Below is a step-by-step procedure on how to apply for a US B1/B2 visa and attending the interview at the US Embassy Manila, as well as all the websites you will need in doing so.
- Create an account at https://cgifederal.secure.force.com and fill out the online application form at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ This is very important since it will be the basis for comparison when you answer questions at your interview. This is also where you will write down the delivery address for the courier service to send your passport once your visa is approved, so make sure all information is correct, accurate and updated. Once submitted, it CANNOT BE EDITED so save a copy for yourself. Submit and save it online and the DS-160 form will be emailed to you. This record is saved permanently online.
- *Visit http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-paymentinfo.asp#feepaymentoptions and click “Deposit Slip – $160 MRV Fee” to get a unique receipt in a separate tab. Print.
- Bring the above receipt, the DS-160 printout and your passport to any BPI branch and pay the P7200.00 fee.
- Wait 4 hours or until the next day to schedule your appointment. **Call the hotline at (02) 976-8500 / 01 / 02. When calling, you need to provide your 1) passport number (this will lead the agent to your online application form) and 2) the receipt number for validation. The earliest available schedule is typically on the following week
- Show up at the embassy on your appointment date 15 minutes before your scheduled time to nail that interview.
*online payment is available too
**you can also book your schedule online at https://cgifederal.secure.force.com
- Email appointment letter
- Original MRV receipt from BPI
- Valid passport
- DS-160 confirmation page (page 1)
- 2×2 photo
(Only items 3 and 4 were taken from me.)
Note: Be sure to also bring the items in the requirements checklist to be better prepared.
- Upon arriving at the embassy, fall in line outside at the non-immigrant queue and present your DS-160 to enter
- Undergo the airport-like security check
- Afterward, get your number stub. It is important to fall in line and get it right away as this number will determine how much longer you will stay at the embassy
- Proceed to sit at the waiting area and wait to be called
- You will be led to Step 1 (identity confirmation) and Step 2 (fingerprint capture). The sooner you finish this, the sooner you will be called for Step 3 so try to be the first in line!
- You will be led back outside to the waiting area
- You will be called back to wait inside the air-conditioned area when your number is about to be called for Step 3
- Relax and run through your answers in your mind, like you rehearsed
- Wait for your number to be flashed on the screen, then proceed to the window. Important: sit at the left-most chairs so that you can get an idea of what questions to expect, like I did! Don’t get discouraged by those who get denied; rather, let these motivate and prepare you!
- Once your visa is approved, wait for it in the mail and the courier service (2GO) will deliver it in one week. I got mine after 3 working days!
Good luck with your application!
NOTE: This guide was created based on a B1/B2 (business/tourist) visa application. Some information may not be applicable for other visa types.