Continue to read this if you are a Filipino with UAE valid residency who wants to apply a US tourist visa. This post will simply cover the experience we had before and during the application. Please note that we are not connected with the US embassy. We want to help by sharing valuable information on getting an approved visa in your current or future application.
In order to visit any US state you must have a valid tourist visa unless you’re a Filipino with an American passport then lucky you. When we decided to visit New York, we first checked the possibility of having an approved visa here in Dubai. The common thinking for Filipinos like us – it’s hard to get one here. So upon checking the web, we stumbled with a lot of confusing articles. And by asking friends who tried to apply one, it became more impossible. But, we’re persistent to get one so we keep on doing our research and finally found the right website!
STEP 1: Complete the online DS 160 application form
Before the online application, prepare the following details/documents with you:
- Passport and visa details
- Confirmed airline tickets, if you have already made travel arrangements
- Hotel accommodation – address, telephone, email
- Digital photo size 2 x 2 inch (see this for photo composition template)
- International travel history for the past five years
- CV/Resume – they will ask your education, previous and current job
While doing the DS-160 online application, take note of the following
- Your Application ID as you will need this if you close the browser and wanted to continue with your application
- The type of visa/purpose of travel: TOURISM/MEDICAL TREATMENT (B2)
- Follow the instructions on each page and make sure to answer all the questions.
- Save your work often because the forms will time-out (close) approximately every 20 minutes. The form can take as long as 90 minutes to complete.
- Important if traveling with your spouse or family – Upon reaching the Thank You page at the end of the application, select the option for Family or Group application. Certain information from your application, such as destination, will automatically be imported to a new application.
STEP 2: Schedule a visa appointment here.
- Select the Non immigrant visa applicant
- Choose the language UAE: English
- You will be directed in this page Create a new account, select the second option since you have completed the DS-160 online form. Keep in mind the following details:
- Complete name as it appears in your passport
- Passport number
- Date in mind for interview (allow for approximately 3 to 4 months before travel)
- Barcode Number located on the confirmation page of Form DS 160
- Contact telephone number and email address
- Credit card: B2 visa fees is $160 (AED 590) as of April 2016
- Once you have completed the visa appointment process, you will be prompted to print a receipt page. Bring the printed receipt page with you to your interview. Please note your confirmation number, as you will need this number to change or cancel your appointment.
STEP 3: Prepare additional documents and bring on your appointment day
Here are the additional documents we prepared just in case the officer will ask. You better be prepared for every supporting detail they might ask.
- Letter of employment with job title, length of service, and monthly salary
- Bank statement for the last 6 months
- Confirmed airline tickets
- Confirmed booking details
- Additional photo, the same one we uploaded via online
- Itinerary details
On the Appointment/Interview Day
Please take note of these important reminders.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes on your scheduled appointment time
- Only the visa applicant can enter the Embassy
- To proceed through the Consulate’s security checks as quickly as possible, do not bring any large bags, cell phones, computers, or other electronic devices
- When you enter, your application documents will be examined.
- You will be given a number and then proceed to a window for fingerprinting and afterwards asked to have a seat.
- Once your number is called for your interview, the officer will ask about your intended travel and review any additional documents that the officer requests.
- An average interview will last for approximately 3-5 minutes.
Questions Asked to us and our Answers
In our case, both of us came to the interview window since we apply as a family. Please note that succeeding questions to you might be different. It will solely depend on your answers. As I remember, these are the questions asked by the officer.
- Why do you want to go to US? We want to spend our second year anniversary in New York.
- So you want to see Lady Liberty? Yes of course and some other stuff like the Empire State.
- What do you do for a living? (referring to my husband) I’m in charge with the distribution of the company, I’m also a diver. (so the conversation about diving started)
- Really? Which license do you have? I have an open water license. (then other stuff related to diving)
- How much do you make? (to the husband)
- How about you? What do you do and how much do you make? (I’m actually present :p) I’m a web designer (then follow up questions relating to my job like which language do I use etc.)
Surprisingly, these are the only questions asked to us. I guess, the DS-160 application form are being reviewed prior to your interview date. Maybe, if they find something questionable that’s the only time they will ask for additional documents.
At the end of our interview, the officer gave us a pink document and said that our application has been approved, and we need to collect the passport with the US visa stamped after 2-3 days only. We got interviewed on January 24 and received our passports on January 27, 2016. Our travel date is April 29. This was the easiest visa application we encountered in Dubai. I assumed that with the correct and precise details entered in the online form, an assurance that we will return to Dubai, and being honest during the interview give way for the easy grant of our visas.
Our Advise and Other Details on our Online form
- Do not make any non-refundable travel arrangements until the visa has been issued in your passport.
- You must satisfy the interviewing officer that you will leave the US at the end of your stay.
- Important facts about our online form (1) We have traveled to countries like Greece and Turkey making it known that we have a Schengen and Turkish visa (2) Our UAE residency is about 6 years (3) Our income is fine not to leave Dubai and work in US (4) Tickets and hotel booking are confirmed