Tips: US Visa Application in Manila

Applying for a US Visa in Manila is a step-by-step process that requires your patience and mad skills in following instructions. The US Travel Docs website at is going to be your source of information on how to apply for a US Visa in Manila. Everything you need is here.

Determine if you are applying for an Immigrant Visa or a Non-Immigrant Visa, then, follow the instructions from there.

I can't stress this enough - read and be patient. The instructions are simple and straightforward. Fill out the forms, complete all documents for your final interview with the consul, arrive at the US Embassy on time, and you're good to go.

Here are a few tips to help you get through the most-awaited part in your US Visa application, the part that raises most questions from first-time applicants - the interview with the consul.

1. Be in the US Embassy 30 minutes or 1 hour before your scheduled appointment. It's better to be earlier than usual, than to risk missing your appointment. Being early will keep you composed and relax during the application process.

2. Aside from your passport and required documents stated, also bring the following:
  • Umbrella. There are no waiting sheds outside the US Embassy for waiting applicants, so it's best to have your trusty umbrella with you in case it rains.
  • Black ballpen. No sign pens or gel pens. No blue or red ballpens.
3. Do not bring the following as they are not allowed inside the US Embassy:
  • Food and drinks
    • Snacks and drinks can be bought inside the embassy. There are also snack vendors outside if you want to freshen up before entering the embassy.
  • Electronics such as cellphones, tablets, mp3 players, USBs or flash drives, cords, laptops, chargers, cameras, etc.
    • The US Embassy does not have a locker room, a safety room, or a counter where you can leave your electronics. If you have a companion, leave it with them. If you're going alone, do not bring your electronics at all.
    • There are vendors outside the US Embassy who offer to safekeep your electronics for you while you are inside the premises. You just have to pay P100. I personally think that this is not safe, so better leave them at home.
  • Anything with an on and off button
  • Sharp objects
  • Pepper spray
A helpful tip: if you are in doubt, don't bring it.

4. During the interview:
  • Answer straight and be confident. "Isang tanong, isang sagot," as what our elders say.
  • Avoid irrelevant answers or information, specially if the consul isn't asking about it in the first place.
  • Be honest. Seriously, be honest.
  • Smile. Greet the consul with a smile. It helps. :)
  • Some consuls may be intimidating, but don't let them get into you. Just keep your calm, be confident, and answer honestly and confidently.
5. Aside from the guidelines on having the proper photo for your US visa (you'll see this in their website during your application):
  • Your visa photo should show the entirety of your face and features. If you have bangs, make sure to keep them out of your face. It should not cover your eyebrows, etc.
  • In case things go wrong with your picture, they have a Kodak booth inside the embassy which can take US visa photos for only P80.

The consul will tell you if your visa is approved or denied right after your interview. It will take 5 to 7 business days for them to process your visa. Your passport, with the US Visa, will be delivered to the address stated in your application form. You will then see if you are approved for multiple entry, single entry, etc.

The US Embassy is located at 1201 Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila.

Good luck, and most importantly, be honest, read and follow instructions, and be confident!

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  1. I would like to add one more point that make sure you have clear and appropriate passport photos if you don't want your passport to get rejected.

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