-- July 2011 ~ Travel and Immigration 101

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Basic Requirements Needed for US Visa Application

It’s been a long time since I last updated this blog. I had a very busy schedule, sorry to keep you waiting guys. So, after giving you some basic tips in UK Immigration and US Immigration as well as the Canada Immigration now I am sharing you’re the Basic Requirements needed for US Visa Application:

1. DS-160 ONLINE NONIMMIGRANT VISA ELECTRONIC APPLICATION – All applicants must complete the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application. Applicants can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website.

In order to avoid delays in processing visa applications, visa applicants or their representatives must ensure that the following information is correctly provided: Applicant’s Complete Name (required format is Surname, First Name(s), Middle Name), Applicant’s Passport Information (the passport used in filling out the form must be the same passport presented on the day of the interview), Other Names (for married female applicants, type your complete maiden name), Purpose of Trip (if the answer falls under “Other,” specify the purpose of travel in the blank provided), Primary Occupation (if the answer falls under “Other,” specify the occupation in the blank provided), Contact Person and Contact Address in the United States, Father’s Complete Name, and Mother’s Complete Maiden Name.

2.  PASSPORT – Signed passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of intended departure from the United States. The passport must be in good condition, i.e., photo lamination is undamaged, and all passport pages are intact.
Applicants must also present all previously issued passports or notarized affidavits of loss, if applicable.
Taiwanese passport holders who do not have Taiwan personal identification numbers listed above the date of birth on the biographic data page in their passports must present their original Philippine residency permit.
3.  PHOTO - One 2" x 2" standard photo.  The photo must be:
  • In color
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50% and 69% of the image's total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis
    • Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
    • Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
    • Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
    • If you normally wear glasses (without tinted lenses), a hearing device, or similar articles, they may be worn in your photo.
    • Dark glasses or glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable.
    • Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.
4. EXTENSION OF STAY/CHANGE OF STATUS – Please bring copies of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approvals of extension of stay or change of status, if applicable.
5.  PROOF OF RELATIONSHIP (if applying with/for dependent/s)
  • Original marriage certificate printed on Philippine National Statistics Office security paper, if applicable (if applying with a spouse and/or child)
  • Original birth certificate printed on Philippine National Statistics Office security paper (for dependent/s)

Monday, July 18, 2011


When we talk about travel and immigration, human trafficking always comes next. That is why our government creates a law about this one. The Trafficking Victim Protection Act of 2000 is the pertinent law on human trafficking. It defines the victims of severe forms of trafficking and it delineates what is considered mere exploitation, and when such exploitation rises to the level of human trafficking. There is a distinction between alien smuggling and human trafficking.

Human trafficking encompasses all ages, as well as men and women of varying educational levels.

Trafficking may start from the country of origin or when the person is already inside the United States. It is ironic that traffickers often victimize people from their own ethnic group.


Trafficking often involves fraud or coercion and could arise from simple exploitative employment to sophisticated and highly organized operations resulting in the exploitation of the victims.

Trafficking can arise from what appears as a legitimate recruitment business to criminal operations.

Several men from a certain village worked in the Middle East. When the security situation in that region worsened, they returned home, only to find out that life back home was difficult and there were only a few jobs. Soon, they found themselves flocking to the office of a recruiter.

The recruiter promised jobs in exchange for placement fees, which the job applicants agreed to pay by signing promissory notes in favor of a lender, who advanced the placement fees. After receiving their visas, the job applicants were herded to a hotel room and were introduced to a lender. The workers were promised housing, a certain rate and assured jobs upon arrival. The workers were met by an associate of the recruiter and were made to surrender their passports. There were four to a room in the workers' quarters, so it was difficult to have privacy.

The promises crumbled quickly when the workers could not immediately find work. Meanwhile, their family members were being harassed by the lender who advanced the placement fee.

Another scenario involved a woman who was offered a position in the U.S. after a battery of interviews. She was excited to start working immediately and save up money to pay off bills.

When she arrived, she was driven to a nightclub, where she joined several terrified young ladies. Her passport was taken away from her and she was required to service customers sexually to pay off her travel expenses and other costs incurred when she was transported to her "employer,"


The T visa provides relief to victims of severe forms of trafficking. Other types of relief may be available too, so it is worth exploring all immigration options.

The T visa is available for four years, with the possibility of adjusting into a lawful permanent resident at the end of the third year.

To avail of this visa option, the following requirements must be met: a severe form of trafficking must exist (sexual or labor exploitation); the victim is present on account of trafficking in persons; the victim has complied with a reasonable request for assistance from a law enforcement agency; and the victim will suffer extreme hardship if removed from the United States.

The U visa is another form of relief that a victim of human trafficking may qualify for. Just like the T visa, the U visa is available for four years, with the possibility of adjusting into a lawful permanent resident at the end of the third year.

The requirements for a U visa are as follows: the individual is the victim of one of the crimes listed under the law; the victim possesses information about the crime; the victim is willing to cooperate with law enforcement officers; and the victim suffered mental or physical abuse because of the crime.

There are other forms of relief available pursuant to laws such as the Violence against Women Act, political asylum (if applicable) and a special immigrant juvenile status may be available to minors.

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