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TIPS: What you'll need to apply for a US tourist visa

By Saihjee Galang Published Mar 30, 2024 10:36 pm Updated Jul 11, 2024 7:07 pm

Thinking of going to the United States for a vacation?

Acquiring a visa can be quite taxing as it requires a lot of work, but that shouldn’t hinder you from visiting its picturesque landscapes and vibrant cities.

There are two types of visas that you could apply for in the States. There's the migrant visa for those who are looking to live there permanently, but if you simply want to go for a visit and explore its beauty, the nonimmigrant visa is for you.

Before you pack your bags and book a flight, here's everything you would need to apply for a US tourist visa.

    • To complete the DS-160 form, you would need a travel itinerary, a national ID from the Philippines, and a social security number.
    • Note that the form should be filled out in English. 
    • Upon completion, you will receive an alpha-numeric barcode confirmation page that you must print for the interview.  
  • A recent 2x2 photo; 
  • Receipt of your nonimmigrant visa application processing fee paid in local currency;
  • Present proof of income, tax receipts, ownership, and assets;
    • If you are employed, present a letter from your employer indicating your position, time you spent working with the company, authorized vacation, and other business purposes.
  • Criminal and court records, if any.
New York City

After completing and submitting your DS-160 form online, you would need to create an account or profile in their system that you can access here. Once done, you can schedule an appointment at the US Embassy via a tab that will appear in the dashboard.

You'd be required to present your printed DS-160 form with the confirmation page, the receipt of your visa application fee for application verification, and the ten-digit barcode provided on your confirmation page on the day of your chosen slot.  

Other documents like your valid passport and previous passports and recent 2x2 photo will also be required. Incomplete requirements can cause your application to be void.   

The US Embassy in Manila is located at 1201 Roxas Boulevard. You can contact them at (+63) 2 5301-2000.   

You can check out their official website for more details.

Visa interview and processing

Note that the US Embassy and Consulate are not accepting walk-ins. Applicants are also advised to complete their application early so they would have ample time to prepare and process their visas.

The visa interview questions will revolve around your itinerary, the purpose of your travel, and other personal information to justify the accuracy of your documents. It's necessary to answer all their questions as honestly as possible.

The decision by the consular officer regarding your application will be given on the day of your interview, and "only after all of your documents have been furnished and the results of the medical examination received."

The visa processing fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. Payment transactions can be done through Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) or PesoNet for an online option. Tourist visas usually cost $185 or over P10,000.  

The process time for a visa usually takes three business days, though it may vary depending on the case.