The Tourist/Visitor VISA
We get dozens of inquiries per year about tourist visas. However, we usually try to discourage people from applying for a B1/B2 tourist visa, because…
The B2 visitor visa is VERY difficult for Filipinos to obtain. 90%+ of tourist visa applications in the Philippines are denied. The reason for this is there are currently over 300,000 Filipinos in the US that got there on a tourist visa, and stayed. There are many factors the consul will look at when they interview a B2 applicant. The applicant’s age, sex, marital status, work background, financial status, etc… all may be considered when a consul looks at an application. If the applicant is young, single, and female, it is almost a given she will be denied unless she is the daughter of a congressman or of a very wealthy family. If the applicant has a boyfriend/fiancé that is a US citizen, it is almost a given that a denial will be promptly forthcoming. Consuls are instructed to assume a B2 applicant is trying to use the B2 visa to immigrate, it is up to the applicant to prove otherwise.
This must be in the form of strong ties to the Philippines. The applicant must demonstrate that they have NO REASON to want to stay in the US, and EVERY reason to return to the Philippines. Home/property ownership, a successful business, a good paying job (P100,000+ per month), strong family and community ties to the Philippines, etc. must be shown before a visitor visa will likely be granted. Even then, it is not a given that a visa will be granted. The former longtime Mayor of Dumaguete city, Augustine Perdices, in his 60s, who owned multiple local businesses at the time, had plenty of money in the bank, and whose Father was Mayor for many years during WWII era, was denied a tourist visa. He obviously would return, but neglected to prove that to the consul.
Many of our spousal and fiancé visa clients are applying for a fiancé or spousal visas after being denied a tourist visa. They have no intention of staying in the US, but the only way most US citizens can take his wife/fiancé to meet his friends/family in the US is by applying for a spousal or fiancé visa. Once granted, they have several options if they decide not to stay, and afterward provided they abide by the terms of the respective visa, the Filipino citizen is then a good candidate for a tourist visa approval. The reasoning for this is simple, if they have already been in the US and returned to the Philippines, this goes to help show that they had no intention of staying in the US.
Likewise, the spouse of a US citizen that has strong ties to the Philippines, such as a home, business, resident visa, and many years in the Philippines, has a good chance of approval if their visa application is put forth well.
Another ideal candidate for a US tourist visa would be a middle-aged or elderly couple, who have owned their home/business for many years, maybe they work in a bank or other position of high pay and/or responsibility and have held the position for many years, have a sizable nest egg, etc…, these are the type of people that are commonly granted tourist visas.
There are many agencies that will jump at the chance to take your money to apply for a tourist visa, we are not one of them. These agencies will charge you anywhere from P10,000 to P40,000 to help you apply. It takes them a few hours to complete. They can do little that you cannot do yourself.
At the interview, do not be surprised if it seems the consul does not even look at your application, just smiles and tells you that you are denied. That is the most common description of a tourist visa interview by applicants that have been through the process, the most common complaint being “He/she did not even LOOK at my application”.
The best part is it is not a horribly expensive denial. The cost to apply is $160, and you can apply as many times and as often as you wish. Our fee for our assistance and interview tips is only $150. But, expect us to be honest with you about your chances of approval. If we think your chances are slim, we will tell you so.
Typical requirements to obtain a tourist visa:
NSO birth certificate
School records, and/or proof of school enrollment
Pictures of family, home, properties, businesses, and other ties to the Philippines.
Any other evidence you can provide that you will return. What exactly do you have to show that you have every reason to return to the Philippines, and no reason to want to stay in the USA?
Some things that will go against you are;
Age, a young single person has almost no chance of getting a tourist visa, unless they are very wealthy.
Having a Boyfriend, Girlfriend, US citizen spouse, or other close relative living in the US usually means an automatic denial.
Relatives who have been to the US and not abided by the terms of their visa, such as overstays.
Not being wealthy. If you are poor, save your money for something else. A general rule is, they consider most people would spend no more than one month’s income on a vacation. A short trip to the US is going to cost a minimum of about P100,000. So if you don’t have this kind of income per month, and are not independently wealthy, your money will probably be better spent elsewhere.