The strict visa requirements for acquiring an approved U.S. travel visa as a Filipino have remained a hurdle for many who dream of entering the land of opportunity. One of the significant areas that demand clarity is the visa application fee.
Applying for a U.S. Visa in the Philippines will cost you around Php 8,550 per person, which is $160 for the standard tourist visa, B-1/B-2 and F, M or J Visas, while H, L, O, P, Q, and R Visas fees are pegged at $150.00 close to half of the $390 fee for the United States E visas, and $350 for K visas.
This payment is to be made along with submitting your visa application to the U.S. embassy in the philippine, and the funds are non-refundable.
Meanwhile, the U.S. visa fee in the Philippines is generally determined by the type of visa (based on the purpose of travel) being applied for is a mandatory payment that is levied on the visa processing for Filipinos and payable in local currency at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) or online if you have a BPI or Bancnet account.
What Category of Applicants is Exempted From Visa Fee?
Plan to travel from the Philippines to the United States of America. You could be among a list of individuals the U.S. government categorized as visa-free entries.
For example, applicants for A, G, C-2, C-3, NATO, and diplomatic visas do not pay any Visa fee when flying from the Philippines to the U.S. In addition, applicants for J visas participating in official U.S. Government-sponsored educational and cultural exchanges are equally exempted.
Another category of individuals that can transit from the Philippines to the U.S. without paying the mandatory visa fees is one wherein those whose parent, sibling, spouse, or child (of a U.S. Government employee) has been killed in the line of duty and is now traveling to attend the employee’s funeral and burial.
If you are traveling to provide charitable services deemed fit by the Visa services, you may not need to pay any Visa fees for your trip. In the same light, applicants exempted by international agreement as deemed by the visa services are also excluded from paying U.S. visa fees in Philistine and most other countries.
How To Apply For U.S. Visa from the Philippines
The USA visa guide for Filipino applicants is pretty straightforward, even though there is quite a lot of bureaucracy to break through. The first thing is for the applicant to register at the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs Visa Platform. (you can use one account for group travel)
Register at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Visa Website
Creating and accessing a personal account on the Visa website allows you to keep track of your application, be notified of interview dates, and verify payment of U.S. visa fees.
Ahead of study purpose, tourism and pleasure is the most common reason why people in the Philippines want to travel to the U.S. So this travel purpose falls under the B1/B2 U.S. Visa which also covers objectives like visiting friends and relatives, medical treatment, conferences, and extracurricular events.
Aside from those applying under diplomatic and official visas, the U.S. government is currently integrating requirements in its visa application process to tighten vetting procedures for its immigrant and non-immigrant visitors.
Fill out the DS-160 Form
The next step to submitting a successful visa application is accomplishing the DS-160 form. The document is created to allow non-immigrant visa applicants interested in tours, work, visiting relatives, etc.
In this form, you will be required to wholly and genuinely fill questions with answers relating to personal, work, and travel concerns.
Part of the requirement of Filippino applicants on the U.S. visa is to provide a 2×2 photo with a white background and is not older than six months prior.
Once the form is duly filled out online, you can print it out along with other necessary documents that will be required when you go visit the nearest U.S. embassy in the Philippines.
The Visa Application Fee
As mentioned earlier, the visa application fee payment is integral to your application process. A tourist U.S. visa from the Philippines today can cost you around Php 8,550 – a non-refundable fee that you can pay through OTC deposits or online.
After paying for the visa on the U.S. visa website over the counter, you will be required to enter your receipt number to confirm your payment, after which you can book your appointment for a U.S. visa interview. (this can take up to 3 hours)
Book your Interview Appointment Date
After paying the required visa fee for your application, you will be able to find available interview dates with the U.S. embassy located in the capital of the Philippines. However, it would help to consider how long it would take to gather all the requirements before choosing a date.
Scheduling your interview for your visa application is your all, and the success rate is reasonably high for applicants from the Philippines.
Once you have booked the appointment, a confirmation letter will be sent to your email, which you’ll print and include in your application documents.
You can even call the Embassy hotlines: (02) 548 8223 or (02) 792 8988 between 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM every day (excluding weekends and U.S./Philippine holidays)
What are the Required Documents for U.S. Visa From the Philippines?
Filipinos applying for a U.S. visa from their home country must provide documents that prove their healthy financial status to fund the travel, staying period, and return.
When applying for a U.S. visa, as with most embassies, You will be required to provide original copies of your international Passport(s), DS-160 Confirmation page, Visa fee payment Deposit receipts, Appointment confirmation for the interview of the visa, Soft copy of 2×2 photograph.
Suppose you are particularly preparing ahead of the U.S. visa interview as a new applicant. In that case, it will help if you go to the meeting along with your Certificate of Employment, Income Tax Return, Bank Certificate, Sample Itinerary, and Documents of previous visit/visa to the U.S.
It is the U.S. consul that hosts your Visa interview. For this reason, many application from the Philippines is usually turned down because the applicant seems to need to learn about their application and comes off as an imposter.
You can contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila to process visa applications and fees. The location is 1201 Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Manila – the country’s capital city or the 1000 Metro Manila.
How Soon Can a Filipino Get a U.S. Visa?
The timing from when you submitted your U.S. visa application and when the visa gets approved varies based on the individual circumstances of the case.
On average, the administrative processing takes around 60 days o the visa interview. Hence, it would help if you occasionally check the status of your visa application via the assigned channel.
How Long Is The U.S. Visa Interview?
An interview with the U.S. embassy or consulate in the Philippines is inevitable when applying for a visa. The interview can last between one to three hours.
However, the actual interview (question and answer) with the consular officer may take a few minutes. What gulps the time is the collection of your data and review of your application by the staff at the embassy.
What Do I Need To Apply For a U.S. Visa from the Philippines?
The requirements for applying for a U.S. Visa from the Philippines depend on the type of visa. Generally, each applicant must provide a filled-out online nonimmigrant DS-160 application form, a valid passport, a photograph, a receipt proving payment of $160 for a nonimmigrant U.S. visa application fee, and social media details of the applicant.
Can Filipino Go To the U.S. without Visas?
An approved visa is a must for all Filipinos, including immigrants and migrants planning to travel to the United States. The category of individuals exempted from visa fees (not visa) has been highlighted in the earlier part of this article.
In a Nut Shell
The fee for a U.S. visa paid by Filipino applicants traveling into “the Land of the Free” is determined by the nature of the visa. But generally, the fee ranges between $140 to $160 for a permit that covers visitation, tourism, medical attention, and attendance of sports or cultural events.
The article above was prepared to show you the current fee for a U.S. visa from the Philippines and to disclose a breakdown of the visa application process.
However, beyond the visa fees, it is essential to know about America’s latest visa policy for foreign passport holders planning to enter the country, especially applicants from the Philippines.
A recent development is that the State Department now requires U.S. Visa applicants to submit social media profiles as part of the online application, such as online presence on Douban, Facebook, Flickr, Google+, and Ask. F.M., Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Applicants’ accounts on Vkontakte (V.K.), Youku, MySpace, Pinterest, Qzone (Q.Q.), Reddit, Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, Tumblr, Twitter, Twoo, Vine, and Youtube are not exempted too.
You can access more information about new requirements on the visa application to the U.S. from the States’ official visa information page here.
I hope this helped.