US embassy in Manila issues new rules for visa application
By Veronica Uy
Last updated 05:09pm (Mla time) 10/05/2006
STARTING November 1 this year, applicants for non-immigrant visas to
the United States would be required to use an electronic visa
application form available for free on the Internet, the US embassy
in Manila said in an advisory.
"The US Embassy will no longer accept handwritten or typed
applications after November 1," it said.
The new rule, the US embassy said, would speed up the interview and
application process, and save time for the applicants. About 1,000
Filipinos apply for US visas every day, one of the highest visa
applications in the world.
"[Applicants] will spend less time in the consular section on the day
of their interview since they won't have to wait for embassy staff to
manually collect information from handwritten or typed applications," it said.
Instead of writing their information by hand, applicants may download
and complete the form via the Internet, http://evisaforms.state.gov.
They will be required to bring a printout of the completed three-page
form with bar code to their interview. "When printed, each [form] has
a unique 2-D bar code that US Embassy staff can electronically scan
in order to input the applicant's information. Use of the [form],
which has been available online for more than three years, allows for
quicker and more accurate data entry," the advisory said.
The embassy said all other processes and requirements for applying
for a non-immigrant visa remain the same.
To make a visa interview appointment, applicants are advised to call
1-909-101-7878 (accessible only within the Philippines through a PLDT
or Smart landline) Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., except on
Philippine and American holidays.
"You can also schedule an interview via the Internet using the
VisaPoint system, a web-based appointment and information system
available at www.us-visaservices.com/philippines," it suggested.
More information about the new system is available at
http://evisaforms.state.gov, the US Embassy Consular Section at (632)
528-6300 or fax (632) 523-1356, while information on the
non-immigrant visa application process can be found on the US
embassy's Web site at http://philippines.u...v/wwwh3024.html.
US embassy / Manila issues new rules for visa application
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