For Filipinos, traveling to countries that require a visa is never easy. It seems like more and more requirements are asked of us, and it can get a little taxing.
Surprisingly, it looks like the best visa every Pinoy traveler should have is the one we always think of as the hardest to acquire. Once you consider all the benefits you get from a US visa, it’s actually the visa where the benefits make it worth all the work getting it.
Check out the reasons why we think a US tourist visa is the best visa every Pinoy traveler should have:
If you apply for a Japanese tourist visa, you have to submit your passport, a filled-out application form, a photo, an NSO-certified birth certificate with receipt, a tour itinerary, a bank balance certificate, and your income tax return.
Compare this with the documents required for a US tourist visa. You only need to submit your passport, your application form (DS-160 confirmation page), visa fee payment receipt, appointment confirmation and your 2X2 photos.
If you’re a first time visitor to Japan, your visa can get you a maximum of 15 days in the country. When you apply again, you can get a multiple entry visa valid for five years.
On the other hand, a US visa can last anywhere from five to 10 years. If you need to save for each trip to America, at least you know you won’t need to save for a visa each and every time.
The $160 application fee for a US visa definitely sounds daunting. That’s almost P8000 at current exchange rates. It’s a far cry from Japan’s visa application fee, which costs P1500 maximum.
However, when you consider that P1500 gets you a 15-day stay in Japan at the most, the US visa starts to look more practical. Paying P8000 for a visa that lasts five to 10 years isn’t so bad, especially when you factor in the amount you’re going to spend for every new visa application.
Another thing that makes a US visa worth the P8000 fee is that it allows you to visit other countries, too. This includes Taiwan, Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. Better safe than sorry though, always double check with a country’s embassy to see if your US visa fits their entry requirements.
Once you’ve applied for a Japanese visa, you get your results in less than seven days. Results for a Schengen visa application take about 10 days, depending on the embassy. When you apply for a US visa, they tell you the result right after your personal interview. If you get denied, at least you can plan on how to regroup as quickly as possible.
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