If I buy a plane ticket, will it help me get a tourist visa?
No. It is not advisable to buy a plane ticket before the approval of visa and it will not help you in getting approved either.
If a family or friend sent me an invitation letter, will that help me get a tourist visa?
No. Invitation letter will be of little help in the application of tourist visa. Most of the times, the consul do not even look at them. You need to apply on your own merit.
How long is the process for tourist visa?
It all depends on the availability of an interview appointment. As soon as you get an interview schedule, you will know at the interview if you get approved or not. If you get approved, it only takes about one (1) week for the visa to be ready.
I was approved with a tourist visa. How long can I stay in the United States?
The length of stay is determined by the immigration officer at the US Port of Entry. You can stay up to a maximum of 6 months. You can check the date stamped on your passport as soon as the officer granted your entry to US. If you wish to extend your stay, you will need to apply for an extension. Failure to do so, will result to cancellation of the visa.
I plan to travel back to the Philippines in January and my Philippine passport will expire in March, can I still board the plane?
Yes, you are safe going back to the Philippines with an expiring passport. Just make sure you renew your passport before going back to US because you will not be able to board the plane back to US with a passport that is valid for less than six (6) months.
I did not notice that my Philippine passport is already expired and I need to travel back to the Philippines for emergency reasons. What can I do?
Call the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate and inform them about the situation. They can issue a travel document that will allow you to travel back to the Philippines without a valid passport. A proof of urgency/emergency is required.