October 1, 2013

Our Experience: US Tourist Visa Application Process in Phnom Penh

I've heard not so nice experiences from other Filipinos when it comes to US Tourist Visa application. While those stories did not stop me from applying our visas, they did make me anxious about our application. And to be honest, I did not want to spend $160/person non-refundable visa fee for nothing. That's a lot of buffet dinners already. LOL!

I am not sure if the US Visa application process in Phnom Penh is the same in Manila or any other cities in the world but I found out that the process here wasn't as tedious as I expected/imagined.

US Visa Requirements:
1. Passport with at least two blank consecutive pages and is valid for at least six months from date of travel
2. Application Confirmation Page (online)
3. Appointment Confirmation Letter (online)
4. 1 Natural Color Photo ID with White Background(5cmx5cm)
5. Non-refundable Visa Fee $160/person
6. Supporting Documents

For our supporting documents, I prepared:
1. Birth Certificate
2. Marriage Certificate
3. Hubby's Certificate of Employment
4. Hubby's Payslips (past 6 months)
5. Certificate of Health Insurance for the three of us

The application form can be accessed through the US Embassy in Cambodia website. After submitting the form, you will then have to schedule your visa appointment which is also online.

We submitted our application on a Friday and chose Tuesday (7:30am) the following week for our visa appointment.

We arrived early for our appointment. I think we were there before 7am. Since, we had an early morning appointment we did not have any breakfast yet. I thought we'd be finished in less than an hour. I was wrong. We stayed for more than a couple of hours for several instructions/processes:
1. Get a number.
2. When number is called, submit passport, photo ID, application confirmation page and appointment confirmation letter.
3. Pay the visa fee.
4. Wait for number to be called again for fingerprinting.
5. Wait for number to be called again for interview.

The interview itself was short and fast. We were asked: which city in US are you going to visit? do you know anybody in the US? which countries have you visited before? how long have you been here in cambodia? from which city are you in the Philippines? what's your work?

Then the interviewer asked to see hubby's certificate of employment. After checking the letter, he said "You're set. Your visa is approved and you can pick up your passports after two days."

EJ's US Visa

I am happy because we were given a 10-year multiple entry visa. Yay!

For more information about the visa application, please visit the US Embassy in Cambodia website {http://cambodia.usembassy.gov}.