U.S. Embassy in Manila cancels nonimmigrant visa appointments until July 30

Marje Pelayo   •   June 21, 2021   •   604

MANILA, Philippines — The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines has canceled visa interview appointments for nonimmigrant visas, both business and tourist, scheduled through July 30, 2021.

This is in response to the continued significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Embassy said the resumption of routine visa services is on a post-by-post basis and it is in coordination with the Department of State’s framework for safely returning their workforce to Department facilities.

U.S. Embassies and Consulates in different parts of the world are continuously providing emergency and mission-critical visa services since the start of the pandemic in March last year, it added.

As post-specific conditions improve, the US foreign missions have begun providing additional services and eventually towards a complete resumption of routine visa services.

The Embassy advises applicants that once routine visa services resume, they should reschedule their visa interviews through the Embassy call center by phone at (+632) 7792-8988 and (+632) 8548-8223, or through the online appointment system at ustraveldocs.com/ph.

The Embassy stressed that there is no fee to change an appointment.

Also, the validity of the visa fee payment (known as the MRV fee) is extended until September 30, 2022.

It is to allow applicants who are unable to schedule a visa appointment because of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule or attend a visa interview appointment with the already paid fee.

In March 2020, the US Department of State suspended routine visa services worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In July 2020, U.S. Embassies and Consulates began a phased resumption of routine visa services.

For questions and case-specific inquiries, the Embassy encourages the public to contact its Consular Communications Group (for Nonimmigrant Visas) at https://ph.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/nonimmigrant-visa-inquiry-form/.

US Embassy in Manila cancels visa appointments scheduled through March 31

Marje Pelayo   •   January 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The United States Embassy in Manila has canceled all visa appointments scheduled through March 31, 2021.

Specifically, the schedule cancellation affects applications for H-1B, H-2B, L-1, J visas of individuals participating in the intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, as well as any spouses or children of covered applicants applying for H-4, L-2, or J-2 visas.

The decision is in line with the Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Who Continue to Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market signed by US President Donald Trump on December 30, 2020.

U.S. Embassies and Consulates have continued to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services since March and will continue to do so as they are able.  

As global conditions evolve and the Philippine conditions improve, we will begin providing additional services, culminating eventually in a complete resumption of routine visa operations.

Once routine visa services resume, all affected applicants should reschedule their visa interviews through the Embassy call center by phone at (+632) 7792-8988 and (+632) 8548-8223, or through the online appointment system at ustraveldocs.com/ph. 

The Embassy maintains that there is no fee to change an appointment, and the validity of the visa fee payment is extended until September 30, 2022.

Thi is to allow all applicants who are 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 interview appointment with the already paid fee.

Pemberton flies back to US following BI deportation order

Maris Federez   •   September 13, 2020

US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration has announced that US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton was successfully deported from the Philippines on Sunday morning, September 13.

Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval said in an interview that the military plane that carried Pemberton took off from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at exactly 9:14 a.m. He was accompanied by members of the US military and representatives of the US embassy.

The BI official, however, stressed authorities cannot disclose the specific state of Pemberton’s destination for security reasons.

Pemberton was convicted of homicide for killing Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude in 2014.

He was released by virtue of the absolute pardon granted to him by President Rodrigo Duterte after five years into his service of a six-to-10-year prison sentence.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in the Philippines on Sunday also released an official statement on Pemberton’s release.

“All legal proceedings in the case took place under Philippine jurisdiction and law,” it read.

“Lance Cpl. Pemberton fulfilled his sentence as ordered by Philippine courts and he departed the Philippines on September 13,” it added. — /mbmf

US gov’t issues travel advisory for PH

Marje Pelayo   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The United States government has advised its citizens to defer any travel to the Philippines due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country. 

In a travel advisory, the US Embassy in Manila cited the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) issuance of Level 3 Travel Health Notice due to the high risk of COVID-19 transmission in the country that may affect US nationals. 

The Embassy noted that should any US citizens fall sick in the Philippines, their health might get compromised due to limited resources and medical facilities. 

Apart from the ongoing pandemic, the US government also warned its nationals against the current security concerns in the Philippines.

“Please reconsider traveling to the Philippines due to COVID-19. Additionally, exercise increased caution in the Philippines due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, a measles outbreak, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk,” the Embassy concluded.

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