Journey to United States: The Interview

Metro Manila, Philippines
I have heard and read countless of stories on how nerve-racking visa interviews are. I, being my weird self had sleepless nights thinking of all the possibilities that might happen - good or bad. If not mistaken right after my medical I had a month to prepare for the whole visa interview process from collating documents and reading blogs regarding visa interviews.

My interview happened last September 14, 2015 - 06:15AM but I arrived around 05:00 AM because it was told in the letter that I have to come atleast an hour early. I actually expected less applicants knowing how early I came but I was in for a surprise because there were about 250+ visa applicants ranging from tourist, seafarers and immigrants. Despite the surprise I didn't really suffer that much because they had lines organized according to the scheduled interview time. The weather was cool enough though breeze from Manila bay was quite smelly.

At around 06:00AM the queue started moving so I had my appointment letter and passport ready as it is  needed before you can enter the vicinity. Afterwards they told me to proceed to the main entrance wherein my bag would be checked. They have strict rules on electronic devices, humongous bags and water bottles so I suggest you to leave your cellphones at home, have a plastic envelope for all the files you need and a small bag for other things. Right after the inspection I was again welcomed by another long queue wherein my appointment letter and 1X1 photo was asked for them to probably place in their database. Then the lady told me to proceed to the main hall and ask for an official queue ticket wherein I got queue no. 6070. Afterwards we were asked to proceed to the waiting area until our tickets are announced or flashed on the TV screen.

Tricia's thoughts: My nervousness wore off a bit since the officers guiding my group were friendly and kind enough to share tips. I also got to chit-chat with my fellow applicants - a lady in her 50's petitioned by her mother and two young lady - one from Ilocos Province while the other was from Quezon City, they were both petitioned by their spouses.


A step that should only take around 2-3 minutes but took me more because my right hand was too sweaty. The officer even offered me a tissue to wipe my hands *face-palm*.


Somehow I felt intimidated because the male Filipino officer that pre-screened me had this straight face the whole time (I greeted and flashed him a smile but was ignored..huhu!) and to add he was quite finicky. During this process he asked for the required documents and ask me numerous question (mostly in Filipino/Tagalog) about myself and my whole family.

Required Documents:
  • Valid Passport
  • DS-260 Confirmation Form
  • Interview Letter from the National Visa Center
  • Two 2"x 2" Photos (U.S. visa photo requirement)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Federal Income Tax (Updated)
  • NBI Clearance
  • Sealed medical result from St. Luke's
Some Questions 
  • What is the job of your mother?
  • Who do you live with?
  • When was the last time you paid a visit? 
  • What did you do during your last visit?
  • Which state do you plan on residing?
  • What are your plans once you set foot?
Tricia's Note: Just be yourself and always remember to be HONEST, COURTEOUS and CONFIDENT.

Then I was handed a yellow slip - statement of marriageable applicant so basically if ever I get married  in months time I will my lose my status as an immigrant applicant.


All you have to do is have your fingerprint scanned for verification purposes and read the oath out loud. The officer in-charge was quite contrast of the one in step 2, his bubbly personality did help me and probably the other applicants to not be stressed out with the whole process going on.


The last step and probably the most nerve-racking of all (as what most shared)! Well I reminded myself to remain calm even if there's this weird roller-coaster feeling in my stomach while waiting for my turn. 

  1. Married man in his late 20's - He was asked several questions such as 'When's your anniversary', 'What is the maiden name of your wife?', etc. Obviously he answered 'em all with full knowledge but there's one question that rattled him - the exact date his wife flew to the US. He wasn't able to answer but reasoned out that it was long time ago but apparently the consul told that he should know because that is his wife. I don't know what happened afterwards because he was still in the midst of the interview when I got my turn.
  2. Large family - I wasn't really able to hear the whole interview but I believe they were asked to go back for another interview because they lack supporting documents. 
  3. A man who was overdressed for the occasion - Out of all the people in our queue he was the only one who asked for an interpreter. If not mistaken he was asked questions - 'What is the occupation of your mother?', 'Where does your mother live?', 'What course did you study in college', etc.  ---  then after few minutes he was congratulated by the consul. 

As I walked up to newly-opened Window #05, I told myself to remain calm and that I would ace this interview. I was welcomed with by a female consul probably in her early 40's, she had this warm smile that made me feel comfortable and relieved.

Consul: Magandang Umaga! (Good Morning!)
Me: Magandang Umaga rin po. (Good Morning as well)
Consul: Kamusta? (How are you?)
Me: I'm doing fine.
(Checks my documents)
Consul: So what's the name of your mother?
Me: *Insert the whole name of my mother*
Consul: What do your mother do for a living?
Me: She's a Hotel Staff.
Consul: Where?
Me: The Willard InterContinental Washington
Consul: Oh! That hotel is lavish,  I have always wanted spend some time there but it's expensive.
Me: I see! I've seen the place in pictures and it looks wonderful.
(Wrote notes and placed it along with documents then she handed me a paper)
Consul: Congratulations! Your immigrant visa has been approved and you'll receive it next week. Just follow the steps written in that piece of paper and you wont have any problem.
Me: Thank you so much!

I just had this wide smile flashed as I leave the vicinity, honestly everything felt surreal. As far as I could remember I finished the whole visa process in 09:15AM to be exact. I actually expected to finish everything in five hours since there are a lot of people but the embassy officers tried their best to organize every applicants and it was quite effective so it just took me three hours.

Tricia's Note: Visa are sent through 2GO courier services and I received my visa three days after my interview.

This whole experience made me realize that there's really nothing to be afraid or worried of as long as you are honest in answering every questions asked by the consul. Be straight to the point! Enjoy every moment!

Again, I hope this blog entry would help or enlighten my fellow immigrant visa applicant who are about to have their visa interview. As for my dear blogosphere friends, I hope you enjoy reading this experience of mine.


  1. This is so well written and I love that you had such a good experience. Loving your attitude. :)


    1. Thanks! It took me a couple of days to finish writing this entry because I really want it to be really detailed for future references. A positive attitude goes a long way :)

  2. Congrats Tricia! Good luck on your US journey :)

  3. The interview went smoothly for you! I hope I'll experience the same once I applied for a US visa. Heard some consuls were scary.

    1. I'm really glad that it all went well. I really hope you the best once you decide to apply, just always remember to be honest and lastly don't let your nervousness overcome you. Consuls aren't scary they're actually quite friendly.. obviously they'll turn scary if they sense if you're lying.

  4. Congratulations Tricia! I have read this kind of post from Camie's blog as well. It's nice to read people's experiences about the Visa Interview. hehe.

    xx, Janine | A Blissful Blog

    1. Thanks Janine! Oh I remember reading hers way back prolly months before my interview.

  5. Congrats! Even though I have American citizenship and am an honest citizen, I always get so nervous at airports and probably seem highly suspicious haha... -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

    1. Thanks, Audrey! Hahaha! If you don't mind me asking.. why do you get nervous?

  6. Wow, this is thorough and well-written! thanks for sharing! The last interview sounded like a breeze. Congrats on getting your immigrant visaaaa!

    Ochi | Ochi In The City

    1. Your Welcome Ochi! I really wanted to document it well for future reference and reminiscing purpose. Thanks~ I already have my plane ticket and I all I have to do is just wait.

  7. Amazing overview!
    Have a nice evening!
    Angela Donava

  8. What a great writes! Love this <3 so well-written :)


    1. Thanks Marisa! I hope you continue dropping by my blog.

  9. Amazing post, great tips as well, many people need them for sure, thank you for sharing!!!


    1. Thanks Nora! I really hope through this entry I could help future applicants not only of my country but also others.

  10. I've read so many nerve-wrecking visa interviews from others as well. Haha. I haven't flew outside of the country, and it gets pretty scary but the one thing I really picked up from most interview stories is that you should really remain calm and honest when answering the questions. Haha thanks for this! :)

    Mimi | Chasing Bleu

    1. Likewise! I remember reading several blogs to prepare myself for the interview some had scary experiences but most had positive outcome. Your Welcome, Mimi!

  11. Congrats Tricia! Love this post!
    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  12. Congratulations! :) This is so detailed and very informative, good read.

    Lou |


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