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jon1

United States Tourist Visa For Spouse

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In the past on this and other forums, I have heard that it was nigh near impossible for a Filipina not going through the immigration process to the US to obtain a Tourist Visa. Here is what we encountered and did to prepare for this possible exercise in futility. (Your mileage may vary)

 

Preparation time;

 

NSO Marriage Certificate (took 4 ½ months to receive)

New Passport in Married Name (took 1 month to receive after NSO Cert)

Certified Bank Statements (1 day)

DS160 Confirmation Page (1 day)

Appointment Confirmation Page (1 day)

1st available Embassy appointment (applied for an appointment on June 22 and first available was July 22 = 30 days)

Appointment fee payment receipt (1 day)

Sponsorship Letter from myself (with copy of my passport bio page attached) 20 minutes

Copy of our 42 year lease to our residence, in both of our names (5 minutes)

Old passports for any corroborative evidence (visas in other countries)

College letter stating that she is a full time student between semesters (3 days) she does not work and is a housewife. So I have her in college to give her a hard reason to return.

 

Time spent at the embassy;

2 1/2 hour drive from Subic (had to start at 0430 for a 0800 appointment, sheesh).

Embassy line to get a number for the scheduled APPOINTMENT (1 hour)

2nd Embassy line to start the processing (30 Minutes)

3rd Embassy window visit for interview (3 hrs 15 minutes)

Interview (2 minutes)

 

Visa to be processed and couriered back to residence (1 week)

 

It took us 7 months to get to the Visa interview and only 2 minutes for them to approve it (plus the 4 hours at the embassy waiting for this brief interview).

 

 

Observations;

 

1.     Lots of Filipinos turned down for lack of proof of property ownership, employment, etc.

2.     It appeared to me as I watched the faces of applicants leave the Consulate that about 3 out of 4 got their application approved.

3.     I was reminded several times by Embassy employees that I couldn’t accompany my wife to the interview. I politely acknowledged that and told them calmly that I understood. I waited outside the Consulate front door but inside the compound (just past the Security Checkpoint). I just did not have access to the Immigrations area (I could have gone up to the American Citizen Services if I wanted to but elected not to).

4.     There was one other couple in the same status as us and they were not successful. I do not know the reason, as they did not proffer.

5.     4 Consulate officers processing over 300+ applicants is not very efficient. We were in the middle of the queues when the morning started so there probably were Filipinos there until late in the afternoon.

6.     Not all of the above documentation that my wife brought with her was looked at by the Consulate Officer during the interview. What was looked at was her Passport, DS160 page, NSO Certificate and my Sponsorship letter (with Bio Page attached).

7.     My wife's answers were short and concise. No fluff added. She noticed several applicants being told to only answer what was asked for.

 

In the end, my wife was granted a 10 year Tourist Visa after providing only a few corroborative answers.

 

Now we have to get our itinerary planned for our first trip. The duration of her allowable stay will be determined when she reaches Immigration at our first entry point.

 

I am thinking of a 3 week trip stateside. Not too long, but long enough to justify the 4 days travel to get there and back. I haven't been stateside in 3 + years, can anybody recommend some stateside ports of entry to definitely avoid (i.e. track record of harassment, etc.)? Am I being overly paranoid? I want to make this trip as worry free as possible.

 

:cheersty:

 

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Congrats on the tourist visa for your wife.

 

From my research I reached the conclusion it would be a waste of time since only filipino's who have wealth of there own seem to manage to obtain the tourist visa.

 

I will soon be starting the process for a spouse visa. Since I have lived in the Philippines for 16 out of the last 18 months I can use the Direct Consular Filing (DCF), i.e. I can file at the US Embassy for the visa and cut out a great deal of the time it takes to get a spouse visa if filing in the US. It takes 8-12 months if your paperwork is processed in the US but only takes 2-3 months if processed at the US Embassy in Manila. You can only use DCF if you have resided in the Philippines for over 6 months and you have to prove that.

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Thanks for the congrats. You are doing the immigratio/citizenship visa for a K-3 or IR-1? We were looking for a way to allow her to visit without going through an immigration/citizenship process as we do not desire to live in the US. The Tourist Visa was the only viable option as she does not work or own a Business.

 

Her background is from a poor family but we have been together almost 12 years and only recently married. She has property (due to me), a bank account (for our monthly expenses) and has travelled throughout Southeast Asia over the last 7 years. I think the clincher question was;

 

Q: "Is your husband going to petition you for citizenship/immigrate?"

A: "No"

Q: "Why not?"

A: "I do not want to live there, just visit and meet his family and friends."

Reply: "Congratulations, your visa has been approved"

Edited by jon1
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Yes doing the IR-1/CR-1 spouse visa. Mostly just so I can take care of some personal things and my wife can meet my family.

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Great ending to a long process and a long day!  I'm looking forward to the trip report!  :thumbsup:

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Oh I forgot one more thing left to do, the Mrs has to go back to the CFO office in Manila and get their silly sticker put in her passport next to her US Visa. This is to prove that she has already had the Married to a Foreigner Seminar. Which she wouldn't have been able to get the new passport in her married name without it (has the Certificate). Another spinning your wheels move. It gives her a chance to go to Manila and shop I guess :D and I get some "me" time :D

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Oh I forgot one more thing left to do, the Mrs has to go back to the CFO office in Manila and get their silly sticker put in her passport next to her US Visa. This is to prove that she has already had the Married to a Foreigner Seminar. Which she wouldn't have been able to get the new passport in her married name without it (has the Certificate). Another spinning your wheels move. It gives her a chance to go to Manila and shop I guess :D and I get some "me" time :D

 

More stupidity is a better description.

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Update: We received the Passport with US Visa in it 10 days later in Subic. Also she was granted a B1(Business)/B2(Tourist) visa even though she applied for the B2 only. Maybe it's automatic to get both?

Edited by jon1

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Update: We received the Passport with US Visa in it 10 days later in Subic. Also she was granted a B1(Business)/B2(Tourist) visa even though she applied for the B2 only. Maybe it's automatic to get both?

Yes, B1/B2 is standard.

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good story seems that the embassy does grant VISA's ,

my child has applied 3 times since 2008 to attend a USCIS hearing for a N-600 procedure , a citizenship ceremony, was denied all 3 times, over 160x 3 wasted plus 600+ for the USCIS case.

any wonder why they would NOT grant a child a VISA to attend ?

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