I told you in my previous blog that I had a hard time getting a US Visa right? And that I got denied 3 times. I got really disappointed and all, specially when my father inlaw who was based in the US died without having met me in person. 😦
I am a Filipino. And as such, the burden is on me to prove that I am coming back to the Philippines.
So how would I prove that?
I brought with me the following:
* Titles for all our properties
* OR / CR of our vehicles
* Bank Statements
* And a lot of other things that would prove my ties in the Philippines.
But those were useless because the consul never looked at them. Seriously, as in never.
On my 4th try, I asked the help of my friend , Atty. Nicolas Caraquel. He’s an immigration lawyer based in the US.
He asked me to send him my previous application forms ( I saved a copy for my file) and emailed it to him. From there, he found several mistakes I made.
Ok, figures… No wonder I kept getting denied. Duh!
So here are my tips. Hopefully, this will help my filipino readers who plan on getting a US Visa.
1) National Identification Number:
I used to keep this blank. Because in our country we have SSS, Tax Identification Number, Philhealth and Pag-ibig numbers. Those are all national numbers. Wherever we go in the Philippines, these numbers are valid.
Atty. Caraquel told me to put my Tax Identification Number.
I should have thought of that! You know why? Our TIN Number shows our Annual Income. In my case, my record would show that I pay a percentage tax on a monthly basis. And that is 3% of my monthly income. Other than that, there’s quarterly tax and semi-annual tax.
Ok , my Tin Number also shows how many properties I own. How? It shows the Documentary Stamps Tax and Capital Gains Tax I’ve paid all these years. It’s all there!
No wonder they don’t look at the Titles. 😦
The record shows it all.
2) Job Description:
I explained how long my business has been existing in Davao. (If you’re working, then state how long you’ve been connected with the company you work for). I explained that due to the nature of our business, I have to come back because I sign the contracts and all the other paperworks. (If you’re an employee then site the reason why you are important in your job.)
3) Monthly Income:
Divide your Annual Income into 12 months (based on the ITR). If you have other income that’s not declared and you didn’t pay taxes on it, then that doesn’t count.
I was asked how much do I earn. So I gave him the full amount. I got my Income Tax Return from my folder but the consul told me to just TELL him. Meaning, he does not need to look at the actual document. So make sure that you memorize your annual income. And do not lie. Remember they know. 🙂
4) Travel Abroad –
I was asked if I’ve been abroad. It helps you know for them to know that you went out of the country and came back. I’m glad that in my case, I love to travel. So I told the consul where I’ve been.
5) If Married to an American:
My immigration lawyer explained to me that since I’m married to an American, I have the right to change my status once I get to the US. I told him that it’s not gonna happen because I love my life in Davao. 🙂 Of course, the consul does not know that right? And they will not take your word for it. So what did we do? My lawyer prepared some documents for me to sign.
You will need to discuss this with your immigration lawyer. Because each person has different situation.
It’s sucks to be a Filipino when you’re getting a western visa. But if you want to travel, you will have to adjust to that fact. 😦
I’m glad that I never stopped trying because I am enjoying my vacation in the US as of the moment. 🙂
My immigration lawyer is good because he got me a 1o year visa. 🙂
Upon arrival in the US, you will be interviewed at the immigration counter . In my case, I was asked where I was going. And how long will I be staying. Also, I was asked what my job was. Remember, all of those things are already in the application form. So do not forget the details, the dates and the complete address of where will you be staying.
And please, if your purpose is tourism, then come back after your tour. Do not over extend. Because that’s what’s putting the rest of the Filipinos in a bad light. 😦
The immigration officer at the arrival area gave me a stamp for 6 months. Meaning, I can stay in the US for 6 months if I want to. But no, our schedule is only for the month of October. So we will honor that. 🙂
I am hoping that through this, I am able to help you.
Again, please allow me to thank Atty. Nicolas Caraquel.
If not for his assistance, I would never have found out where I made mistakes in my application form. And then, I would never have gotten a US Visa. 🙂
Lea C. Walker