US Embassy’s Visa Okay Rate for Pinoys: 70-30

MANILA – The US embassy in the Philippines gets 700 to 1,000 applications for nonimmigrant visa every day and about 70 percent are approved. “It’s a 70 percent approval rate, which is pretty good,” according to Consul General Michael R. Schimmel.

But with the order of President Obama to liberalize the grant of visas for those wanting to visit the US, the percentage of visa grants is expected to dramatically rise. Under the Obama tourists’ plan, those who have already had US visas in the past don’t have to be re-interviewed if they reapply to visit the US.

“We very much want to see Filipinos visit the US. It’s in everybody’s interest for Filipinos to travel to the US,” Schimmel, who assumed his post in October, tells the Inquirer. He says international travel is the best way to promote a solid bilateral relationship.

The US embassy in the Philippines gets 700 to 1,000 applications for nonimmigrant visa every day. About a third are disapproved for various reasons.

Previously, out of every 10 tourist or business visa applications filed with the United States embassy in Manila, about seven get approved.

“It’s a 70 percent approval rate, which is pretty good,” according to Consul General Michael R. Schimmel who was interviewed by the Daily Inquirer last year.

The Philippines is not among 36 countries covered by the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Nationals of countries covered by VWP can travel to the US for tourism or business purposes without a visa and stay for not more than  90 days.

Only four Asian countries are in the VWP: Brunei Darussalam, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

To be admitted to the program, a country “must meet various security and other requirements, such as enhanced law enforcement and security-related data sharing with the US.” For a country to qualify, the rate of visa application refusal must be less than two percent. The Philippines’ is around 30 percent.

6 Replies to “US Embassy’s Visa Okay Rate for Pinoys: 70-30”

  1. Rightfully so, the Philippines have been the staunchest ally of the USA and therefore should also develop a very solid bilateral relationship. Over the years, more and more Filipinos have travelled freely to Asia, the Middle East, Australia and even Europe, whether for pleasure, business, employment, etc.. Much, much more than those travelling to the USA. That’s why the “GROWTH RATE” in bilateral relationship between the Philippines and the other countries have outpaced that of the USA. The growth rate is directly proportional to the growth rate of the Filipinos travelling freely to those countries. Everything has gone “GLOBAL” in terms of economy, business, communication, travel, politics, technology, industry etc.. Closed countries like China have opened to the world because they realized that they have to, in order for them to remain competetive.

  2. I’m sorry but I don’t believe what Consul General Schimmel said that “We very much want to see Filipinos visit the US. It’s in everybody’s interest for Filipinos to travel to the US” . I applied for an emergency US Visa when my Dad died a couple of weeks ago and got denied. The Consul handed me a blue paper which states that “You did not establish that you intended to stay temporarily in the United States”. How can he assume that when he only asked me the following questions: Why are you going to the US?- to see my dad for the last time; Are you married? -Yes; What do you do?- I’m a Marketing Manager; How long have your parents been in the US?- 11 years; How were they petitioned?- thru my uncle; Does your husband have a US Visa? – None. And then he handed me that blue paper telling me that I’m not qualified to get a US Visa and that I should check this website DHS.gov and check if I’m eligible for Humanitarian Parole! I was so grief-stricken and dumbfounded and was asking Why? But the rude Consul cut me off, raised his voice and said “I already told you, check the website!” He did not even ask how much I was being paid or if I had kids (to prove that I had very valid reasons to come back home!) I witnessed how he denied all applicants before me. Families and individuals wanting to visit friends, relatives, attend weddings, etc.. and they all got denied. Of course, I immediately went to the website he asked me to check and found out that application process for that humanitarian parole thing will take 120 days! I have never felt so helpless and discriminated in my entire life. Until now, I’m so hurt and angry with what happened. That Consul was very cruel and denied me the right to pay my last respects to my father and be with my grieving mom. If I was denied with a valid reason to visit, what more if I just wanted my kids to go see Disneyland?

  3. I’m sorry but I don’t believe what Consul General Schimmel said that “We very much want to see Filipinos visit the US. It’s in everybody’s interest for Filipinos to travel to the US” . I applied for an emergency US Visa when my Dad died a couple of weeks ago and got denied. The Consul handed me a blue paper which states that “You did not establish that you intended to stay temporarily in the United States”. How can he assume that when he only asked me the following questions: Why are you going to the US?- to see my dad for the last time; Are you married? -Yes; What do you do?- I’m a Marketing Manager; How long have your parents been in the US?- 11 years; How were they petitioned?- thru my uncle; Does your husband have a US Visa? – None. And then he handed me that blue paper telling me that I’m not qualified to get a US Visa and that I should check this website DHS.gov and check if I’m eligible for Humanitarian Parole! I was so grief-stricken and dumbfounded and was asking Why? But the rude Consul cut me off, raised his voice and said “I already told you, check the website!” He did not even ask how much I was being paid or if I had kids (to prove that I had very valid reasons to come back home!) I witnessed how he denied all applicants before me. Families and individuals wanting to visit friends, relatives, attend weddings, etc.. and they all got denied. Of course, I immediately went to the website he asked me to check and found out that application process for that humanitarian parole thing will take 120 days! I have never felt so helpless and discriminated in my entire life. Until now, I’m so hurt and angry with what happened. That Consul was very cruel and denied me the right to pay my last respects to my father and be with my grieving mom. If I was denied with a valid reason to visit, what more if I just wanted my kids to go see Disneyland?…

  4. 70% approved rate? Oh come on now. Can’t be thats much to high. Turn that number upside down is more truthful. 70% denied, now that I believe.

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