6 Steps in US Tourist Visa Interview at US Embassy Manila

On September 2018 we flew from Cebu to Manila to get interviewed by the consul at the US Embassy Manila, and all just for a day trip!

The reason in our application is that my sister has been inviting us to come over and visit her. We’re not among those Filipino family that are like head over heels about America though as your Cebu travel blogger I would be excited if you send me anywhere and especially for FREE, plus it’s too expensive to go there so we really haven’t been thinking of really doing it, applying for a US tourist visa at least for the past 10 years my sister have been working there.

Yes, my mom and I applied for a US Tourist visa and I’d like to share with you, especially for those who are really nervous right now and have no idea what they’ll do and encounter at the US Embassy for their US Tourist visa interview. So in this article, as your Philippines travel blog let me share with you the 6 steps we took, from before entering the US Embassy Manila, to finishing the interview.

6 Steps in US Tourist Visa Interview at US Embassy Manila exotic philippines travel blog g dumaguing cebu travel vlogger blog vlog

For those who prefer to watch and listen, good news I did made a video for you but the sad thing about it is that majority is in Tagalog (Filipino language) since I do feel that majority who will be watching the video are Pilipinos. But I’ll be adding the English subtitle as soon as I can. But I hope this video will do for now, and for English speakers I hope this blog post will do.

But if you haven’t watched or read my HOW TO APPLY FOR A US TOURIST VISA, then I highly suggest to go and watch that since the terms and documents I’ll be using below.


There are only 5 documents they want you to bring, but if you could bring the other documents that can help proof that you will not be over staying there and will surely come back home here in the Philippines, working there, and capable of paying the trip. But here are the 5 documents they require you to bring:
  1. Appointment Confirmation
  2. DS-160 Form
  3. Valid Passport of at least 6 months
  4. Payment Receipt
  5. US Visa Photo
But you may and I suggest that you also bring the following
  • Bank Statement
  • Bank Certificate
  • Certificate of Employment
  • Travel Itinerary

It does not hurt to be prepared. One of the people who got interviewed there while I was waiting for my turn was asked for an itinerary, and the other was asked about his water refilling business, and he brought his business permit and DTI with him, ready to show them that he’s telling the truth.


#1 Entrance

You’ll see a pole with a time near the entrance, if the time is the same time that you are scheduled or after the time, you should get in. Example, if you’re appointment is at 10AM, and you arrived at 10:30am or 11am then you should get it, if you arrived at 9am then you should wait for your turn.

When it is your turn to enter there for your appointment, prepare your DS160, appointment confirmation, and your passport. The staff will ask for it – no worries majority of their staff are Filipinos.

The staff might be giving you a colored card. Keep it, it’s their way of knowing about your application.

#2 Security Check

You’ll have to put your things on a machine for them to check and you might be thoroughly checked by the guards there too.

After that, you’ll be officially entering the US embassy through a door, and their staff will be calling out for your color (card color). A certain color might be asked to sit down, the other might be on a separate group of seats, and the other might be asked to enter immediately (I’ve got the feeling they’re the ones that came in late for their appointment).

#3 Security Check

When you are asked to enter, you’ll again go through another security check since you’ll be entering now the US Embassy building.

Just follow the instructions that their staff are saying, follow a lane to be able to start processing your US Visa Application.


#4 Confirmation

If the photo you submitted during your DS160 is not up to date or not qualified to their standards then you’ll be asked for your US visa photo. You’ll also be asked if there are changes you want to make in your DS160, and all.

Staff who will be doing this is a Filipino.

#5 Capture

Next is capturing your fingerprints, some embassy may be also capturing your eyes too for photo. But I am sure with the fingerprints.

Staff who will be doing this is a foreigner.

#6 Interview

Lastly, you’ll be guided by their staff and pointed to which lane that is assigned to a cubicle to go to get interviewed.

You might want to check out my post on “27 Frequently Asked Questions in a US Tourist Visa Interview” to be prepared. Just answer the questions, and give only what is asked, and of course answer truthfully.

Why I think I got DENIED?

Yes, I got denied. And the reason was “no strong ties” which I totally understand. I’m a great potential to be working there without permit which we Filipinos call TNT. But I have no plans or dreams doing so, my mom will kill me first before doing that.

I have a freelance job, I have no kids, got no recent history too on visiting other countries. So my advice is to check yourself for this too. I’ll be doing a post on “3 Top Tips in Applying for Any Country’s Visa” soon, so watch out for it.

Why my Mom got APPROVED with a 10 years visa?

Though I was denied, my 62 years old mom was given 10 years multiple entry tourist visa. She have strong ties which are her grand kids here who are very close to her, and she also have small grand kids in the US. Actually, she doesn’t mind to be denied since she’s not a fan of traveling, not until she came back from her US trip alone.f

There are better chances for seniors to get approved, but some of you guys especially my YouTube subscribers who have their senior parents applied for a US tourist visa, also got denied. Some was just even asked 2 questions, and then denied.

Did any of you guys applied for a US tourist visa recently? Share to us your experience!

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