I’m republishing this article because of some important updates. Please read all the way to the end.
Wonder Why I Write These Articles At Times
- 0.1 Wonder Why I Write These Articles At Times
- 0.2 What More Can I Say?
- 0.3 If She’s “High Risk” Her Chances Are Very Low
- 0.4 Compelling Reasons
- 0.5 And to kind of cap this off and kind of put a finish to it, see:
- 0.6 OK, Let’s “take apart” my visitor’s comment
- 0.7 I Tell It As It Is
- 0.8 Wishing Won’t Make It So
- 0.9 Let’s Pretend.
- 0.10 Do You Want A Good Performance Rating?
- 0.11 Facts Don’t Lie
- 0.12 A Final Hint:
- 0.13 Yes Or No It’s Up To You.
- 0.14 Don’t Pin Your Hopes On The “Wrong” Visa
- 0.15 I Never Said This Was Fair.
- 0.16 The Embassy Follows the Law by Their Rules.
- 0.17 And Just As A Wrap Up
- 1 Related Posts
- 2 Readers who viewed this page, also viewed:
- 3 Share this Article:
My first reaction upon reading this recent reader’s comment was to actually get a little peeved and frustrated.
As the comment writer herself distinctly said, I already wrote what needed to be written here:
If you are puzzling over the question of your chances of getting a US Tourist Visa, please read this article
Can My Philippine Friend Visit Me in the USA? … and the comments to it … first. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you 😉
What More Can I Say?
She asked that I write more, yet really, what more can I say?
How many ways are there to say “NO”.
To estimate your chances of getting a US Tourist Visa (B-2 Non-Immigrant Visa), just look at your personal situation, read the requirements and decide for yourself how closely you measure up to the requirements.
But in fairness it is a complex issue, and I thought it would be of some value to “take here comment apart” and analyze why I used the phrase “high risk” in evaluating people in the same or similar circumstances.
If She’s “High Risk” Her Chances Are Very Low
The US Embassy, Manila, like other US Embassies around the world has the job of accepting applications from non-US folks who wish to visit the USA.
Normally we call the required visa for these vests a “Tourist” visa but it is also called officially a Non-Immigrant visa.
It is the designated consular officer’s job to evaluate each and every applicant for these visas, including their probability of trying to turn the Non-Immigrant visa into a “bootleg” or unofficial Immigrant Visa. (in other words, overstaying their visa terms or, in Filipino slang, “Going TnT).
using the following basic guidelines and authority:
(Note: This is not my opinion, or something I “heard”down at the VFW bar. It’s a summary of the official State department guidelines. Please follow the link and read)
Additional guidance: (same source)
The following documents are not considered helpful:
- In general, affidavits of financial support will be of little value to an applicant … The interviewing officer is less concerned about how the applicant will be supported during his/her stay in the United States than in whether s/he has reasons to return home. (my emphasis)
- Letters of invitation ….
(editor’s note. As a US citizen, making an offer to insure the visitor returns upon expiration of his/her visa is a futile gesture.
Once the visitor is admitted to the USA they are totally free to travel anywhere.
Even if they were to declare to you that they in fact intend to violate, they have committed no crime until their legal period of stay expires … and you have no right to try to detain them or restrict their movements. In fact any real attempt to do so is probably a crime on your part.
Legal visitors have most of the rights of US citizens .. certainly the right to be safe from false imprisonment.
That’s why these letters and statements are essentially worthless in the eyes of a Consular Officer. Often times the officer will not even look at them.).
The basis for requiring applicants to qualify under law:
“Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the officer, (my emphasis) at the time of the application for a visa… that he is entitled to nonimmigrant status…”
Guilty (of attempting to be an Immigrant) Until Proven Innocent, in other words.
Essentially, the visa officer needs to see that the applicant has compelling reasons to return to the Philippines.
By law, the burden of proof is on the applicant to show that he or she qualifies for the visa.
This proof may come in many forms, but when considered together, it must be strong enough for the interviewing officer to conclude that the applicant’s ties to the Philippines will compel him or her to return at the end of a temporary stay in the United States.
And to kind of cap this off and kind of put a finish to it, see:
While it is understandable that one might wish to do this, a foreign national engaged to a U.S. citizen must still prove that s/he is not an intending immigrant. (my emphasis)
This is usually difficult to do, however, as the fact that an individual is engaged to a U.S. citizen is usually considered evidence of intent to immigrate.
OK, Let’s “take apart” my visitor’s comment
Hi there! Great article btw, although I got discouraged when I read it! …
Good, because that is why I wrote the article.
If you, like many in your position want to shove $160 across the table and try your luck, great. That is your right.
But I wrote the original article to try to bring home to you the fact that trying for a visa in your situation is like pushing all in pre-flop in Texas Hold ’em with a 7-2 staring hand.
The odds are very, very, very strongly stacked against you.
I hate to see people waste their hard earned money based on what they “want” rather than anything that really could help them.
cos I’m what you say a “high risk”, unmarried 33 y/o Filipina wanting to visit the US. Though you pretty much said everything in your article, I’d still want to hear your input regarding my personal situation. so here it is…
I Tell It As It Is
OK, great. And please remember I am not a Filipino. I am not going to make all sorts of “delicadeza” round-about statements.
I’m going to talk to you directly and tell you my opinion of how the cards lie . even if you don’t like it.
In other words, don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer. Fair enough?
I have a wonderful American bf in my life, we’ve known each other for almost 3 years now.. He’d been here 4 times already ,met my family and all that. so now he feels that its my “turn” to go visit him and meet his family, which of course I’d like very much! We are also planning our future, you know bridge the distance.
He tried to look for a job here, but unfortunately wasn’t successful. So our plan B is me going there; but before we decide on that. He wants me to have a “feel” of what it’s like living in his state before we made a final decision to settle there. W/c is very sweet of him, cos he knows how attached I am to my family and my life here. And he doesn’t want me to feel forced settling in the US, though I’m willing to leave my life here for him as he is for me. But that’s for the future.
This is all well and good. he sounds like a really nice guy and he’s miles ahead of so many other foreigners I deal with who have never been here to meet their intended.
But unfortunately for you two, the laws of the USA are going to throw up a very strong road block to your plans.
I just want to make sure that my application for tourist visa will be approved cos that’s the first step of us having a life together. Please advise me, what’s the best options etc. He already made like an invitation letter for the consul, you know guaranteeing that he’s responsible for me, financial and otherwise while visiting the US.
You think I have a chance? I’m just an average Filipina, no property on my name, has no really big savings on my account. I’ve worked all my life, but I already quit my recent job and just rendering a month. Of course, will look for another job after.
As you can see, my “ties” of me returning is not that solid. so.. I would really appreciate it to hear your say on this. Thanks in advance!.
Wishing Won’t Make It So
You started your comment with a good description of your chances.
Frankly, they lie someplace between zero and none at all.
As you said yourself, your evidence of any ties to the Philippines are virtually none at all. To me, although you have every right to try, I think it would be a total waste of $160 USD.
Do you like games of make believe?
Let us just for a minute pretend that you have become a US citizen and have a good paying job at the US Embassy as a Consular Officer.
Your job, all day long is to interview and make decisions (adjudicate) applications of Philippine nationals who have applied for a visitor’s visa to the USA.
Your job standard calls for you to interview as many as 150 applicants a day.
Imagine how many stories you will hear in a year. That’s about 36,000 applicants a year that you yourself are going to see and decide yea or nay on.
Do You Want A Good Performance Rating?
Your job performance and future job security or promotion. If you let too many “high risk” applicants through and they go TnT, your bosses will know. Records are kept.
In addition to your job and pay required performance, you are not just an employee, you are sworn officer, a legal representative of the US government.
It must be an awesome and challenging responsibility. You know how many Americans get absolutely rabid, almost foaming at the mouth about the problem of “Illegal Immigrants” in the USA. You are the “first defender” of US soil.
Facts Don’t Lie
As an officer of the US Sate Department you know a few facts … there are approximately 300,000 Filipinos in the USA illegally.
In every case a US Consular Officer made the ‘wrong call” and let them into the USA.
And (although I assume you personally are as honest as can be) every single one of those TnT’s lied when the applied, promising faithfully, in write and under penalty of perjury when they made their application, stating they would faithfully their their commitment to return to the Philippines.
Now make one other “pretend assumption”.
Pretend you, yourself are the one sitting in the chair being interviewed for the visa.
Honestly, would you yourself “approve” someone in your own situation?
I am sure if I were you I would not … no question about it.
There will be way too much pressure for you to just enjoy being in the USA, including love for your BF. would never take the risk if my job depended upon it … if you would, please tell me why?
A Final Hint:
It sounds like you and your BF are very serious about each other.
It also sounds like you really would like living in the USA and making a life with him.
Did you two ever think of a Fiancée visa for you?
You sound like a perfect candidate for one. It’s an almost sure thing, and it gets you, completely legally, 90 days to be with your intended (including the right to work in the USA, which is strictly forbidden on a B-2 Tourist visa).
You can meet everyone and make an informed decision on marriage.
Yes Or No It’s Up To You.
If you do decide to marry, great, you’re already in the USA 100% legally, to start building your life together.
If you decide marriage is not right at this time, there’s no issue, you return to the Philippines when your 90 days are up, and everything is legal and above board.
No broken promises AND with a completed trip to the USA and a legal return upon your record … something which will certainly be in your favor in future Consular Officer decisions.
Don’t Pin Your Hopes On The “Wrong” Visa
In my opinion, the tourist visa is absolutely not the right thing for you. But the K-1 Fiancée’ visa might be.
Here’s an update I just received from a different reader … no boyfriend/potential fiancee’ involved, but yet again another reader I had been pessimistic regarding her chances. But she went ahead and spent her money and went for her interview and …
Hi! I got denied with my interview yesterday at U.S Embassy Manila.
I am applying for the B2 Visa, If it is one of the reasons single, female under 40 years old tag as a “high risk” then the u.s embassy must post on there website that all single females under 40 years old are not given a chance to enter in the united states. I am disappointed with this.
My intention is good, I just want to visit my sister in PA for just 3 weeks.
I am a Bank Employee here in the Philippines for 10years, I’ve been with 7 countries already but then still I got denied.
I bring all my documents yesterday such as bank cert., lot title, pay slip, certificate of employment and other supporting documents of my sister’s is to proof that she has also a good work there. …
And I’ll be back here because I have work here, my house and my parents is also here.. I don’t have plan to over stay in U.S just others do.
It is unfair to use same case with me.
I Never Said This Was Fair.
I emphasized the reader’s last sentence because I agree with her. It seems very, very unfair. There’s no question about it.
But I have said it before and I’ll say it again.
There is “fairness” in this world and then there is the US Embassy attitude toward approving B1/B2 visas for single females in the Philippines.
The Embassy Follows the Law by Their Rules.
It’s not “fair” but it’s reality. Sometimes living in a dream world and expecting life to be fair is a great way to live.
But there are certain things that are almost impossible, fair or not, and getting a tourist visa to the US is one of them for unmarried Filipinas.
And Just As A Wrap Up
We Americans and often other nationalities who associate with us have become obsessed with the concept of “Fairness”. Personally I love “Fairness” as much as anyone, but not even the US Constitution guarantees me the right to “Fairness”
Does the Philippine Constitution have a clause which guarantees “Fairness”? I don’t think it does, but then maybe I missed it. There’s an old legal saying which applies here, it has since Roman times: Dura lex, sed lex … in English, The Law is Harsh, But It Is the Law.
Save your money, you have been warned.