We applied our US Tourist Visa last December 2018 and let me tell you this… It was a crazy and once in a lifetime experience! Which can also be twice or thrice when I got to renew it after 10 years and another 10 years. LOL!!!Aight so Imma start with this one before blogging about our whole US trip last May 2019.
I am not exaggerating but based on my very own experience from the moment we left home and the moment we stepped on the US Embassy, agh the nerves!!! It’s been almost seven months since we got approved and it’s never too late to share my experience. And yay, we already went to the United States and I’ll be blogging about it soon but I’ve been talking a lot here already so here it goes…
After we accomplished all the documents and details required and paid for the visa application fee, we booked an interview appointment date. It was me, my mom, and my little sister. My dad already have his visa btw. So we got a 10:30AM interview appointment last December 2018 at the US Embassy but we arrived at 9AM because we all know that the early bird catches the worm. Kidding aside, we expected a heavy traffic along the way that’s why we left early but to our surprise, the road was clear. So upon arriving outside the embassy, the guard checked the time on our application confirmation and was told to fall in line near the gate of the embassy. Then, a staff asked for our interview time and we showed the application confirmation together with our passport. The staff then put a sticker on our passport and was given a large green card and we were told to enter the embassy.
Upon entering, you’ll have your bags and belongings checked, as well as yourself, through a scanner. When we got inside, we patiently waited at the designated waiting area with some people also waiting ther. When it was our turn, we immediately proceeded to the first step.
Step 1: Pre-Screening
Passport is to be presented with passport size photo. We had a little inconvenience and delay on this one because the passport photo size should be taken within six months only while the photo we presented (which we used for our Japan visa) was taken around nine months already so we were told to retake our photo and return to them immediately. Good thing there’s a booth outside who takes passport photo size but the line was long but we had no choice but to wait. We spent around an hour waiting for our photo to be developed then we immediately returned to the pre-screening window inside. One question was asked.
“What is the purpose of your visit?”
Travel and visit our family in Sacramento, California.
It was more like a briefing for the actual interview. Then we were told to proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Fingerprinting
Passport is to presented again. We were asked for our name and birthday, individually of course. Then scanned my fingers properly at the scanner. We were then told to prepare and fall in line for the interview.
Step 3: Interview
The last and nerve-wracking step. While we were in line, my mom was so nervous because we are seeing a lot of denied applicants right before us while I tried to calm myself down while breathing heavily.
For the interview, we were asked to fall in line to a certain window. Good thing we went to the window with a white American consul. Not being a racist or anything but a lot have been saying that black American consuls are more strict and pretentious than the white ones.
While waiting for out turn, we were hearing the interviews of other applicants ahead of us and we have seen some being approved and some being denied. (When you get denied, they give you back your passport and a long blue form.)
When it was our turn, we were asked for our passports and then a few questions…
“What is the purpose of your visit”
Mom: Travel and we will visit our family in Sacramento.
*the consul saw our Taiwan visa*
“You have visited Taiwan. So why Taiwan?”
Mom: I had work matters there and I brought them with me also to spend a vacation.
*consul looking at my little sister*
“Do you do drugs?”
Little sis: *looking curiously at the consul*
“Again, do you do drugs?”
Mom: *whispered at my little sister to answer the question*
Little sis: No.
*laughs & told her she looked unprepared because she needed some support from our mom then looks at me…*
“How about you, when will you do drugs?”
I will never do drugs. (I confidently answered)
Mom: That’s it??? (HAHA I LAUGHED ON THIS PART)
“Yup, congratulations and enjoy”
So it obviously means that we have been approved because he did not return our passports. Here’s a good thing, the consul who interviewed us was so jolly and handsome as well. Ha ha! I think we had a weird but cool, unique, and the best interview!
Since I’m a Klook affiliate, I would love to share their Step-By-Step Guide To Applying For A USA Visa For Filipinos which I find really helpful!
- BRING YOUR REQUIREMENTS WITH YOU. Check all the documents and files required before leaving your house, most importantly is the passport. Also, provide a photo taken at least within six months to avoid delays like what we experienced.
- DO NOT BRING ANY ELECTRONICS OR BATTERY-OPERATED GADGETS. This is actually self explanatory. Don’t bring any of these or you’ll have no choice but to throw them or leave them unattended.
- BE YOURSELF. Breathe and relax. Just be honest and confident in answering all the questions.
- BE ON TIME. Not too early but also not late. Be there at least 30 minutes before your schedule.
- DRESS PROPERLY. Make yourself look decent and presentable! I wore a casual outfit during our interview. (Black culottes + white polo + flats)
Please bear with me if I don’t have any photos because phones and gadgets are not allowed inside the embassy so of course, we didn’t bring it. We even saw Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo but we have no choice but to just stare at her because we have no phones or any gadgets to capture her with.
Embassy of the United States, Manila
1201 Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila