If you want to go to the U.S. temporarily for recreational purposes or medical treatment, you need to have a US Tourist Visa or the B-2 Visa. This type of visa is not for those who wish to study, work temporarily, do missionary activities, or live permanently in the U.S.[i] The B-2 visa is usually processed along with B-1 visa or the U.S. Business Visa, that is why it is usually referred to as the B-1/B-2 Visa.
Applying for the B-1/B-2 Visa does not come easy. Every candidate is presumed to be an intending immigrant and so you must prove this presumption wrong during your visa application. You need to prove that you are going to the U.S. only temporarily for a limited time for business, vacation, or medical treatment.
How to prove that you are not an intending immigrant
In order to prove that you will not be staying in the U.S. indefinitely, you have to show that the reason for your U.S. visit is for vacation, business, or medical treatment for a limited time only. You also need to show that you have certain economic and social ties or a home address outside the U.S. that will make sure that you will be leaving the U.S. after your intended visit. Finally, you need to prove that you have enough funds to cover your expenses during your stay in the U.S.[ii]
What are the requirements in applying for a US tourist visa
As you go along the process of applying for a US tourist visa, you are going to need the following basic requirements:
- Philippine passport that is valid at least six months after your last intended day of visit in the U.S.
- Online DS-160 Form
- 2-inch by 2-inch photograph (digital and printed)
- Visa application processing fee of $160 to be in paid in peso equivalent
- Other documentations that may be required include those that prove the purpose of your trip, such as medical instructions for medical treatment, booked departure travel from the U.S., as well as evidence of arrangements that will cover the cost of the travel. [iii]
How to apply for a US Tourist visa
Step 1. Pay the visa application fee of $160
You may pay your visa application fee at any BPI Branch or online through BPI or Bancnet. You will be paying the current peso equivalent of $160. Always remember to keep your payment receipt, which will be needed once you make an appointment for your interview, as well as during the interview itself.
- BPI – Before heading to any BPI branch, print out the deposit slip that you can find in the U.S. Embassy website under the Cash at Bank section and bring it with you upon payment. Be mindful of the expiration date of the deposit slip. If the deposit slip has expired, please print a new one.
- Online – You may also pay online with your BPI or Bancnet account.[iv]
Step 2. Complete the online DS-160 Form
After making your payment, you may now fill out the Online Non-immigrant Visa Application form or the DS-160. In this form, you will be asked to provide your basic personal information, family information, as well as education and work history. You will also be asked to provide information pertaining to your U.S. travel, such as travel plans, expected date of arrival, and U.S. travel history.[v]
Please fill out the form completely and honestly. You will also be asked to upload your digital photo here according to their specifications.
Remember to save your document once in a while to avoid losing your progress during a period of inactivity. The form is quite long and you are allowed to save it and continue some other time.
Once done, you may print or e-mail the completed DS-160 form for your record-keeping. Submit and print the confirmation page, including the bar code, which you will need during your interview with the U.S. Consul.[vi]
Step 3. Schedule your appointment for interview
Wait for at least hours after you have completed and submitted your DS-160 form before you can schedule your appointment. To successfully schedule an appointment, you need to input the following information:
- Passport number;
- BPI/Bancnet receipt number; and
- 10-digit barcode from your DS-160 confirmation page.[vii]
Step 4. Prepare your documents for the visa interview
Once you have set your appointment, prepare the following required documents and bring them with you during the interview at the U.S. Embassy:
- Printed copy of your appointment letter;
- Passport that is valid at least six months after your last intended day of visit in the U.S.;
- Original BPI/Bancnet visa fee receipt;
- Printed DS-160 confirmation page; and
- 2-inch by 2-inch visa photograph.
You may also bring other documents that may help establish your ties to the Philippines in case the consul asks, such as land titles, proof of business, bank statement, and more.[viii]
Step 5. Visit the U.S. embassy for your interview
Go to embassy on the scheduled date and time of interview. The embassy is located near Manila Ocean park, just beside the Museo Pambata in Roxas Boulevard, Ermita, Manila. [ix] Be sure to arrive there at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time to allow for the pre-interview procedure. Before your actual interview, a Filipino embassy officer will check your documents if they are complete and will have your fingerprint scanned.
During the actual interview, an American consul will check your documents and ask you a few questions. Right then and there, you will know if your US Tourist Visa application is approved or denied. Once approved, the US Tourist Visa attached to your passport will be delivered to your specified address after 3-5 working days.[x]