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I was extremely surprised to read that seven of 10 Filipinos applying for a US visa obtain approval. I had the impression that most candidates inevitably meet with rejection. However, according to an April 29, 2011  online report on  Inquirer Global Nation, the United States Embassy reported those figures this past Wednesday, refuting the common perception that most candidates inevitably meet with rejection.us embassy

The Philippines has a 70-percent visa approval rate according to Consul General Michael Schimmel. This falls under the “medium” category of countries given visas to the US. Schimmel also stated that getting a US visa isn’t difficult. That is, if the applicant can sufficiently prove that he or she will return to the Philippines by establishing their professional and economic background.  Again, surprising news to this American expat, because the experience my asawa had getting her Spousal Visa in 2000 and her subsequent visits to the United States Embassy in Manila for her visa interview was not very pleasant.

After a wait of nine months and fulfilling all requirements that could be found at immigration and embassy websites, my wife was told she had to go back to her home province in Guimaras to get an official baptismal certificate from her home parish when she was called to the Embassy for her visa interview. Never mind she had all of her NBI and security clearances from other countries in which she had worked overseas.  Never mind she had her official NSO (National Statistic Office) birth certificate and  NSO certified Marriage Contract, the Filipina Embassy official that interviewed her demanded this further documentation and would not approve my wife's exit visa to the United States until she returned to the Embassy with it. After a flight from Manila back to Guimaras, my spouse was able to obtain the baptismal certificate from the local priest and return to Manila where her visa was approved two weeks later.

Mr. Schimmel made the remarks following the opening of the embassy’s new $50-million annex. The new building houses consular services and other offices. It has 99 windows (I'm thinking, why not just spend a couple of extra pesos and make it an even  100 windows?) for passport, visa and other consular service applications as well as comfortable and more spacious indoor and outdoor waiting areas. The new indoor waiting area alone can seat more than 550 applicants at any one time. According to the Inquirer report, next to Mexico, the new office is the second biggest US consular building in the world. The ground floor alone can accommodate 850 people, and the second floor 200 people. To anyone that has ever had occasion to use the U.S. Embassy's facilities,  the new annex will certainly be a welcome addition.


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7 thoughts on “US Embassy Says 70% of Filipinos Who Apply for Visas Get It

  1. Hi Dave, I too have read the difficulties of Filipinos getting a visitor’s visa to the US. Apparently, if you are unemployed in the PI, or have no assets or no family to come back to, you will be denied. It seems the US embassy view every applicant as potential overstayers, known in the Pinoy communities as TNT (tago ng tago – means kept hiding). Australia now demands a $8000 bond from anyone sponsoring a friend or relative to come to Oz as a tourist. If he/she “disappears”, the money is forfeited. I think it is humiliating for us to be viewed as all potential TNTs every time we apply for visas in the west.

    1. Dave

      Totally agree with you on that. It’s really a joke all the illegals from mexico. Especially the ones that break the laws. Alot of them that get arrested in my county in Florida get a hold put on them by ICE and there not able to post bond. But some of them have there families post bond, not knowing they have a ICE hold on them and they can’t get out anyways. So its kind of funny that they wasted there money and they can’t get out anyways. Be Safe

  2. Hi Dave,

    The one time that my wife and I went to the US embassy we arrived before 7am to beat the lines. When we got there we saw that six hundred people had the same idea. I told my wife there is no way that I could be that patient so I approached the guard and said I am an American and this is my embassy so let me in. He said no problem and escorted us in. The one time in my life I was a VIP! haha!

  3. I am not sure about the USA but I read last year that in Canada, Filipinos had the highest labor participation rate here of all the immigrant countries.

  4. It is REALLY hard to believe that figure. There must be some earlier filter, like the 70% is of “qualified” applicants or some trick like that. I know they use Filipino staff to prescreen all applications, so maybe it means that 70% of applications ACTUALLY presented to the consul get approved.

    1. My sister-in-law was denied twice. She is married, successful in business with her husband (they own two specialty stores), two children, own a nice home, have money in the bank, and so on. There was no rhyme or reason she was denied by the young American Embassy interviewer. After the first denial, I had my congressman’s office send a letter and she was subsequently denied again. Who really knows why?

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