For the past few months I’ve been gathering info about how to get a Non-Immigrant US VISA. Yes, I am planning to go to Uncle Bob’s land, primarily to visit my parents and my sister’s family. Ate Tina is living in New Jersey for about 10 years now and is already a citizen of the United States – wow I have an American sister! minus the accent and the blonde hair. 🙂 The thought of going there just came across my mind last November 2010 when my parents were both petitioned and now permanent residents of the US of A (I have American parents too! residents at least..lol). So as early as December, I’ve been preparing my game plan how to prepare myself.
When I started getting bits of info about the VISA application, I gathered mixed reactions and feedback. I was surprised to know that many were denied of a VISA when they’re primary reason is to just visit and see the land of Milk and Honey. That time I still don’t understand why others don’t get their luck. I’m aware that some Pinoys make it as their pass for working abroad and then turn out to be a TNT (not the detonator, but Tago ng Tago). This created a bad image to most Pinoys who just really want to travel but I can’t blame them, they have their own respective reasons. Over the course of gathering details, I was able to find out that when applying for a Non-Immigrant VISA, “Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the officer, at the time of the application for a visa . . . that he is entitled to nonimmigrant status . . .” Essentially, the visa officer is looking to see that the applicant has compelling reasons to return to the Philippines. Take note, COMPELLING.. 🙂
I asked the internet and a lot of people what documents to prepare. Thanks to Maye who just had her interview (and was granted a Single Entry VISA!), for the pointers. Aside from passport, VISA fee of 6,020Php, CEAC form, Appointment Letter and 2X2 photo, here’s the list of other supporting documents I need. I don’t have scanned copies to post because I don’t really want to expose myself to the worldwide web.. 😀
– Certificate of Birth (NSO Certified)
– Certificate of Employment
– Proof of Income for the last 3 months
– NBI Clearance for travel abroad
– Invitation from Ate Tina
– Relative’s Proof of Status
– Credit Card Statements
And the last is a Bank Certificate. This is where the paranoia begins – the show money. Some say that it should be at least a hundred thousand. The bigger the better. But my sister told me that it’s not as important nowadays and it will look suspicious if I deposit a large bulk of money in my account in a short period of time. They only look into the stability of the bank account and not on the amount reflecting, she added. I have my own savings but it’s not that huge as what you see on the pic above #HOWIWISH 😛 Though it’s more than 3 years now and counting.. 😀
Moreover, the chances of getting a VISA depends on the information provided on the DS-160 form submitted and the performance during the interview. (I wonder what will I perform? a skit from our previous play I guess? lol) A tip from a VISA consulting website says that you should have a strong command of English and be completely honest in answering the VISA officer’s questions. So I say, “Why would I answer in PARTIAL honesty? I mean seriously, of course I will answer the questions in all honesty. I don’t have any plans of working there. So I guess that will make it easy for me and hopefully get a hold of that VISA #prettyplease. 🙂 I just wanted to see McLarence Pub in NY! #HowIMetYourMother :P. And fulfilling a goal of traveling with my family.
May 9’s the judgment day. I have all the documents prepared and all I have to do is to just keep praying – pray that I won’t mess up in the interview. It’s in God’s will. 🙂