For most of us Filipinos, The United States of America as a dream destination. For those who already have a US Visa, you are in luck because there’s a chance that you can avail the US Consulate’s waiver called the Drop Box Program. Yes, this program does exist and this is a convenient way to renew your US Visa.
Who are qualified for the US Visa Drop Box Program?
Through the US Consulate’s Drop Box Program, you may no longer need to personally appear at the embassy in Manila for an interview and this is convenient for both. The US Consulate can streamline the process and focus more on first time US Visa applicants, and on the other hand, existing Visa holders don’t need to travel especially if they live far from the embassy in Manila.
You can take advantage of the program if the following qualifications apply to you:
- You are a Filipino Citizen
- You have with you your B1/B2 Visa
- The B1/B2 Visa you have was granted on or after your 14th birthday
- You were issued a B1/B2 Visa after July 1, 2007
- The B1/B2 Visa you have at least a 5-year validity
- You already have a B1/B2 visa that you wish to renew or is subject for renewal
- The last time you applied for a B1/B2 visa, it was approved.
- The B1/B2 Visa you have doesn’t have prior indications such as “Clearance Received” or “Travel with Employer.”
- Your B1/B2 visa is valid nor expired within the last 12 months
What if I didn’t meet any of the above requirements?
Should you’ve not qualified in any of the list above, the next step for you is to renew your US Visa by going through the regular or usual procedure of renewal which includes scheduling for an interview appointment. You may click this link to schedule an interview with the US Consulate in Manila.
I’m qualified based on the criteria above, what should I do next?
If you’re lucky enough to have any qualifications listed above, you may now proceed to the next procedure. Below is the step by step guide that you can follow in renewing your US Visa via the DropBox Program:
1.Fill out the online DS-160 Form
- Fill out the online DS-160 form via this link.
- With all honesty, provide all details such as your personal information, address, contact numbers, passport number, travel itinerary, educational attainment, work experience, and other matters related to your US visit.
- A 5-page security question will be asked and honestly answer by NO.
- An auto-generated confirmation number will be given to you if the filling is successful. Have to form printed out and make sure to send a copy to your email address as well. Take note that you need to fill out one form for each applicant.
2.Prepare your payment
A Visa fee costs $160 to proceed with your renewal. This fee is non-transferrable and non- refundable, so make sure to consider that before proceeding.
You also need to create a profile here first to get the reference number that you’ll need for payment.
After profile creation, you may choose one of these are the two payment options:
3.BPI Online payment
Your Visa renewal fee can be conveniently paid via BPIOnline. Make though, that you already enrolled for a BPI online facility before deciding in choosing this step.
Start the online payment procedure with this step. Take note your payment will
be posted within 24 hours after it was successfully made.
- BPI branches payment
If you don’t have a BPI account, you can choose to pay via select BPI branches. Make sure to bring your Visa fee payment slip since the bank teller will refer on that for the transaction. Here’s the link for the US Visa payment slip.
After successful payment, keep your confirmation number and receipt because you will need all of them on your US Visa renewal process.
Please note that the US VISA fee payment slip is only valid for 5 days. If no payment was made within that period, you have to generate a new set of reference numbers and payment slip.
4. Send all requirements to the US Embassy
After completing the earlier procedures, secure and duplicate all the documents and leave a copy with you, just in case. Original copies of the following must be sent to the Embassy of the United States, Manila 1201 Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, with telephone numbers: (02)301-2000, via 2Go Express.
- Two latest ID pictures with white background – front-facing shot, and keep a neutral face.
- Valid Philippine passport
- Old passports
- Expiring US Visa
- DS-160 Form
- Drop Box Program letter of confirmation
- Payment slip or proof of payment
I already sent all the required documents, what’s next?
If your US Visa renewal was approved, you will just have to wait and it will be delivered on your address. Please note though, that your US Visa renewal application through the Drop Box Program is still subject for approval by the US Embassy. There’s still a possibility that they will request your presence to the US Embassy in Manila if they deemed it necessary.
But if you are confident that you’ll be granted renewal via the Drop Box Program, utilize it on your advantage.