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How I Got A Multiple-Entry US Visa in Just 2 Days

I always get jitters whenever I need to apply for a visa. It feels like someone is scrutinizing you and trying to find any fault just so they have a reason to deny you.

For a Filipino passport holder like me, I need to apply for a visa for most of the countries on my travel list, and one of them is the US. I figured that it would be better to apply for my visa this early, while I am still in Singapore, since I have already established my career here. That way, the consul has less reason to deny me, haha! The US Visa Application process is similar in Singapore and in Manila, so no need to worry about that.

Photo by Jerome / CC


Here are the steps that I did for my application:

STEP 1: Pay the Visa Application Fee

You need to do this before you can schedule an appointment. I opted to pay via the SAM machine here in Singapore.

  • Print a copy the deposit slip. Since I am applying for a tourist visa (B2), I printed a copy of the deposit slip for USD160. You may check this link for the deposit slip -> http://www.ustraveldocs.com/sg/sg-niv-paymentinfo.asp
  • Go to a SAM Kiosk
  • Select Pay Bills - Others
  • Select CGI (If you are unable to find this, there is an option that says “MRV US Visa”)
  • Enter Amount (Note: if you do not enter the correct amount, your application will not be activated)
  • Proceed with your payment.
  • When asked, I also opted to have an email copy of the receipt sent to my personal email.
  • A receipt will be issued upon completion of the payment transaction.
Keep your receipt, as the consul might look for it during the interview.

STEP 2: Complete the Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

Once you submit your DS-160, you will no longer will allowed to modify it, so be careful and be very sure that you are ready to submit it.

STEP 3: Schedule your appointment

Create an account and schedule your appointment.



STEP 4: Go to the embassy on your scheduled date and time of interview.

I booked an appointment for 7:45am last October 25, so that I could be out of the office for just a couple of hours.

I arrived at the US embassy at around 6:30am, and there was already a queue in the waiting area. There is a lady that will check your passport, appointment letter, and photo. She will also ask what immigration status you are holding in Singapore, and she will note that on your appointment slip.

Then they will let you go through the X-ray machine at the guard house. They will ask you to switch off your mobile phone, and leave all your electronics, power bank, cord, earphones and tokens at the guard house. They will then give you a number, and you can use this to reclaim your belongings after your appointment.

You and your handbag will need to go through the X-ray machine before you can enter the embassy. After that, you will have to walk towards the visa processing section, wherein you need to go through another X-ray machine, and your handbag will be manually inspected by the guard. Be sure to leave all your electronics on the guard house before you enter the embassy; otherwise you will be asked to go back to the guard house.

Once you are inside the visa processing section, another lady will get your passport and put a identifying sticker on it. You will be directed to window 2.

At Window 2, the clerk will check your passport and photo, and will give you a queue number. Next is Window 3 where biometrics will be collected. Then you will queue up at Windows 4 or 5 for the interview. It may be frightening as you can hear the consul interviewing others, but just stay calm and answer as truthfully as possible.

Here's what the consul asked me, as far as I can remember:

Consul: What will you do in the US?
Me: Vacation with my husband.
Consul: Does he have a visa? 
Me: Yes
Consul: Where is he and what is his work?
Me: *answers*
Consul: What is your work?
Me: *answers*
Consul: Do you have relatives in the states? Where?
Me: Yes. *answer the state* but we will not go there.
Consul: Where are you going then and whose relative? 
Me: *answer*
Consul: How long have you been staying in Singapore? 
Me: 5 years
Consul: What is your work? (again)
Me: *answer*
Consul: How long have you been staying in your work?
Me: 5 years
Consul: Let me see your bank statement and employment pass.
Me: *hands over my bank statement and employment pass*
Consul: Your visa is approved and you may collect it on Monday.
Me: Thank you :)

Surprisingly, the next day, my passport with my visa arrived at the office.

Hello 2018

I know that my greeting is quite late as January is already ending but I still want to welcome 2018 before I start my other blog posts. Hihihi.

I must say that 2017 was probably my favorite year so far - got married, ticked a few countries off my bucket list, and was generally a good year for me.

Hoping and praying for a more fruitful 2018!


SINGAPORE DIARY: SCREAM-FEST AT WILD WILD WET

A few months ago, my friend Chona invited me and Albert for a free bonding day at Wild Wild Wet in Pasir Ris. I have never been there, but some friends told me that it’s like Adventure Cove in Sentosa.

We arrived at around ten in the morning; just in time, as there were not much people and no queues for most of the slides.

The first slide that we rode was the Royal Flush. We figured that since we have already rode the Vuvuzela in Sunway Lagoon, this ride will be easy-peasy. Boy was I wrong! I got scared because my position in the raft was one that went to the highest point of the slide. Nevertheless, my friends still managed to trick me into riding it again.

After that, we tried another raft ride which is the Ular-lah. This one, we enjoyed very much, as it is a relaxing ride and we were able to ride it multiple times.

The rest of the day was spent lounging in the pool.

I would love to be back here with my husband so that he can try the scary slide too, haha!


TRAVEL DIARY: TOKYO EATS


Japanese cuisine is very famous all around the world, and a trip to Tokyo would not be complete without trying out some of their famous delicacies. Just reminiscing on all the food that we feasted on makes me salivate and makes me want to go back soon (even just for food).

CREPES

We tried Marion Crepes and Angels Heart in Takeshita Street. Both shops offer delicious crepes.





JAPANESE CURRY AT COCO ICHIBANYA

I have tried Coco Ichibanya in Singapore, but I don’t think there is much difference from the one being served in Tokyo. Both are delicious. 





KATSUDON AND TONKATSU AT KATSU-YA

We love fried food so we just had to try Tokyo's authentic Tontaksu.





OKONOMIYAKI

It was also my husband who first introduce me the okonomiyaki or the Japanese-style pancake during our early dates in Manila. So we wanted to try out the authentic okonomiyaki while we were in Japan. 

We ate at Tsuruhashi Fugetsu while we were in Odaiba and ordered Osaka-style konomiyaki, modanyaki (okonomiyaki but made with noodles), and some sausages.

The servings were huge, and we were able to take home some of the left overs.








OMURICE

We chanced upon Pomme’s Omurice (omelette and rice) while we were searching for a place to eat breakfast. JM and I shared an order of omurice and got some kara-age on the side.






PABLO CHEESE TARTS

We saw Pablo mini while walking around Akihabara so we decided to try it. I like the original flavor more than the matcha.





RAMEN

On our first night, we were too tired to go around. We found a small ramen place near our hotel in Kamata called Ramen Douraku, and had our first ramen bowls for this trip. It was a nice warm welcome on a very cold night in Tokyo.




We were also able to try one of Japan’s famous ramen chains, Ichiran. It was so nice, we had to have it twice. I wanted to eat there everyday but JM wanted to try other shops as well.



Our last bowl of Ramen was at Tsukemenya Busou in Yokohama.





SUSHI AND SASHIMI AT TSUKIJI FISH MARKET

Tsukiji’s Fish Market is famous for having the freshest sushi and sashimi in Japan. They even have an early morning auction for the freshest catch of the day. There is a famous sushi shop in Tsukiji which is famous for its long lines. 

However, JM and I didn’t want to wake up at four in the morning to queue for a few hours for sushi, so we settled for another place. We walked around Tsukiji market and picked one of the sushi stalls.





TAKOYAKI

We had Takoyaki for snacks while waiting for the rain to stop so that we can have our photos taken with Mr Gundam. 





YAKITORI AT NANBANTEI

I did not know that Nanbantei was really from Japan until we were walking along Shibuya and came across a signage of Nanbantei Japanese Restaurant. Of course, we had to go in and see the difference.





YOSHINOYA

We were able to eat twice in Yoshinoya while at Takeshita Street. The food was good and it was cheap too!



Do you also love Japanese food? Let me know what is your favorite. 

HOW TO APPLY FOR A JAPAN VISA FROM MANILA

After sharing my experience on how I obtained my Japan Visa from Singapore, I realized that most of my readers are from Manila, so I am sharing as well how my husband applied for his visa in Manila.


Unlike in Singapore, applying visa from the Japan Embassy in the Philippines must be coursed through a travel agency. My husband picked Voyager Travel and Tours Inc to process his visa application, since they also processed his visa the last time he went there.

Here are the requirements for employees applying for a Japan tourist visa, that my husband prepared and submitted:

  • Original Passport
  • Visa Application Form (http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/files/000163096.pdf)
  • Two pieces. 2”x 2” picture with white background
  • Birth Certificate - Original NSO copy (latest)
  • Marriage Contract - Original NSO copy (if applicable)
  • Daily schedule in Japan (this was provided by the travel agency)
  • Original Bank Certificate
  • Photocopy of Income Tax Return (BIR Form 2316)
  • Original Employment Certificate
  • Payment of PhP1800 for visa processing to the travel agency

It took only five days for my husband’s visa to be processed, and the embassy was kind enough to grant him one good for multiple entry within five years.