Monday, September 5, 2016

How To Apply For US Visit Visa In Singapore

ABBEY: This blog aims to help readers on how to apply for a US Visitor Visa (B2). Only that and nothing else. I know this is not the first blog to give this information but I felt compelled to clear things out or debunk myths about the application specially to my countrymen, the Filipinos. Since this is a process, it is standardized and it doesn't matter where you apply for visa. Be it India, Canada, Singapore or Philippines, it will all be the same.

Without further ado, here are the steps:

1. Determine what visa type are you applying.
2. Pay for US Visa application Fee.
3. Fill up DS-160 form online
4. Schedule your interview
5. Visit US embassy on your scheduled date.
6. Passport delivery
Yes, only 6 steps. But I'll explain each of them further.

My wife and I are based in Singapore. Obviously, we need to apply visa in US Embassy Singapore.

1. Determine what visa type are you applying:

This is where a lot of people gets confused and this is only the first step.Kindly ensure that you know what type of visa you need.

B-1 - Business

B-2 - Tourism, Pleasure, Visiting
B-1 / B2 - Combination of both.

We want to tour US so we chose the non-immigrant visitor visa (B-2).

2. Pay for US Visa application Fee.

We were able to pay the fee online and paid SGD 224 per person.
Make sure to have a copy of your receipt. This is needed when you visit US Embassy for your interview.

3. Fill up DS-160 form online.

Upon filling up DS-160 form, you will be asked for the fee receipt payment.
For us, our payment only got reflected the next day.

An application ID will be given to you upon the starting to fill up the form.

This is useful if you're not able to finish it or want finish it later.
Be sure to save it frequently as it is timing out when idle and all your information will be lost.

Have you passport, employment contract, history, information of your relatives (immediate family, aunt/uncle, cousins), 2x2 picture be handy as information from these docs will be required.

For 2x2 picture we went to a photo shop aware of US passport photo requirements. This ensured that our photo is correct.

Be reminded to be truthful in any information that you will be submitting. These particulars will help in your case to be strong for your interview. 
Fill up the form yourself as I heard many stories that is being filled up by somebody for them. Not that I'm saying that is incorrect, but it would be better if you do it yourself. Or review it before submission if somebody do it for you.

Upon submission, you will be asked to print or have the DS-160 confirmation page sent to your mail.

4. Schedule your interview

You need to register and create a login.
We scheduled our interview one week after our online application submission.
The site also gives a suggestion the earliest time for your interview (maybe for people who wants to have a schedule urgently).

Once your scheduled is confirmed, you need to print it.

Once we got the schedule, we were told to bring the following:

a. Interview Appointment/Schedule Letter
b. DS-160 Confirmation Page
c. Passport (bring ALL the passports; OLD and NEW)
d. Fee receipt
e. One receipt 2x2 photo (with white background)

5. Visit US embassy on your scheduled date.

Go to US embassy on the appointed time. Not 15 minutes early or 15 minutes late.

Upon arrival, a staff will check the documents specified in the Interview Appointment Letter.

Then the security checks began.
Empty the pockets and belt will be removed. Our phones stayed at the guard. Only the documents in a bag went with us.
It is advisable not bring big bags and other electronic gadgets.

Once inside, one staff checked our passports and then pointed us to go to a window to get a queue number. 
Then our number was called for finger printing. Next is the interview. Our interview lasted less than 5 minutes.

Again, just like in submitting online application, be truthful. It will set you free :) And you will hear these words like music to your ears "Your visa has been approved".

6. Passport delivery

The passport will be delivered 3 days after your interview.
But for us, it came after only 2 days.

That's it. I hope this will be helpful for those hopefuls out there.

Any advise from me?

1. Speak only the truth.
2. Review the info you submitted. Sometimes we tend to forget details when we get nervous.
3. Don't get nervous in the interview. The consul is just doing his/her job to filter who will go in and out of the US.
4. Give what information the consul is asking for. Get straight to the point.

MYTH: You need to buy travel tickets before your interview. 
TRUTH: It doesn't hold any weight for them to approve your visa.

MYTH: Wear formal attire.
TRUTH: You can wear clothes you are comfortable with during the interview. 

MYTH: If you apply too early or too near on your travel date, your visa will be approved. 
TRUTH: Date doesn't matter.

MYTH: You are in too much pressure when you will see the faces of consulates.
TRUTH: They are very friendly and warm. 

MYTH: You must speak fluent in English.
TRUTH: You can ask for an interpreter.

We were ecstatic when we got the visa. Our smiles were ear to ear. Even though we knew where to go after the interview (to have breakfast), we were just disoriented as we were in cloud nine.

Now, we can plan our trip to US to visit my sister and see places of interest in "The Land of the Free".

questions during USA visitor visa interview - How to Apply For US Visit Visa
Multiple Entry Visit Visa

WILL: It is like a beautiful dream because many compared it like a nightmare. Yep! You are reading it right, many people told their horror stories and nightmares in applying for a US Visa. So why it is a dream? Because until now I am in euphoria. I am expecting the worst of the worst and the biggest fear for some people but for us it is like...flawless. 

So how we get ready to confront this? We prayed then planned for it. Supposedly, we will be leaving for USA this 2016 but due to some circumstances we delayed it. On our Maldives trip, while I am taking a shower, my inner voice dictated to me that we MUST get visa for next year. Lo and behold, when we were back here in Singapore, my sister-in-law break the news that she will not be available to go home in Manila. And that is the best sign and reason for us to pursue to visit her in Chicago. Pray for what you want then plan. That's the key. :) 

Abbey tackled above the step-by-step we have done in filing our DS-160 form, in my part, I will tell you what questions were commonly asked based on our observation inside the embassy and what questions consulates asked the people we knew who also applied for US Visa. 

Commonly asked questions during USA visitor visa interview: 

*Why are you going to the US?
*Have you been to the US before?
*Do you have relatives in the US? 
*Who is going to sponsor your visit?
*Where will you stay in the US?
*What does your relative do?
*How much your relative's salary?
*What company does your relative work?
*How long has your relative been in the US?
*Which visa is your relative is on?
*Will your spouse accompany you on your trip?
*Why isn't your spouse accompanying you?
*When do you plan to travel?
*What are you going to do in US?
*What is the purpose of your trip?
*Have you bought your tickets?
*Do you have return air tickets?
*How much is your budget from this trip?
*Have you been outside your country before?
*Is this your first time to visit US?
*What places do you want to visit?
*How long will you stay in US?
*What is the guarantee that you will come back?
*When did you last see your relative?
*When did your relative last visit your country?
*Where do you stay in this country?
*When did your relative go to US?
*What work do you do and what company?
*What is your job description?
*How much do you earn monthly?
*Did you take leave at your job?
*Who will look after your business in your absence?
*What assets/property do you have in your country?
*Who will take care of your property while you are gone?
*Do you have a credit card?
*Will you work in the US?
*Can you tell me your relative's contact details?

Maybe you are baffled why we can eavesdrop on other interviewees? The consulates are speaking through microphones and the room has a capacity of around 50 persons. Just imagine, how small the room is. Sorry for listening to others conversation. Hehe.

Below is the exact interview questions we have with the US consulate. (as we remembered) 
What will you do in US? 
Where you will stay in US? 
How long have you been in Singapore?
Is your sister PR or Citizen in US? 
How long your sister in US?
Do you have any other relatives in US?
How many years you have been in Dell? 
How many years you have been Rejoice? 
Have you been to US? 

--- Your visa has been approved!

The consul didn't required us any supporting documents to support our claims. I think I have more than 5 kilos of papers inside my bag. Whew! Anyways, we still pursue to bring all of those whenever they need some proof. 

Below are the documents we have in our hands: 
From our Ate Abigail 
Copy Birth Certificate 
Copy of her and Kuya Roy passports. 
Invitation Letter 

From our employers:
Latest 3-month payslip 
Certificate of Employment

From Us:
Latest 3-month bank transactions (Philppines / Singapore)
Latest 3-month credit card transactions
Last 3-year IRAS computation
Original Insurance Policy
Copy Deeds of Sale / Copy of Land Titles
Birth Certificate 
Marriage Certificate
Old Passports
US Visa Photo 
Printed Account Ledger of Shares (Stocks)
Printed Mutual Funds Portfolio (Singapore / Philippines)

That's it. Be prepared, emotionally, faithfully and financially (if you will declare that you will be the paying for that trip). 

Fear stroked me one day before the interview, but I pray and pray and I assure The Almighty that we really want to visit my sister-in-law and we are now ready to receive the US TOURIST VISA. :)

Embassy of The United States - Singapore 
27 Napier Road 
(T) 6476 9100