Tuesday, March 6, 2012

US Visa Application: Turning my rejections into a positive =)

I've been disheartened for like the nth time, every time a US consul pulls out that notorious 'blue paper'. And for some reason, the different consuls that came to review my application, didn't seem to find me credible of my words. Thus witholding me of a chance to visit the rest of my family in Houston.

I've already been rejected of a US Visa three times, and I don't think I want to try anytime soon. Family members have tried to figure out the deal in every ordeal but would just end up thinking that I may have probably been denied mainly because I was a single woman, who came with pretty good genes. *=P The consuls may not believe that I am an honest businesswoman, then that's just their word against mine. I know who I am, and I never had any intentions of going TNT in the US nor marrying a US citizen for a green card.

So in lieu of this entry, I would like to turn my rejections into a positive one. I hope that with this post, that I may be able to help out anyone who's planning on getting that most sought after document on their passport's.

For now, here are my tips:

1) Go online and type in the link: http://manila.usembassy.gov/

2) When you're finally on the website, look for the VISA tab/page and click the visa type that you'll be applying for. Mine was the Non-Immigrant kind, so I chose that one. The type of NIV visa and the requirements that you will need to gather for this specific application will still depend on what your intentions are in terms of traveling to the US. So if you're applying for a NIV, make sure to read all of the information first. 

3) Now, there are several categories for Non-Immigrant applicants. Mine was B1/B2, as this was the Visitor visa (for Tourism or Business travel). 

4) As soon as you've chosen which NIV type you are, click IT. It will direct you to a page where an applicant's list of required documents are noted down. You'll need to read through the requirements so that you'll be able to get a heads up on the papers that you will need to gather before setting an interview for your visa application.

5) When you're done, read up on the Non-Immigrant Visa Procedures. The application process will just basically revolve on the following:
  • Fill up application form (in my case, the DS-160)
  • Create your profile
  • Schedule an appointment and then pay the application fee afterwards
  • After payment, schedule your interview date
  • Show up at your interview

6) After you've read all of the information, log on to this site. This will direct you to the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160).You will need to fill-up this form as accurate as possible, as the assigned consul will be looking at this form on their computer throughout the interview. So what you put on the form should also be as consistent with what you'll be saying during the interview. 
  • When filling up the form, make sure to save your answers before proceeding to the next page.
  • Also keep your Application ID in a safe place because you'll need this to open your form should you get disconnected, or should your computer reach the time limit (the page refreshes every 20 minutes, if I recall correctly).
  • Ready all of your essential documents, especially your passport

7) As soon as you finish writing on your DS-160, you will need to log on to another US Visa application site. You'll have to create your profile here in order to schedule your interview date. You'll know you're in the right place when you find that GREEN button that says "Apply Now". Click that. 

8) Once you're done creating your profile, look for the SCHEDULE APPOINTMENT tab on the left side of the page. Answer the questions here accurately, until you get to the 'payment' part.

9) You won't be able to do anything further until you've paid the fee. Mine was $140, so I paid it the next day at a BPI Island Bank nearest me (paid it in PHP not USD). Now, the payment will only reflect on your profile after a few hours (mine took about 6 hours). But as soon as your payment kicks in, you will be able to proceed to the next stage: Scheduling your interview.

10) You'll be able to see three calendar months on the scheduling page, each showing available dates for your preferred date/time. You can only choose one, so try not to change your initial date/time to avoid all the hassles of correcting your profile. Believe me, the changes can take days as the reps from the US Embassy will have to look through your profile!

11) When you've finally submitted your interview date, make sure to gather all of the necessary documents afterwards. Also prepare for your interview in the days to come. Now, your papers may not be asked of you by the consul. But it would also help if you had these for back-up. In my 3 times that I was interviewed, none of my papers were asked from me. 

Anyway, hope these tips help in your future application. Should I remember a few more things, I'll make sure to update this post again. Until then..

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