Pointers when applying for a USA Tourist Visa

By Crispin R. Aranda, November 28, 2012

The most common questions we receive are about US tourist visas - the procedure, requirements and visa conditions. We've listed the most basic requirements and some tips to help the tourist visa applicant along.

The most common questions we receive are about US tourist visas - how to apply, the documentary requirements as well as tips to strengthen an applicant's application.

The most basic requirements when applying for a US tourist visa are:
  • Proof of payment of the Machine Readable visa application Fee. The current fee is pegged at the Peso equivalent of USD140
  • A valid passport, which is one that must be valid for at least six months FROM the date of intended departure from the USA
  • Whenever available and applicable, all prior passports and US visas
  • The Confirmation page of your Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application
  • A 2" x 2" standard photo in which you have adopted a "neutral expression"
  • Proof of funds
  • If you are applying with dependents, you will need certain documents from the Philippine National Statistics Office printed on the NSO's security paper (For Filipinos)
  • And for the interview, you must bring the interview appointment letter.

Knowing what to bring to your consular interview may not be enough to ensure approval of your tourist visa application.  And from our years of managing clients’ applications, we know that an applicant must do several things to help the application along. Therefore:

  • Be sure that you have BOTH a good reason for asking for admission to the U.S. AND have an even more compelling reason to return to the Philippines at the end of your visit.
  • Do ensure that you provide correct information on your Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application to “avoid delays in processing visa applications” (from the Nonimmigrant Visa Section)
  • Bring other documents/credentials that will prove that you have strong socioeconomic ties in the Philippines
  • And finally, please state only the truth in your application and submit authentic and genuine credentials and documents to support your application.
Crispin R. Aranda is an established immigration specialist. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.