Since I came back from my trip, a lot of people have been asking how I applied for a US tourist visa. It is known that a Filipino citizen must apply visa before permitted to enter the United States of America. To apply visa, it is important to prepare the necessary documents, pay the fees and have an appointment for an interview at the US embassy wherever you are based.
So, how do you apply? Everything is done online. First, you need to determine your visa type. Next is complete the DS 160 Form. It is important to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form. Once it is submitted online, no changes can be made. DS-160 number will be needed to book for the appointment. Once the visa and DS160 form is filled out, the visa fee must be paid. To pay the for the visa fee, there is the Bank and Payment Option page. A profile has to be created and receipt number will be needed to book for the visa appointment.
Now you have to log in to the created profile with the same credentials you used to pay the visa fee. Once in the system, there will be a dashboard where the passport number, transaction number from the bank receipt and the 10-digit barcode number from the DS 160 confirmation page will be required.
The last step will be to visit the US Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. Once your application is approved, visa will be picked up at the US Embassy. You can check the website http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph for more details.
So maybe you will ask me how my interview experience was. It was somewhere in November 2014 when I had my interview for US tourist visa here in Oman. I had no definite plans of going to US as I know it is the hardest country to get a visa with. But knowing there is nothing to lose, I tried my luck.
I came just on time for my interview just 30 minutes before my schedule time as they have advised. I remember I was wearing a black dress, a good pair of blue sandals and my Longchamp bag which caught the attention of the lady guard before entering at the Embassy. She asked me if I am a flight attendant. It was funny coz almost all who had their interview were having the same bag as mine as the guard said.
No electronic gadgets were allowed inside as well. As I entered the embassy, it seemed very quiet. As a walked through the hallway, I was thinking of what could possibly be the result of my interview. When I finally got in to the room where the interview was being held, there were only like 6 people sitting and patiently waiting for their turn. 2 Omanis, 4 expats but no Filipino was there except me.
Since the room was small, you can observe what was going on during the interview. The only thing was you can’t hear them because there was a door that separates the ones waiting for the interview from the one being interviewed. I must admit, I felt a bit nervous but my mind kept on saying I just need to answer whatever they will ask me and that’s it! I remembered, I just came from a quick out of the country trip and my mind was still flying from the good experience I had on my vacation. It was just my Mom who knew I will have my interview that time and I haven’t told anyone about it. I didn’t even ask any advice from anyone. I thought to myself, whatever happens, I’m okay with it, and I’ll be okay with it. But the actual feeling of being there was mind boggling of what could possibly be asked during the interview. The only thing I prayed for was, hopefully the Consul who will interview me won’t give me a hard time. I brought my Bank Statement, Certificate of Employment and Insurance/Investment Policy as supporting documents.
Then I had my turn. I smiled at him and greeted the Consul. You’re probably wondering what were the questions asked—mostly were the ones on the application form. The Consul asked what the purpose of my visit is, where I am working, if I have family living in the US and if my sister who is based in Oman had been to the US already. He also asked for the countries I have visited for the last 5 years. He checked the stamps of the countries on my passport. Did the consul ask for any documents? Yes, he checked the Bank Statement but other than he didn’t ask anything more.
The last thing I remembered he told me was, ok just get your passport after 1 week. I was blankly staring at the Consul and my mind was trying to absorb what he was saying. Then he said, “Okay, your visa is approved but you should be back in Oman!” I told him, I will! When I was walking out of the interview room, I had a big smile on my face! I couldn’t express how happy I am that time!
There you go; I got my 10-year tourist visa to the US! I think if you are just being honest and will answer all the interview questions confidently, it is not impossible for the US visa to be in your hand. But then again not all Consuls are the same. So the best way is to prepare yourself whatever the outcome will be. At least you tried!