How to Apply a US Visa for Filipinos from Dubai?

How to Apply a US Visa for Filipinos from Dubai?


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.

Our Experience

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:

  1. Passport and visa details
  2. Confirmed airline tickets, if you have already made travel arrangements
  3. Hotel accommodation – address, telephone, email
  4. Digital photo size 2 x 2 inch (see this for photo composition template)
  5. International travel history for the past five years
  6. CV/Resume – they will ask your education, previous and current job

While doing the DS-160 online application, take note of the following

  1. Your Application ID as you will need this if you close the browser and wanted to continue with your application
  2. The type of visa/purpose of travel: TOURISM/MEDICAL TREATMENT (B2)
  3. Follow the instructions on each page and make sure to answer all the questions.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
US Visa Dubai

The confirmation page you need to bring along with your passport on the appointment day

STEP 2: Schedule a visa appointment here.

  1. Select the Non immigrant visa applicant
  2. Choose the language UAE: English
  3. 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
  4. 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

US Embassy Information

Location:  Corner of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road and Al Seef Road Bur Dubai, Dubai UAE
Click here for the map
Phone number:  +971-4-309-4000

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Daisy February 19, 2018 - 4:56 pm

Paano po kung hindi naman po college degree,, may chance pa din po ba makapasa pag college level , lalo na naka visit na ko sa europe, London, australia, malaysia,hongkong,singapore, indonesia, thailand,japan, south korea, po ako.

Joanna Villanueva February 21, 2018 - 1:11 am

Hi Daisy, since maganda yung travel history mo. Mas malaki sigurado chance mo maapprove and dont forget bringing all needed documents just in case they ask.

buleleng February 19, 2018 - 9:26 am

hi Joanna, your site is really helpful since I’m planning to visit USA also for a tour this October, Quick question, i don’t have any visas in any other country, and this is my first time ever to travel. Been here in Dubai for 7 years working in a bank for 2 years. My chance kaya to approve my visa? thanks in advance

Joanna Villanueva February 21, 2018 - 1:14 am

Hi, I have to be honest. In my opinion, we think we’ve been given an approved visa because of our travel history, a proof that we’re really travelers. Pero xempre wala nman masama if mgtry ka, just make sure that you have all your documents with you. Goodluck.

Nashy February 18, 2018 - 6:03 am

Hi I love your blog.. so informative.. I am in UAE as well, and I plan to go to US for vacation because my american friend invited me and sent me a copy of invitation letter.. He will be coming by month end to UAE and bring supporting documents along with him., Tanong ko lang po, mas madali po ba? Do you know anyone na invite and naprocessed smoothly? thanks po

Joanna Villanueva February 21, 2018 - 1:15 am

Hi Nashy, wala kami kakilala na nainvite. What Ive shared here is our own experience lang applying for a tourist visa. Goodluck.

Ivy February 17, 2018 - 9:12 pm

Hi mam, ask lang po if i apply tourist visa for US tapos magisa lang ako mag travel .. then i have a complete requirements my chance ba na ma approvahan ako at mabigyan ng visa? Wla po ako relatives sa usa baka ma failed ako.

Joanna Villanueva February 21, 2018 - 1:20 am

Hi Ivy, kung may travel history ka naman and kumpleto documents mo. Sigurado may chance ka maapprove. Goodluck

Kimberly Legaspi February 15, 2018 - 6:05 am

Hello po..magpapasched na po.ako ng appointment ko sa US embassy dto sa dubai ..tanong ko lang po san po akong bank pwd magbayad? And J1 visa po kasi ang applyan ko…madali lang po ba mga questions sa embassy interview ate? po

Joanna Villanueva February 21, 2018 - 1:23 am

Hi Kimberly, We paid through card online. Since tourism visa lang apply namin. Tinanung lng kme kung san kme punta sa US tapos konting background sa work namin sa Dubai. Not sure about sa J1 type of visa.

christine February 14, 2018 - 6:53 am

Hi, may I ask where I can pay the B2 visa fee of $160 (AED 590)? Thank you.

Joanna Villanueva February 21, 2018 - 1:27 am

Hi Christine, We paid online by card.

Elvie February 12, 2018 - 8:53 am

Hi Mam, we are a family my children aged 20 & 16. My husband planning to apply a Tourist Visa, we are base in Dubai. Okey lang po ba na yung husband ko ang principal for all of us? Each person separate application? Thanks po!

Joanna Villanueva February 21, 2018 - 1:33 am

Hi Elvie, You can apply as a group or family. Isang application na lang.

Mig February 3, 2018 - 11:59 am

Hi, Joanna! I mistakenly selected b1/b2 instead of just b2 so imagine how i panicked when i just saw it after the end of my application (when there’s no turning back na!) Anyway, do you think there’s gonna be a problem with my application? I will just visit for tourism and not for business. Thank you!

Joanna Villanueva February 6, 2018 - 5:42 am

Hi Mig, I think it will be fine since B2 is still mentioned. You can just tell them during the interview that you’ve made this little mistake if they ask. The embassy people are cool and nice.

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kaye February 5, 2018 - 12:45 pm

Hello po. May I ask lang po, Firstly, I just recently finished my ds 160 form and saved it. But when I’m about to print it out I found out that it is in arabic language. Can I make a new ds 160? Or it doesn’t matter? Then secondly, are the questions vary depending on the answers? I saw some sample questions on ds 160 regarding previous travel history for the past five years. But when i was doing my online application I did not encounter such thing. How would they know if I’m a frequent traveler, if they will just mainly rely on the form on the interview day without even bothering to ask me? Just wanna hear some thoughts about this. Thank you so much!

Joanna Villanueva February 6, 2018 - 5:47 am

Hi Kaye, I’m not sure if you can make another application form. Maybe this is a slight glitch of their site? You can directly call the embassy and ask this. They were really helpful. When we are doing our online form, it did asked the previous travel history. These people doesnt only rely on the submitted form. I guess, they are doing a background check based on the details you’ve submitted before the day of your interview. And I’m sure that they will ask about your past travels since you’re applying for a tourist visa. Goodluck!

Mitch February 13, 2018 - 6:22 am


It happened to me. It was in Arabic hahahaha. Just go back to the application (retrieve) and on the upper right, you can choose the language.

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siegfried reantaso January 24, 2018 - 4:05 pm

Hi! is it possible to get a approval if going solo? 🙂

Thanks for the info!

Joanna Villanueva January 25, 2018 - 3:25 am

Honestly, im really not sure since our experience was for the both of us getting approved.

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weng January 16, 2018 - 5:18 pm

Hi ma’am, Good day po. I just want to ask if they really need a confirmed ticket or confirmed booking? as no one knows if we can get visa or not. Please advise. Thank you po

weng January 16, 2018 - 8:57 pm

and how months po ang binibigay nilang visa sa tourist?

Joanna Villanueva January 17, 2018 - 1:41 am

Yung sa amin is multiple entry for 10 years. Depende sa decision nila.

Joanna Villanueva January 17, 2018 - 1:39 am

Hi Weng, I suggest you to book in Booking.Com for the hotel since they offered a free cancellation on most of their bookings. And for the air ticket, book an airline that can be re book or cancelled in a low fee.Goodluck

Kimnee Papong January 16, 2018 - 11:36 am

Hello Joanna, Good afternoon. i just want to ask if kailangan ba na may confirmed air ticket and hotel booking bago mag fill up nang forms? or kahit wala is ok lng to apply visa? thank you

Joanna Villanueva January 17, 2018 - 1:33 am

Nung nagapply kme before, may confirmed ticket and hotel booking na kami nun before filling up the form. Kung magbook ka sa hotel, yung sa Booking.Com na lng, may free cancellation dun. And for the tickets, make sure that it is re-bookable and can be cancelled. Goodluck

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Joanna Villanueva January 17, 2018 - 1:26 am

Thanks a lot!

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Joanna Villanueva January 9, 2018 - 2:10 am

Hi there! Thank you so much for the kind words. We are always delighted to know that somehow people find our blog informative and helpful.I’m gonna work on with the travel tips/guides on Brussels very soon so stay tuned! Have a nice day! 🙂

Chona salcedo January 6, 2018 - 4:34 pm

Hi I’m chona 30 years old and planing to visit my aunty in Nevada I travel 4 country already bt only in Asia I’m here in Dubai for 6 years already my only problem is my basic salary is not too much so in my salary certificate they just indicate my basic salary bt if you will include the commission in getting double from my basic salary do you think it will affect on my application. And it’s ok if I will not book my ticket yet coz first I just want to make sure first that I will get visa bfore booking my ticket. Thanks in advance

Joanna Villanueva January 9, 2018 - 2:09 am

Hi Chona,

I don’t think the salary range affect the application. However, I believe the Embassy is checking the amount in your bank statement if it can sustain/support the number of days you’ll be in the US.Regarding the ticket, yes it’s fine I guess, just tell them your reason if they asked.
Goodluck Chona 🙂

Ann Lorraine Mendoza January 6, 2018 - 9:49 am

Hi Joanna,

Happy New Year.

I am a Dubai resident for 9 years and i have a pending immigrant petition for US which might take another to years to be settled. I am planning to attend my sister’s wedding on September in Maryland along with my Fiancé . If i will apply for the visit visa with my Fiancé, should i select the option for Family or Group application? Do you think they will allow us to go with the same consul as it will be more easier for us to justify our purpose for travel? We intend to stay there for 15-18 days as a part of our company’s annual benefit.

Thank you for sharing your experience to all of us,



Joanna Villanueva January 6, 2018 - 10:19 am

Hi Ann,
Happy New Year too!
Yes, i think you should select the group application to justify your purpose of travel.
You can go together I guess, since youre applying as a group.
Just prepare all the supporting documents just in case they will ask during the interview.

Ken January 3, 2018 - 5:43 am

Hi Ms.Joanna, Hope everything is well. I’m planning to apply for a US Tourist visa on my 3rd year here in UAE. I’m currently based in Ras Al Khaimah as an IT for an insurance company. I have been traveling to Europe every year since I got here and I’m leasing my own apartment here. I don’t have a car or a credit card yet. Do you think I have a chance in getting a US visa considering that I have been a resident of UAE for only 3 years?

Joanna Villanueva January 4, 2018 - 10:58 am

Hi Ken,
Thanks, everything’s well. Hope you are too. I guess, one of the factors the embassy have look into was our previous travels, so your travel to Europe definitely helps.
Let’s be positive and think that you’ll get approved as long as you’re being firm with your answers during the interview and got all your backup documents on hand.

Orlee January 3, 2018 - 4:50 am

Multiple visa application? Single entry? What has been granted afterwards?

Joanna Villanueva January 4, 2018 - 10:59 am

Hi Orlee, got a 10 year multiple entry visa 🙂

Mary December 26, 2017 - 11:12 am

I would like to know if it’s alright to tell the consular the reason why I am visiting the US is to attend my sister’s wedding. She is in K1 visa. How about the application form if ask if have relative in US which my sister is not a permanent visa yet in the US. Please I am very confused? I’m presently working and I will pay my own travel.

Joanna Villanueva December 30, 2017 - 1:15 am

Hi Mary,
As much as we want to help you. Our experience is based on applying a tourist visa only. I dont have any idea about the K1 visa. I guess, if you’re being honest on your interview and inform them the real reason why you want to visit the US, then everything will be fine. It’s ok to ask questions, they’re really friendly in the Embassy.
goodluck and congrats on your sister’s wedding 🙂

Kate April 23, 2017 - 8:05 pm

Hi there. Good day! Thanks for your blog! I would like to ask, Im planning to apply for visit visa in US probably 10-15 days. But I’m just 21 yrs old and still 1 yr on my job here in Dubai. Do you think I can pass? Actually I am visiting my boyfriend in Kentucky. Is it alright to state that I have boyfriend there? is there anyways you can suggest me to do? Much thanks

Joanna Villanueva April 24, 2017 - 7:03 am

Hi Kate, If you’re applying for a tourist visa, same like ours and you’re with someone I guess it will be easier for them to approve. But we need to tell you the truth, I have my brother applied the same visa, he’s 21 years old just like you when he applied and he’s on a visit visa here in Dubai and he got denied. BUT, he just graduated back then. As you’d know, it will be on case to case basis. You have to try and just be honest on answering their questions and you’re good to go, Goodluck.

iris March 13, 2017 - 10:55 pm

Hello Ma’am,

I just want to ask, as you mentioned above that it would be better if you do not have a relative in the US. I am planning to visit my immediate family in Hawaii as a tourist. will it affect my application? Do yo think they will deny me? Will it be good if i have only been staying for one year or two in UAE? And one more thing, I worked in Saudi Arabia for 3 years as a dental nurse before I come to UAE, will it be harder for me because I am a nurse and single? I want to maintain a positive mind but i just want to have any idea since I’ve come across your blog. Your information is very helpful and beneficial. Thank you so much and God bless!


Joanna Villanueva March 14, 2017 - 5:53 am

Hi Iris, Honestly, we don’t really know if that will affect your application. It’s always on case to case basis. But in my opinion, the US embassy are checking if you’re really wanted to visit their country as a tourist and will return to UAE. Our advise is for you to show and prove your commitment on returning to UAE. It’s better too if you can show them previous Schengen visas and countries that you’ve visited in the past. Hope it helps. Goodluck with your application and Godbless you too.

Kristen February 6, 2017 - 5:11 am

Hi, I just filled up a DS-160 form, thanks to your guidance. I have quick questions tho..
A.) I said “No” when they asked if I am a permanent resident here in the UAE, will that affect the application?
B.) Upon reading other forums, they said na kailangan ilagay ang middle name after ng first name, which I didn’t pero nilagay ko yung middle name ko sa “full name in native language”
I’m scheduled for an interview a week from now and I would love to go there prepared. Salamat!

The Moment Keepers February 8, 2017 - 6:22 am

Hi Kristen, sorry for the late reply. Just be confident about your answers to them. And say only the true facts as the embassy is checking everything before the day of interview. Let us know if you succeed! We hope for the best 🙂

cha January 8, 2017 - 7:28 pm

Hi! I would like to ask if considered tayo as permanent residents here in Dubai? Ang sagot ko kasi is No. i was applying for B1 visa for work pero i got rejected 🙁

The Moment Keepers January 9, 2017 - 8:22 am

Hi Cha, We applied for a tourism visa.
If I’m not mistaken, we answered yes in that question. But to be sure, please contact the embassy and they’re really helpful.
Goodluck on your next application!

Maria January 5, 2017 - 5:29 am

Hi, I was applying for US non-immigrant visa as tourist for 13 days yet i selected the business & tourism B1/B2. Do you think it was right selection?

The Moment Keepers January 5, 2017 - 6:26 am

Hi Maria, Yes, it’s the right selection but if you still have doubts you can call the embassy. They’re really helpful 🙂

Ze November 20, 2016 - 11:00 am

Hi TMK! My husband and I are planning to apply for a US Visa in Dubai. How long did it took you to get an interview appointment?
BTW, I love your blog as it sounds very kind and humble 🙂 You have this way of writing na very down to earth like. God bless, thanks xx

Joanna Villanueva March 14, 2017 - 5:57 am

Hi Ze! I’m so sorry we missed your comment 🙁 How was your application went? Hope all goes well. thank you for the kind words and compliments on our blog! really made our day 🙂

alma November 14, 2016 - 12:18 pm

Hi TMK couple! Do they check the running balance on the bank statements? Our bank savings is not huge, will it be an issue if we are travelling as family?
Thanks so much! Your post has been so helpful.

The Moment Keepers November 15, 2016 - 6:37 am

Hi Alma, Thank you for visiting the blog! The officer didn’t checked our bank balances. However, we did prepare our bank statements just in case they ask during the interview. I guess it will not be an issue as long as you can prove to them that you’re returning to Dubai 🙂

Angel October 29, 2016 - 6:51 am

hi, i’ve a question regarding sa visa application requirement. yung bank statement for the last 6 months? kasi yung savings namin is nasa philippines. so yung bank savings namin dito sa qatar is minimal lang. will that be ok?

The Moment Keepers October 29, 2016 - 7:16 am

Hi Angel, Thanks for visiting. Though we prepared our bank statement for the last 6 months, it was never really asked during the interview but have it prepared too just in case.

I guess, that will be fine. But please ask the US Embassy for clarifications.

chix October 5, 2016 - 4:10 pm

Hi admin! thanks for the info just want to ask in my case im a single person and dont have relatives in usa just only for a tour do you think i have a chance for a b2 visa?

The Moment Keepers October 6, 2016 - 9:39 am

Hi Chix, thanks for visiting the blog 🙂 i guess if you have the right documents, correct info when you filled up the online form and sure about visiting US for tour then there’s nothing to worry about 🙂 i think having no relatives in the US is more of a proof that you’re not going to stay there? check with the embassy if you have doubts, they’re attentive and polite.

jocelyn September 28, 2016 - 7:03 am

elow po..gusto qlang pong itanung kng pwde po ba aq mka kuha ng tourist visa gling USA ,dto po AQ Dubai nag wowork,,gusto kc ng Tito q na mg vacation aq fun knit 1month LNG po,,mtagal po ba ang pg process ng papers…

The Moment Keepers September 28, 2016 - 10:06 am

Hi Jocelyn, thanks for visiting our site. As with our case, we applied a tourist visa in the Embassy here. I think it would be better if you applied it here as it was easy. But to be sure, you can ask/call the Embassy. They’re very helpful as we called them many times when we’re in doubt during our application. Hoping for your successful application 🙂

Kathleen September 25, 2016 - 9:34 am

Hi, Me and my sister is very much interested to apply US Visa, we are planning to visit our aunt who we haven’t seen for ages. We were thinking is it possible for us to apply together, as family (me & sister) or better apply separately?

The Moment Keepers September 26, 2016 - 5:19 am

Hi Kathleen, Thank you for visiting our blog. If you’re applying for a tourist visa like us. We suggest you to apply as a family. If not, please call the Embassy as they surely know what’s better for you 🙂

Janet September 20, 2016 - 8:23 pm

Hi, i just want to ask regarding sa application q po mali po nailagay q sa Q. Are u a permanent residence other than your country? Ang nsagot q po ay No pwd q po kya palitan un lapit na kasi appointment q bka mya mgkaerror po,
Pls po pahelp

The Moment Keepers September 21, 2016 - 7:11 am

Hi Janet, Thank you for visiting our blog. We’re not sure if it will cause an error. I would suggest you to call the embassy directly before your appointment date. They will surely answer your queries.

Rowena c.francisco August 24, 2016 - 11:14 am

I’m interested here a tourist in dubai how much if this in seasonal month

The Moment Keepers August 25, 2016 - 5:05 am

Hi Rowena, Thanks for dropping by! While we only share our experience in applying a US visa here in Dubai, I believe you should contact any travel agency here in Dubai for precise information. However, we can advise somehow since we help a friend on his tourist visa application to Dubai. Are you coming from the Philippines?

– Joanna


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