How to Obtain a Visa for a Philippine Citizen to Enter the USA

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A visa is required of all Philipinnes citizens who wish to travel to the U.S.
A visa is required of all Philipinnes citizens who wish to travel to the U.S. (Image: timbres image by thierry planche from Fotolia.com)

Citizens of the Philippines who wish to travel to the United States must first obtain a visa. Visas are issued at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. In order to qualify for the visa, you will need to appear in person for an interview and present documents to prove your citizenship and identity, as well as pay a fee. The interviewer will tell you at the end of the meeting if you have qualified for your United States visa or not.

Things You'll Need

  • Current passport
  • Any expired passports
  • One 2"x2" photograph that shows both ears
  • Original birth certificate
  • Original marriage certificate if traveling with a minor under 20 or a spouse

Gather Your Documents

Download the Non-immigrant Visa Application form DS-160. All visa applicants are required to present this form when they interview at the U.S. embassy in Manila.

Obtain copies of your birth certificate, and marriage certificate if you will be traveling with a minor under 20 or a spouse. The documents must be certified and printed on Philippine National Statistics Office security paper.

Check your passport. It will need to be valid for at least six months from the date you enter the United States. It must not be damaged in any way. You will need to renew or replace your passport prior to your interview if it is damaged or will expire in less than six months.

Find any expired passports you may have, these will need to be presented along with your current passport.

Buy a passport-sized photo (2"x2"). It must be a color photo taken against a white background in the full frontal face position. Both ears must show in the picture, and it must be less than six months old.

Schedule Your Appointment

Pay your visa fee. This must be paid prior to making an appointment with the embassy. The fee ranges from $140 to $390 depending on the purpose of your visit. Students and tourists will only pay $140. Fiances are charged $350. Investors and traders pay the highest fee. The visa fee may be paid at any branch of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, or online through Bancnet. The fee is non-refundable and may not be transferred. Your embassy appointment must take place within one year of paying the fee or the money is forfeited.

Save the Unique Identification Number (UID) issued by the bank at the time of payment. You will need this to access the appointment system.

Make your appointment with the embassy. Appointments may be made by phone or online. To schedule the appointment by phone, call (02) 982-5555 for calls within the Philippines or (214) 571-1600 for calls from the United States. Interviews may be scheduled online by visiting the United States Travel Documents website.

Go to your interview. All interviews are held in person at the United States embassy in Manila. Bring all of your original documentation with you, including your photograph. You should also bring proof of payment and your UIN. The interviewer will tell you at the end of the interview if your visa will be issued or not.

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