The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit of the U.S. Embassy in Manila is responsible for providing visa services to those seeking to enter the United States for a temporary period of time. The type of nonimmigrant visa that a traveler needs, and the requirements to apply for that visa depend largely on the purpose of travel to the United States.
Please visit our U.S. Visa Information Service website for complete requirements and step-by-step procedures in applying for a nonimmigrant U.S. visa, including a directory of nonimmigrant visa categories.
Business Travel - Priority Interview Program (PIP)
The Priority Interview Program (PIP) is designed to promote and facilitate legitimate business travel between the United States and the Philippines. It allows qualifying businesses access to:
- Expedited visa appointment – appointments within 2 days vs. the normal three-week wait time
- Dedicated line of communication – PIPManila@state.gov
- Priority processing of visas and deliveries
Please note that employment with a PIP-designated company does not guarantee visa issuance.
To know how your company can apply for PIP membership and the visa application process under the PIP, please visit our Priority Interview Program page.
Individuals traveling to the United States on official business for a foreign government or for an international organization or mission may apply for a diplomatic or official visa (A, G, or C-3 visa). For more information about this visa classification and the application procedures, visit the Diplomatic and Official Visas page.
Holders of nonimmigrant A, G, or C-3 visas are eligible to be accompanied by personal employees during their stay in the United States, subject to certain conditions. For more information about this visa classification and the application procedures, visit the Visas for Personal Employees of Official/Diplomatic Visa Holders (A-3, G-5) page.
Crew Visas, Manning Agency Accreditation, and C1/D Visa Reissuance Program
A crew member serving onboard a sea vessel or aircraft in the United States needs a crew visa. Crew members of an aircraft or ship that will be transiting through the United States or its waters generally use a combination transit/crew visa (C-1/D). Crew members who work aboard vessels within the Outer Continental Shelf, may qualify for a modified B-1 visa in lieu of a crew visa.
Manning agencies that lawfully operate within the Philippines can apply to join the Manning Agency Accreditation Program (MAAP) at U.S. Embassy Manila to facilitate the visa application of their seafarers. For more information about the MAAP process and updated policies, visit this page.
The Embassy has allocated expedited appointments and the possibility of a waived interview for previous C1/D applicants who meet certain conditions. For more information about this policy, please visit the Seafarer Visa Reissuance Program page.
It is not required under U.S. law for seafarers to be under a manning agency. Therefore, seafarers can apply through a local manning agency or can apply on their own. It is important to note that seafarers not backed by a manning agency will still require a valid contract and letter of guarantee from their employer and must meet the same standards as other applicants. For more information about this process, visit this page.
What to Expect When Visiting the US Embassy
The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit aims to provide a comfortable application process for visa applicants. Part of this effort is requiring applicants to arrive at the US Embassy applicant’s entrance ONLY 15 MINUTES before their interview appointment. Strict enforcement of this rule allows applicants to avoid waiting and lining up unnecessarily outside the Embassy for long periods of time. There is also no advantage given to an applicant who arrives hours before the interview appointment.
Electronic Devices Not Permitted on Embassy Grounds:
For the safety and security of all applicants and employees, visa applicants are NOT PERMITTED to bring the following into the Embassy:
- any kind of electronic and battery-operated devices (mobile phone, digital camera, laptop, music player, portable game consoles such as PSP, USB thumb drive, mobile tablet, etc.)
- lighter and any flame-generating device
- sharp objects
- any device with an On/Off switch
Applicants who bring such devices will be denied entry and will be requested to book a new interview appointment.
Please make arrangements to leave your electronic equipment in a safe location off Embassy grounds BEFORE your interview appointment. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your cooperation.
J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program
J-1 visa Exchange Visitor Program enables foreign nationals to go to the United States to teach, study, train, or demonstrate special skills for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years. Programs include Teacher, Summer Work and Travel, Au Pair, Intern, and Trainee.
– Mandatory fees may include: 1) designated sponsor program fee; 2) SEVIS fee; and 3) visa fee.
– Other fees commonly charged by third party organizations (for services including airfare, lodging in the United States, food, and relocation) are not mandatory fees and are not required for a J-1 visa.
NOTE: For Filipino Physicians applying for J-1 Alien Physician fellowship training, you must have a Statement of Need letter per the requirements of Public Law 94-484, as reflected at 22 CFR 62.27(b)(6). The Statement of Need Letter is a requirement that cannot be waived. Even if an individual already has a letter on file with ECFMG, you will need to submit a new letter to apply for fellowship training. For further guidance, please reach out to ECFMG at: EVSP-support@ECFMG.org.