When I was applying for my US J1 visa for my internship in the USA, it was a bit complicated for me because it was my first time to apply. With this post,Ii'll try to give you simple steps on applying for a J1 Visa (for Filipinos). It's of utmost important that you follow these steps because each step is a pre-requisite in order for you to proceed to the next one. Here goes..
STEP 1: go to https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/. Select your location and start applying for your application. This is what you would call the DS160 form. You need this for your interview and you have to apply online. You would also need your SEVIS no. which usually starts with "N00XXXXXXX" it's a 10 digit code found in your DS2019, you would also need your program sponsor no. and your program no. with format that goes something like this "P-4-XXXXX". If you decided to take a break from filling up your form, you can go back to retrieve your application at a later time and continue from where you started, just remember your application no. "AAXXXXXXX" and the answer to your security question.
STEP 2: go to http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-paymentinfo.asp. Click on "Deposit Slip -$160MRV Fee". It will transfer you to a link with your USA VISA FEE DEPOSIT SLIP. Bring this to the bank along with your passport. You should not go to the bank without this.
STEP 3: Follow instructions on your VISA FEE DEPOSIT SLIP. Wait for 4 hours before your payment would be activated.
STEP 4: Once payment has been activated, you can schedule online or through their call center. Call their landline 02-9825555/02-9028930. You can also call them through SKYPE for free. Just add their Skype name ustraveldocs-philippines. You can call from Monday-Friday 8am-8pm. Except on PH and US holidays. When I called the embassy at Monday to schedule an appointment, they gave me an interview schedule 10 days from the day I called which fell on a Thursday the following week.
STEP 5: Go to the US Embassy for your scheduled interview. DO NOT BRING GADGETS or PHONE or food if you don't want to have any trouble at the embassy (some scam artists outside the US embassy in the PH are lurking for your to "store" your gadgets with them). Wear professional attire. Be prepared (run possible answers for the Interview in your head over and over again). Be articulate. Pray for God's grace and favor, if I didn't pray for His guidance, I'd would have been denied for sure. I just kept saying in my mind that God knows best and that I should not give up because His plans are full of love. With His favor and grace, I know He would touch the heart and the mind of the consul that he/she would find favor in my application and approve my visa! and God answered my prayers and my visa was approved! I just did the best that I can and a little bit more and have my trust and full confidence to place the rest of the impossible things that I have no control of in the hands of the Lord. Why should I fear about my future or about the consul or any man when God made the heavens and placed the stars in the sky, I did not lose hope because I know How big my God is and that there is nothing too BIG for Him! My friends who had their visa interview before also advised for me to die my hair black or just leave it at its natural color after that I arrived at the embassy at around 8 and I was finished by 11:15 am and I finished really early for my 2:50pm flight back to my hometown. Failing was definitely not an option for me, I probably would not be able to face my mother if my visa got denied. I just don't want to let her down and to put her money to waste where she invested thousands of dollars just to help give me a brighter future. I wanted to make her proud of me.
Some questions that the consul may ask would be:
Some questions that the consul may ask would be:
- Where are you going?
- What's your purpose for travel to the US?
- How much is your rate?
- How much is your overtime rate? (usually it's higher than your normal rate)
- Tell me about your training plan? (read your training plan thoroughly ,where you'll be assigned, describe the difference of each department where you'll be trained, describe your duties and tasks)
- What are your rights? (read this pamphlet!!)
- Who will pay for your program?
- What does your parents do?
- What are doing now in school?
- If you've been to the US before using a J1 visa, you need to describe the difference between your upcoming training and your previous training in the US. (Some were denied because they weren't articulate enough with their information and answers which, the consul probably saw them as potential TNT or illegal immigrants in the US)
also Bring these documents with you.
In a short plastic Envelope:
- A Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application DS160 Form.
- A valid passport for travel to the USA with a validity of 6 months from intended stay in the US (unless country -specific agreements provide exemption). As long as your passport is valid for the whole duration in the USA then that would be fine.
- One (1) 2x2 (5cmx5cm) photograph. I suggest you use a photo that shows no teeth so you won't have any trouble on your application. You can go to this site for the specifications.
- DS 7002 (Training Plan)
- Receipt of your payment of the $160 MRV.
- An approved DS2019 (original) from your US Program Sponsor.
- Form I-901 SEVIS fee receipt. Visit this site for more details.
- your interview appointment letter. You'll receive this after scheduling for your interview.
Supporting Documents in a long brown envelope:
- Bring documents that will demonstrate strong financial, social and family ties to your home country that will compel you to return to your country after your program ends. ex. (Passbooks, Bank statements, ITR, business permits, land titles, pictures of your properties and your family -the more the merrier)
- If you are financially dependent, bring an affidavit of financial support, copies of your parents business permit. Copies of your documents will not be surely accepted without showing the original copies.
- Academic documents: original TOR, School certification, Diplomas and such.
Once approved by the US Consulate, you will receive your passport after a week.
I rreceived mine 5 days after, Tuesday the following week.
Don't give up on your dreams. Dream Big. Chase it. Live life to the fullest. No regrets.
"When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are,
Anything your heart desires will come to you.
If your heart is in your dreams,
No request is too extreme,
When you wish upon a star as dreamers do."
I understand that this is a lot of information and steps for you, however, following each step will help ensure your arrival and start in America will be a great one. Your specific agency or program sponsor will help you have a wonderful training in the US but it is still in your hands in order for you to be successful at it. Good Luck!