How to Apply for a Spousal Visa to the United States from the Philippines

In filing for an immigrant spousal visa to the United States, the first step is to submit a Petition for Alien Relative to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is typically done through mail, but can also be done in person at the USCIS field office in Manila if the Petitioner qualifies as a Philippine resident. Once the application is approved by the USCIS, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing, if the application was originally submitted by mail. If the application was filed at the Manila USCIS field office, it bypasses the NVC. After that, the application is sent to the Immigrant Visa Section of the U.S. Embassy in Manila. The IV Consular Section then forwards details regarding the medical exam and interview schedule to the applicant.

The foreign applicant must complete the medical examination prior to the interview date with a consular officer. Then, the applicant attends an in-person interview at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. If the visa is approved, the Consulate holds the applicant’s passport and returns it within 2-4 weeks with the visa inside. A sealed packet is also given to the successful applicant, which should only be opened by an immigration official upon entry to the United States.