UPDATE: WE ARE NOW PROCESSING INQUIRIES DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 2021
We are currently experiencing a high volume of visa inquiries, and our response time may be delayed. All correspondence and requests will be processed in the order they are received. We will not respond to duplicate inquiry cases so please refrain from sending multiple requests or follow-ups as it will slow down our response time.
Visa Operations Update
The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines is committed to sharing the current status of our visa operations. As part of that effort, we would like to provide more details regarding how we are prioritizing visa applications as we work to reduce the backlog of applications that developed because of travel restrictions and operational constraints caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Per Department of State guidance, we are prioritizing immigrant visa applications while still providing some nonimmigrant visa services. However, the volume and type of visa cases we can process continues to depend on local conditions, including restrictions on movement and gatherings. In addition, consistent with U.S. government guidance on safety in the federal workplace, we have implemented social distancing and other safety measures, which have reduced the number of applicants we are able to process in a single day.
The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines continues to operate with reduced staffing and limited services. As conditions surrounding the COVID-19 situation improve, the Embassy will add additional services, culminating eventually in a complete resumption of routine visa services. The Embassy cannot predict when the resumption of full visa services, or a specific category of visas, will occur.
Immigrant Visa (IV): The Embassy continues to have a significant backlog of all categories of immigrant visas. We are using a tiered approach to triage immigrant visa applications, based on the category of immigrant visa, as we resume and expand processing. While we are scheduling some appointments within all four priority tiers every month, the following lists the main categories of immigrant visas in priority order:
- Tier One: Immediate relative intercountry adoption visas, age-out cases (cases where the applicant will soon no longer qualify due to their age), and certain Special Immigrant Visas (SQ and SI for Afghan and Iraqi nationals working with the U.S. government).
- Tier Two: Immediate relative visas; fiancé(e) visas; and returning resident visas.
- Tier Three: Family preference immigrant visas and SE Special Immigrant Visas for certain employees of the U.S. government abroad.
- Tier Four: All other immigrant visas, including employment preference and diversity visas
Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV): The Embassy continues to prioritize travelers with urgent (i.e. matter of life and death) travel needs, foreign diplomats, and certain mission-critical categories of travelers, such as those coming to assist with the U.S. response to the pandemic, followed by students and exchange visitors (F-1, M-1, and J-1), temporary employment visas (H-1B, H-2B, and L nonimmigrants), and seafarers (C1-D). Routine visa appointments and processing for B1/B2 (Business/Tourist) remain suspended, with the exception of interview waiver cases.
We understand that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. The Embassy will extend the validity of application fees (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.
- NIV Expedite Appointment Request: Expedite requests for emergency travel may be submitted via our website at http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-visaapply.asp. Please note that the applicant will need to book a regular appointment through our appointment system before requesting an expedited appointment through http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-expeditedappointment.asp.
- NIV Interview Waiver: The interview waiver program has been extended. Information is available at https://ph.usembassy.gov/visas/visa-updates/.
Visa Scheduling: After we resume full routine visa processing, which will be confirmed on our website at https://ph.usembassy.gov/visas/visa-updates, applicants can reschedule the first available visa interview appointment slot by phone at (+632) 7792-8988 or (+632) 8548-8223, or through our online appointment system at http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/ph/. There is no fee to change an appointment. After routine visa processing resumes, if you have difficulties rescheduling a pending consular appointment, applicants may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for specific guidance.
Important Note: Any individuals with consular appointments who (1) were physically present within a territory covered by the Presidential Proclamations, within the last 14 days, (2) are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or (3) believe they have may have been exposed to COVID-19, are required to postpone their appointments by at least 14 days. There is no fee to change an appointment and visa application fees are valid for one year in the country where the fee was paid. To reschedule a pending consular appointment, please send an email to email@example.com for specific guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions on Immigrant Visas
- How can I schedule a visa interview? Please refer to the list above of visa categories currently being processed by the Embassy. Appointments are scheduled according to those priorities and you will be notified of your appointment when we reach your case in the queue.
- How can I check my IV Case Status? We are unable to provide routine or recurring case status updates outside of the online tracking system, available at ceac.state.gov/ceac/. If you submitted documentation that was requested to continue processing your case, please allow 30 days prior to emailing for a status update if your status has not changed. Otherwise, we will contact you directly if we need additional information.
- What if CEAC status shows expired but I have not been interviewed? If your case status shows “expired” and you have not yet been interviewed, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a screenshot of the CEAC status. Our team will take corrective action to reopen your case or contact you directly if there are further questions.
- What if my K fiancé(e) visa petition expired? The Embassy is processing a limited number of K fiancé(e) visa applications. If your fiancé(e) petition has expired, a consular officer will determine whether it can be revalidated at the time your interview is scheduled. Do not contact our office now about rescheduling your interview, expiration of the petition, or a medical exam.
- Whom do I need to contact regarding my medical examination? You may contact St. Luke’s Extension Clinic (SLEC) Manila directly by telephone at (+632) 8521-0020 and (+632) 8521-8647 or by visiting their website at: slec.ph/us/registration/ for information on the medical examination process, fees, and registration. Do not schedule a medical exam unless you are scheduled for your visa interview. Otherwise, your exam results may expire prior to your interview. Medical examinations that have expired must be completed again at a fee to the applicant. Visa appointments cannot be expedited due to the expiration of medical examinations.
- What do I do if I cannot get documents that are required for my case? We understand some applicants may be unable to obtain required documents or send them to the Embassy at this time. We are unable to waive documentary requirements. If your case will pass the one-year time limit to provide needed documentation, please contact email@example.com to alert us that your case is going to expire and to explain the difficulty you are experiencing in obtaining required documents. If you receive a letter from the Embassy stating that your case will be terminated, please follow the instructions on that letter if you wish to reinstate your case. Otherwise, please send the documents via the 2GO courier once you are able to obtain them.
- Can I extend the validity of my expiring visa? Unfortunately, we cannot extend the validity of visas. However, in some cases we can replace an expired immigrant visa if an applicant was not able to use the visa due to circumstances beyond his/her control and all eligibility requirements continue to be met. You may submit your passport with the expired visa and a signed letter explaining your inability to use your immigrant visa for travel to the United States to the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines (Attn: Immigrant Visa Unit) via any branch of 2GO courier in order for us to begin the replacement review process.
- I am a Lawful Permanent Resident, and I am unable to go back to the United States, what should I do? In certain cases, permanent residents who have been unable to return to the United States for one year for reasons beyond their control may apply for a returning resident (SB-1) visa. The eligibility for this visa can only be determined by a consular officer after interviewing the applicant. For additional information regarding returning resident applications, please visit our website at ph.usembassy.gov/visas/immigrant-visas/returning-resident-visa.
- How can I contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)? The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field office in Manila permanently closed in July 2019. All public inquiries should be directed to the USCIS contact center at www.uscis.gov/contactcenter.
Frequently Asked Questions on Nonimmigrant Visas
- Is the Embassy processing tourist (B1/B2) visas? The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines provides nonimmigrant B1/B2 (business/tourist) visa interview appointments as resources and safety conditions permit through our online appointment system. Instructions are available at www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/. Current wait times for an interview are available at travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html.
- How can I reschedule a canceled visa appointment? Applicants can schedule the first available visa interview appointment by phone at (+632) 7792-8988 and (+632) 8548-8223, or through the online appointment system at ustraveldocs.com/ph. There is no fee to change an appointment. If you have difficulties rescheduling a pending consular appointment, applicants may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for specific guidance.
- Can I renew my U.S. visa without attending a visa interview? An individual may qualify for interview waiver if he/she is able to meet all of the eligibility requirements detailed on our website, www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-visarenew.asp. If an applicant does not meet all of the interview waiver requirements, then he/she would have to schedule a visa interview appointment, as detailed on our website, www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-visaapply.asp.
- How can I check my NIV case status? We are unable to provide routine or recurring case status updates outside of the online tracking system, available at ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx. If you submitted additional documentation after being refused under Immigration and Nationality Act Section 221(g), please allow 30 days prior to emailing for a status update if you notice the CEAC status has not changed. We will contact you directly if we need additional information.
Online Inquiry Form
If your visa concern or question was not answered by the information listed above, please submit a detailed inquiry request by completing our online inquiry form at:
We will not respond to duplicate inquiry cases so please refrain from sending multiple requests on a regular basis as this will only slow down our response time. Please wait 45-60 days before sending a follow-up inquiry for a status update if you have not received any response from the Embassy.