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Showing posts with label Toronto US VISA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toronto US VISA. Show all posts

30 November 2015

Applying for a US Visa in Toronto Canada Experience

Is it easy to get a US Visa when you're in Canada?

Most Filipinos dreamed of going to the United States of America.  Some wanted to take a tour and others to migrate.  On the other hand, what it takes to get a Visa from the Philippines?  Is it the same as while in Canada?

I have friends and relatives who attempted to apply for the Visa in the Philippines but were denied.  Some got through and stayed there for good.

My goal was only to be here in Canada and maybe I can visit the US in the near future.  It's not my dream to live in the US.  If given an opportunity, maybe a 5-day tour is enough for me.

One day, I was called by the company's CEO and was tasked to do one important thing.  They need me to get a Visa for a business trip to the United States of America!  I was a little shocked and excited at the same time.  It's an opportunity of a lifetime.

A lot of blessings were given to me since I get here.  This time, I was caught unprepared.  ...Then, I suddenly remembered the difficulty of having the Canada FSW Visa, the documents that I need to prepare.  But now, it would be easy for me because all my documents were ready.

The only issue of me having the US Visa is that I have to arrange it myself.  But, the company will shoulder all the expenses.

So, I searched online for the procedure and gathered the required documents.

For your information, I will explain the step by step process of getting a US Visa here in Toronto.  This is a B1/B2, for tourism and business, type of VISA,  it's also termed as business and business for pleasure.

STEP 1 (Preparation)
I prepared the documents needed for the VISA.
1. Passport
  • Current Passport valid for travel to the United States. The passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements.) 
  • .  Passport containing the most recently issued U.S. Visa (if applicable). 
2. 2x2 photo ( hardcopy and softcopy)
Went to a photographer and informed him that I need photos for US VISA purpose and paid C$19 for 4 copies.
The photographer sent me a JPEG copy for online submission.

3. Father, Mother, and Relatives in US Details
My parents were no longer living so I have to rely on the previous copies of my previous CIC application regarding their details.  I have to know my father's and mother's birthday.  This will be used for online application later on.

If you have relatives in US, know their details like name, birthday and address.

4. Education Details
I need to know the school details like the name and address, degree and date of graduation.

5. Previous Employment Details
I need to provide the duties of current and past employment.  Resume comes in handy.

6. National ID number
I used the Philippines Tax Identification Number for this.

7. Proof of Legal Status in Canada.
I have my passport with me, with a Canadian Visa stamp in it, and brought a photocopy and original copy of my COPR and Permanent Residence card just in case they ask.

I did not include my wife and kids in my application.  For your information, if you want to include them in your application, here are the requirements:
The following documents may be useful to support your visa application:
Intention to depart the United States upon completion of your travel.Sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the United States.Evidence that you have significant ties to the country to which you intend to return at the end of your stay in the United States (This is generally established by evidence of family, professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to a country other than the United States.)
So, I requested a letter with the intention of my stay, funds, and significant ties in Canada from my employer just in case the US Consulate asks.

8. Details of Destination
I printed the list of all the names and addresses of our US suppliers.  This will be asked at one portion of the application.

We set a certain date of my departure for the sake of the application.  It was a tentative date because we were not sure if they will approve my Visa or not.

STEP 2 (Online Application)
After Completing the required information from 1 to 8, I went online to make an online application at this link:
Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS160)
1. I chose Toronto, Canada for the location and there are three red tabs at the right of that website, I clicked the "START AN APPLICATION" tab.

Don't worry if you don't finish the application, you can save and retrieve it anytime, just remember the Application Number.

If you have other questions regarding DS-160, go to the link below:
Frequently asked questions for DS-160

2. Upload the photo online
At the end of the online application, there's a step there on how to upload the photo.

3. Sign the Document Online
You have to finish the process by signing the document online.  It is just like agreeing to all the terms and conditions pertaining to your application.

4. I printed the completed DS-160 form.

STEP 3 (Online Appointment)
Schedule an appointment by creating an account with the website.
Schedule an appointment
I created an account with the website and selected the available time of appointment.  Luckily, I got an appointment 4 days after my online application.

Then I paid USD160.00. A receipt was emailed to me for my future reference.

I printed the Confirmation and instructions page.
 Note: Bring the Confirmation and Instructions page at the Interview printed from the website 
STEP 4 (Interview)
The very first thing to consider during the interview is not to bring prohibited items.  There are many in the list. To avoid such concerns, what I did was to wear and bring the basic things like:

Clothing and Personal Belongings:
Jeans (no belt)
Shoes and pair of socks (no metallic object)
Car key

Letter from my employer
Payment Receipt (emailed)
Proof of Legal Status in Canada (PR Card, COPR)
Confirmation and Instructions

Contact information and how to visit on appointment day.

The documents were placed in a clear folder so I can retrieve it easily.  There was a line (queue) outside of the embassy, but I arrived on time for my appointment anyway, so no worries.

The person in charge checked the documents and led me to the entrance door, where the x-ray machine was located.  Then another person reviewed my documents then instructed me to proceed to the room.

There's another queue that leads to the 3rd document checkpoint where I presented my passport.  Then I queued to another line, which leads to the Visa Officer (Interviewer).

It took me about 20 minutes with all the documents checking from the main entrance of the embassy to the Officer counter.

While on the queue, I can hear the voice of the Officer asking an applicant because the counter have speakers in it.  Some were approved and others denied, I can see tears or smiles on their faces.

Even though my application was not a do or die thing, but I felt nervous.  When it was my turn, I felt the rapid heartbeat, but my facial expression remained calm.

The officer asked me about my job and places to visit in US, took my passport and gave me a piece of paper and told me..."Your Visa is Approved!" took 5 minutes for the decision.

Two weeks after, I received an email. It was an instruction on how to pick up my passport with the Visa.  It was at a designated forwarder.

So I went to the forwarder's office, showed my PR Card and opened up my passport.  Another sticker was printed on it, with a Visa validity of 10 years!

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Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada