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My wife and I went to Manila this week to get her enrolled in DEERS (the ex-military guys here will know what that is) and for her US Tourist Visa interview. She was denied a visa after being asked only four questions.

 

The female consul officer asked her who she would be traveling with, to which she answered, "my husband." She was then asked if I am here in the Philippines or in the US, to which my wife answered, Yes, he is outside waiting for me." Then my wife volunteered, "My husband has a 13A visa"...to which the officer asked, "What's that?" My wife explained that the 13A is a permanent resident visa here in the Philippines, but the officer still seemed confused, as if she thought my wife was talking about some US visa. Then she asked my wife if she has a job, to which my wife answered, "No." The officer picked up a blue form and checked the line that said, "You did not establish that your social, family, and economic ties outside the United States are sufficient to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent."

 

My wife was stunned. With her, she had documentation that shows we own a home in Mandaue City and property in Talisay and Danao, as well as a copy of my 13A visa and an affidavit of support. But the woman acted as if the interview was over and that my wife should leave, so she did. I was waiting outside the embassy because they won't allow American husbands inside the Embassy when their wife is having a visa interview (which is stupid IMHO). It seems the husband would be a resource if the consul officer needed anything clarified.

 

When my wife came out, she was crushed and handed me the blue sheet to read. Then she explained what happened. I went up to the door and asked if I could talk to one of the consul officers so I could figure out what had happened, but they wouldn't let me enter or send anyone out (my wife was the last applicant in the office, so they weren't busy). They gave me a sheet with a phone number (toll call) for their call center.

 

When I called, the person at the other end couldn't answer any questions, and told me that the Embassy's policy is that consul officers do not talk with American spouses. Instead, she gave me a US Embassy - Manila email address for questions and complaints. So...I sent an email, explaining pretty much what I have here. I got a computer response that basically said, "Don't call us...we'll call you." Actually, it said they get thousands of emails everyday and don't have time to answer most, and then it referred me to a bunch of worthless websites. It also said that the embassy cannot discuss a wife's visa application with her husband, as that would be an invasion of privacy (uh huh...I'm buying that).

 

So, I'm wondering what we could have done differently to change the outcome. There is no minimum time for reapplying for a visa, and we are planning to do so; but it says that unless the facts have changed, the result will be the same. As far as I'm concerned, the consul officer never even looked for the facts. If anybody has any advice (that comes from actual experience), I would appreciate hearing it. We already know that next time my wife needs to volunteer all of the supporting documents and not ask for them to be requested. What else can we do to get her approved for travel to the US? We have absolutely NO intention of living in the US, so it seems it would be pretty stupid (and dishonest) to apply for an immigrant (spousal) visa, but it seems that is what the US Embassy is pushing for.

 

PS... My mother (86-years-old) has degenerative arthritis (which is rapidly eating her spine and pretty much every other bone in her body) and congestive heart failure. She has expressed a desire to meet my wife before she (my mom) dies. That probably won't be too far in the future, so I can't take too many delays on this process. Unfortunately, once a visa applicant has been denied, they are ineligible for an emergency visa, so if my mom takes a turn for the worst before we get this resolved, my wife won't be meeting my mother (another great US Embassy policy).

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Sam that is an absolutely incorrect statement. By law, a spousal visa can not be denied except in cases of fraud, criminal record, or certain communicable diseases.

Roger,   With all due respect, I do know so well how is the procedure when it comes to adjustment of status (when applicant is in the US) and for obtaining an immigrant (when applicant is at abroad)

Headshot,   Emotions and sympathy don't play any role in applying US laws. Though I sincerely sorry for the condition of your mother (which I've openly stated a few times on this thread), yet still

My experience dealing with an US Embassy is from a different 3rd world country, but I doubt it is much different in Phils.

 

There is a screener that dealt with your wife prior to the consul.

This person is the one that needs to be "convinced" of the ties to the country are strong enough to guarantee the return.

 

What happened during this pre-screening process?

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How about a letter from you, detailing he situation fully. So that they can read it and decide what to do.

 

I can sympathise with your situation, I was in the US Embassy in Paris a few days ago with 34 of my crew members (Indonesia, Malaysian, Singaporean, Napalese) for us all to get B1/B2 to visas including me. They were'nt really interested in the evidence, and seemed in a rush, I very quickly ended up in an argument and went to see the supervisor, and eventually got my own way (they wanted to issue us 2 year visas, and I wanted 10 year).

The problem is now that the passports have been sent back one guy has been given the wrong visa. I've called and faxed every single number on the website, and have not been able to get in touch with anyone who will actually tell me how to rectify the problem, absolute nightmare! Next step is using diplomatic channels, which gets complex.

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Headshot;

 

Is it possible that you and your wife can go back together and you both see the screener together? From your post the screener is not up to date on the very basics of her own office. For her to be in the dark about the 13A visa is not surprising to me because I had the same problem with BOI employees in Manila who did not know what the 13A was either.

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LasVEgasRon

Fly her to Mexico let her jump the fence with the 1000's that do every day. Your story is what is wrong with the system. We can support people that are illegal in the US and nobody does anything and you want to do things right and get screwed. You need to have someone with "juice" work on her problem like a Congressman. That would get her in with no questions. Good Luck

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I was just there for the same thing last month. I was fully prepared for everything they would have asked for. After some back and forth issues concerning my children's citizenship my wife was granted a tourist visa.

 

I fortunately was able to go in the US Embassy with my wife, and actually hear all the questions the interviewer's were asking all the applicants because my daughter was running around like crazy. So I was able to prep my wife before she actually got interviewed for the real questions they would be asking that day.

 

It's best to show that your wife has a job, or owns a business. I'm pretty sure that's the main reason. Even though she probably doesn't have to work, she needs to show that she has income here. Typically the next question if someone says they have a job, is how much savings do you have, how do you intend to support yourself while you're there, etc... so by saying she doesn't have a job. basically killed the next line of questions. For a tourist visa, they want the person whose applying to be able to support themselves there without relying on someone else.

 

Affidavits of support are not valid for tourist visas.

 

Our attorney also mentioned that you should never volunteer any information. Fully answer their questions, but don't give them any thing extra.

 

But with that being said, that process is purely in the hands of the interviewer, it doesn't matter what information you provide. It's really up to the consulate.

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"Give me your tired, your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, wretched refuse of your teeming shore. these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, lift my lamp .... awww screw it, you guys all just go home, OK?"

 

The attitude America has toward people wishing to make a home here is the source of a lot of core issues.

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tom_shor

Fly her to Mexico let her jump the fence with the 1000's that do every day. Your story is what is wrong with the system. We can support people that are illegal in the US and nobody does anything and you want to do things right and get screwed. You need to have someone with "juice" work on her problem like a Congressman. That would get her in with no questions. Good Luck

 

 

Odds are she won't be able to get a Mexican visa either. They are even stricter than the US.Not so easy to just walk across either unless you fancy a 80 mile hike through the desert.

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tom_shor

"Give me your tired, your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, wretched refuse of your teeming shore. these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, lift my lamp .... awww screw it, you guys all just go home, OK?"

 

The attitude America has toward people wishing to make a home here is the source of a lot of core issues.

 

It depends a lot on where you are from too.

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Headshot

Headshot;

Is it possible that you and your wife can go back together and you both see the screener together? From your post the screener is not up to date on the very basics of her own office. For her to be in the dark about the 13A visa is not surprising to me because I had the same problem with BOI employees in Manila who did not know what the 13A was either.

It would have been great if they would have allowed me to go into the embassy building, but they wouldn't. I had to sit outside on a hot Manila afternoon.

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Headshot

My experience dealing with an US Embassy is from a different 3rd world country, but I doubt it is much different in Phils.

 

There is a screener that dealt with your wife prior to the consul.

This person is the one that needs to be "convinced" of the ties to the country are strong enough to guarantee the return.

 

What happened during this pre-screening process?

That is an interesting bit of information. My wife mentioned the smiling pre-screener and how friendly she had been. I will ask my wife exactly what questions the pre-screener asked her. However, knowing how important this person could be to the process changes how she will be dealt with this next time as well. My wife had plenty of documentation (property titles and financial statements) with her to show that she has good economic ties to Cebu, but neither the pre-screener nor the consul officer asked for it. Next time, my wife will volunteer this documentation to whomever she can during the entire process.

 

PS... My wife says that the pre-screener only asked for her father's name and took her fingerprints. No other questions were asked and was no opportunity to volunteer anything.

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Headshot

How about a letter from you, detailing he situation fully. So that they can read it and decide what to do.

That would be great if they actually read their mail. When you email them, you get an automatic response which basically tells you they have very little time to read mail, so it is unlikely you will get a response. Experience with their phone system tells you that they don't answer phones or return calls.

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AngelofBroden

What is the difference between a tourist visa and a visitor's visa?

 

My mother was granted a multiple-entry visitor's visa, and one of the papers we had to submit was a letter inviting her or requesting her to come visit us. Maybe if you apply for a visitor's visa instead, your mom could write a letter requesting you and your wife to visit her in view of her old age and health problems?? Granted my mother was in her late 60's at that time, and your wife is young (which I believe is one of the main reasons she got denied), your mother's letter might hold water and get her approved.

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Headshot

I was just there for the same thing last month. I was fully prepared for everything they would have asked for. After some back and forth issues concerning my children's citizenship my wife was granted a tourist visa.

 

I fortunately was able to go in the US Embassy with my wife, and actually hear all the questions the interviewer's were asking all the applicants because my daughter was running around like crazy. So I was able to prep my wife before she actually got interviewed for the real questions they would be asking that day.

 

It's best to show that your wife has a job, or owns a business. I'm pretty sure that's the main reason. Even though she probably doesn't have to work, she needs to show that she has income here. Typically the next question if someone says they have a job, is how much savings do you have, how do you intend to support yourself while you're there, etc... so by saying she doesn't have a job. basically killed the next line of questions. For a tourist visa, they want the person whose applying to be able to support themselves there without relying on someone else.

 

Affidavits of support are not valid for tourist visas.

 

Our attorney also mentioned that you should never volunteer any information. Fully answer their questions, but don't give them any thing extra.

 

But with that being said, that process is purely in the hands of the interviewer, it doesn't matter what information you provide. It's really up to the consulate.

I wish I could have accompanied my wife into the US Embassy. It seems that it would be relevant to them that the husband cares enough to be there...but I wasn't allowed in. Maybe I need to rent an overactive child next time, so they will let me in. Naw...they would want paperwork for the child too.

 

It isn't really possible to show that my wife has a job or business...because she doesn't. She was a teacher in the public school system, and was totally stressed out. I asked her to resign so I wouldn't have to compete with the school district for her time. Whether or not that was a mistake in this situation, I wouldn't go back and change it. Lots of Filipinas married to foreigners do not work outside the home. There have to be other ways to show economic links to the Philippines. BTW, a wealthy Filipino businessman was right in front of my wife in the interview process. He has several businesses in the Philippines, and he was also denied a US tourist visa.

 

It's funny you would say that an affidavit of support isn't valid for a tourist visa when that is one of the documents specifically requested on the US embassy's tourist visa required document list.

 

Your attorney is WRONG. I thought that as well, but it turned out to be very poor advice. That tact works well in a court of law, where you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, at the US Embassy, you are presumed guilty (of wanting to immigrate to the US) until proven innocent. Under those circumstances, it is your responsibility to offer as much information in support of your cause as possible. I know now that if you wait for them to ask the right questions, you are just asking to have your visa application denied.

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Headshot

What is the difference between a tourist visa and a visitor's visa?

 

My mother was granted a multiple-entry visitor's visa, and one of the papers we had to submit was a letter inviting her or requesting her to come visit us. Maybe if you apply for a visitor's visa instead, your mom could write a letter requesting you and your wife to visit her in view of her old age and health problems?? Granted my mother was in her late 60's at that time, and your wife is young (which I believe is one of the main reasons she got denied), your mother's letter might hold water and get her approved.

Thanks, Angel. "Tourist" visas and "visitor's" visas are just two names for the same thing. I will ask my mother to write a letter requesting that my wife come and visit her. That is a good idea. I just hadn't anticipated this reaction from my government, so I hadn't thought it necessary before. My wife is 25, which isn't that young in a country where people seldom live past their 50's or 60's and the average age is 22. You may be right about the reason for denial though. Who knows what goes through an American woman's mind when she is looking at a beautiful Filipina.

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