank certificate,invitation letter.. ect. I said to him i will stay only one week since i run a small business here of my sister and nobody will take care of it, since my sister is in korea..I want to ask what is the general requirements that he need to send it to me for my visa. Thnaks.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      What he needs to provide is an accomplished I-134 form (download here: http//www.immihelp.com/visitor-visa/form-i-134-affidavit-of-support-form.pdf), if he could provide a photocopy of his passport and bank certificate as well then it would be great.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  100. Hi Ms Renz and Mr Troy,
    Im 43 yrs old and married to US Citizen for 6 yrs now. Our spousal visa petition have not approve yet. Confusing, since the US Justice Department sent a letter and said our decision would be soon while the USCIS sent their reply last week and my husband thinking it was a Denied letter. 2011, my in-laws decided to sponsor me for a Tourist visa so i can meet them personally on Christmas holidays or a family clan reunion. They are all willing to sponsor me since they have enough funds and properties to show that they can able to sponsor. Were so confused of how many people can petition me for a tourist visa. So my sister inlaw a US Citizen who work as a head nurse volunteer to sponsor all my expenses in traveling to US. i have a copy of her bank accounts already, her properties, her taxes and an Invitation letter. Every once or twice a year my husband comes to Philippines to visit and see me. We travel together each year to ASIAN countries except this year. marami na po tatak passport ko sa ibang bansa. i have a Land which im constructing a 2 storey house now and a Car. i dont have enough money in the bank. im a realty estate dealer but not a license dealer and im managing the apartment of my sister since 2005. so my questions are, what else do i need to present or bring during the interview? is it convincing to the visa officer if the whole family will send a Letter of Invitation? since they are really willing to do the possible things in order for me to go to US for a vacation and meet them especially my father in-law who is old and sick now? pls Ms and Mr give me some advises and tips and requirements for a tourist visa. this site is really helpful. and pls hwag magsawa tumulong sa ating mga kababayan. Thank you and looking forward for your reply. God bless.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Len,

      Thank you for your comment and wonderful kind words. Also, sorry for the delay in reply. First of all, you need to check and confirm with the US embassy in Manila OR USCIS near where your husband lives if the petition is indeed unsuccessful. Even if you have good supporting documents and 99% eligible of a visa, the US embassy will not grant you a tourist visa if you have a pending application of another visa type. They (US Immigration) is taking a lot of time in processing application because of the load and volume of applicants, AND the impending debate in the US senate regarding the latest Immigration bill. In my understanding, based on the statement you mentioned, they are still processing it, it's just taking some time or they may be looking or waiting for other documents. Check with them first until you have 100% confirmation that your Spouse visa was indeed denied, and then you can proceed to filing an application for US Tourist visa. You have impressive supporting documents, if you didn't have a pending spouse visa you would have easily passed. Just for the sake of emphasis, I just want to share that visits to ASEAN countries (Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Macau) may not constitute for a strong travel history. Visit to countries in South East Asia that requires a visa do help and have a stronger bearing (like Taiwan, China, South Korea and Japan). But still, given that you have not overstayed during any of your visit is a big plus. Having a lot of invitation letter may confuse the visa officer on which state are you going to so choose just one and work along with it (must match with the DS 160 application on who will help and support you if you cannot fund your own expenses).

      Goodluck in your application and we hope that you get to visit USA soon!
      -Troy A.

  101. Hi! I have been looking for this kind of blog that provides information about getting a US Tourist Visa, and glad I found yours.
    I'm 28 single Filipina who is planning to apply for a US Tourist Visa for a short holiday. My boyfriend will be the one covering all the costs. We've met August of last year and he supposed to be here January of this year but was moved to last week of April (yes, we've met already and hes back home now) because I was attending a friend's wedding in Australia. I'm currently unemployed because I was in Australia from Dec of last year until March of this year. I've been there twice already and behaved well. We're planning to get married here in the Philippines after my proposed trip. I know it would be easier to apply for a Fiance Visa, but then marriage is a lifelong commitment and so I want to be sure that this is what we really want for, and that I could live with him, embrace his life and the people around him. Thus, applying for a Tourist visa will allow me to stay there at least for a month or two and experience the life he has, and see if I can live with it since Ill be out of my comfort zone having no one there but him, as compared to Australia where I have friends. Now, am just worried. Would it be better if I use an Agency or I can do it myself? What are my chance given that I resigned from my job last November, when I went to Australia (I worked in a call center), and I don't have big amount of money in my bank account. I traveled twice in Australia, he owns a house and got a nice paying job in the US. Shall we give it a go? I will appreciate your response as we are hoping and praying that I could be there this 4th of July. Thanks again.

    Jan

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Jan,

      Thank you for your comment and congratulations on your engagement! Applying for a US tourist visa at a working age without any employment is a big red flag. It will be hard to convince the visa officer that you are returning back to the Philippines since no one is requiring you to. Although you have a good travel history, some of the requirement doesn't add up to an impressive application. It doesn't matter as well if you apply on your own or get the assistance of a travel agency. In my personal opinion, you have 2 options: get a job, wait for a year and then try to apply, or proceed with the Fiancee visa and hopefully get approved before the 4th of July. Check out some forums or blogs of "Pinay" migrants in the US. We (me and Renz, the blog owner) are currently staying in California and will be back in the Philippines by June. We have talked to Filipinos living here and Filipinas with American husbands and the way of living here is waayyyy different than in the Philippines. No domestic helpers (yayas) and situations are extreme, either your day pass by so slow and so boring because your husband is working and you are just at home tending the household chores, OR, it is a fast pace of life that you need to wake up early to catch the bus, spend 2 hours of commute, work, get back home, make dinner, do the laundry and then sleep. But once you get used to it (IF you get used to it) without being tempted of breaking your husband's neck, then you should be able to enjoy the way of life here. Food is relatively very cheap and you could easily buy anything you want as long as you or your husband has a job. But I share your sentiments, you must really need to know your soon to be husband more before diving in to this life long commitment. Even if there is divorce but no one wants to end there and get through horrible experiences.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  102. Hi Im Mark 28, a filipino nurse here in abu dhabi im planning to visit my brother in the US this coming november, my brother is not yet a US citizen he's just dependent to his wife he's in the US since 2010. Do i have a chance in getting a tourist visa. I already went to United Kingdom for 23 days last October 2012, then Hongkong and MAcau last March 2013.
    i send again this message coz i didnt receive any reply hoping this time you will answer.
    thank you

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your comment. I am not quite sure why your previous comment and my reply to it did not appear. Anyway here is my reply:

      –QUOTE–
      Hi Mark,

      Thank you for your comment. I am not quite sure what your question is, but if you are planning to apply for a US visa there in Abu Dhabi, the general requirements are similar. If you plan to apply in the Philippines, then you should have plus points already for visiting UK (Hong Kong and Macau has no travel bearing) and you have been at work for almost 3 years already. Your profession as a nurse is a red flag though so there is a chance you may or may not make it because of that.

      Thanks and goodluck!
      -Troy A.
      –QUOTE–

    • just had my interview yesterday and my visa is approved. and now im just waiting for the email for me to pick up my passport with visa. so its not true that nurses are REDFLAG .. because most of the nurses here that i know who applied for B2 visa got approve.

      • Renz Alcantara says:

        Hey Mark,

        Congratulations! You are in Abu Dhabi? And I assume you provided work papers during your interview/application. If so, that would be a different story all together.

        I’m sorry if you feel like we are making a general statement with Nurses but what we were saying are based on what we know and experienced.

        It is also good to point out that our blog post is referring to Filipinos applying for US visa in the Philippines.

  103. Hi Troy. First off, thanks for posting all your replies. They're truly helpful!. It's true that each situation is unique per person and that it all depends on the purpose of travel.

    Here's my story. I've applied a non-immigrant visa twice (first in March 2011 and the second was May 2012) but unfortunately got denied twice. The experience was really traumatic not because of the $160 but because I really don't understand, right after the consul asking a few questions about my work, my purpose of travel & course, why they won't grant me a visa. My only purpose is to visit my parents and my sister in New Jersey, solely for a 2-week vacation. During the first time, the reason was about family ties here, and the second was, about financial stability and again, social and family ties. After that I'm no longer interested to apply (honestly) but since my sister (living in NJ) requested that I try to apply again, I thought otherwise. Now my question is:

    1. Can I tell the consul or state in the application form that my sister will shoulder my expenses when I get there? I have enough money in the bank but my sister said that she's going to take care of all my expenditures, e.g. traveling to New York.

    2. I remembered in the application form that it requires you to state how much you're earning, I'm currently employed (through a work from job) and I earn 30-35K per month, will that amount suffice?

    3. The first and second time I applied, the consuls didn't ask for any documents from me during the final interview. Is this just normal?

    I'm planning to apply this May and hopefully I get a schedule on July or August (which you mentioned, are lean travel months to apply for a US VISA). I have been to Singapore and Malaysia this year but haven't been in countries that require VISA. I just want to seek your advice regarding my current situation because I don't think I can afford to receive another blue paper this year.. quotang-quota na ko.. lols :) I'll appreciate your thoughts! :)

    Jeff
    My recent post Places To Visit In Singapore

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Jeff,

      Thank you for your comments and for following our blog. :)
      I'm sorry to hear that you had several failed attempts in getting a US visa and yes, the process is so vague you really don't know what the embassy is really asking or looking for. Based on your message I have a few questions on my own:

      1. How old are you? – because if you are too young (18 – 25 years old) and applying on your own (without anyone accompanying you) then the view it as a risk that you might enter as a tourist but work, enjoy the benefits of a normal US citizen and use government taxes without you paying one.

      2. Are you married? – This is one aspect of the "family ties" that the visa officer(s) is pertaining to. If you are applying with a wife and kid then they will be convinced that you are really applying as a tourist to travel to the US for a holiday.

      3. Do you save money in the bank and have credit cards? – Having a substantial amount in your bank with a good standing credit card means you have something to support you during the trip and have something to return to after the trip.

      4. How long have you been employed? – Yes you may earn such but for how long already? if you do not have tenure yet then you could easily quit that job and find it in the US. The longer you are in a work means you have been very important to the company that they want to keep you for so long and that you are required to report back to work after your trip.

      And to answer your questions:
      1. Yes, please indicate in the application (Question #?? Who will fund your trip) and answer it by placing "Sibling". Indicate her name and address as the place where you will be staying. Don't forget to include a letter of invitation from your sister.

      2. The amount of salary you receive doesn't really matter as long as you have been in the company for several years and have been saving a lot for the trip and more.

      3. Once you have completed your DS-160 application and have scheduled your interview, the US embassy will already do a background check on you. Everything is digital now and they have the ways and means to check your travel history, your properties, businesses etc. The only time they need to ask for your documents is if they need to verify a certain info. If that item about you is unclear they would want to see the physical copy.

      It is good that you have made extensive plans with your visa application and you still have time to work it all out. Hopefully the third time makes it! :)

      Goodluck on your application and hope that you could get to visit your sister in the US!
      -Troy A.

      • Hi Troy.

        Thanks for your reply. Here are my answers to your questions:

        1. How old are you? – because if you are too young (18 – 25 years old) and applying on your own (without anyone accompanying you) then the view it as a risk that you might enter as a tourist but work, enjoy the benefits of a normal US citizen and use government taxes without you paying one.

        - I'm 30 years old

        2. Are you married? – This is one aspect of the "family ties" that the visa officer(s) is pertaining to. If you are applying with a wife and kid then they will be convinced that you are really applying as a tourist to travel to the US for a holiday.

        - Still single, I'm currently living with my other sister, as my parents already are in NJ. Also, my two other sisters and our relatives (aunts, uncles and cousins) are living right next to our house, we live in our grandparents' compound, Would that be sufficient grounds for family ties?

        3. Do you save money in the bank and have credit cards? – Having a substantial amount in your bank with a good standing credit card means you have something to support you during the trip and have something to return to after the trip.

        - Yes I do have bank accounts, savings and checking, My savings account is already 7 years old while the other one is just a year old. I also do have a credit card for 7 years.

        4. How long have you been employed? – Yes you may earn such but for how long already? if you do not have tenure yet then you could easily quit that job and find it in the US. The longer you are in a work means you have been very important to the company that they want to keep you for so long and that you are required to report back to work after your trip.

        - I was employed year 2005. But I've been working for my current employer for just a year. Been working with 3 different companies from 2005 up to present.

        I really do hope that the 3rd time's a charm. I've been preparing the necessary documents before I apply online because I also think that once I submitted that form, the background check begins. I've become a little paranoid about this whole visa application thing so I wanted to make sure that all my documents will suffice. Anything else that you think can help me pass this time? :)
        My recent post CebuPac And AirAsia Piso Fare Seat Sale!

        • Troy Alcantara says:

          Thanks Jeff for the reply. 30 years old is a ripe age to get married and start/support a family, they are looking into that and it doesn't matter if you live with your sister and or grandparents, they might think you will go to the US to look for work to support them. It is definitely a big plus if you are married with a kid or two, they would really be convinced that you are going for a holiday as a tourist with them. Your employment and financial status is good, I guess then it boils down to how much you have in your bank account and where have you been for the last 10 years. Unless you change and improve any of these then you might increase your chances. :)

          • Okay. I'll get married tomorrow.. lol just kidding.. Thanks for the tips Troy!.. If I'm not gonna make it with my current financial and employment status, then it must be the civil status!.. haha :)
            My recent post Spend Your Weekend In Baler

          • Troy Alcantara says:

            Should you decide to get married, soon don't forget to send the invite or at least some food lol. Most welcome and please get back to us how your application went, we would love to hear feedback from the people that we've helped. ;)

  104. Very helpful blog!
    Like the others who posted, I got an invitation from my aunt to visit the US.
    I am 22 years old, employed for 2 years and currently taking up my Master’s degree in SPED. I have 2 bank accounts, the first one under my name with little amount and another one a joint account with my boyfriend. I have travelled outside the Philippines thrice though they do not require visa.
    My aunt would be financing my trip and will provide all the documents needed. However, I’m still a bit skeptic about it since I’m still young and they might think that I have plans of overstaying for whatever reason. Not sure if I have strong ties. But what are my chances??
    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Jen,

      Thank you for your comment. Sometimes the confidence of the documents becomes the confidence of the applicant, but knowing where you are the weakest will help you make it stronger. Based on what you wrote, in my personal opinion, it is a weak application and chances of being granted one is low. You have 3 options: one is you can take your chance by applying the visa with an invitation letter from your aunt (also have her fill up a form I-134, please back read the comments for the link, thanks) and hopefully they consider your application, OR, save more money and travel to South Korea (I heard tensions in that region are now low) or China (which is the easiest, just have at least P50k in the bank) and then apply, OR, apply with your parents so that you have someone who could guarantee your return.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  105. april maurice says:

    hi my family is planning to apply for us visa my dad has a multiple visa already and im married with 3 kids.i used to work for the supreme court but resign because i went to singapore to work with a big conpany but sad to say i resign as well because i miss my family so much.my husband is a police office and i have a small business but dont have license because im a rice retailer and does not require it.my cousin is getting married and wants my eldest to be part of the entorage is it ok if we apply and my dad will come for the interview because his the going to finance the trip of my son and me my husband do u think we have the chance of getting the visa?

  106. Troy Alcantara says:

    Hi April,

    Thank you for your message. Your dad cannot accompany your family as he is a Filipino citizen himself and it is stated somewhere in the US embassy website that only the elderly and disabled can be accompanied by a non-applicant. What he can do to help is provide an affidavit of support for you and your family and have it notarized. If he can submit a good bank certificate, land titles, etc then that would really help in your application. Indicate in your DS 160 form that a parent will be funding your travel. Given the employment and business status that your family is in right now, there should be no problem. Just include what papers you have supporting your Rice retailership and a certificate of employment from your husband's precinct. I am not sure if he needs to request for a permit to travel from Sandiganbayan or another agency because as far as I know he is working under the government. Confirm that and make sure to secure it prior to the interview.

    Goodluck and congratulations to your cousin's engagement!
    -Troy A.

  107. Hi Troy,

    I would like to ask if a work visa holder could possible to get married to a US citizen?
    If yes, it means he/she could be able get a Green Card once they married?

    Thank you and God bless.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, a non-immigrant who is in the US with a Temporary Work Visa can get married and change their status by visiting the nearest USCIS.

      Thanks!
      -Troy A.

  108. Good day Sir/Ma'am! I admire your taking time in answering every commenter's queries and giving detailed pieces of helpful advise. I am planning to visit the US in December (for 3-4 weeks) with my 11 y/o brother. I hope you could help assess my chances of obtaining a tourist visa given my personal circumstances below:

    1. I am 26 y/o and single.
    2. I've been working in the government for more than 4 years already. I'm on a permanent status, with gross monthly income of P26k and gross annual income of between P300-400k.
    3. However, I dont have much savings in my bank accounts but I had these accounts since 2011 and 2012. I try to save but I always end up withdrawing my savings again and again to spend for spur of the moment DOMESTIC travels, clothes, food or whatever. Hehe. I have a credit card as well.
    4. My father was a TNT but he's become an immigrant since last year. My 11 y/o brother was born in the US (obviously, he's an anchor baby since my mom was on a tourist visa when she gave birth to him in the US). My mother and brother are here with me now in the PH. I didn't want to apply for a US visa back then because I was afraid that they would deny my application when they find out that my father was a TNT. I also didn't want to lie about it and tarnish my records with them so I really waited for him to be a legal alien there before I apply.

    I am planning to apply in July or August, and will bring my certificate of employment, approved leave, travel authority, etc. Since my savings is not that much, and most probably my father will sponsor our trip anyway, can I just bring my ITR instead of a bank statement (to show that I am earning relatively not that bad here in PH, and not just a good saver)? :D Also, will my father's records affect my application?

    Thank you very much in advance!

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Joanne,

      Thank you for your comment and kind words. It really makes us happy to help our fellow kababayan to get an opportunity to travel to the US in the most worry free way. Anyway, your employment record is good but it is the only thing that stand out based on what you wrote. You are already in an age where you are independent and can support yourself. It is really important that you include a bank statement and a bank certificate to immediately prove that you can finance your trip, not just your ITR, but if your parents are going to support or shoulder your visit, have your MOM (who I assume is a US citizen) send an invitation letter stating that she will support your trip. Your application will not affect your dad's record or immigration status but if he will invite you and support you, he may come under the suspicion that he will invite an non-immigrant to permanently stay in the US without going through the correct process (petition a family member) and might be questioned or have his green card revoked. If all these seem to be very difficult for your family, I would recommend that you make a better travel history (visit China, Japan or Korea) and/or save more in your bank.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

      • Thank very much for your response Sir Troy! I will keep in mind your advise. I think I would have to move my application to a later month. October maybe… I hope I’ve saved more by then. And I will also scour the internet for sponsored trainings to countries requiring visas. Hehehe. Thanks a lot! God bless!

  109. Hi there! I’m 26 y/o, single and with a stable job but I do not have enough financial documents to provide for my interview. My dad will shoulder all my expenses and I was hoping to provide an affidavit of support from him. He and his family (I’m his eldest but he’s not married with my mom but I carry his last name) went to the US last year with a tourist visa. Wasn’t able to go with them because of work schedule. My dad now wants me to apply since they’re planning to visit again next year. I just want to ask if it would be enough to provide my dad’s affidavit of support along with my COE and bank statement (i only have a minimal amount). He and his wife are both doctors so they were approved immediately. would it affect if I am an illegitimate daughter and an undergrad of nursing? My passport is valid until 2015 and I’ve visited HK and Macau. I’ve been withe the BPO industry for almost 4 years now.

    Thank you in advance and this is really a huge help!

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Anne,

      Thank you for your comment. It is good that you have laid out all your cards so we could better assess your chances. Yes, please include a notarized affidavit of support from your dad, together with a copy of his bank certificate (and other supporting financial documents) and include your COE, bank statement and approved leave of absence. It doesn't matter if you are illegitimate or a nursing undergrad, you already have an impressive employment record and your father is willing to support you. Although the trip to Hong Kong and Macau has a bearing but it would be nice if you have been to China, Japan or Korea.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

      • Hello! I just feel that I need to post my experience here and I want to thank you guys for this blog. I never asked any assistance from a travel agency and did everything on my own and it all went smoothly. For those applying, I suggest you take an early schedule to avoid falling in line under the sun. My appointment was at 6:30AM and I was out by 8am. I was scared at first becaused I can hear the mom & daughter in front of me who were denied. When it was my turn, no documents were asked from me and the interview was over in 3 minutes. I found that the key is to be confident and honest in all of your answers. I do not own any properties as I am only sharing an apartment with my best friend, I earn less than 30K a month and I do not have a lot of savings but my visa was approved. God is so good! Perhaps it was also a plus that my family already got their visas 2 years ago and they already went there for a vacation and I was the only one who did not apply yet.

        Again, thank you for the help!! Our trip will be next month naa! :)

        • Renz Alcantara says:

          Hi Anne!

          So happy for you! Have a blast on your trip :) May is a good month to go to the US since kids have school and it’s SPRING! weather is so nice too.
          You are so right, just be honest! One doubt in your answer could give you visa denial.

  110. I have just read the last comment from April after posting my message. Anyway, we’re visiting for my lola’s 80th birhday (she’s was also granted the visa last year and one of pur companions) and her sister lives there and that’s where we’ll be staying. I just want to add that my dad also has some other business aside from his profession. It is my first time to apply for one so I’m thinking if it’s better to ask assistance from a travel agency or do it on my own? thank you

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Anne, doing it on your own or getting the assistance of a travel agency doesn't really matter because no one can really guarantee your visa application success but your documents. If you have any invitation for the birthday it would be a big help as well. Use the address where you will be staying in the US as your destination address so if they (US embassy) verify then they could get in touch with someone. Thanks :)

      • Thanks for your reply, Troy! Will prepare all the needed documents and submit my application soon. Wish me luck!

  111. Hello, thank you for posting this article as it is very useful. I applied for a tourist visa and I just want to know the chances of getting approved. I do not have any employment certificates or ITR because I am a homebased freelance customer service rep. Other documents I can provide like bank statements or bank accounts. My friend also sent an invitation on her wedding (which will be in Los Angeles) and placed my name as a bridesmaid so my main reason is just to visit.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Enya,

      Thank you for your comment. The visa officers may let your application pass even without an ITR (but even if you are self employed or if you have no regular income, you should still file your taxes or update your ITR), BUT, not having an employment certificate will really decrease your chances even if there is an invitation. I would recommend that you get a certificate from your employer or whomever you work for something that mentions that you have been a customer service rep for so and so months/years with a compensation of so and so peso or dollars and is on a temporary/contractual basis. This is important and crucial to your application.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

      • Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I will try to secure an employment certificate. I tried filing for my tax as self employed but I have to have a job order from my employer which he neither provides because probably we have an informal business set up. Anyway I want to thank you again. God bless.

        • Troy Alcantara says:

          Filing our taxes is always like a puzzle. Whether you want to pay, pay the right amount or not, they make it so difficult. I wonder how those who own a sari sari store file taxes? At least have your employer secure even an informal note (as long as they have their company logo, address and telephone number on the letterhead) then it should suffice. Goodluck :)

  112. hello troy can i ask something im seperated and my passport is single cos my merried is null and void but i have 3 kids and the dfa they dont want me to use the family name of my ex hus. so my passport is single . now i have plan to apply tourist visa to usa only 1 month want to visit to my cousin and friends and my fb wants me to celebrate our birthday this coming july 2 and i have agricultural land my own name ,money in the bank ,by the way how much the needed as a show money in the bank, and im a care taker of the one pension house here in davao city. and my american bf can invite me as supporting papers for my tourist visa .cos as of now he cant invite me for fiancee cos my annulment is still on the court im a petitioner and cos my x hus, he is married in his ist wife b4 he got married to me thats y my married is null and void .,,,,
    My recent post Press Release from Disney’s Sofia the First

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Merc,

      Thank you for your comment. There is really no standard amount of money that will truly say it is "enough" as show money because it really depends on how long you will stay in the US and how much will be left after the trip. As we have always recommended, it is best to be truthful with your answers and with what you have during the whole visa application. In reference to your boyfriend's support, he could fill up a form I-134 (please back read the comments for the link, thanks) and include in your application. However, I am not clearly sure what you meant by "I'm a petitioner", because if you have been petitioned by someone to migrate to US then you cannot apply for a US tourist visa until the petition is finished. If the petition is for something else, then go ahead and apply since you have land titles under your name and bank records so that should already give your application a push. I am not sure with your travel history so I am not fully confident that your application will succeed.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

      • Troy the petition i mean is about my annulment is still ongoing in the court thats y i only leave there in a month.and i dont have travel history this is the ist time i will applying for touristvisa .it is important that they have travel history even in hongkong cos if they need i will go trip to hongkong only 3 days this months and u think this is enough history ,i am 46 years old .i appreciated ur advice thank u.
        My recent post Press Release from Disney’s Sofia the First

      • troy what i need to put in the application about my status my annulment is undergoing on the court every 3 months mostly that is my court hearing .but my passport is single that is the DFA was issued to me cos my married is null and void but registered in the NSO
        My recent post Press Release from Disney’s Sofia the First

        • Troy Alcantara says:

          Hi Merc,

          Hong Kong doesn't add much as a travel history because we do not need to file for visa to visit there. Try Beijing or Shanghai, China. All you need is to at least have a P50,000 in your bank account so that you will have a good chance of getting a Chinese visa. It is really important to have a good travel history to have a written proof that you do not over stay on the countries requiring visa that you go to.

          As for your application, check the box "separated" if available but include your marriage contract and papers pertaining to your annulment in your documents (they will just check it and give back to you, they will not keep it).

  113. Hi there! I've read almost everything on this page and I'm so grateful that I have fellow Filipinos like you who are sincerely willing to help their fellowmen regarding their US visa applications. I am going to apply for US tourist visa myself. I'm 45 years old and a high school teacher in a government high school for 13 years. I'm married to an american in 2009 but the marriage didn't work so i am in the process of my annulment. I now have a boyfriend who is also American and is the one paying for all my annulment fees. Now since my annulment may take more months, my bf wants me to visit him and have a vacation in the US for at least a month or 2. He's going to spend everything for me, from my visa application to airfares to all our US trips there. We both hope that I could be there in July this year so I can give him company when he attends his co-US marine's retirement party. (By the way, my bf is a retired US marine but is now a government employee in the US. )As a teacher, I don't have a fat bank account. I have a dollar account which i opened only last year but i'm saving it to pay the rest of my annulment fees. By the way, I've never had trips to other places outside the Philippines and I only applied for my passport this May 9, 2013 and i declared there that I'm single. Honestly, i really don't feel like i'm still married. I would like to ask your opinion regarding my chance of getting my visa approved. My passport will be released on May 29th. Soon as i have it, i'll apply for the visa. Will it be possible that if approved, I would make it in the US in July? And when does the medical exam come? is it before or after the interview. Thank you in advance for whatever advice you can give me. God bless you, Miss Renz and Mr. Troy.
    PS. I really intend to come home because my annulment case is ongoing and my presence is highly needed in the court, and when the annulment has been granted, my bf will apply for fiancee visa for me.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Leigh,

      Thank you so much for your message and kind words. We really want to help our kababayans in the most economical way (for them and for us) so that they will not fall prey to opportunistic people and other evil elements and so that they can visit the US worry free. First off, your employment history is already impressive, even your age and the habit of keeping a peso and dollar account, these are of big help in your application. Adding a support from a US citizen, surely you are already 75% there. However, you lack the travel history. I am not saying that just having recently acquire a passport will be a cause of denial, there are those who were fortunate enough to be granted with one, but mostly get denied (in my experience 90% first time travelers get denied of visa). So in your case, it is now purely in the discretion of the visa officer and how they interpret your documents. Answer your DS 160 as honestly as possible, technically you are still married until the annulment case is over and the judge have made the ruling. I am not exactly sure if there is an option to put "separated" in the application so use that if available. Still fill up your spouse details and when the visa officer(s) ask you, then you will have an opportunity to tell them that you are undergoing the process of annulment and really have to return. Apply as soon as you have your passport so you can secure an appointment before July and be able to make it and don't worry about the medical exam, they are only required when the applicant was petitioned or is a senior citizen.

      Goodluck on your application!
      -Troy A.

      • Mr. Troy,
        Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the quick and helpful response to my queries. I will bear in mind that I have to be very honest in answering the DS 160 and the interview. I will prepare all documents needed for my application. Then, it’s all up to God if He wills that I and my bf will see each other this July. Thank you and i hope i can still seek your advice whenever i need it. You surely have a kind heart to do this without asking any payment. God bless you and your good heart!
        Leigh

        • Troy Alcantara says:

          Thank you Leigh! Yes, please feel free to get back with us anytime you want. Please also update us whatever the outcome of your visa application brings. We hope and pray that you will succeed in this and be united with your boyfriend soon!

          All the best,
          Troy A.

          • Hello there, Mr. Troy! I just had my interview this morning and thank God, I qualified! There was not a lot of questions asked. The officer just asked about my job and how long i have been in the teaching profession. Then he asked for my school IDs which i promptly showed to him. He asked about my marital status and I told him my annulment is on-going. He didn't ask for any document. He just told me that I qualified for a US visa. Wow!!Was I ecstatic! hahahahha! Thank you for praying with me and for your responses. They made me feel more confident. It helped a lot! Thank you and God bless you always!

          • Renz Alcantara says:

            Yay Lea! Congratulations!
            Spend your vacation well :)

          • Troy Alcantara says:

            This is awesome Leigh! Thanks for updating us and congratulations! Have fun with your vacation/holidays and regards to your boyfriend and his family :)

          • Thank you, Miss Renz and Mr. Troy. I'll be leaving on the 3rd so i could experience the 4th of July celebrations in California. I just would like to ask, is it safe not to disclose in the custom that I'm a government employee? You see, they might ask for the authority to travel signed by the secretary of the department where my school is under. Is it ok to just say I'm a business woman? Thank you! God bless you!

          • Renz Alcantara says:

            Hi Lea,
            If they ask you, be honest but most likely, they will not ask. Questions in the airport immigration and/or customs are usually:
            1. Where are you going?
            2. How much money did you bring?
            3. Do you have live animals or plants in your luggage?
            4. Where are you staying?

          • Hi again, Miss Renz and Mr. Troy! It's now my 3rd week in Oceanside California with the love of my life. We'd visited several places since i arrived here. We just actually left Hawaii where we spent 4 days. I'm sharing this to inspire our fellow Filipinos to continue to pray for the realization of their dreams…to try not to entertain negative thoughts. Soon, my fiance and I will tie the knots here in the US and I'm very happy. Thank you again because I consider your site as God's instrument to inspire me to go for it. When I was looking for a site that could help me with my US visa application, something somehow led to your site. Thank you and praying for good health for you both and your family. Mahalo!
            Lea

          • Renz Alcantara says:

            Hi Lea,

            Please call us Renz & Troy! :)

            We’re so happy for you!

            Enjoy your stay and we wish you love and joy with you partner. I too would like to visit Hawaii one day, though I heard it has gotten so expensive.

            Take care!

  114. Hi Mr Troy, I’m Mari and I found this thread very interesting and helpful so might as well as your opinion about my case.

    I was just denied visa this May. I am a nurse, working in the middle east for 1 year, with contract. Presently on vacation so i scheduled for US visa interview, so i might be able to travel the US at the same time.
    The thing is, i have pending immigrant visa petition yr 2010.
    I have enough savings and i have travelled to qatar, dubai, singapore and to south korea just recently.

    The consul just asked my purpose of travel,
    if i have any relatives in the US which i do have
    how many days do i intend to stay to which i said a week
    if i have travelled outside the country where i told im working in the middle east.
    How long have i been working and how much do i earn monthly
    What was my previous work exp, which is being a nurse.

    She didnt ask for any papers, thus i was not able to show, and just told me shes sorry she cant grant me a visa.

    Was the immigrant visa petition the main reason why i was denied or because my answers were very breif and didnt elaborate like i have a contract and a return ticket to my work?

    Thanks!
    More power!
    Mari

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Mari,

      Thank you for your comment and kind words, and sorry to hear about your application. It was good that you answered straight and only what the visa officers asked, and also for having somehow a good travel history and employment. Most of the time they do not get any documents unless they need to verify something. However, your profession (as a nurse) is a red flag to them (don't get me wrong, they do need nurses but they need legal ones) and your employment history may not be that impressive to them. Most of all, yes, your pending immigrant visa petition is still in process and an applicant can only file one type of application at any given time. I would suggest you verify your petition first, how long should you need to wait or what are your chances. If you really need to get to the US soon, better to drop your petition and then apply for a US tourist visa after.

      Let me just emphasize here for those who previously left a comment and for future readers with pending immigrant visa application (petition) and are trying to apply for a US Tourist visa. They (the US Embassy) is trying to prevent conflicting applications (or something like double jeopardy). If you have a pending petition which might be granted in a year or two, and you have been approved of a 10 year multiple entry tourist visa, which one should the immigration officer follow? What if your petition was not approved and you still have a valid tourist visa? What is their guarantee that you will not overstay or illegally stay and work in the US? They do not follow "benefit of the doubt" because it is going to be expensive for their economy. They want to make sure legitimate tourists arriving exclusively for holidays only use tourist visas, people who plan to live and stay in the US use immigrant visa and those who plan to work use working permit/visa.

      Goodluck on your next US visa application! Hope that you are able to find an employer who could sponsor you because the US is once again requiring a lot of nurses and hopefully opportunity presents itself to you!
      -Troy A.

  115. Thanks so much Mr Troy.
    I was kinda relieved to hear your answer. Cause i have what if’s in my mind.

    Thanks again and more power!

    Mari

  116. hi troy.. hoping to get some of your thoughts and inputs.

    im 31 married with a 6 y.o son, and I will be applying for B2, my interview will be next month. I am applying alone for now to visit my brother in law in the US who is a green card holder. I am employed in a very good company here for 6 years and counting. I’ve been in and out of the country Asian and European ones for work and pleasure. Our family has an on going permanent residency immigration application for New Zealand, but I just want to get a tourist visa for US just to visit for pleasure. Would my PR application in NZ affect the possible outcome of my B2 application?

    your thoughts and inputs appreciated.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Kiwi Mom,

      Thank you for your comment. Your Application for permanent residency in New Zealand will not affect your US tourist visa as these are different countries. Your travel history and employment is impressive and you should be able to pull this application easily.

      Good luck!
      -Troy A.

  117. hi sir,

    my brother is in US for 6 years already and he is planning to invite my parents this coming oct to attend the first bday of their son and at the same time to experience christmas and new year in LA.

    My father is 60YRS OLD and my mother is 55 years old.

    is there a big chance for them to be approved?

    thanks.

  118. and also, I am planning to get a visa for my husband and kids ages 5 years old and 8 months old to accompany also our parents as it’s their first time to travel in US. I have my existing tourist visa and been travelling to US twice already last 2009 and last year. I have been travelling to US, EUROPE and other ASIA Countries. For US and EUROPE it is partly company sponsored.

    Is there a chance for my husband and kids to be approved?

    My husband has korea and taiwan visa and travelled to other asian countries as well as tourist.

    thanks.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Cheley,

      Thank you for your comment. Your husband should have no problems as long as he applies with the kids. No need to worry about them.

      For your parents, it is important that their documents show that they are retired already. Include in their application any land titles or properties that are under their name. If they do not have an impressive bank account then your brother should send a letter of invitation indicating he will support your parents for the entire trip (from airfare, lodging and return flight back to Manila).

      Goodluck to your family's application!
      -Troy A.

  119. Hi ,. I am a Filipino based in singapore .. I will be applying for US visa here in Singapore and I would like to inquire on how to go about my moms application who is in Manila… As I will travel with her , how do i go about in applying her US VISA APPLICATION? Can I submit the application online together ? I will be interviewed here as i am OCW here in Singapore.. How abt my mom ? Can she be interviewed here ?

    Pls advice thanks

    JHO LEE

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Ms Lee,

      Thank you for your comment. US visa application are processed in the respective embassy and country they are lodged or filed. To answer your questions, you apply for US visa there in Singapore, including the interview and your mom applies in the Philippines and appear in the US embassy there. You can indicate in your DS 160 application that you are traveling with her (there is a question on who is/are your traveling companion even if they are not applying for a visa). Let her complete all the documents and apply on her own, or you could return to the Philippines and apply together with her.

      Goodluck on you applications!
      -Troy A.

  120. Hi Mr. Troy,
    Good pm, i am separated with kids, 43 yrs of age, working as accounting supervisor since 1992. I have a friend from Hawaii, i met him last Feb 2012 in one of the dating site, and we met in person last June same year. Been together for 10 days. And we still communicating till now, and He said i can visit him in Hawaii. He is willing to submit some requirements needed. I just want to ask, what shall we do (me and him) for possible approval for tourist visa? i dont have credit cards and money in the bank, but i have savings in our cooperative in our company. My friend from Hawaii is willing to submit requirements and etc needed. Is there a chance for me to have a tourist visa?

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Malou,

      Thank you for your comment. The chances of you getting a tourist visa would depend on the documents you submit and your travel history. I don't see any problem with your age, employment history and ties in the Philippines, but, what I am not quite sure are:

      1. What places have you been to? (countries that you visited that required a visa)
      2. Is there a way to get a certificate from your company cooperative to support your financial strength?
      3. Do you have properties under your name that could help?

      Your friend could send a letter of invitation and that's about it, but you need to have documents that could answer my questions above to increase your chances. A letter of invitation may or may not help and it is just a replaceable piece of your US tourist visa puzzle.

      Goodluck in your application!
      -Troy A.

      • Thanks you Very much Mr. Troy, for the information, it really helps. Regarding the 3 questions above, I can provide # 2 and 3, but sad to say, don't have the chance to visit any countries required. Only some cities here in the Philippines. Have plan to visit Singapore with some office mates this year, but according to this site, Singapore, is not included in the required countries to visit for possible tourist visa. Just want to know also, a person apply for Tourist can still possible for approval of visa, even don't visited some countries? To think, my friend will should the expenses while I'm there.

  121. Cornelius says:

    Hi renz and troy! Good day! I dont know if you still remember me. Pero i would like to thank you for you responses sa mga questions ko. It really helped me a lot. To cut things short, i had my interview kanina and it was a good one. Your responses lessen my stress kaya thank you ng sobra. And i hope na marami pang ma inspire sa blog niyo na to. Ni walang hiningi sa akin na kahit na ano. I was only asked kung kelan yung las trip ko sa states and how YOUNG i am now. Haha! Good day for me. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag. Thanks again!! Para sa mga iinterviewhin pa lang, stay calm and positive. And praying helps a lot. Just have faith and just be yourself. God bless you guys!!

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Cornelius, thanks for updating us with your application and congratulations! Thank you for your inspiring words as well, yes, when going to an interview, always stay calm and positive. Be confident, have faith and pray is half of what every applicant need aside from their documents. Enjoy your trip to the US and hope to hear your updates from your US vacation.

      -Troy A.

      • Cornelius says:

        Sure. Kwentuhan ko kayo pagkauwi ko. Nga pala, gaano ba katagal yung delivery non? And yes, talagang malaki ang natutulong ng prayers. Bago ako lumapit sa mag interview ako i just said to myself, Lord, ikaw na ang bahala. Haplusin niyo ng pagmamahal tong taong to na mag iinterview sa akin. And then boom! Walang itinanong masyado. I was armed with all the documents na magpapatunay na wala akong balak magtago don. Talagang mamasyal lang at mag shopping ng sneakers. Haha!

  122. Christine says:

    Hello Mr. Troy, Good day! Ive been reading all the comments here and was amazed on how u help our kababayans on their questions regarding tourist visa. This blog is really helpful and hopefully u'll also help me with my questions. I am 25 years old, I wanna apply for a tourist visa to visit some friends and travel for 3 months. I just attended the Exchange Visitor Program (J1 visa) for a year, from April 15, 2012 to April 15, 2013. I worked in the hotel in Philadelphia and was planning to stay there again when I get back to visit. I went back home this May 14, 2013 since I still had a 30day grace period to travel and it wasn't enough to see other cities. I am also not subject to INA SECTION 212(E). My family lives here in the Philippines and I have some relatives in the US but not in contact with them. My question is what are the chances that I will be granted the B-2 Visa? How soon can I apply for it? I also don't have a job here since I just arrived a week ago and my friend who lives in the US and a resident will fund my travel. What type of financial doc should i prepare? Thank you and Have a nice day!

    -christine

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Christine,

      Thank you for your comment and kind words! If your J1 visa has completely expired then you could definitely apply for a US tourist visa at your own convenience (just ensure that you are definitely not subject to INA section 212(E) because if you are and only assume you are not, then you need to wait for 2 years). What are you chances? It would actually depend on what documents you could provide. Having previously issued a J1 visa is good and increase your chances but may not be sufficient enough to guarantee an approval. Basically you need the same requirements except the employment part. It is possible that you take a vacation again but you might encounter questions like "wasn't the 30 days enough to visit the state where you stayed? how many states do you want visit? do you have funds to visit those other destinations or are those who will fund your travel stable enough and can support your trip during your stay?". They could provide an invitation or complete a Form I-134 (please back track the comments for the link, thanks). If you could provide enough printed (take note, it must be a legal document, our words and by simply saying so not be enough) materials that would convince them that you are returning to the Philippines then you will be granted one.

      Good luck on your application!
      -Troy A.

  123. tess imperial says:

    hi im tess,im planning to apply for a tourist visa in america,i owned a business here as a contractor LGU's,i have this business since 2011 but unfortunately i still dont have income so my income taax declaration is of no sales.and the business is still existing and operational.I also owned a sari sari store which i earned 20k a month ,do i need to havean income tax for my sari sari store? my sari sari storepermit is from bargy. only coz my capital here is only 30k.do i still need an ITR for my sari sari store? and another source of income is ,i have an inheritance from my brother.thatswhy i havemy bank account.pls advised me of any documents that i may need to have a tourist visa in america and canada,thanks a lot.hope to hear from you soon God bless

  124. tess imperial says:

    in addition i have my sister in USand inviting me to come over for a mini reunion with them,coz i have a sister in connecticut and a brother in seattle washington and one in canada who will be comingover too in US.thanks a lot

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Tess,

      Thank you for your message. The documents that you will prepare for US tourist visa will be the same for Canadian Tourist visa, so based on what you wrote, you can provide the baranggay permit and a bank certificate. Lay out all your cards (all the documents you have pertaining to your wealth like money, properties, car etc). I am not exactly sure how old you are so I don't know if your age and marital status can affect your application, including what countries have you visited already. It is difficult to say right now if you have a better chance of being granted or not but if you are already 55 years old or older then it would be big plus and if you have been to China, Japan, South Korea, Europe, Australia or New Zealand. Have your siblings send you an invitation letter and include it only on the correct application for the right embassy (Invitation from sibling in Canada in your Canadian visa application and invitation from sibling in US in your US visa application). Please feel free to write here if you have more information or question.

      Goodluck on your application!
      -Troy A.

  125. Mira Ara says:

    hi po, I am a Day care teacher po here in New York, I am in my last sem to finish my master,with God’s grace I may have my certificate in Dec or jan.. I would like like to invite my father who is now in the Phils. to come and be with me during the graduation ceremony on june 2014. is it ok or not to early teco apply foe a visitor’s visa this coming dec, I mean Dec of this year. thanks a lot God bless

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Mira,

      Thank you for your message. It is always a good habit to apply for a visa early, if he is visiting on June, he should be able to apply by December or January, whichever is convenient for him. This will give him more time to prepare his documents and a good schedule for interview.

      Thanks and goodluck on his application!
      -Troy A.

  126. Heather says:

    Hi Troy! Here goes my situation: I’m a nurse by profession. Been working as a regular contractual company nurse for 2 years now. I don’t own any property and do not have any bank savings under my name. I am also single and doesn’t have any children. My grandma has been petitioned by his son (my uncle) in the US and is currently under process. my uncle wants me to accompany my grandma if the time comes due to her age and health condition. After reading all the comments here, what’s my chances of getting approved if i applied for a tourist visa for US? What are the things that i should do to increase my chances?

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Heather,

      Thank you for your message. As you have mentioned, you are a nurse and don't own any property or any bank savings, which are all red flags for any visa application. Having an employment on contractual basis doesn't help as well. I am not sure what countries you have visited already but hopefully you've been to ones that require visas so it would at least increase your chances. Ask your uncle to send you an invitation and will be supporting the entire duration of your trip and guarantee your return. If your parents do have enough savings, they could also provide an affidavit of support, ITR, bank certificate, etc. The documents could come from them supporting you and guarantee your return. Your grandma's petition may take some time, maybe you could use that time to build up what you need like saving more, traveling to China perhaps or South Korea, or get a permanent employment.

      Goodluck on your application!
      -Troy A.

      • Heather says:

        I have only been to singapore so it wont count. Thank you very much for answering my questions. Godbless!

        • Troy Alcantara says:

          Sorry if my reply and feedback doesn't sound too good, but your grandma is still in the process of petition and less likely to leave in the next few months yet, which means you still have a lot of time to make preparations. Embassies can really be cruel at some time but don't lose hope.

          Goodluck :)
          -Troy A.

  127. hi. i'm from the philippines. i'm 20yrs old, single and a graduating nursing student. i am planning to apply for a tourist visa for the first time. i am going to visit my aunt in massachusetts and i am going to stay at her house. my parents will support all my expenses during my visit there. since i have classes, I'm not planning on staying long. what requirements i need to prove that I'm just going for a tour there? i already have my certification of enrollment but i'm worried that my proof of returning back is not that strong, i only have relatives, family and my certification of enollment here. any advice? do you think i have a chance to get a touist visa?

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Chloe,

      Thank you for your message. Actually, the only written proof that you are required to get back to the Philippines is the enrollment certificate. What they (the US embassy) needs to know is if you do not have any intentions of finding work in the US. Have your parents provide an affidavit of support (indicating that they will also help finance your trip and guarantee your return and please have it notarized), include that and their bank certificates, land titles and documents pertaining to their property. Ask your aunt to send an invitation letter with ALMOST the same wording as your parent's affidavit of support (no need to notarize it). As long as you are a student irregardless of course, a dependent, with the right documents, you should have a good chance of getting a tourist visa.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

      • do you think i have a higher chance to get a tourist visa even though i'm a graduating nursing students?

  128. Troy Alcantara says:

    Sorry your reply doesn't seem to post, anyway, to answer your question:
    "do you think i have a higher chance to get a tourist visa even though i'm a graduating nursing students?"

    You get higher chances of approval if you are:
    1. A minor or still a student or already senior citizen
    2. You have been to other countries that require visa
    3. You have substantial finances in the Philippines
    4. You have been employed for 2 years or more, or have a flourishing business for 2 years or more
    5. You are being supported by someone who have substantial finances in the USA

    Thanks,

    -Troy A.

  129. hi, i am Mae… i am planning to apply a tourist visa to visit my bf and to spend thanksgiving with his family…
    we are acctually planing for fiancee visa but he is currently in a process of his divorce…
    i dont have a biz and i am not employed and never been to any visa needed country… but i do have a bank statement and and still in school… if u may ask of reasons to go back!!! the only reason i have is my son and my study…
    i dont have any properties except my car… thank u so much and ur reply will be muc appreciated

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Mae,

      Thank you for your message. Honestly your US tourist visa application is worrisome because, as you mentioned, what you only have is a bank statement, your car and that you are still currently studying, which are not enough to convince the visa officer that you will really return back to the Philippines. You may consult other travel agencies or a US visa consultant for their feedback as well. I would recommend that you wait until your boyfriend's divorce is done and file for a fiancee visa, OR, take a part time job, travel to other countries that require a visa (check out China, easiest in my opinion, you just need to have at least 50,000 pesos in your bank account), or start a business and perhaps next year you can visit US even without your boyfriend's assistance.

      Thanks,
      -Troy A.

  130. i had my interview today here in abu dhabi. my visa is approved. by the way im Mark i ask question here before im a nurse so its not true that nurses are redflag in the US embassy.

  131. hi, i am Mae… i am planning to apply a tourist visa to visit my bf and to spend thanksgiving with his family…

  132. My father got his visa in 9 months and I got mine in 1 day as I am a female

  133. lady rose says:

    Hello there!

    If it would be possible to ask question,.. I have a sister in Hawaii. And she likes me to go and visit them and at the same time help her take care her daughter (hyperactive).
    I am single, female and unemployed. But oh, I am a freelancer worker online. I also do not have properties to show.. If I start funding my bank. Would my bank statement enough? Would declaration of fidelity with my boyfriend help?

    My question would be, am I able to have a tourist visa? I understand US wants to be so sure I am not staying there for more than 6mos. What documents should I present just to prove I won't be a burden to the country. That after allowed stay in Hawaii, I will go home to my country.

    Thank you so much.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi lady rose,

      Thank you for your message. Basically, the documents we mentioned in the blog and in some mentioned in the comments are the ones that could prove you will not be a burden to them. Your sister could file a petition for you so that you can be an immigrant there and this is the best way I can see so that you could visit her in the US. With what you have (bank statement), it may not suffice and you do not have a permanent/regular employment. I am not sure how old you are and what places/countries you have been to that requires a visa so it is hard to tell if those can help. It is my first time to hear about declaration of fidelity so I am not sure if it will have any bearing. If it does, then the visa officer will ask about the other aspects of your documents (financial status, employment, travel history, etc).

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  134. Hi girl would you know if a pregnant woman can still travel to US?

    • Renz Alcantara says:

      Hello Fat,

      Yes you can. I think you have to let the airline know. They have rules like upto 6 months (I think? please ask).
      But for the US immigration, yes I’ve known friends who flew in and was allowed entry.

  135. Hi troy, im planning to apply for a us visa this year or early next year. i am 32y/o, single, nurse in profession but never practiced. business owner for 5years. I’ve been to canada when i was 19, been to germany when i was 23. Been to different parts of asia. My last travel was australia last 2008 and was stuck in business after. What is my chance of being approved a tourist visa since i was denied when I was 19?I have properties but mortgaged in the bank, will i still bring copies and proofs? Lastly, is it better to apply with my fiance? We both want to travel us before we get married…fiance has no travel history but also a businessman.

    • Thank you very much. Ill wait for your advise. God bless.

      • Hi Ema,

        Thank you for your message and for giving out the important information. Being a non practicing nurse will not affect your application since you are a businesswoman. Include all proof of your business and yes include copies of your properties even if they are mortgaged. You have an impressive travel history, be sure to photocopy your old passport pages, especially those with visa from Canada and Germany. Don’t forget the bank certificate and don’t worry if you got denied when you were 19 because it has been more than 10 years. My wife was denied of a US tourist visa before but 7 years after she tried again and got approved. I cannot really tell about your fiancee but there are those lucky ones who have no travel history but still was granted with a visa. If he could show substantial money in the bank perhaps and business documents then he could increase his chances.

        Goodluck and congratulations on your engagement!
        -Troy A.

  136. Hello Troy!
    I found this blog very helpful.. thanks to you!
    I just wanna ask the probability if I will still be get approved for a Tourist Visa, I have a pending Immigrant Visa :( Yeah I know, the big possibility that I would be denied but I dont have any intentions to stay there.

    I have my Fiance here, we have engagement pics if that would help and planning for our baby this year, we all know that I could not get married because of my pending petition. I just want to take advantage of this time to travel since once I got pregnant and have a baby, it will be so hard for me to travel abroad.

    My sister who is an American Citizen and her Husband who is a Military Officer will sponsor my tour and will give a invitation letter and guarantee that I will not over stay.

    I have travelled in Korea last 2010, have a stable work in Call Center for 5 years now, have an online shop business, just starting but I graduated as BS Nursing but didn't practice at all.

    Do you think I have a higher possibility to be get a Tourist Visa?

    Thanks in Advance!
    Grazie here

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Grazie,

      Thank you so much for your message and thank you for finding our blog very helpful. :)

      Thank you also for providing all the details that can help me assess your application. With all the credentials you have right now, you have a higher chance of being approved, It is so impressive that any travel agent or visa consultant you ask will surely say, 'YES! go ahead and apply and you will surely nail it! 100%!', BUT, because of a pending immigrant visa petition, those credentials will be put to the test and your chances goes down to 50%.

      A pending petition does not, outright, make you ineligible for a tourist visa, you just need a stronger case that you will indeed return back to the Philippines. I did some research and quoting the US Embassy in Manila and my source:

      “Having an immigrant petition on file is not grounds (sic) for an automatic refusal for a non-immigrant visa. The consular officer reviewing your non-immigrant visa application will require strong evidence that you are not intending to immigrate at this time and that you are returning to the Philippines after your planned and temporary visit to the United States.”

      Should you wish to proceed with your application (well 50% is better than 0-10% after all), if asked by the visa officer (during your interview) if you have a pending petition, say "YES". Disclose it when asked but do not voluntarily mention it.

      If ever you get granted, expect that it will be 3 months, 6 months or 1 year only since you have a pending petition and would be single or multiple entry. I don't think they will provide a 10 year multiple entry, but being granted with one is like winning the lottery.

      Goodluck on your application!
      -Troy A.

      • Thanks so much for your advise and encouragement Troy!

        My Brother in Law advised me to immediately inform the Consule that my Sponsor who happened to be my Brother in Law works in US Military and the Government is so strict that they should not help any Illegal Alien for over staying in US or else they would be dismissed. Just like when I had my vacation in Korea.. he invited me for a brief visit back then when I was deployed in Seou. I don't have any big savings on my bank account nor any properties but he sent an original copy of his Bank Certificate and Supporting Documents notarized by an Attorney in US Military that he would Support my stay in Korea and guarantee the Consule that I would not overstay. Luckily I was granted for a Tourist Visa.

        Do you think the same process would help me with this application? I am so hesitant for this because of high chances that I would be denied but my sister told me that I would never ever know the answer if would not try at all.

        Please advise. Thankyou soooo much!!!

        • Troy Alcantara says:

          Most welcome Grazie! :)

          Yes, the process will be the same as you have experienced in South Korea. But having a clean travel history (you did not overstay in Korea or anywhere else) will very much help, including the bank documents of your brother in law.

          Adding a tip to your brother in law's statement, one of the questions of the visa officer will be "what is your purpose of visit to the US?", this is your opportunity to tell him/her that you are visiting your sister and in-laws, especially your brother in law who happens to be in the US Military. This way, the officer will have a hint or a clue that you are connected or being supported by someone from the their military.

          Your sister is correct too, in all dealings, be it business, love life, or visa application, we won't really know for sure until we try ;)

          Thanks :D

          • Hi Troy! its been a while and I just filed for my US Visa Interview and I got the dec 24 date, Im so stupid to think that I can schedule anytime and will still be able to choose the date that I wanted.
            My dilemma right now is that on the DS 160 form I said that the arrival date would be on dec 23 thinking that I can set an appointment on dec 9, then my interview date will be on dec 24 and thats the only available date in the month of dec and the next will be on feb luckily i still got a date this dec for the interview.
            Will this be a problem or what do i need to answer if they asked about the dates huhuhu pls help!
            Thankyouuuu ;))

          • Hi Grazie!

            Yes it’s fine, even if your DS 160 says you plan to visit on Dec 23 and your appointment is on Dec 24. The visa officer will ask you when is your next planned date to visit the US and amend your application internally (since you can no longer change the accomplished and submitted DS 160 form). As always, be honest and be specific on your answers, including your date of departure.

            Goodluck! :)

          • Hi, Troy! Happy holidays to you! I just wanna share to you the good news!!! I had my interview last Dec 24 and it was a merry Christmas indeed! Got my Visa Approved and after 5 days, I received my Passport :) Got a 10 year multiple entry!!!!! Yeah, I feel so blessed and thank you so much for patiently answering all our questions!

            God Bless You! :)

  137. Hello troy… Thank goodness fate brought me to your blog. Been reading through the pages and its really informative. As for my situation, I am planning to get a US tourist visa as well. My name is Yellow, currently here in Australia as a student since just this February financially supported. I got a casual job just this May 1 and getting paid aud 25 per hour and allowed to work 20 hours a week. We get paid aud35 per hour when we work weekends and i do my shifts only on weekends. I am a nurse by profession back in the Philippines. I have around aud6000 money in the bank. My sister who is a US citizen will be the one to sponsor my trip to US to meet her first born and attend baptism. I had a denied h1B petition way back 2010. What do you think are my chances of getting approved? And can you recommend me some things to prepare before I go for the interview?

    Your attention would be very much appreiated. Thank you so much.

    Kind regards,

    Yellow

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Yellow,

      Thank you for your message and kind words. :)

      I am not really sure why you got denied with your previous petition, but with your current situation, you are a very good candidate for a US tourist visa. I would suggest to not make any changes with your bank deposits during your application. Make your stay in the US short (1-2 weeks) and make sure to bring an invitation from your sister (supporting your trip, attend baptism, etc) and a copy of the baptism invitation. Don't forget to include an employment certificate and approved leave of absence from the company you are currently employed. Check the local website of the US Embassy/Consulate in Australia, they might be asking for some other documents.

      Good luck on your application!
      -Troy A.

      • Hi again, Troy…

        The reason for my denial for the H1B was my documents and so as the petitioner have not proved that the position that I was applied to was a specialty occupation. But anyway, I no longer have plans of working in the US now. My concern is won't they question the facts that I am still very new here in Australia, just worked for 2 months just as a casual worker and my bank account here I think is still too young (opened just this February)?

        • Troy Alcantara says:

          Hi Yellow,

          The primary reason why you wish to visit the US is for holidays right? so I don't think they will question that if you provide the right documents (employment certificates, etc). Your bank account may be fairly new but it is already substantial and you will also be getting some support with your sister right? Think positive and the confidence of your application is as good as the confidence of the applicant :)

          Goodluck!
          -Troy A.

    • Hi Troy,
      Thanks. Im feeling confident reading your replies. Hopefully and prayerfully I could get the visa. By the way, my sister will be the one to sponsor me, do i need to bring my sister's original documents like pay stubs, income tax returns, and employment certificate/verification? What other important original documents from my sister should i bring during the interview?

      Kind regards,

      Yellow

      • Troy Alcantara says:

        Hi Yellow,

        no need for those, just the baptismal invitation, a hand written invitation from your sister stating she will support your entire trip. If you feel that they do not suffice, ask your sister to complete a form I-134 (http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-134.pdf), print, sign and email to you to be included in your application but I don't think that is necessary as long as he provides the invitation letter.

        Thanks,
        Troy A.

        • Hello Troy,

          thank you so much. When and where do i submit the form i-134? i already have submitted the application and got my interview schedule. Should i bring the form i-134 only during the interview?

          • Troy Alcantara says:

            Yes, like all other documents, you bring it during your interview and provide what is asked. The visa officers will not get all your documents but they will ask 2 – 3 items in it for verification.

            Goodluck! :)

          • i see. One of my strong ties here in australia is my boyfriend. Would they ask for the name and information about my boyfriend as well? Will they call him and verify whether i'm saying the truth or not? (Coz currently we're not in good terms)

          • Troy Alcantara says:

            hahaha sorry I honestly laughed on your last sentence. No, don't worry they will not call your boyfriend. The things they look for in connection with your status wherever you are, are:
            1. Employment (they might check if the company does exist)
            2. Family (strictly spouse (husband or wife), children, 1st degree relatives like parents and siblings)
            3. Your investments (money you deposit on the bank, or properties you own in that country)

            There are no questions in the DS 160 form about your boyfriend so I don't think it will come up with their questions during the interview.

          • Haha! Shame on me! Good thing we don't know each other personally. Haha! Thank you Troy! Youre such a great help… Hope you wont get sick of answering hundreds of questions from me and our kababayans needing help for our applications. You're heaven sent. =) God bless…

  138. Hi Troy… ive been planning in applying a tourist visa but never had the courage to do so bec. Im afraid that they might reject my aplication.
    I am 30 years old now and currently single. Ive been travelling for the past 7 years. Ive been to some parts of the Asia and some of which that require visa are Nepal, Myanmar and China.
    Ive also worked in Qatar befoe for only 7months.
    Right now, i am a freelance buyer for almost 4years now in one company in Philippines and they have been sending me here in China since i worked with them.
    I do have a lots of China visa in my passport too.
    I dont have any properties to show and my bank account is not that fat.
    Is there any chance that they cam grant me a tourist visa?
    Is it easy now to get a US tourist visa compared before?
    Pls advise. Thanks!

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi John,

      Thank you for your message and sorry for the delayed response.

      Looking at your situation, you have a very good travel history. Can the current company who sends you to China provide you with a certificate of employment or something that would certify that they employ your services from time to time for over 4 years already? If you really are decided to visit US within the year, indicate in your application that you are just visiting for a few days (1 week the most) and then provide at least maybe around P100k – P150k in your bank. These should increase your chances.

      Honestly speaking, how easy or hard to get US tourist visa varies. Right now they are talking about the Immigration Law and they might tighten up requirements so as to ensure the security of the borders and incoming visitors.

      Don't worry too much, you will really never know if you will be granted with one if you don't try. ;)

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

      • Hi Troy,

        I really appreciate your time and effort in answeringball our questions patiently.

        I can ask for a certificate of employment from my company and i do have a savings of 150k in my bank.

        My other questions are: how can i get a 10-year multiple tourist visa? As what others have got when they applied for a visa…. is the US embassy the one decing about how long would be your visa or you can indicate it in your application? Since i have read that there is a quota in visa issuance, do you think it is just startegic to apply a visa on January next year?

        Thanks a lot again and God bless!

        • Troy Alcantara says:

          Hi John,

          It's good that you can acquire those documents, it would make your application easier.

          The validity of the visa depends on the US embassy, how they weigh your application and documents, and your capacity and probability of returning to the US after your first visit. If you are in a sort of business that would interest the US and giving you a 10 year multiple might look inviting to you and/or your company to invest in the US, they might give you that. OR, if they think you seem to be the type who travels a lot to other countries that giving you a long validity would interest you in spending more holidays and tour their country (of course spend your money there), then they would provide that as well.

          Yes, there is indeed a quota but they don't easily consume that amount that fast and they check the documents first. We know friends, families and clients who were given a visa on December, so it really doesn't matter when you apply, your documents just needs to be complete.

          Thanks,
          -Troy A.

  139. juneth zapanta says:

    junethzapanta@gmail.comnd my daughter want to visit my boyfriend in colorado before his deployment in Iraq coz his working in the army.. shes the father of my daughter and haven’t seen her in person since birth .he havent got a chance to come here in pi that’s y he want me to travel to see him. anyway ive been in korea last 2011 with a working visa but came home after 9 months coz of pregnancy. is this may affect my processing of getting a tour visa? anyway my boyfriend will send me an invitation letter and affidavit of support while staying him for 2 months. and also i do have a small business here..and atm savings account but my savings is not that much.. i just want to make sure if there’s any chance the console will grant me and my daughter a visa? thanks and godbless

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Juneth,

      Thank you for your message. Returning to the Philippines even before your working visa expires will not affect your application. As long as you did not overstay in South Korea then that is well and good. I believe you have everything you need, just ensure that they are complete. The visa officer (not the consul, as most think), will ask some questions so to increase your chances, make sure to complete your documents, answer only what is asked (answer straight, do not add any other descriptors and don't try to explain unless asked to do so).

      Goodluck and hopefully you and your daughter will be reunited with her father!
      -Troy A.

  140. hi troy do you have an email address where i can certainly ask some questions??if you do can you send me an email at lil_me43@yahoo.com thanks
    My recent post Strengthening the Link Between the Past and the Present with Bingo

  141. Hi! My mom is Amerasian, legally recognized by my grandfather (as it appears in her birth cert), but he's not married to my grandma. Does that increase my chances of getting approved? (Would you know if there's any sort of legal ties between the US and Phil on that?)

  142. (I just read through the comments section and I realized that you answer every comment and question. That is so nice of you and I even forgot to say thank you. So, thank you in advance. hahah!)

    Also, I thought I should expound my situation further. That way, it will be easier for you to get where I'm coming from. Anyway, so yah like the others, I'm concerned about the whole documents/proof business since I don't have anything on my name. My mom's legally a child of an american and I remember seeing on the US portal account that it's on the top of the visa types list. I thought probably it has some bearing to it that's why. So, does it?

    Although I'm not in a hurry to get to the US, it would be very helpful to know if that fact would help. Thanks again!

    • Hi Banuk,

      Thank you for your comment :) I try to answer each questions as much as possible, especially when I do have the time, and help within best of my capabilities :D

      In reference to your application, it would really depend on how you would present your requirements. Say you are filing because you want to visit your grandfather and he has an invitation letter for you and stating that he will be supporting your entire trip and have the original copy of your mom's birth certificate with his name on it, it should increase your chances of being approved with one. However, if you will apply without any of those, then the visa officer will depend on what you have in your documents (bank certificate, business permit, employment certificate, etc). They will not automatically presume that you are a grand child of a US citizen even if they have the resources to check.

      Goodluck on your application! :)

      -Troy A.

  143. riane m. says:

    hi troy,
    i hope u could help me. Im planning to apply a tourist visa with my daughter to visit her dad’s family in US to spend holiday with them, and planning to spend 3 months.Do we need a invitation or to reason that i want to spend my birthday together w/ my daughter in US and plan to go to disneyland. what month do we need to process the visa if were going there in October.Do we have a chance to grant a visa even his dad is processing his citizenship. were not married yet do we need to tell the consul that were going to visit his dad or might think the consul for not returning back in phils. I have a strong proof to return in phils bec i have been 8 yrs working as a medtech in a local govt hospital , half a million of bank account,credit cards, and was been tourist in canada last 5 yrs ago. Do we need to use the address of my bf or use others friends address pls tell us if we have a chance thank you .pls send ur reply in my email add

  144. Hi Riane,

    Thank you for your comment/message and sorry for the delay.

    Your chances and requirements depends on what you have and what are your intentions for visiting USA. If you believe you can support your trip, including your daughter's then you don't need any invitation from anyone in the US. There may or may not be any problems asking for an invitation or letter of support from someone who is in the process of citizenship in the US, but to play it safe, try to provide documents that can be procured here in the Philippines. But if the one inviting is already a citizen, then please do ask as it may help strengthen your application and please do use their address. The visa officer (not the consul) may or may not ask about your daughter's father, but answer as directly and as honestly as possible and keep your answers short, no need for further explanation. I believe you have a good chance of being granted with a visa because you have a good employment and financial history,you have been to Canada without overstaying and you are traveling with your daughter. Please do apply as early as possible (right after reading this if you can) to ensure that you get to depart by October. The appointment queue is unpredictable so the earlier (6-8 months) you do it, the better.

    Goodluck!
    -Troy A.

  145. leighberm says:

    thanks a lot for ur column ms alcantara. am a senior citizen at 62 , single and wanting to see part of u.s.. i have three good friends in virginia. willing to acomodate me during my stay. i have not travel abroad yet..i have only 800k and a 280 sq. meters residential house. do you think i will pass d requirement. thanks

  146. There's a comment from leighberm, I can't seem to find, but anyway here it goes:

    "thanks a lot for ur column ms alcantara. am a senior citizen at 62 , single and wanting to see part of u.s.. i have three good friends in virginia. willing to acomodate me during my stay. i have not travel abroad yet..i have only 800k and a 280 sq. meters residential house. do you think i will pass d requirement. thanks"

    Hi leighberm, thank you for your message. Being a senior citizen is very good! You have bigger chances of getting a US visa even if I haven't read much of what you already have. So basically follow each step posted in this article and during your interview, please bring the following:

    a. Passports (bring them all, but the embassy will only get the latest) – for identification and proof of travel history
    b. DS 160 and appointment confirmation
    c. Bank Certificate and Bank Statement (issued within 30 days of the scheduled interview / both are different documents and it is best to provide them)
    d. Birth Certificate
    e. Senior Citizen ID (original and photocopy)
    f. Photocopy Land Title
    g. Invitation letter from your friend(s) in Virginia, please have them includes phrases or statement that they will be assisting you in your trip and so on.
    h. Community Tax Certificate (Cedula)

    I am in good faith that you have a big chance of getting a US visa.

    Goodluck!
    -Troy A.

  147. riane m. says:

    thanks for replying my concerns now im starting to process my document by filling up the DS-160 form but I havent schedule yet. there’s a question that i really confused for my daugher form they ask if his father is in US do i need to deny or tell the truth.we plan to settle the processing of immigrant if he’s already citizen does it reflect to our petition if we are not telling the truth. thanks!!

    • Hi Riane,

      Yes, please provide the truthful and honest answer in the the DS-160 form. One way or another they can and will verify that. But during the interview, only mention the name or anything about your daughter's father **when asked by the visa officer** or any question requiring that you tell that. Otherwise, answer only what is asked from you.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

      • Renz Alcantara says:

        Hi Riane,

        I am with Troy on this. Be honest. The more you lie and for sure they’ll know about it, the more reason they will not grant you a visa.
        Also answer what is only being asked, avoid over expounding on things because the consuls don’t have all the time in the world to listen :)
        Plus the more we talk, the more that they will find questions for you.

  148. Hi Troy,

    I hope you could answer my questions. ..

    I am planning to apply for a US tourist visa, together with my child (2 years old) My husband has multiple tourist visa already. So, it's only me and my child who will apply. Our main purpose of going to US is to visit our family and relatives and also to spend the Christmas holiday there. My husband is the one only working right now. I have a work but I am only contractual and it's a home based job. I quit my regular job 2 years ago after I gave birth, because no one will take care of my child. So I don't have an employment certs or whatsoever right now. We have a new, small business which we got a DTI business certificate. We have bank account, car which is owned by our family (under my husband's name). What's our chances of getting approve for a visa?

    Hoping for your soonest response. Thank you so much and more power! :)

    • Hi Jen,

      Thank you for your comment.
      Not have a consistent employment will not be a problem if you have a spouse who could support you. Here is what you and your kid will need.

      1. Notarized affidavit of support from your husband
      2. Bank Certificate of your husband (well and good if both of you are under one account)
      3. Include the DTI business certificate (include a photocopy)
      4. BIR form of your business

      If you and your family have been to countries that require visas (ie. Japan, Korea, China, etc) then that would raise your chances as well. But at the moment, without the travel history and based on what you mentioned, you have 50/50 chances (which is I think is still good).

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  149. Hi,

    I am a nurse working in Dubai for more than a year. I am planning to apply for a tourist visa to the US to visit my relatives there. I have some amount in my bank account here in Dubai. However for my travel history, I've only been to Singapore. I was wondering, what are the chances of me getting that tourist visa?

    Thank you for your response.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi!

      Thank you for your message. Based on what you mentioned, I would say you have 50/50 chance of being granted a US tourist visa. You have been working for over a year already, which is good, and you have a consistent bank account (hopefully it amounts to more than 5 times the cost of roundtrip airline ticket from Dubai to US and hotel costs during your stay). Your travel history is not as impressive but having a good record of stay in Dubai may help. Now, all that remains is how old you are, how long you plan to stay in the US. Apply at the US consulate or embassy there as much as possible.

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

      • Hi,

        As a followup, I am 26 years old, single. I am planning to stay in the US for a month, just for vacation (since my annual leave only allows a maximum of 45 days.) My aunt in the US is going to sponsor all my costs in the US including accommodation but I will shoulder my airline expenses. Do you think how money do I need to have in the bank?

        Thank you very much.

  150. Troy Alcantara says:

    Thanks for the additional information. Since you mentioned that, there will be some changes in the documents that you need to provide.

    1. Have your aunt send an invitation letter stating how long you will stay, how long will she support you and what she will be supporting with (accommodation, meals, local transportation, etc).
    2. As I have mentioned in the comments, there is really no standard amount, it would really depend on where you are, how much is the ticket cost, how long you will stay in the US and how much is remaining in the bank after the trip. So in your specific case (note: this is just an assumption and exclusively just for you and will not apply to everybody / also, values are assumed that in case the US embassy checks and your aunt cannot financially support you and you will still be traveling on your own):

    US$ 2,000 – Airfare (approximately)
    US$ 1,595 – Hotel (2star on $55 per night x 29 nights)
    US$ 450 – Meals ($5 per meal x 3 meals x 30 days)
    US$ 300 – Bus fares for sightseeing ($5 per way x 2 for roundtrip x 30 days)
    —————
    US$ 4,345 – total trip cost
    x5
    —————
    US$ 21,725 or equivalent in local currency

    (x5 – conservative factor to ensure that even after the trip you still have something left)

    As I mentioned, this is an assumption based on the the said factors. I am just explaining this to you and to others who are reading this blog that there is really no specific amount of money that could guarantee your visa approval. We all need to prove that we could finance our trip and still have something substantial to return to in our point of origin.

    Goodluck!
    -Troy A.

    • Hi,

      Thank you very much for the very detailed reply. I will prepare all the necessary documents and hopefully I get that visa. :)

  151. Hi everyone.I was denied for a nonimmigrant US visa in 2007 and i re-applied last Aug.8, 2013 and finally I got approved.May nakuha akong technique na pwede nyo magamit.If hindi pa kayo tinatawag ng Consul,umupo kayo sa mga upuan na malapit sa window.For 2.5 hours na paghihintay ko para tawagin ng Consul,pinakinggan ko yung mga tanong nya. Maririnig mo kasi naka microphone siya at may speaker kaya malakas at aabot sa pandinig mo habang nakaupo at nagaantay ka.Paulit ulit lahat ng tanong niya sa applicants. Actually may trend yung questions nung Consul.At tiningnan ko ang hitsura niya pag hindi siya satisfied sa sagot para kapag ako na ang interviewhin nya,pwede kong maiwasan na mainis siya. Swerte ko lang kasi for 2.5 hours,dalawa lang silang consul na nagiinterview that time at sa kanya ako napunta. Ayun pareho lang yung mga naitanong saken. Tapos tuwing sumasagot ako ng mga tanong na yes or no ang hinihinging sagot,dadagdagan ko ng konting paliwanag yung sagot ko that will lead our conversation to the strongest information i have that will establish my strong ties. Kasi kung aasa ka lang sa mga tanong niya,baka hindi mo mailabas yung alas na reason mo na magpapatunay na babalik ka. Like in my case,he asked about my job.I said i work sa economic research department ng isang bangko.Tapos nagtanong siya if i am an economist at kung may doctoral degree ako.Sabi ko oo economist ako pero nagaaral pa ko for my doctoral and i am on my third year na.Sabi ko rin naka-enroll ako at that time. Tapos tinanong ako ano raw naiisip ko na thesis topic.After those questions,i got approved. Yung tungkol sa pagaaral ko ang pinaka-alas ko para mapatunayan na babalik ako.Kaso nung umpisa hindi ko alam pano babanggitin since 32 years old na ko. At my age,mas may bearing kasi ang work experience eh kakalipat ko lang 8 months palang ako sa new work. Imagine sinabi ko na under contract ako till december tapos ang plan ko pa is to spend Christmas sa US. Pero hindi niya yun binigyan ng pansin kasi sabi ko i earn 60k naman every month. Basta ang strategy is LEADING. Lead your conversation with the consul to your ALAS information. Ikaw ang mag control ng conversation sa pamamagitan ng mga sagot mo ng mga brief explanation.

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Luke,

      Thanks for the wonderful tip! Yes, your suggestion of leading the conversation to your best asset is great. Lalo na kung hindi tinatanong ang information na yun na sa tingin mo makakapagpatunay na babalik ka nga pagkatapos ng trip sa US. Congratulations and enjoy your visit to the US!

      Very best,
      Troy A.

  152. Hi, I am planning to visit US to take care of my grandmother who will undergo knee surgery on september. I am a registered nurse and I will be the one who will be assisting her post operatively. My current status is that I am an employed nurse for 5 years in a big hospital here in the Philippines, married also to a nurse and has a 3 y/o child. I have only travelled to hongkong last 2007. I have already tried applying for US tourist visa last 2005 when I as still 3rd year college. I have no acceptable funds in the bank, and my salary is just around 18-20k pesos. I have no other properties. My relatives in the US can provide me a document regarding the medical and surgical operation coming from the hospital/US insurance of my grandmother. My questions are: is there a good chance i can be approve? Can my aunt in the US provide me affidavit of support for my expenses? If I apply and get denied again, will it make my record worse since I got denied already, or just wait for a better status before I apply again? Thank you.

    • Renz Alcantara says:

      Hello Kyle,

      This is just my honest opinion.

      You can’t say that your reason for going to the US is to take care of your grandmother because they have skilled nurses in the US who can do that. I suggest that you think of a better “reason” or strategy if you may call it that way. Remember, you are applying for a tourist visa and not a work permit. You are not allowed to work at any circumstance when you’re holding a tourist visa.

      I hope this helps!

    • troy alcantara says:

      Hi Kyle,

      Like what Renz said, if your reason is just to take care of your grandmother, they have skilled nurses there as well (probably Filipinos too). In reference to your questions:

      1. is there a good chance I can be approved?
      - depending on the reason you state in the application and documents you provide. Currently, with what you have (and travel history), you have less than 50% chance. If you can change anything prior to application, it may help.

      2. Can my aunt in the US provide me affidavit of support for my expenses?
      - yes, have her send an invitation letter and also there is a form (try googling it or backtrack with the comments. I think it's form I-130 or something). A bank statement from her, together with the invitation will help.

      3. If I apply and get denied again, will it make my record worse since I got denied already, or just wait for a better status before I apply again?
      - it doesn't make your record any worst or better. What matters is, the next time you apply, make sure there are significant gain and changes in your documents. If you submit the same documents, you'll get the same results.

      Goodluck and speedy recovery to your grandma!
      -Troy A.

  153. Hi I just want to ask my parents don't have Income Tax is it impossible for theme to get a visitors visa? please let me know thanks…..

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Jojo,

      There are certain situations that your parents doesn't need an ITR. These are:
      1. They are retired and senior citizens already
      2. They made an early retirement (say 50 years old) but have already substantial bank deposits under their name
      3. They made an early retirement (say 50 years old) and someone will be supporting their trip (either from here or from the US), include affidavit of support or letter of invitation and Bank certificate from the person supporting them.

      Goodluck to their application!
      -Troy A.

  154. Good day! I am Shelley, currently a 3rd year college and already in my legal age, my boyfriend is not yet American citizen. He wants me to visit him this December but the problem is I don't have a visa but he wants me to apply and as I was reading and searching and I've been to lots of websites, I think I will go for a B-2 visa instead. One reason is that he will graduate on his MA degree this coming December and he wants me to visit him. The catch is that he will send an invitation letter and he will give financial support. Is there a big possibility that I can be denied? I have no intention to stay there because I am still studying and for sure I am currently enrolled when I travel to US by December and will just stay there for 2 to 3 weeks for Christmas vacation. Another thing is that I do not have bank account/s because lots of reviews says that it is important to show it to the consul but my boyfriend says that he will support everything when I travel. Any ideas and suggestions? Thanks in advance! God bless everyone.

    • troy alcantara says:

      Hi Shelley,

      Thank you for your comment. Even though you are of legal age already, you are a college undergrad and is still under the guardianship of your parents. If you apply alone or with what you currently have (or don't have), definitely you will be denied of a visa. What you need to do is provide an affidavit of support from your parents as well (aside from your BF's invitation). Indicate in your parent's affidavit of support that they will guarantee your return. Also include the bank certificates of your parents, photocopy of their businesses, properties, etc. This would increase your chances (but will not guarantee your approval), so what is left is how you answer the visa officer during your interview.

      Goodluck in your application!
      -Troy A.

      • imprettyoungshell says:

        Thanks Sir Troy! :) I got a chance to talk to my dad and he will process the bank certificates within this week. I have another question about the DS-160 form. I sign up the form and I already have my application number. The problem is, it says "no status" and I am not yet paid. Maybe that's the reason why but another thing that bothers me is the picture that is why the result is "no status" what will I do? I was thinking to call the consul for my application form status. I just wanted to know your answer before I call the embassy. Thank you sir!

        • Renz Alcantara says:

          Hi there,

          Troy is currently our of the country and won’t be able to answer your inquiry. :( I don’t know a thing about this too so I would suggest call the Embassy . What I can also suggest is to bring an extra photo with the correct size because upon initial checking they might ask you to provide a new one.

        • Hi!

          Sorry I was out of the country for 2 weeks and just got back. If you have successfully uploaded or submitted your DS160 form (even without the photo), there should be no problem. As we have indicated in the steps in the article, it is best to make the payment first, before filling up the DS-160 form so you could immediately schedule an interview online or over the phone. The only time you need to have concern with is when you can’t schedule your appointment. Incomplete DS 160 forms will not be uploaded and verified and if ever there are some questions that the US embassy need to ask, they will do it during the interview. Also, you can get your photo in the US embassy, there is a photo studio you can pay inside the facility.

          Goodluck! :)
          -Troy A.

  155. hi troy,
    hi
    i just wanna ask if i have the chance to apply a tourist visa even if i dont have an ITR ive been 7 yrs from my work as medical field my salary is 10k a month they less P1000 for the tax but not true bec. i found out they dont remit in the BIR. What if i dont have this ITR to present do i have a chance even if my salary is low. i have no propertys but i have 400k in my bank account and i travelled in europe for 1 month. Do i need to pretend that my salary is high even its not i have given a contact # of HRD dept. even the embassy may check we can declare that i have that high salary pls. help me!

    • troy alcantara says:

      Hi Betsy,

      Thank you for visiting our page. The ITR is just one of the documents required among a list of others. Can your HR department provide you with an office copy of the BIR Form (Form 2316 or 1605 if I'm not mistaken) they "allegedly" use to pay for your taxes? In my honest opinion, it is best to answer the forms and the visa officer as sincerely and as honestly as possible. There are also other factors that could determine if you will be granted or not (like travel history, marital status, age, etc) and will be asked from you. Right now, it is hard to tell your chances as we only have your employment history.

      Thanks,
      -Troy A.

  156. Hi good day!

    I already applied for a us tourist visa, im just waiting for my schedule which is next month. Im a Cabin Crew working and based in the middle east,25 yrs old. I have a 20-day annual leave next month so i decided to make the trip also next month as soon as i will get a visa.

    Well, basically, i know it you might think it would be easy for me because of my job, and i have a good savings account both here and in the philippines, but what’s bothering me is my family history. My mom used to be a tnt in us. But now she’s already a green card holder. She got her card i think 4-5 years now. She was able to petition my two brothers who are now green card holder as well. My mom is scheduled to have her citizenship interview this month.

    I will be financing my trip. I have been to Japan and some asean countries or vacation, Some of European countries due to my work.

    Do you think they will be digging me on old issues regarding my mom? Do you think they will grant my tourist visa?

    Thank you!

    • Renz Alcantara says:

      Hello Katrina,

      If there’s one major thing I learned about my research with US tourist visa and immigration law, YOU are an independent individual. You have nothing to do with what your Mom did or did not do. All you have to care about is prove to them (the consul) that you are merely visiting family and you intend to resume work in the Middle East soon as you’re done with your vacation.

      Holding a Japan visa should be a huge plus too!

      Good luck!

      - Renz A.

      • Thank you so much for the very fast and reliable reply. Wish me luck! :) Godbless!

        • hi Troy, ive been reading your blog and all the comments and replies here for days and i find it very helpful. Me and my husband are planning to apply for a tourist visa with the kids. I heard we could apply as a family. We are planning to spend christmas and new year in florida with our relatives there. I am 30yo, my husband is 32. Kids are 7yo and 1yo turning 2 this october. We have a house, 2 cars and 4 apartments under our name. We have several apartments too but they are still under our parents name. We have a long standing bank account. We also supply beauty products to dermatological clinics but we did not have it registered under dti since it is purely online based. Do you think these papers will suffice for us to qualify for a visa? What else could we add up to our documents to prove that we have no intent of staying in the US and work there. Would definitely appreciate your reply. Thank you :)

  157. hi Troy, ive been reading your blog and all the comments and replies here for days and i find it very helpful. Me and my husband are planning to apply for a tourist visa with the kids. I heard we could apply as a family. We are planning to spend christmas and new year in florida with our relatives there. I am 30yo, my husband is 32. Kids are 7yo and 1yo turning 2 this october. We have a house, 2 cars and 4 apartments under our name. We have several apartments too but they are still under our parents name. We have a long standing bank account. We also supply beauty products to dermatological clinics but we did not have it registered under dti since it is purely online based. Do you think these papers will suffice for us to qualify for a visa? What else could we add up to our documents to prove that we have no intent of staying in the US and work there. Would definitely appreciate your reply. Thank you

    • troy alcantara says:

      Hi Mae,

      Thanks for the comments and sorry it took me 5 days to reply.
      What you heard is true, applying as a family increases your chance of getting a US tourist visa. For the businesses, you could instead include a company portfolio of the online store (when was it established, who are the owners, what are the mission vision, what products do you sell, etc). I believe you and your family have a big chance of being granted a US tourist visa when you apply together, so apply now and set your appointment early because December is a peak season and a lot of other Filipino tourists would want to visit US as well.

      Goodluck on you application!
      -Troy A.

  158. Hi, good day!
    I was invited by my friend to have a vacation with her family. I got an appointment which will be on September 19. I have a bank account but it is a joint account but it is just a small money. I am 29yo and single. I am a head of HR department in a company for atleast 2 years now. Do you think that will be enough since I dont own any assets. All my immediate family member is here in the Philippines and its really intended for a short visit to my friend. Hope you can help me on this. Thank you in advance.. :)

  159. Hi Hengie,

    Sorry for the very late reply. I hope you get to read this before tomorrow's interview. Anyway, based on what you mentioned, it is really hard to say if it is enough or there are still things needed from you. We are not aware of your travel history (places you've been and if they required a visa), the duration of stay (the shorter the better) and what other documents do you have (invitation letter, ITR, certificate of employment with approved leave of absence, etc).

    At this point, all we could suggest is to answer the visa officer confidently and honestly, hopefully they get a very good at your application and be convinced that you are worthy of a US tourist visa.

    Goodluck!
    -Troy A.

    • Hi Troy!

      Good morning! I just read your reply. Anyway, I guess it was a very lucky day for me! I got my visa and now waiting for it to be delivered. :) Just to share, I guess you really have to be relax and confident on what you are saying with the consul. The officer didn't bother to see the documents i brought, just the passport and the ds-160 confirmation. I only went to Hongkong for a vacation last 2011, no bank account which I can call my own with only 4 digit amount of money. I don't have a high salary but then I got it!

      Thank you for your blog, it helps a lot to read before the interview. God bless you! :)

      • Hi Hengie,
        If you don’t mind can you share your experience on that day? Prang report ba:D I’m planning to apply for visa this coming december.Thanks & Congrats!

  160. Hi, i've lost my passport with a US visa back in 2007. I'm currently working as a call center agent and I don't have a large amount in my bank. Will they be able to check that I've been there thrice. My parents are in the US, but I just want to be able to visit when I can. I don't want to spend x amount of money just to be denied. Would my prior visit be enough for a "good" chance to be approved again?

    • Hi Jayc,

      Thank you for your message. The US embassy do have access to records of your entry and exit in the US but in the DS-160 application, there is a section there where you need to type in your travel history, including the US trip so if you still remember the dates of your previous trips there the better. Do you happen to remember if your US Visa is still valid or already expired? Do you have photocopies of them? Having a US visa before gives you a better chance, the more so if it just got expired in less than a year because you can avail of the visa renewal program of the US embassy. If you think it is still valid, you can just file for a lost passport and visa, the procedure might be lenghty but at least there is a greater chance you get a visa again.

      Thanks,

      Troy A.

  161. My whole family applied for a visa last Friday. All of us got approved. The consul said to expect the Visas after 7 days. We experienced being denied twice before. My advise, just continue trying until you succeed…:)

  162. Hi Troy! Good morning!
    I want your advice and help, if possible for me to get a US tourist visa. Im 31 yrs.old. im single and graduated BSHRM.I worked for 6 yrs. In Taiwan as factory worker. I finished my contract last yr. Aug. 2012. I have employment certificates recieved and a rehired form frm. my company. Last April 2013 i travelled to Netherlands, Europe for almost 3 mo's. To meet and visit my dutch bf family. So he invited me there and helped me to my tourist visa and finances also while staying there.
    My sister is already a US citizen last Jan.2013. She own a house & lot, have cars, savings and working also. During my stay in Netherlands she also visited me there, then we travell diff. countries in Europe using a EuroBusLines and a train. We went to Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Norway. But my passport dont have a stamp coz no need but every country we experienced a passport check every countries boundary. But i never experienced problem regarding to my passport check.
    When i returned back here in Phils. My sister who is in US is inviting me there visit her. So she wants me to try to apply a US tourist visa. Now im still waiting the documents that she send for me to start to apply for the other requirements. She will be the one to pay all my expenses. I still have a money to my savings account to be able to show.
    My problem is that, i dont have a job/work since i finished my contract last Aug.2012. I dont have also properties to show coz the title of our land is still to my mothers name. I dont have business aslo, and other words i only have my savings account to show. So i am worried to these requirements needed that i dont have. Im scared to be denied. I hope you can give me a good advice to be able to visit my sister and apply and approved my tourist visa as soon as i apply.
    Thank you so much and more Blessings!!!

    • Hi Mhay,

      Thank you for your message. First off, you have a fantastic travel history which is a big plus in your application already. Your employment history (even if you still don't have work since August 2012) is also good. Everything looks good except, as you have pointed out, your financial background and your ties here in the Philippines. Here are some things you might want to include in your application:

      1. Invitation letter from your sister in US with a phrase that she will support your trip (from the airfare, to accommodations) and guarantee your return.
      2. Affidavit of support from your parents (that they will support your trip and guarantee your return), including their bank certificates.

      Some other tips:
      1. Make your trip to the US short (a month or less)
      2. Wait until the US government shut down is over (because they are on their toes right now and they want the least worries as possible, especially in matters of visa and immigration, even if you are just visiting).
      3. Prepare an itinerary of what you want to do and places you want to go during the duration of your tentative stay in US. It will help answering the visa officer's questions during the interview.

      Think positive, you already have an edge in your application. :)

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  163. I have a Filipa friend over 60 years old coming to see her Aunt in The US on a tourist visa. Can you tell me the length of her stay is allowed? If she got married to US citizen, could she stay in the US and if so what required documents would be needed. Thank you, Bob

    • Renz Alcantara says:

      Hi Bob,
      Her tourist visa should have indicate its validity and the length of stay would depend on what the immigration officer would give her upon arrival in the airport.

      It can vary from 2 weeks – 6 months

      As for marrying a US citizen, it is beyond my knowledge.

      Thanks!

    • troy alcantara says:

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for sending us the message. As Renz have mentioned, yes, it may vary from 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months or 6 months depending on the immigration officer upon arrival in any US port (not the visa officer or consul in the US embassy). If she gets married, then best who could answer how she could obtain a permanent resident visa or being naturalized as a US citizen is the nearest USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) near you.

      Thanks and good luck to her!
      -Troy

  164. Hi there,

    I just want to ask your opinion on getting my visa approved. I am planning to apply for a US tourist Visa for maybe a 2-3 weeks stay. I will be staying with my Aunt who is in Jersey. She would help me with the expenses there. The whole point of the stay is to visit my Grandmother for her birthday who stays with the rest of the family there. Im the first grand daughter and as you may have known travelling gets quite hard for her. I also havent seen my closest cousin ever since 2007. These are immediate family members Im visiting in the States so yeah, its pretty much a big deal to me. So here are some of my info's:

    1. Im 24 years old and a single mom
    2. I dont have a huge amount of money in the bank (what is the accepted amount by the way granted its quite a short trip) bank certificate that i wil be showing would be the one from the payroll and a savings one
    3. Im employed as in IT analyst in a globally known Computer Manufacturer
    4. My pay is quite acceptable but not really that big
    4. Passport wise, I have been to HK, Singapore, Malaysia, China (group visa so dont really show on the passport)
    5. I will be able to present a certificate of employment stating my start date in February. So I havent been employed over a year with this company that Im with
    * this is because I have just gotten back from Singapore in January as I have worked there for roughly 2 years. Thus explains the multiple stamps I have because of the frequent visits I do from time to time back home

    I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you

    • troy alcantara says:

      Hi jcmt,

      Thank you for your message and for giving us a comprehensive detail of your application.

      Having multiple stamps in Singapore and not overstaying there is a big plus already and having an employment with good pay will help. You've got what is needed but may not make the success rate 100%. Here are a few suggestions:

      1. Get a letter of invitation from your aunt (also stating that they will guarantee your plane fare and accommodations for the 2-3 weeks stay and the dates must be specific).
      2. Get an affidavit of support from your parents with their bank certificate(s).
      3. Include papers that would support ownership of properties (ie. cars, houses, etc).
      4. Answer the visa officer during the interview as honestly and as precise as possible (nothing like visiting 2-3 weeks, or visiting relatives in New Jersey and maybe some friends in some other state, it must be specific).

      Good luck on your application!
      -Troy A.

  165. Hi! I'm Anna, 18 years old. My mother and siblings (including me) are going to apply for US Visa this year to go on vacation and visit my aunt (who is an immigrant) in Florida. I was wondering if it would affect our US Visa application if my dad is not going to come with us. He's not going to apply for U.S. visa because he has work and doesn't have time to go abroad. My mother is a housewife but part-owner of our business.

    • troy alcantara says:

      Hi Anna,

      Thank you for your comment. Even if your dad is not joining, it will not affect your application as long as your documents are complete. It is actually good that you are applying as a family, even without your dad, because they (the US embassy would feel that you are just really going for a holiday). It would be much better if your dad joins even if he will not go this year or next year, who knows, you might get 10 year multiple entry and he could easily join on your next trip ;) Having a family business is good as well so don't worry. :D

      Good luck on your family's application!
      -Troy A.

  166. Mrs. Ni Ziggy says:

    Hi Sir Troy/Ma’am Renz! I am very happy to share that I passed the interview and was given a 10-year multiple entry visa! :) Reading this blog entry and your replies to the tons of inquiries here helped me a lot in preparing for my interview. Really, your most important advice was to be always honest in answering the Consul’s questions. Despite all the red flags — I am single, mid-20′s, never been out of the country, no properties, have less than 50k in the bank, my Dad in the US will pay for my trip in spite I having a job (for 5 years, in the govt) — still I got a visa! The consul did not bother asking for any of my documents. I was even stammering sometimes during the interview and there were questions that I couldn’t answer right away coz I did not prepare for them. LOL. Like when he asked why I haven’t been out of the country, in my head I wanted to say “Wala lang,” but of course I could not do that, so thinking for a proper answer made me pause for a few seconds. My initial reaction was to shrug my shoulders and he said “It’s okay. I am just curious.” I just said I’m planning to go to an Asian country next year, and hopefully that will be the second time I will be out of the country (assuming US will be the first hehe). He also asked me who I live with, I said I am living with my Mom in our house in the province but I am renting here in Manila due to work. He asked who I am living with here in Manila, I shyly answered that I am living with my boyfriend, and he smilingly responded “Don’t worry. It’s okay. :)” I guess that was his last question before he informed me of my visa approval.

    I am so happy. I can’t wait to visit in December! Thank you, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart! :D

  167. Troy Alcantara says:

    Congratulations Ziggy!

    We're so happy for you!!! Enjoy your visit in the US in December and have fun!

    -Troy A.

  168. Hello Mr & Mrs.Alcantara,
    I have been trying twice to apply for a tourist visa in the US. First here in Canada as was refused because I hold a temporary resident visa/foreign worker and advised to apply to place of origin which is Philippines.Second refusal was in Philippines 2011 when i went on 30 days vacation, reasons was no strong ties in Philippines.
    My aunt will be providing invitation through e-mail/she would be on vacaion by Feb 2014.Can my aunt come to my interview to convince visa consular that going to US is just for visit and after going back for work in Canada
    Now, i will be trying again by Feb 2014 , i will going for a vacation.What would you advised to bring documents?
    I recently purchased agricultural land in Philippines, holding a skilled work permit here in Canada, canadian taxes paid yearly and paying governmentttaxes everytime going back home. Back account i could acquire that and employment letter from employer/canada.
    Please advised
    anne

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Anne,

      Thanks for your message and sorry to hear about the outcome of the previous applications.

      The interview is between the applicant and the visa officer. Any 3rd party may or may not be allowed to enter the embassy premises and the visa officer will rely mainly on the documents that you provide first, before checking if an invitation would make or break a visa. You could try but there is no guarantee that there is a need for your aunt to talk to the visa officer.

      "Stronger Ties" are the aspects of one’s life that bind him/her to his/her place of residence, including family relationships, employment and possessions. In the case of younger applicants, who may not have had an opportunity to establish such ties, interviewing officers may look at educational status, grades, the situation of parents, and an applicant's long-range plans and prospects in the Philippines. As each person's situation is different, there is no set answer as to what constitutes adequate ties. – from US embassy website faq.

      purchasing an agricultural land in the Philippines will help strengthen your ties as well as paying your ITR in the Philippines. It might not be enough as that would only be 2 factors and might be outweighed by the fact that you are working and spending most of your time in a year in Canada. If you have bank certificates from Philippine banks, that would help as well. They will look for significant investments that you have in the Philippines (not in Canada) that is enough reason for you to return to the Philippines.

      Hope these help and if you have any questions or additional info to add, please continue to post it here :)

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

      • Hi Troy,
        Thank you for your reply.
        Bank certificates requires how much amount in the bank?I just did purchased an agricultural land and applying for immigration here in Canada, the money saves went to representative fee for my application.
        What would you recommend/?
        Anne

        • Hi Anne,

          There is really no specific amount prescribed. In its technical sense, the amount should be substantial enough for your to return to the Philippines (as a point of origin). It should cover your travel expenses (airfare, accommodations, food and tours) even if someone will support you, and more. Include all the documents pertaining to your land purchases and copies of your papers related to your immigration in Canada. As we would always say, lay out all your cards and the visa officer will definitely consider.

          Goodluck!
          -Troy A.

  169. Hi!

    I'm planning to apply for a US tourist visa. I'm 26 years old so I am apprehensive given that I fall under the red flag age wise. My family here in the PH is my mom who is not working, a brother who just started working and a sister who is graduating 2015. I'm currently employed in a multinational IT company for 4 years, going on 5 this year. My grandma has been living in Hawaii for 20 years now (turning 86 this year). My aunt has offered to help me with the plane fare and would like to help me to get there (she is uncertain if she will be able to come with me or not), so I can travel and also get to visit my grandma who cannot travel anymore. I have been to Korea back in 2011 for 4 days and Taiwan this year for 4 days as well, so I think these may help given that both countries required visa for entry. I don't have much in the bank though and I am still planning to load it up (is 150k too small even if I have place to stay and fare is shouldered by my aunt). I plan to go to Hawaii by September/October for 2-3 weeks with my aunt if she is able or 2-3 weeks in December (for my bday and Christmas and our company has a 2 week shutdown :) ) if aunt will not push through. I will have the ff documents prepared:

    1. Letter of invitation from grandma (to guarantee that I have a place to stay)
    2. ITR
    3. COE
    4. Approved leave from employer
    5. Bank statement(s)
    6. Credit card statement(s)
    7. Payslip(s)

    I dont have any properties to show and I am worried about getting declined. Any inputs on my chances to get approved? Or any advice? Thanks a lot!

    • Troy Alcantara says:

      Hi Jane,

      Thank you for your message and really sorry for the late reply.

      I think you have everything except the confidence (pun intended). Based on the details you have mentioned, you are a very good candidate for a US tourist visa. If you could just shorten the weeks of stay (just for visa application. Even if you just stay 2-3 weeks, the shortest US visa validity is 1 month single entry). Go ahead with your application and answer confidently and honestly during the interview and I am sure you can nail it!

      Goodluck!
      -Troy A.

  170. Hello po, gusto ko lang po magtanong noong 2009 nag apply po ako ng us visa para puntahan ko ang namatay kung husband pero na denied po ako 2 times. So hindi ako nakapunta doon at after 42days dumating ang body ng husband ko. Ngayon po na pili po ako bilang delegates sa isang organization let say ( religious ) 4 kami. Yung isa kapatid ko and yung dalawa hindi ko po kamaganak. Pwedi po ba kami mag mag aply as a group? Thank you and God Bless

  171. Sori po, yung kapatid ko pala 33 years old single ang may sarili na syang business 1 year na. Ako naman 44 years old widow at walang trabaho at may konting business po mga 3 years na pero di po ako nagbabayd ng tax since naka connect sa cooprarative. Pero yearly po nagbabayad kukmukuha ako ng mayors permit. At ang isa ko pong kasama 64 years old po single at ang isa 27 years old married sa amirican at may business sila dito sa sa lugar namin. Anu po pa ang chances namin na maka kuha ng visa. Bukas pa kami mag apply online. Dahil karerenew lang ng mga passport namin. Naka punta na rin kami ng hongkong 2times , singapore, malaysia at macau. … Thank uou po uli

  172. Hi Sir Troy and Maam Renz,
    Goodday po! Noong 2008 namatay ang husband ko sa US then nag apply po ako ng tourist visa ngunit na dinied po ako. Ngayon po na pili po ako ng isang private organization let say religeous po na dumalo sa isang event sa us. May letter po ako na nagpapatunay na isa po ako sa napili na dumalo. Sa ds 160 linagay ko po na un employed po ako, ngunit my roon po akong 2 motorbike na pina pa rent at 4 sa parents ko . Ako po ang nag mama naged noon ngunit wala pong income tax return dahil naka connect po sa cooperative ngumit may mayors permit po at binabayaran namin yan taon taon, Mayroon po akong suv na sasakyan at sariling bahay ngunit po pina rent ko rin ang bahay ko 10k every month po pero walang contract. Sa parents din po naka pangalan ang lupa na tinatayuan ng bahay ko.mayroon po akong pera sa bank 150k at may cash on hand po ako na 2,000$.pwedi ko ba dalhin ang mga land title ng parents ko? Anu po ang chances ko na makakuha ng visa? Di po rin ako magaling mag english. Sa 28 march na po ang interview ko. Plz advised. Thank you po

    • Hi Aidenz,

      sorry sa late na reply, sana mabasa mo ito agad (maaga pa naman before march 28).

      Una po, saan saan na po ba kayo nakarating na bansa na may visa? mas magpapalakas po kasi ng application niyo po kung may mga ibang bansa na po kayong napuntahan ng ilang beses, lalo na yung may mga required na visa.

      Sa dokumento nyo po, dalhin niyo po lahat ng titulo o mga ari arian na nakapangalan po sa inyo, mapa motorsiklo ito o bahay. Kung isasama niyo po ang dokumento ng magulang niyo po, dapat may kasamang "Affidavit of Support" para nagpapatunay na sila ang tutulong sa iyo kung sakaling kulang pa ang dokumento o pera mo. Kung wala pong affidavit of support, wala pong saysay ang dokumento nila.

      Sa mga Cash on hand niyo po, dapat may bank certificate po sila bilang patunay na nasa iyo iyon. ok lang po kahit hindi po kayo magaling mag english basta po naintindihan niyo maigi ang tanong ng visa officer at masasagot kung ano ang hinihingi nila (example: "What is your reason for traveling to the US" Answer: I'll be joining an event with the religious group I belong with. Nothing else.")

      Goodluck po!
      -Troy A.

      • Good day po, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau and 2 times po sa Hongkong. Wala pa po akong napuntahan na bansa na may required visa.

        Mayroon po akong original na or and cr ng motorbike at xerox copy lang po ang sa car ko kasi hulugan din po yon.

        Thank you po and God Bless

        • Magandang araw po!

          yung mga bansa pong iyon ay hindi "counted" dahil wala pong visa na kailangan doon at hindi po kayo dumaan sa proseso na maihahantulad sa US touirst visa application. Ang magpapatibay na lang po sa application niyo po ay ang inyong pinansyal na kapasidad, edad at kung sandali lang kayo mananatili sa US (1-2 weeks or less). Isama niyo na rin po yung mga OR at CR ng motorbike, pati ang photocopy para sa kotse naman. Sa opinyon ko po may chance naman po kayo (50/50) pero wala na po akong maisip na paraan paano ito mapapalakas (unless senior citizen na po kayo).

          Naisip niyo na po o di naman kaya may nag assist po ba sa inyo kung bakit na deny po kayo sa unang application niyo noon? Ang nakikita ko po kasing problem (na posibleng makita din ng US visa officer) ay:
          1. unemployed po kayo pero may sariling negosyo na wala naman pong ITR (walang opisyal na deklarasyon ng inyong kita taon taon).
          2. hindi pa kayo nakadaan sa katulad na proseso sa pag apply ng visa sa ibang bansa maliban sa US
          3. baka mabigyan po kayo ng "Need stronger family ties in the Philippines", ibig sabihin, kailangan niyo po ng stable income or job, o di kaya magkaroon ng kasama sa buhay na magsusuporta sayo at maging dahilan na obligado kayo bumalik ng Pilipinas.

          Gaya po ng sabi ko, opinyon ko lang po ito, pero baka nag iba ang patakaran ng US visa officer at magkaroon ng konsiderasyon sa inyong application. Lakasan niyo na lang po ang loob niyo at maging mabait sa visa officer :)

          Thanks,
          Troy

          • Thank you po Sir Troy sa advice. Nagpagawa na po ako ng affidavit of support ng father ko at naka notarized na rin po. Going 44 years old po ako this coming august. kasama ko din po ang kapatid kung babae 32 years old single pero may sariling business with complete business permit and ITR 1 year na po ang business nya (5 doors Apartelle).yung isa po doon ay sa akin at yun ang pinangbabayad ko sa car ko..same lang din po ang date at time ang appointment namin.

            Thank you po uli and more power to you.

    • Hi Sir Troy and Maam Renz,
      Update ko po kayo , katatapos lang ng interview ko ang nabigyan po ako ng 1 entry na us visa, walang hiningi na documents sa akin…Thank you sa mga advice and Godbless and more power.

  173. Hi! My cousin is a full time home maker and wanted to apply for a US visa. She's financially dependent with her Seafarer husband who receives high salary. Being a wife entitles her to more than half percentage of allotment from her hubby's salary monthly. The purpose of her travel is to spend incoming summer vacation with her son . Does the US embassy phils accepts applicants who are full time homemaker as an accupation? thank you for ur help in advance.

    • Hi Karen,

      Thank you for your message.

      Yes, the Embassy of the United States of America – in Manila accepts applications from full time homemakers. There are significant amount of applicants who's works are such. What is important is that she must include the following in her application:

      1. Affidavit of support from husband
      2. NSO Marriage certificate
      3. Bank certificate (hers and the husband's or conjugal if available)
      4. Property documentations (land title, vehicle registration, etc) of the husband

      It would be ideal if her husband is part of the visa application (if possible) with their son. Also, it would also help if she has been to other countries that also require visas.

      She is very lucky to have you as a cousin, thank you for assisting her and we wish her good luck in her application!

      -Troy A.

  174. hello sir troy,
    I just really wanna ask about my case.I am 21 years old currently unemployed and might find a job soon but dont have any working experiences yet. I passed the LET last September 2013 and will get my Prc id soon. Now, I have a boyfriend of almost 2 years now and i have been to Australia last year for 3 months ( sponsored by him) , the family decided to have a trip in Hawaii this july because most of his family members celebrate their birthdays on july. My tourist visa which is multiple entry for 3 months has been approved recently( we applied for multiple entry so I can come with the family in going back to Australia) I dont really know what to do in applying US visa since it is totally different to Australian visa ( they dont have interview). Do i have to prove to them that I am coming back to the Phil when I am planning to come back to Australia? I have been reading comments and your replies here sir but still I still find it hard to work on my case and thank you so much for having a helpful blog and also replying to our concerns/ diilemmas. Have a good daya nd God bless!

    • Hi Jessa,

      Thank you for your message. :)

      Having a multiple entry visa to Australia is already a big plus in your application, and your thoughts are correct: You just need to prove that you will just be visiting the US for a vacation and nothing more. Firstly, who will be shouldering your expenses for your trip to Hawaii? Because your documents will revolve around that. What you need are the following (aside from the list applicable to you listed on this blog article):

      1. Affidavit of support (from the person who will sponsor your trip)
      2. Affidavit of support (from your parents if they are not the one sponsoring your trip)
      3. Bank Certificate (from sponsor AND from parents)
      4. Any financial documents from your parents or sponsor (land titles, car registrations, etc. the more the better)
      5. Ticket to Australia (signifying that you REALLY need to get back to Australia after the said trip).

      If you (and your travel companions) can keep the Hawaii trip short (less than 2 weeks), your chances grow higher. By the way, congratulations in passing the board exam! What profession are you in? I understand that there are a few here that are skeptical about discrimination in professional nurses applying for a US visa, but, statistics and events clearly show there is, unless they are applying for work.

      Goodluck and thanks!
      Troy A.

  175. Elizah Cam says:

    Hi sir troy,
    I wanna know whats my chances to be granted a US tourist visa. I am 28 years old, im a nurse, Ive worked at a government hospital at Saudi Arabia for three yrs. I resigned already because i wanna look for better job opportunities. I was already hired again to work at Saudi Arabia, signed a contract etc. But while waiting for my visa, i wanna visit my relatives in usa first even just for 2 weeks. I have savings in my bank acct etc. Im just really confuse about my chances…
    Thanku!

    • Renz Alcantara says:

      Hi Elizah,

      Troy’s a bit busy today but I’ll pass this on to him.
      But personally, I would say you have a pretty good chance of getting a visa. Of course I wouldn’t know exactly but since you have a good record and a great work opportunity in Saudi, I’d say there’s no reason to doubt your chances.

      Good luck!

      • Elizah Cam says:

        Thank you for replying! I just really need some moral support to boost my confidence in applying. Im scared Im gonna be denied because itll be my first time. I wanna know if my current unemployment status wont affect my application since i am unemployed as of now? And will I able to see or inquire available interview dates even if I havent paid the visa yet? I wanna see the available dates first to see if it wont affect the date that ill probably leave for work in Saudi Arabia…Thanku!

  176. Liza Dalag says:

    This site is really helpful for me! I was given lots of ideas on what to expect on a visa interview.. I want to ask a question..if ever Ill be given a visa will they include the state Im gonna visit? For example i wanna visit North Carolina at the same time, Hawaii…is it possible? or I just need to visit one state? What if someone from hawaii will sponsor my vacation anywhere in United States? is it okay? Thank u so much!!!! I want also to know how can I know the available interview dates in the embassy even if Im not yet paid on the visa? Will they be able to relay me the dates available by inquiring over the phone? Im sorry if i have lots of questions in mind…Thanku very much for bein such a blessing to many people!

    • Hi Liza,

      Thank you for your message and kind words. We really hope to help more of our fellow Filipino save time and get to the US for a holiday.

      When you are granted with a visa, you can enter any US port (airport, seaport, borders,etc.) as long as it is valid. Now, depending on the restrictions (Single, Double, or Multiple Entry), how many times you could enter the US (any state) from a different point of origin outside US.
      For example, if you were granted:
      Single entry you can:
      1. Enter ANY US state from Manila
      2. Enter any US state from Manila, transfer to any state as many times as you want without leaving US soil or air territory as long as you exit the US prior to your visa's expiration

      Multiple Entry you can:
      1. Enter any US state from Manila or any part of the world as many times as you want as long as you exit the US prior to your visa's expiration

      In our experience, interview dates are only available if you already have paid. Please note that availability and interview slots are on a first come – first served basis, you can "TRY" to call the embassy just to get an idea at (02) 982-5555 / (02) 902-8930, but if they are asking for your DS-160 application number or your receipt number first, DO NOT quarrel with them just to know what are the earliest available appointment. Ask kindly, and if they decline because you are not yet paid or have made an online application, we have no other choice.

      The best practice for any visa application is to apply early, for US visa, apply at least 4 – 6 months prior to intended departure and 2 – 3 months for other embassies.

      Goodluck on your application!
      -Troy A.

  177. Hi Sir Troy and Maam Renz,
    Ask ko po kasi na denied po ako 2 times B1/B2 nong march 28, 2014 at nabigyan ako ng blue na paper then I applied again april 8 then deniied uli ang reason is same then. The consul said that nothing changed daw. Complete nmaman ang mga supporting documents ko. Im 32 years old single and wanna attend our special event in the us (religous) for 2 weeks only. May invitation din po ako.may sariling business , may itr, may savings sa bank. Ano po ba ang dahilan bakit po ako na denied? Ive been in singapore, malaysia, hongkong and macau. Sabi ng consul d po daw to valud kasi hindi ako naka punta ng country na my same na prosiso sa us embassy. Now im planning to go to korea this may 2014. Ok po ba na by june 2014 mag apply din po ako ulit sa us? At anong changes ang gusto ng consul? Kasi daw single ako.. SirTroy /Maam Renz i really need your help. Anu ba dapat kung gawin? Thank you for your help and advice

  178. Elizah Cam says:

    Hi sir troy!
    Good day, i already asked this question but i want to know your opinion also about my situation. A friend from united states invited me to have a vacation as it was been a long time since we saw each other. She is my bestfriend, shes willing to support my stay and send any affidavit of support needed. I worked at Saudi Arabia as a dept head of a govt hospital under dept of education for 3 yrs but i resigned to find better job opportunities. I applied again and was hired by another hospital at Saudi Arabia but I wanted to visit usa first before working again. What is my chances to get the visa? And what papers do i need to show that Im just waiting for my working visa and will go to Saudi Arabia again? Im 28 yo and i do have my savings also but im worried because Ill definitely be unemployed when i fill up the form.. thankyou sir troy! And i really appreciate this site because it gives me the courage to definitely try that interview which i really thought is scary..lol…Thanku!

  179. Bethanny Sloas says:

    Sir Troy,
    I find this blog really helpful i swear, it was indeed a big help for me, serves as a guide to everyone. Im planning to try a visit visa and Im wondering what are the complete list of requirements I need to have on the day of the interview? Also, my friend will gonna take care of my expenses, is it okay if the invitation letter, affidavit of support is sent only via fax in order to reach me? I mean, i dont think she can send an original affidavit of support via fax? Also, what addtl documents she might need to give to help me, thanku soo muuuccchhh!

  180. Aiza Solomon says:

    Hi sir troy,
    I would like to ask a question, if ever my visa was annotated " Holiday in Ca" does it means i cannot go to other state other than the approved state in the visa? I want to go to another state but I was wondering if its possible…Thanku!

  181. hello sir troy,

    greetings from maldives,

    i am an expat now in maldives, working and holding a Working visa, last may 2011 i left philippines and went to singapore as a tourist and after 3weeks before my 1month visit visa expired i got a job, i stayed and work there until december as my work contract end. after that the same month i went to maldives as a tourist but i was really thinking of looking a job, before the end of january i got a job, the company extend my visit visa for 2months by sponsoring me and while they still processing my working visa. after two months i went to sri lanka as an exit and enter maldives after 7 days with a working visa. On september 2013 i resigned my job because i dont like it anymore, and i find a job in a resort in maldives. In order for me to get a new visa for my new employer i have to go out maldives so that my previous employer will cancel my visa and my new employer will able to apply for a new visa for me under their company (because i cant work in other company using the others company’s name in my visa) instead of going home to the philippines while waiting for my visa i decided to travel other country, from maldives i went to hongkong for 14days, and continue to malaysia for 28 days, continue to singapore for 4days, and back to malaysia for another 25days, and went to phuket thailand for 6days, and back in malaysia again for 26days, and finaly back in maldives from january 7 until now. when i was in singapore i signed up this dating site called World Friends, during my first month in maldives this american guy from alaska send me a message and we starting talking each other just purely friendship, shares the same interest, he is a traveler, so i am very interested talking to him, because he has a lot of stories to share, after a year of talking that time that i was in malaysia he was in China to travel and study chinese, then he invited me to visit him in china, but i told him that its not easy to get a visa for a filipino going to china, so he did not insist. so when i get back in maldives I invite him to come instead, so he came here for 6days to visit me and i am the one who paid for his accomodation. after his visit he went back to china for his flight to alaska. and he told me to visit him by going to alaska. he is now back in alaska but we still talking each other thru skype and viber every single day. so i was thinking why not,.so i am planning to apply a us visit visa thru the consulate office of sri lanka., i am now currently in my job that i love in a resort,as a permanent job with the contract will be renew every after 2years and until i still want to work with them, and i am entitled to have my 1month paid annual leave by within February 2015 to january 2016, and my friend told that he will accomadate me in his house for free, food free, and free tour, so the only thing that i will spend will be the air ticket. my questions are “is it possible that he will be the one who will be my sponsor even if he is just a friend whom i only met once? if yes, is he going to fill up the sponsorship form? and send me a letter of invitation? is it possible that the copy is only a scan copy and not the original? (i mean no need of DHL), are my travel history will affect my application? i will be 1year in my job this january 2015, What will be the best date for me to apply if i want to visit alaska on March 2015? i will only accumulate my one month vacation to stay in alaska, is there a possibility for me to be approve? and if without a sponsor am i qualify to be approve?

    I am so sorry for the long story. but i just want you to understand my situation so that you can give me the exact information and answer base on what is really going on. and i hope you understand it, because i am not good in telling stories.

    i hope to hear from you soon.

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  1. [...] go to and one of them struck me the most because it reminded me of the day when we applied for our US Visa - Sea World San Diego. We showed her theme parks where we could spend the holiday and the moment [...]

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