Tuesday, May 7, 2024

How to Apply for Business, Tourist Visa to United States from the Philippines

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Philippine passport holders are required to apply for visa to visit the United States for business (B-1) or tourism or medical treatment (B-2) purposes.

If you apply for a B-1/B-2 visa, as an applicant you must demonstrate to a consular officer that you qualify for a U.S. visa in accordance with the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 214(b) of the INA presumes that every B-1/B-2 applicant is an intending immigrant. You must overcome this legal presumption by showing:

1. That the purpose of your trip to the U.S. is for a temporary visit, such as business, pleasure, or medical treatment
2. That you plan to remain in the U.S. for a specific, limited period of time

United States B-1 visas are granted for purposes similar to the following:

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1. An applicant will be traveling to the US representing a foreign employer for meetings or trainings.
2. Appearance in a court trial
3. Buying goods or materials
4. Consultation with business associates
5. Negotiating a contract
6. Participation in business or professional conferences/conventions
7. Settling an estate

Holders of B-1 visas are not allowed to receive any form of payment from a US source, except for incidental expenses.

United States B-2 visas are granted for short-term tourism travel or medical treatment. Here are a few examples:

1. Participation in amateur/unpaid cultural or sports events.
2. Tourism
3. Visiting families and friends
4. Visiting for rest or medical treatment
5. Visiting for fraternal or social conferences and conventions

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In some cases the US embassy will grant a combination of B-1/B-2 visas for applicants to acknowledge that business travelers may also have overlapping purpose of paying a visit to families or tourist attractions.

US Visa Application Procedure:

Step 1: Pay the Application Fee

Pay by cash (USD 160 or PHP 7840 as of October 2016) at any Bank of Philippine Islands branch. Before going to the bank, print the US visa deposit slip found on this link:

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Note the expiration date of deposit slip. Make sure you pay the bank before this date. Upon payment to the bank, you will be issued a receipt which has a number which you must enter to set up an appointment with the US Embassy.

You can also pay online at BPI Online (follow this link) or at Bancnet (follow this link).


If you are paying for more than one applicant, do not pay a lump sum (combine all fees at once). Each applicant needs to have a unique receipt to set up for appointment.

Step 2: Prepare documents required before making an appointment

Create an online profile (follow this link).

All documentary requirements must be ready before making an appointment.

1. Form DS-160 Online Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Application
All applicants must completely fill-out the DS-160 Online Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application.

Take note of the CEAC Barcode number of the DS-160 confirmation page. Using the barcode number, you can keep track of the status of your case.

2. Passport
It should be in good condition. That means photo lamination should not be damaged and all passport pages are intact.

3. Photo
You will only need one 2”x2” standard photo. It should be:
A. In color
B. Taken within the last 6 months
C. If local or religious custom does not allow, ears should be exposed.
D. Taken in a white background
E. Taken in full-face view, facing the camera
F. With both eyes open, with a neutral facial expression

Please make sure that you meet the requirements mentioned above. Otherwise, it will delay the processing of your visa.

Step 3: Schedule an interview.

Applying from the Philippines you may call (02) 976-8500 to 02 to set an appointment. It is open from 8 am to 8 pm, Monday through Friday, Manila Time. The only exceptions are during US and Philippine holidays. You may also book online for your interview through http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/.

If you are traveling together with 5 or more people with the same purpose of travel, you can apply together as a group. You may ask for Group Appointment by following the steps here. Here are a few examples of groups:

A. Groups traveling for competitions
B. Service organizations
C. School groups
D. Sports team

Among those who do not qualify for group appointments:

A. Family members who are traveling together
B. Groups traveling on a group tour package

If you are planning to book for an interview online, you will be asked to create a profile. This will then be used to access your appointment record and edit any of your information before your interview date.

In order to avoid problems securing your interview appointment, please plan your visa application accordingly. Even if non-immigrant visa fees are good for one calendar year, options for scheduling an appointment are limited. You are only allowed to reschedule twice (excluding the initial appointment) without penalty. If the second rescheduling attempt is called off, you only allowed to reschedule after a waiting period of 90 calendar days.

For more general information about visa application procedures and technical assistance regarding scheduling an appointment, you may get in touch with the call center or go online here.

Step 4: Go to the interview.

United States Embassy in the Philippines
1201 Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, Philippines

Be at the Embassy gate at least 15 minutes before the time scheduled on your appointment letter. If you booked using your old passport number, you are required to bring the old passport together with the basic documentary requirements.

You will not be allowed to carry on with your interview if the details on your passport, appointment confirmation letter and CEAC barcode do not match to the day of your appointment. Thus, you will be asked to reschedule to a new date. Should you need assistance in correcting any information on your appointment confirmation letter, contact the call center for assistance no later than 48 hours before your interview date.

You must bring all the basic application requirements:
A. Interview appointment letter
B. DS-160 confirmation page
C. Valid passport
D. One 2”x2” photo
E. If available, all prior passports and US visas
F. In addition to passport, it will be helpful to bring a goverment-recognized photo ID to show upon entry.

Please be reminded that all kinds of electronic devices (mobile phones, iPad, etc) are not allowed within the US Embassy premises. Should you need an interpreter, inform the interviewing officer of the day of the interview and one will be provided for you.

Step 5: Visa interview outcome.

At the end of the interview, a consular officer will tell you if you are qualified for a visa or not. If it’s granted, your passport stamped with your US visa will be delivered by the courier service at the address you provided. Or, it will be sent to the courier branch chosen when the appointment was made. The courier will deliver to Phlippine addresses only.

If you are not available at the time of the delivery of your passport, you must leave an authorization letter to your representative and a government-recognized photo ID for the both of you. The authorization letter should be signed by your and your representative.

You can access the Consular Electronic Application Center’s (CEAC) website to keep track of the status of your application. From the drop down menu, choose Philippines, Manila as the interview location. Type your CEAC Barcode (this can be found through the CEAC confirmation page that was submitted on the day of your interview) to check the current status of your case.

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