K-1 Visa Application: Schedule Visa Interview

I am no longer answering questions with regard to K1 Visa or AOS processing. Please read the following to understand why:

The K1 Visa Information Pages of this Blog are Now Zombies
K1 Visa Application Process: No spoon feeding policy
Has it already been a year?

Thank you for dropping by and good luck on your journey to the States!

MY K-1 VISA EXPERIENCE
STEP 7: Schedule Visa Interview
May 27, 2014
30 days from Payment; 106 days from application
Disclaimer: Please read disclaimer on the K-1 Visa Page of this site

SCHEDULE YOUR VISA INTERVIEW

Create an Account
Create an account here.

I applied for a B1/B2 or Tourist Visa last year so I used the same account – which resulted to a minor problem as it stored my old data. For example it still had my old Form D160 registration code for B1 Visa. It was not editable so I could not change it to the new registration code specific to my new Form DS- 160 for K-1.

What I did was I called the US Embassy Call Center and had them change the Registration Code. It was changed instantly. No sweat!

Set your appointment

The Visa Interview Appointment Page Dashboard. Screenshot was taken after my Interview.

Profile
You will be asked to create your profile. Be sure you have your passport with you, your DS-160 Confirmation Page, and your MNL Case Number (Case ID) ready so you can fill out the form easily. Personal details such as contact numbers and email address will be asked of you as well. Once submitted, any revisions on hard-coded data (non-editable) will be done through the call center.

New/Schedule Appointment: Visa Information
You will have to key in the information asked of you.
– Immigrant Visa
– Type of Visa: K (1 or 3)

New/Schedule Appointment: Fee Payment
You will be asked for the receipt number indicated in the MRV Payment Slip. If it has been only four hours or less since payment is made, the receipt number may not yet be in the database. An error message of “Receipt Number Invalid” may appear. To be safe, wait until 12 hours before scheduling an appointment.

New/Schedule Appointment: Family Details
I did not fill this out since I was the only applicant in this instance. If you have unmarried children under 21 years of age who will apply for K-2 Visas with you (a.k.a.. Derivative Applicants), you will be asked for information here as well.

New/Schedule Appointment: Interview Date
When waiting for the interview calendar to open up, I would suggest that you stay on the Dashboard:

Dashboard. Wait until an open slot appears here.

Just refresh the Dashboard page until a “First Available Appointment…” message appears. Do not click “Continue” until you see something flash on the left pane.  You are only allowed about ten times to access the “Schedule…” page and you’d have to wait for at a later time before you can access it again.

However, be very quick as somebody with faster reflexes can snatch it up just as easily too.

New/Schedule Appointment: Document Delivery Information
If you are successful, you will be asked to review your information. You can also forward the appointment confirmation page to your e-mail account.

Print the interview appointment page.

Before you finish, you will be asked to include your preferred address for the delivery of your visa. I chose the nearest 2Go Branch near our place so I could pick the packet up instead of having it delivered to our apartment.

CANCELED INTERVIEWS
I received an e-mail from the US Embassy on May 23 stating that all June 19 interviews would have to be moved to June 2. My problem then was that it was just too soon – neither had my police clearance from Japan arrived yet nor had I taken my medical as well (and my period was due soon). I didn’t want to take a risk so I ended up canceling the June 19 interview and rescheduled. I got one for June 16.

You need to practice caution when canceling an interview schedule. You are only allowed twice to re-schedule an appointment. If you exceeded that number of tries, you will be asked to pay for a second visa fee and may risk being blacklisted.

DIFFICULTY OF FINDING AN OPEN SLOT
According to posts in immigration threads, there is a recent scarcity of interview appointments due to the US Embassy processing expedited cases due to the Typhoon Haiyan tragedy and there’s no clue on when the rush will be over.

It took me two weeks after payment and checking every two hours before I could find a free slot (June 19), but as stated above, that schedule was canceled and I had to wait for a new one.

For the second attempt, I personally experienced having to be glued to the site for three straight days refreshing every 15 minutes from 4 AM to 11 PM (Manila time) hoping to catch an opening, while A took the 11 PM to 4 AM “shift.” We were only successful on the afternoon of the third day of doing this.

This will test your patience to its limits, but it will all be worth it in the end. 🙂

NEXT STEP
Take your medical examination at St. Luke’s Extension Clinic in Ermita, Manila.

MORE INFORMATION
Scheduling an Appointment (US Travel Docs)

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Our K-1 Visa Timeline

I am no longer answering questions with regard to K1 Visa or AOS processing. Please read the following to understand why:

The K1 Visa Information Pages of this Blog are Now Zombies
K1 Visa Application Process: No spoon feeding policy
Has it already been a year?

Thank you for dropping by and good luck on your journey to the States!

Our K-1 Visa Timeline February to June 2014

February
Feb 11: A: Filing of I129F
Feb 13: A: Receipt of NOA1

March
Mar xx: A: Mailed to me his Form I-134
Mar 13: ME: Requested Police Clearance from Japan Embassy

April
Apr 08: ME: Requested for Birth Certificate and Cenomar from NSO (Online)
Apr 10: A: Receipt of NOA2
Apr 14: ME: Acquired Birth Certificate and Cenomar
Apr 25: A: Acquired MNL Case Number
Apr 25: A: Receipt of NVC Letter
Apr 28: ME: Tracked CEAC Status and Paid Visa Fee
Apr 29: ME: Acquired NBI Clearance

May
May 02: ME: Attended the Guidance and Counseling at the CFO
May 10: ME: Accomplished Form DS-160
May 10: ME: Acquired First Interview Date
May 12: ME: Registered for Medical Examination
May 23: ME: Canceled First Interview
May 27: ME: Acquired Second Interview Date
May 29: ME: Acquired Police Clearance from Japan Embassy

June
Jun 02: ME: Receipt of Instruction Letter from US Embassy, Manila
Jun 03: A: Receipt of Instruction Letter from US Embassy, Manila
Jun 04: ME: Medical Examination at St. Luke’s Extension Clinic
Jun 16: ME: Interview at the US Embassy, Manila
Jun 21: ME: Acquired Passport with Visa
Jun 23: ME: Acquired CFO Sticker

Or you can check out our timeline as a timeline via Dipity:

 

Days Ain’t Nothing But a Number
From Application of Petition to Approval (NOA2): 59 days
From Approval to Case Number Acquisition: 16 days
From Case Number Acquisition to Interview: 50 days
From Interview to Visa Acquisition: 6 days
From Application of Petition to Visa Acquisition: 131 days

K-1 Visa Application: Gather Required Documents

I am no longer answering questions with regard to K1 Visa or AOS processing. Please read the following to understand why:

The K1 Visa Information Pages of this Blog are Now Zombies
K1 Visa Application Process: No spoon feeding policy
Has it already been a year?

Thank you for dropping by and good luck on your journey to the States!

MY K-1 VISA EXPERIENCE
STEP 6: Gather Required Documents
Disclaimer: Please read disclaimer on the K-1 Visa Page of this site

Please refer to this article with regard to organizing your timeline.

DOCUMENTS IN THE LIST OF INSTRUCTIONS THAT WERE APPLICABLE TO ME

I’ll be using the list provided by the embassy (February 2014 version) and then I will include my own notes. I will also list them down by order of how I acquired them.

Please use the instructions provided in the Forms and Packets, US Embassy in Manila page and download its link when you prepare your own documents as they might have already updated it by then. The list below does not include all the information in said instructions so please do not use the information I have written here as a substitute for the real thing.

1) PASSPORT
Acquired: January 2013

You must have a passport valid for at least six (6) months… – K1/K2 Interview Preparation Instructions (English) (PDF – 287 KB, February 2014 Version)

I renewed mine in January 2013 and it will expire in 2018 so I didn’t have to bother with this one. However, if you have to get a passport, or if your passport will expire in 12 months or less, I would suggest that you get your passport before visa payment or even earlier (when you receive your NOA2, or even much earlier!). From hereon, you will be asked by various offices and entities for your passport number and it’s always best to show only one and the same for consistency as you will also be identified by this.

2) OTHER COUNTRY POLICE CERTIFICATES (JAPAN)
Requested: March 13, 2014; Acquired: May 29, 2014; Validity: 6 months

Applicants aged 16 years and older must also present police certificates from other countries where they have lived for six (6) months or more after reaching the age of 16… – K1/K2 Interview Preparation Instructions (English) (PDF – 287 KB, February 2014 Version)

This was applicable to me as I was an exchange student in Tokyo for 11 months way back in my undergraduate years. I took a huge risk here because we only had the NOA1 when I went to the Japan Embassy in Manila. Usually, they would ask for a request letter from the US Embassy and the US Embassy usually does not provide for one unless the case has already been forwarded to them by the NVC. So my plan was to go there with just a copy of our NOA1 and try my luck… and I got really lucky!

At the Japan Embassy
I went to the Japan Embassy on a weekday and was in by 8:30 AM (they are open from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 13:30 PM to 17:15 PM). I brought my passport with me and three 2×2 ID pictures. The consul gave me a fingerprinting form to bring with me to the PNP Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame where I will get my fingerprinting done.

At Camp Crame
I proceeded to the PNP Crime Lab (back building, second floor) and told the staff that I wished to have my fingerprints taken for my Japan Police clearance. They gave me a payment slip which I brought to the Landbank branch inside Camp Crame (walking distance from the Crime Lab and near the mini stadium/field) to pay the fee of 250 pesos. I went back to the Crime Lab where I filled out forms and had my fingerprints taken. They will ask for a 2×2 ID picture so that’s why I had them with me. I was out by 10:30 AM.

Back at the Japan Embassy
I was back at the Embassy at 11ish. I handed the consul the fingerprinting form and he gave me another form to fill out. He photocopied my passport and gave me a slip which I needed to bring when I claim my clearance. Standard processing time is 60 days.

After two months… At the Japan Embassy
I had been calling the Japan Embassy requesting for status every Wednesday and Friday (they usually receive clearances/documents Tuesday and Thursday afternoons) after May 13. Unfortunately, my clearance was held up a bit for some unknown reason and I only got it on May 29. The Japan Embassy called me up that morning and I claimed it after lunch the same day. I brought with me the claiming slip and my passport. They handed me a sealed brown envelope and reminded me that although it was my clearance, only the consul in the US Embassy had the authority to open it.

3) EVIDENCE OF SUPPORT

You should be able to demonstrate that you will not become a public charge or be a burden on the U.S. taxpayers for financial support. A completed I-134 Affidavit of Support Form with original signature will be useful to the consular officer to evaluate your petitioner’s ability to be financially responsible for you. You should also submit your petitioner’s most recent U.S. Federal income tax return (Form 1040) and wage statements (Form W-2). Employment letters stating salaries and bank statements may be included to substantiate the I-134… – K1/K2 Interview Preparation Instructions (English) (PDF – 287 KB, February 2014 Version)

A sent his signed (in black ink) Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support) through ordinary mail sometime in March. I received it a couple of weeks after. He also sent me PDF copies of his Form W-2 and Form 1040 for the years 2009 to 2013, which I printed out.

We did not include any employment letter and bank statements. A and I were confident about this due to the following reasons:
– A is single and has never been married (so he’s not paying for anyone except for himself and his own needs etc.)
– A earns an annual salary of well above the poverty guideline
– A has been working for the same company since 2004 so he didn’t send an employment letter. The W-2 would suffice. During the interview, I only handed the consul the 2013 documents (W-2 and 1040) and kept the older ones in my bag in case they wanted proof of long-term employment.

4) BIRTH CERTIFICATE

Your birth certificate should be a copy issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) on security paper (not from the Local Civil Registry Office)… – K1/K2 Interview Preparation Instructions (English) (PDF – 287 KB, February 2014 Version)

and

5) CERTIFICATE OF NO MARRIAGE RECORD (CENOMAR)

If you have never contracted marriage, a CENOMAR (Singleness) issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) and printed on NSO security paper should be submitted… – K1/K2 Interview Preparation Instructions (English) (PDF – 287 KB, February 2014 Version)

Both Requested: April 8, 2014 ;Both Acquired: April 14, 2014; Validity: 6 months for the CENOMAR

Ordering
As I have already requested for my birth certificate before, I knew that it wouldn’t take long for it to be delivered. I chose to order mine online using E-Census. I ordered three copies of each. You may want to consider ordering more for your birth certificate as you will need them eventually for your adjustment of status.

Payment
E-Census accepts payments through BDO and Unionbank (over-the-counter, ATM, and Internet Banking). As I have a BDO account, I paid through online banking.

BDO Online Payment

Delivery and Receipt
I received mine on April 14, approximately 6 days after I ordered them online.

6) NBI CLEARANCE (Green Form)
Acquired: April 29, 2014; Validity: 1 year from date of issuance

Applicants aged 16 years and older must have a valid Record Clearance (for travel abroad purposes) from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Clearances should be in the applicant’s current name, birth certificate name, maiden name and any aliases or nicknames used, including different spellings you have used of those names. An official letter of explanation from the NBI is required for any notation of “No criminal record” or “No pending case”… – K1/K2 Interview Preparation Instructions (English) (PDF – 287 KB, February 2014 Version)

Online Registration Form
It is best to fill out the NBI Clearance Online Registration Form before going to any NBI office or satellite branch. Trust me, this will save you so much time. I’ll explain this later on.

Once done (and make sure all your entries are correct before submitting!), write down your Registration Code. Better yet, print the whole page. You will need to bring this with you when you finally get your NBI clearance.

Required Things to Bring
Please check the NBI Clearance Procedure page for more details.

I brought my voter’s ID and my driver’s license and their photocopies. Accounts of experiences vary when it comes to the required identification. Others were required to bring photocopies, others were only asked for one proof of identification. So I was trying to be safe by bringing two ID cards and their photocopies, plus the copy of my last NBI clearance (circa 2009). On the day itself, I was only asked for one ID.

Bring a black ballpoint pen. Sign pen or any pen that makes the ink leak through the back of the paper is a no-no.

Actual Process
I went to the NBI Main Clearance Center along UN Avenue on a weekday and arrived there at 4:15 AM. I chose the main one because it can accommodate a lot of applicants. The satellite branches often times have a cut off from any number between 250 and 500.

Anyway, at 4 in the morning, there was already a line outside the building but it was still quite short. We were made to go inside and there were three separate lines – for those who will start at Step 1 (Data Entry and Verification – and this was a very, very long line), those who registered online, and those who already requested their clearances a few days before but their names got a hit so they were made to go back and claim their clearances.

I started at Step 2: Payment. The counter opened at about 5:30 AM. I paid 115 PHP for Travel Abroad USA.

I then proceeded to Step 3: Picture Taking and Biometrics. The staff there asked for my Registration Code. I handed him my print out. After taking my picture and fingerprints, he showed me his monitor and asked me to verify the information there.

I think this is the time when you should tell the staff about any AKA (maiden names versus married names etc.). I read that the US Embassy is very particular with that. As I am single and have never been married, I did not not bother with this.

Also, my name used to always have a hit (meaning there was someone else out there bearing the same or similar name as I and who had done some kind of crime) but for some wonderful reason, this time I was able to claim my clearance right there and then! There were a few people before me who had their receipts noted to come back at a later date as their names had hits.

My last stop was Step 4: Printing. It was done in just a matter of seconds. Things I checked were:
– Was it printed on green paper?
– Did it say for Travel Abroad: USA?
– Are the entries and their spellings correct? (Name, Birthday, Birthplace)
– Did they note “No criminal record” or “No pending case?” If either was the case, I should have had to ask the NBI to include an official letter of explanation for those. Mine read “No Record on File” so I was safe.

I was out of the building by 6 AM.

Other Notes
Also, do not go wearing shorts, short skirts, tank tops, or flip-flops when you get your clearance. They may not allow you inside the building. In other words, dress appropriately.

Better bring an exact amount of 115 PHP so that the cashier will be happy. For the record, I made her happy.

7) VISA PHOTOGRAPHS
Validity: Must be taken within the last 6 months

You must bring three (3) color photographs; two are for the visa and one is for the medical report. Size and format specifications must be strictly observed… – K1/K2 Interview Preparation Instructions (English) (PDF – 287 KB, February 2014 Version)

These are 2×2 ID Pictures with white background. Uniforms are a no-no. I wore a decent black collared top. I also tied my hair back because my ears should be showing. I didn’t smile and put on a what I thought was a very neutral face (but A said I looked angry).

I chose a photo studio that could give me a digital copy of the ID pictures (in a CD) since I needed to upload one for the Online Form DS-160.

I had 6 pictures printed, just in case. I wrote the following information at the back of each picture:
– Last name, First name and middle name
– Birthday
– K-1 Visa for USA

These pictures will be submitted on the day of your medical examination, not during the visa interview.

8) NONIMMIGRANT VISA ELECTRONIC APPLICATION (DS-160) CONFIRMATION PAGE

You must print the DS-160 Confirmation Page that contains the barcode information to bring to your interview. – K1/K2 Interview Preparation Instructions (English) (PDF – 287 KB, February 2014 Version)

Use the form here. I won’t go into much detail here, but these are some things you may want to know before filling this out:
– Read and strictly follow the instructions. The form is very straightforward but very lengthy so take your time reading it before filling it out.
– The form can be saved and you can come back to it but only within the next 30 days from when you started.
– Other people can assist you when filling out this form. But when asked to sign and submit at the end of the form, you, the beneficiary, should be the one to physically click the button.
– You will need to upload a digital copy of your 2×2 ID picture.
– If you mess up, you can fill out another form. Just don’t forget to bring the printed confirmation page of the latest, or rather the most accurate Form DS-160 you filled out.

I sent the confirmation page to my e-mail. It was a PDF attachment. It had my confirmation number and its bar code. When you have yours printed out, make sure that it is clear and the bar code is not broken. The US Embassy in Manila uses a bar code scanner for easy access of documents in their database.

9) EVIDENCE OF A GENUINE ENGAGEMENT

You must be prepared to prove to the consular officer that you have a genuine relationship with your petitioner and a clear intention to marry within 90 days of admission into the U.S….- K1/K2 Interview Preparation Instructions (English) (PDF – 287 KB, February 2014 Version)

This is basically a copy of our Form I-129F. I brought the original of the following:
– Plane tickets/stubs from A’s most recent trip to the Philippines
– Plane tickets/stubs from my trip to the US
– 5 Selected photos from our most recent meeting
– 2 to 3 Selected photos from each time we had met (that’s twice a year)
– 2 Selected photos of A and I showing off my engagement ring (we didn’t include the receipt for the ring, although other people have done it)
– Photocopy of our exchange of greeting cards through the years

I was never asked to show not even one during the visa interview.

10) MEDICAL EXAMINATION

All K1 and K2 visa applicants must complete a medical examination at St. Luke’s Extension Clinic at least a week before the interview appointment… – K1/K2 Interview Preparation Instructions (English) (PDF – 287 KB, February 2014 Version)

I will write more about this on a separate article.

DOCUMENTS IN THE LIST OF INSTRUCTIONS THAT WERE NOT APPLICABLE TO ME

11) COURT AND PRISON RECORDS
12) MILITARY OR POLICE SERVICE RECORDS
13) DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS) DOCUMENTS
14) PROOF OF TERMINATION OF A PRIOR MARRIAGE

NEXT STEP
Schedule your Visa Interview

MORE INFORMATION
Affidavit of Support Form I-134 (USCIS)
Forms and Packets, US Embassy in Manila
K1/K2 Interview Preparation Instructions (English) (PDF – 287 KB, February 2014 Version)

K-1 Visa Application: Gather Required Documents or Schedule Visa Interview Appointment?

I am no longer answering questions with regard to K1 Visa or AOS processing. Please read the following to understand why:

The K1 Visa Information Pages of this Blog are Now Zombies
K1 Visa Application Process: No spoon feeding policy
Has it already been a year?

Thank you for dropping by and good luck on your journey to the States!

MY K-1 VISA EXPERIENCE
Other Related Articles: Gather Required Documents or Schedule Visa Interview Appointment: Which Comes First?

The answer to this befuddling question (and I’m not being sarcastic here) is – it depends on your timeline.

The visa payment is valid up to a year from payment date so you don’t have to rush yourself setting up an interview appointment right after you pay.

According to posts in immigration threads, there is a recent scarcity of interview appointments due to the US Embassy processing expedited cases due to the Typhoon Haiyan tragedy and there’s no clue on when the rush will be over.

I personally experienced having to be glued to the schedule site for three straight days refreshing every 15 minutes from 4 AM to 11 PM (Manila time) hoping to catch an opening, while A took the 11 PM to 4 AM “shift.” We were only successful on the afternoon of the third day of doing this.

Having said that, the best course of action to take is to gather all your documents first before scheduling your interview so that you can grab whatever appointment is available. Of course, don’t forget that you need to consider the medical examination in your timeline as well. For that, get a schedule that allows one week from your planned medical exam date. So if you’re planning to take your medical exam on let’s say July 3, then you should have a July 11 or later as your interview date. Does this make sense?

You can also consider this game plan:
– Wait for your NOA2.
– When you get your NOA2, start gathering the required documents- at least those which are more difficult to get (other country police clearances, divorce decrees, etc.).
– Once you’ve acquired your MNL Case Number, you can pay your visa fee.
– Plan for your medical examination.
– Gather most or all of of your documents.
– Schedule an interview appointment.

In my case, I started gathering the documents even before we got our NOA2. It was a risk I had to take since I was required to get a Japan Police Clearance and processing that takes 2 whole months! I requested mine on March 13 and didn’t get it until May 29.

To sum it up, here are the factors you need to consider when building your own timeline:

  • Approval of your petition
  • Difficulty of getting the documents
  • Validity/Expiration of the documents
  • Date of medical examination

MORE INFORMATION
Gathering of documents
Scheduling an interview
Taking the medical examination

K-1 Visa Application: K-1 Visa Payment

I am no longer answering questions with regard to K1 Visa or AOS processing. Please read the following to understand why:

The K1 Visa Information Pages of this Blog are Now Zombies
K1 Visa Application Process: No spoon feeding policy
Has it already been a year?

Thank you for dropping by and good luck on your journey to the States!

MY K-1 VISA EXPERIENCE
STEP 5.2: K-1 Visa Payment
April 28, 2014
4 days from NVC; 77 days from application
Disclaimer: Please read disclaimer on the K-1 Visa Page of this site

Pay attention to this one since it involves money – a fairly large amount of money- which is also non-refundable once paid. Also, you will need to pay the Visa fee first before you can schedule your interview appointment because the receipt number will be asked.

NOTES
Check your passport for its expiration date.
Okay, this is not really part of the visa payment but I have a reason why I put this here.

If your passport will expire in 12 months or less, I would suggest that you renew your passport before visa payment or even earlier (when you receive your NOA2, or even much earlier!)

From hereon, you will be asked by various offices and entities for your passport number and it’s always best to show only one and the same for consistency as you will also be identified by this.

Know your visa fee.
As of writing, the fee for K-1 Visa is 240 USD (about 10,800 PHP). You can verify this here. You will be paying in Philippine Peso. Exchange rate varies so you may end up paying more or if you’re lucky, less than the amount indicated in the website. Personally, I ended paying more. Way to go, me! *rolls eyes*

Choose your payment options (read the instructions there very carefully).
There is a complete list of payment methods in the US Travel Docs website.
The official bank the US Embassy uses is BPI or the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
You can pay over-the-counter or online through Bancnet. If you have a BPI account and are enrolled in their Internet Banking service, you may also pay through there.

Personally, I chose the old-school method of doing over-the-counter payment. I have a tendency to be click-happy and I usually don’t dare trust myself when it comes to online forms that involve money.

Do not lose your BPI bank deposit slip and the Customer Copy of your MRV Deposit slip
You will need the receipt number to schedule your visa interview appointment.
These deposit slips will also be asked of you during your Visa interview.

Wait four hours before scheduling your interview after payment.

Visa Application Fee Payment Processing Timelines – Cash at Bank
Time of Payment Bank Receipt Purchase Date Interview Booking
Midnight – 3:00pm BPI Same day 4 hours after payment

From NIV Payment Info

MY EXPERIENCE

  • I went to the Payment Option part of the US Travel Docs Payment Info Page
  • I clicked the Deposit Slip – $240 MRV Fee link. A new page or tab popped up.
  • I printed that page which served as my MRV Deposit Slip. It looked like this:

NOTE: Mind the Expiration Date. The deposit slip is valid only on or before that date.

  • I went to the nearest BPI branch with my deposit slip, my money, and my valid passport.
  • After my transaction, I was given a BPI bank deposit slip and the customer copy of the MRV Deposit Slip. I checked for the information at the back of the bank deposit slip if the receipt number is the same as that in my customer copy.
  • I kept these deposit slips in my file case for future use.
  • Updated 1/7/15: It took 12 hours after payment before my receipt number  was registered okay on the US interview schedule page. It says in the site to wait for 4 hours but it can take longer than that.

NEXT STEP
You have the choice to gather the required documents or to schedule your visa interview appointment.

MORE INFORMATION
NIV Fee Informatiom
NIV Payment Information

K-1 Visa Application: The K-1 Visa Packet from the US Embassy in Manila

I am no longer answering questions with regard to K1 Visa or AOS processing. Please read the following to understand why:

The K1 Visa Information Pages of this Blog are Now Zombies
K1 Visa Application Process: No spoon feeding policy
Has it already been a year?

Thank you for dropping by and good luck on your journey to the States!

MY K-1 VISA EXPERIENCE
Other Related Articles: The K-1 Visa Packet from the US Embassy in Manila
June 2, 2014
4 days from NVC; 77 days from application
Disclaimer: Please read disclaimer on the K-1 Visa Page of this site

I’m putting this under “other related articles” as it really made little impact on my visa processing.

So what is this packet all about?

I really don’t know what it should contain as it seemed that the contents have changed through the years. Older accounts state that this packet should include the complete set of instructions for the beneficiary (in this case, me) and a copy of the original I-129F sent by your USC petitioner.

This packet sometimes make it in a timely manner (within a week), sometimes not (which means weeks), and sometimes the beneficiary has already left the country when the packet arrives. Why does this happen? I don’t know. I have come to believe that even the US Embassy here in the Philippines cannot shake the Pinoy Time off from biting their butt. It’s always there, lurking in the shadows waiting to strike anyone when the need to process things as soon as possible arises.

It’s probably because of this that they allow K-1 visa applicants to go ahead and begin processing their papers (starting from paying the visa fee) even without receiving this packet yet.

Anyway, I got mine on June 2 (approximately 2 days from my medical examination) via registered mail. A also got a copy of this exact packet a few more days after.

K-1 Visa Letter of Instructions from the US Embassy in Manila dated May 8

The letter’s content is basically the same as the description in the “Ready” status in the CEAC tracker. It does not give a complete list of instructions but a url of the Forms and Packets page in the US Embassy, Manila website.

Warning: With regard to the K-1 Visa instructions, please follow what is on the US Embassy, Manila website as sets of instructions are country-specific. For example, K-1 Visa applicants in Australia get different instructions from us here in the Philippines.

I also did not get a copy of the original I-129F packet that A sent. I only got a photocopy of the I-129F with an approval stamp on it. I also got a pamphlet about knowing my rights and how to protect myself against domestic violence when I get to the U.S.

This is jut my theory, and this has not been verified true (or false, for that matter) by any official sources, but I think the US Embassy in Manila is trying to both cut down their expenses and go paperless (yay for the environment!) , which is really fine by me especially if I go by the second reason provided that my theory is found to be true.

So what do I with the packet if and when I get it?
Basically, I just kept it in my file.

Also, like I said, I got mine a couple of days before my medical examination. I photocopied only the letter and brought it with me to the medical examination. Did they take it? Yes, they did. But I was already planning to bring with me copies of the NVC letter which showed the MNL Case Number, which is the important thing. I believe this would have sufficed since some of the beneficiaries with me did not bring any of their packet letters with them. For more about the medical examination, please see my separate post about it.

 

K-1 Visa Application: Tracking of Case Status on CEAC

I am no longer answering questions with regard to K1 Visa or AOS processing. Please read the following to understand why:

The K1 Visa Information Pages of this Blog are Now Zombies
K1 Visa Application Process: No spoon feeding policy
Has it already been a year?

Thank you for dropping by and good luck on your journey to the States!

MY K-1 VISA EXPERIENCE
STEP 5.1: Tracking of Case Status on CEAC
April 28, 2014
4 days from NVC; 77 days from application
Disclaimer: Please read disclaimer on the K-1 Visa Page of this site

Before going to BPI and paying the K-1 Visa fee, you should better go and check your case status through the U.S. Department of State Consular Electronic Application Center or (CEAC).

NOTES
Use the Case Status Checker on the CEAC page

Status Checker on the CEAC website

Choose Immigrant Visa (IV) for the Application Type, and then type your Manila Case number before clicking submit. Your status will appear in a pop-up box.

Your case can be in any of these three stages:
– In NVC: The case is still in the NVC
– In transit: The case has left the NVC and is being forwarded to the US Embassy in Manila
– Ready: The case has been received by the US Embassy in Manila and is now ready for your interview

Ready Status

I was lucky that although we made a call to the NVC on April 25, by Monday, which was the 28th, my case was already in “Ready” Status.

Can I pay the Visa fee even if my case is not yet in “Ready” status?
Yes! Definitely! As long as you have your MNL or Case Number, there’s no stopping you from paying the visa fee. But this is only true for K-1 Visa applicants here in the Philippines. The process may be different in other countries.

The only reason why I waited for my status to get to “Ready” is because I wanted to be sure that if I made inquiries at any point during the process, the US Embassy in Manila would already have my case in their database for reference.

This is the same for the K-1 Visa Packet that the US Embassy sends the beneficiaries. You don’t need to wait for it in order to pay your visa. For more of the packet, you can read more of that here.

NEXT STEP
Pay your K-1 Visa Fee.

MORE INFORMATION
U.S. Department of State Consular Electronic Application Center or (CEAC)