At the Manila US Embassy last Feb 2012, as I arrived on time and after falling in line for about 2 minutes, the receipt was first being requested from me on the first window by the entrance and then went inside and wait for my number to be called. Hmm if they should let the people bring the camera in, I should probably take so many pictures back then!
While waiting on my seat, I had the chance to feel (for the first time) what is the real feel of being inside the US Embassy and was able to calm myself and adopt to the environment and the situation. As everybody knows – applying tourist visa is really hard.
[Related Post: My Mom’s Successful Tourist Visa Story]
I carefully observed the interview of other applicants on different windows, some are just easy and some are having a hard time to defend themselves.
I was also able to chitchat with some tourist visa applicants who are waiting as well. The applicant beside me was about 14 year old girl (with her mother beside her) she looks very relaxed and confident. The mother said, her daughter was really complacent that she will passed the interview because she is determined to finish her schooling in Philippines and that her vacation in US is just really a vacation. And so that conversation probably gave me more confidence.
As my number was called, I immediately went to my designated window. The Consul greeted me with a smile, he is a kind looking American guy. I smiled and said “Good morning Sir” and then handed my Passport together with Form I-134 Affidavit of Support sponsorship and supporting documents such as Bank statement, tax return (etc.) of my sponsor. Other supporting documents are left on my expanding folder. He then ask me a series of questions
Q1: “What is your relationship to the sponsor?”
A1: “He is my boyfriend”
Q2: “O! Kelan ang Kasal?!” (“When is the wedding?!”)
I was stunned for a second coz he speaked tagalog.
A2: “Actually no plan yet, we are still having a hard time dealing with our long distance relationship due to xyz conflict (explained in further to the consul but I don’t want to disclose here in my blog). I also don’t want to settle myself first without making sure what will gonna be our life in the US away from my family specially that I have a child already and had a failed relationship before.
During the interview, I noticed he is partially looking at me and partially looking on his computer. I’m expecting my Tourist visa will be denied (by default) because of negative hearsay about tourist visa and lots of my co-workers tried to apply tourist visa before and then get denied. So I tried to show my other documents such as Land Title, PAGIBIG housing receipts, Certificate of Employment, BC of my son, etc. but he refused to look at it and instead ask me another question.
Q3: “How did you met each other?”
A3: “We are working at the same company as an Engineer, I am in Philippine R&D branch and he is in US R&D main Office.”
Q4: “How much is your monthly salary?”
A4: “Php xx,xxx”
Q5: “O, bakit maliit?” (“Oh! Why is so small?”)
Aray! hindi naman yun maliit sa kin. Ouch! it’s not that small to me. (talking to my self)
A5: “Probably, because that is why they had the branch in Philippines, the labor is cheaper than in the US.”
After that he said “Ok, Next please!” while he wrote something on the small piece of paper inside my passport and put it away. I probably still enjoying the interview or whatever, coz we not even had 5 mins talking to each other yet. I don’t want to leave the window and still want to convince him more because as I’ve said, by default I have a negative thought that my visa will be denied because of hearsays from other people which are actually inadequate and insignificant.
However, the Consul said while checking next applicant’s paper “Ano pang hinihintay mo? Umuwi ka na, ipapadala na lang namin sa yo ang Visa mo after one week” in a calm manner. Me still standing in front of the window, “Really? I passed the interview?” He answered me “If you want you can wait here and sleep on the floor until Visa is done” while extending his head a little bit towards the window and pointing his index finger to the floor. I laughed and finally realized what is going on. I just said, “Thank you very much Sir!” with a big smile.
I just known after one week my visa arrived that he granted me with a Multiple Entry Tourist Visa for 10 years! Wow! Until now I still can’t believe it. I travelled to the US two times (2012 and 2013 holy week vacation) before we filed our K1/K2 Visa last 2014.
MUST READ: Tips and Lessons I learned from B1/B2 Tourist Visa Interview:
- Arrive at the US Embassy on time.
- Dress well: There is no really a dress code in going to US Embassy, however dress like you want to show you are “serious” about the visa application. Dress like you are going to a job interview.
- Be Polite: Smile and greet the Consul (Good Morning) as you enter the designated window. This will help drive your self-confidence and eliminate nervousness.
- Be Honest and Transparent: The Consuls are well trained and expert in reading facial expressions and mannerisms. They will ask questions randomly again and again and if you are caught lying, you might not be able to apply another visa again or worst you might be banned from entering the United States due to fraud. So just be confident and transparent in your real situation.
- Be confident, Be yourself: If you are really honest and have paid a lot of effort and stress in this visa application, just be confident, stand-up straight and maintain a proper posture. They should be there to help you process your application in able for you to pursue your travel plans.
- Make a persistent eye contact: As the saying goes, “The eyes are the window to your soul”. By just looking at the eyes they can tell so much about the person. The pupils are the part of our eye body language which we practically have no control over. If a person is over aware and sure about the message he is delivering, the eye contact is persistent. Therefore if you are really honest about your intention, just make an effective eye contact, it is very essential in interacting with the Consul.
- Answer the questions directly to the point: Listen to the question carefully and answer to what only is being asked in a loud and clear voice, do not be so talkative – you might give irrelevant information by mistake that will led to your rejection. Visa interviews ranging to only about 5 minutes per applicant, so be precise. Less talk, Less mistake.
- Be Consistent with your answers: If the same question is being asked again, you should also have the same answer again. Sometimes it’s tricky because the question will be asked in other form of scenario, so be attentive.
- Avoid mannerisms: Do not make unnecessary actions like touching your nose or your ears, curling the hair, or anything that will distract the Consul.
- Avoid arguing: If things turn out not the way you want it to be, do not argue.
- Have faith in your self and faith in almighty God: Prayers can help a lot. One week prayers before the visa interview helped me a lot to be determined.
- Speak your language: If you don’t speak English really well – it’s ok, no need to bring relative or friend as a translator. They have translator that will translate for you in Tagalog or any dialects you are used to like Bisaya, Ilokano, Kapampangan, etc.
- Strong Ties: As per my observation, the Consul doesn’t really much check or care about financial status and level in the society. They are more concern about the strong ties to your country that you will go back and you will not stay “illegally” in the US. For example in my case are: my newly bought house which is still under interior decoration back then, my job and my son. Or if you are a student, your determination in finishing your college in PI is a strong reason that you are still planning to go back after the US trip.
- Being a Tourist Visa granted – I don’t consider that I was granted a visa because of luck or the Consul was in the good mood or having a good day. It is because I confidently answered his questions with all my sincerity, transparency about my real situation and pretty much convinced him about my good intention of being a TOURIST! I was expecting it will be a single entry or probably 2 to 3 time entry, however it is such a bonus that I was granted a multiple entry for 10 years. God is good all the time, He really knows what we need and what we deserve in life.
- If your visa is being Rejected: That’s ok, chillax! It’s not the end of the world yet. The Consul just did his duty . You can re-apply again as many as you want. The hearsay that you will be banned in the US after failing a Visa application is just a worst case scenario and will forever be a hearsay (at least for me) unless proven. 😉
- ADDITIONAL TIP:
- If you are applying for Tourist Visa to visit your fiance or boyfriend but you are not yet decided to marry each other, DO NOT TELL THE CONSUL HE/SHE is a FIANCE, you will automatically be DENIED. It should be a “BOYFRIEND or GIRLFRIEND” because the term Fiance means you are engaged to GET MARRIED already and you are applying a wrong type of visa which should be Fiance Visa and Not Tourist Visa.
- If you are inviting your parents or any family member as a Tourist and have the intention to go back again to their native country (for example Philippines), DO NOT SAY YOU ARE PETITIONING YOUR PARENTS (OR ANY FAMILY MEMBER) FOR A TOURIST VISA, they will automatically be DENIED. Because the term petition means they don’t have the intention to go back anymore and you are applying a wrong type of visa. It should be INVITING your family member as a TOURIST. So be careful of the terms when talking to Consul.
FAQ: What’s the Secret in passing a visa interview?
There is NO secret in passing a visa interviews. It always depends on you. Good luck!
How to Apply B1/B2 US Tourist Visa?
Many of us are afraid to apply for B1/B2 Tourist Visa because we heard lots of stories being denied and they become so disappointed no matter how many supporting documents as an evidence of ties to prove that they will be going back to the Philippines.
Never give-up on your dreams. Take a chance, you never know what Future brings.
28 thoughts on “My B1/B2 US Tourist Visa Interview”
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Thanks! The Greek Pinay. Your blog is very captivating. I followed yah! Cheers! 😉
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Hi ask ko lang anong nilagay mo sa application form kung anong relationship sa ngsponsor? Friend or other relative. Same kasi tyo boyfriend ko yung mgsponsor ng trip. Thanks in advance.
Hi nathansmommy, thanks for stopping by. Relationship to the sponsor is boyfriend.
Can I ask if how much is your salary/month when you applied for b2 visa? If you don’t mind? Cause I’m also an Enginger and I have ano American boyfriend and we’re planning to meet in USA but we also travelled in Japan. . Do you think if I have the affidavit of sponsorship from him and travel history would make a little advantage from getting a visa?
Looking forward to your reply . Thank you. 😊
Hi Jicahrhea, thanks for stopping by. As for the B1/B2 Tourist Visa, the USEM doesn’t much care about financial status of the applicant, so don’t worry about it. What they are really concern about is your strong ties to Philippines to prove them that you are going back and will not stay illegally in US. Your travel in Japan could be a plus, you can mention it during your tourist visa interview however be prepared on follow up questions that they might ask. Good luck! Let me know how it goes on your Tourist Visa Interview.
Hi, I have an American bf too and he wants me to visit him and his family in US. The problem is I’m still studying so I don’t have any source of income or properties. I’m just worried that if I apply for visa, the consul would deny my application because of the strong ties factors. And I’ve also heard that they would deny your application if the reason for your travel is to visit your boyfriend. I’m 21 btw. I hope you can help me. Thanks.
Hi Yan, thanks for stopping by. as I’ve listed on the must read tips on this blog – source of income and/or properties is not a problem, so don’t worry about it. The reason of visiting him and his family is a good reason to apply for tourist visa and the fact that you are still studying is a strong ties that you are surely going back to Philippines. So go ahead and try. 🙂
just like to check if all the sponsorship documents should be original or can i just send thru email and scan them,? i just dont know what U.S. embassy recquires for that
Hi Sarah, Thanks for your message.. Sponsorship is only optional.. See these two links for your reference on B1/b2 Tourist Visa. http://bit.ly/2c074at and http://bit.ly/28KKqWL
i was unable to open the link u gave me 😥 . But your blog give me enough courage to apply for tourist visa to visit my boyfriend. Same case ill try to do the sponsorship looking forward for a positive i have my appointment on Sep 15 :).
Hi Sarah, thanks for your feedback. I already updated the link. Good luck on your interview, I will be glad to know how it goes. 🙂
my interview is next month with the little experience i had here will help me alot….
Hi. I am applying for tourist visa and my boyfriend is my sponsor. I dont have job for now because he visit me 3 times in a year so i cant focus to my work. What will be the best advice you can give? Thanks
Hi Trina, thanks for stopping by. If you don’t have a job, tell other strong ties to your country or strong reason for you to go back and will not stay illegally in US. Good luck and let me know how it goes.
Hi Ms. Donna,
Im a Registered Nurse here in the Philippines, pero sabe nila na pag Nurse k daw mhihirapan ka makakuha ng VISA. b2 lng sana plan ko to visit family and friends. pero no plans to work dun. sa tignin niyo kaya makakapasa ako? natatakot ako magtry.
Hi MJ, Thanks for stopping by. B1/B2 Visa is only a 1 type of visa. The Immigration will only decide upon your interview when you get to the United States and stamp whether B1 or B2 is your entry, as well as the length of stay usually max of 6 months. Now on the B1/B2 Visa “Application” Interview – Be honest about your self, It doesn’t mean you heard from anybody else that Nurses has low chance of passing the interview will make you shaky and Unconfident. Tell your plans to the consul, justify your strong ties to your country that you will go back and will not stay illegally in US.Make it happen. There’s no harm in trying. Every Accomplishments Starts with a Decision to Try.
Hi Donna, good day! i am 41 yrs old, annulled with 18 yrs old son.. is it possible to pass if i will go under interview that me and my bf ddnt meet yet, unlike your situation that you met here in phils. thank you
Hi bea, Thanks for stopping by. Yes, sure you are very much allowed to apply US Tourist Visa to meet your BF in person.
Hi, Donna.Happy for you! Am 27 years old, working women. Got engaged with my long term boyfriend(works in H1b visa) last month during his visit to India. I hav got my vacation in May and planned to visit him for 14days. He has provided all supporting documents like his bank stmnts, I134,etc. I dont have a own house, but for strong ties i got NOC from my employer for 14 days leave mentioning that i have to join back to duty after my vacation. Our wedding date is not fixed yet as it happens only by 2018. Are there chances to get the visa approved? Pls help.
Hi Punya, thanks for stopping by. Based from your story, I think you have a high chance to be approved. Just bring the paper (NOC) to support your reason to go back to your native country. Good luck.
Thanks a lot Donna. Take care. You made my day. With love.
Super helpful blog!! Thanks for sharing, Donna… I shared this also with someone in Indonesia who wants to visit her boyfriend in US..
Hi, me and my bf are planning to apply for a tourist visa, so pretty much he will be my sponsor. I do a have job here in Manila as call center rep, the pay is just fine, not so much savings. I’m just afraid if that’s enough to show to the embassy since I don’t have any other strong ties here apart from my job. I already had travel history from other Asian countries. We decided to get the tourist visa since we are not yet ready to settle down and still dealing with this LDR thing.
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