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Filipino citizens require visas before traveling to the United States. This is applicable for whatever the purpose and length of the visit. Nonimmigrant visa applicants aged 20 and below are required to appear with at least one parent for the interview. If the minor is orphaned or if both parents are outside of the Philippines, a legal guardian must be present during the interview.
- Payment of non-refundable and non-transferable application fee – Applicants must pay the machine-readable visa application fee, which is based on the purpose of the trip or visa category. The fees are as follows, effective June 4, 2010:
- US$140 – B1/B2, C1/D, F, J, and all other NIV categories not listed below (Visitor/Transit/Student)
- US$150 – H, L, O, P, Q, and R (Temporary Worker)
- US$350 – K (Fiancée)
- US$390 – E (Investor/Trader)
The applicant must have their passport number on-hand in order to pay the fee, as this will be tied to the MRV fee paid at the bank. 4 hours after the cash payment has been made, the payment will be activated. For online payments, it will take 24 hours for the payment to be activated.
3 ways to pay the MRV fee:
- Pay in cash at any Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) branch
- Pay through online bill payment option provided by BPI for their customers
- Online payment through Bancnet
The payment is valid for 1 year after the date of actual payment. The interview must fall within the 1-year validity.
- Prepare the required documents before appointment can be made – Additional documents may be required. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit does not accept documents before the interview, except in the case of Treaty Trader (E1) and Treaty Investor (E2) visa applications. Any documents received will not be returned and destroyed, with the exception of the passport.
General Requirements – B1 and B2 Visa (Business and Tourism Visit):
- DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application – The DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application must be completely and properly filled. The DS-160 can be accessed from the Consular Electronic Application Center website.
- Signed Philippine passports with validity of at least 6 months from the date of intended departure from the United States. The passport must be in good condition. Applicants must also present previously issued passports or notarized affidavits of loss, if applicable.
- 1 standard 2″ x 2″ photograph, must meet State Department specifications.
- Copies of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approvals of extensions of stay or change of status, if applicable.
- Proof of relationship (if applying with/for dependent/s)
- Original marriage certificate printed on Philippine National Statistics Office security paper, if applicable (if applying with a spouse/child)
- Original birth certificate printed on Philippine National Statistics Office security paper (for dependent/s)
- Evidence of ties and financial status of the applicant, or the applicant’s parent, if minor, in the Philippines.
- For business travel: a letter from a US organization detailing the purpose of trip, the intended length of stay, and the company’s plan to defray costs, if applicable. Those traveling on business for a Philippine-based employer must present a letter from the employer detailing the travel and business plans and include dates of travel.
- For touristic/pleasure travel: documents concerning purpose and length of trip and demonstrate ability to cover the costs of the trip.
- Schedule an interview by booking an appointment – Call (02) 982-5555 and (02) 902-8930 for those within the Philippines, and other countries aside from mainland United States. Call (214) 571-1600 for those within mainland United States. Appointments can also be booked online through http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph.
- Attend the scheduled interview – All applicants must appear at the Embassy for an interview, except government officials traveling on official business and applying for A1, A2, G1, G2 or G4 visas. Applicants must ensure that they arrive at the Embassy gate at least 15 minutes before the time listed on their appointment letter.
Applicants must remember to bring all the basic application requirements detailed above, including the interview appointment letter, DS-160 confirmation page, valid passport, one 2″ x 2″ photograph and all prior passports and US visas, if available. A government-recognized photo ID must also be presented upon entry.
- The consular officer will inform the applicant whether they qualify for a US visa at the conclusion of the interview. If a visa has been approved, the passport with the US visa will be delivered by courier service to an address provided by the applicant when they made the appointment. It is important to note that if the applicant will not be present at the time of the delivery of the passport, he or she must leave an authorization letter with a representative to receive the passport on their behalf. A government-recognized photo ID of both the applicant and representative must be presented at the time of delivery. The authorization letter must also bear the signatures of both the applicant and representative.
The above-mentioned procedures and requirements are subject to change without prior notice. The onus is on the Filipino citizen to obtain the latest visa, entry and exit requirements for the United States well in advance of planned travel.