St Luke’s Medical Exam

Procedures for Fiance or Spouse Visa Medical Exam at St. Luke’s, Manila

   Procedure for St Luke’s Visa Medical

In order to be approved for immigration to the USA each foreign born fiancee must undergo a medical examination. This is to demonstrate that the applicant is NOT ineligible for immigration due to issues of diseases that risk public health, mental instability or drug abuse.


All applicants processed in the Philippines have their medical’s at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Ermita, just a block away from the US Embassy. The medical is a lengthy process so I have developed a list of Tips for St. Luke’s Medical Center in order for the examination to go smoothly. Continue reading “St Luke’s Medical Exam”

Joint Sponsor for Philippines Fiance

Financial Joint Sponsor for Manila Fiance Visa

When you as an American Citizen apply to US immigration for your Filipina fiance to enter the USA to marry you, during the application process you must to demonstrate that you have adequate income or assets to prove that you are financially able to support your future spouse in order to prevent her from becoming a ward of the state.

What IF, you, the primary sponsor, don’t have enough income to meet the requirement?


Who I am + How I help couples get fiance or Spouse Visas

In most cases you are allowed to ask a friend or family member to help, and become your joint-sponsor.

Just like buying a car for a teenager, the joint-sponsor could ‘co-sign’ your loan.

But this option, if you are sponsoring a Fiancee in the Philippines is NOT available to you. Continue reading “Joint Sponsor for Philippines Fiance”

How an American gets Married in Philippines

How can an American marry in the Philippines?

I am pleased to help my clients get both fiancee and spouse visas to bring their loved ones to the USA.

Almost half of the couples I work with come from the Philippines. It turns out that the US Embassy in Manila is THE busiest of all US Embassies in the world. Processing 10’s of thousands of requests for visas to travel to the USA every year.

The Philippines is a wonderful country. The people are very kind, very gentle, they are awesome to know and be friends with.

English is taught in the schools so most Filipinos can speak some English, and they like the USA, they like Americans.

And most Filipino Families have some relatives who have already immigrated to the USA.

This all makes the Philippines a very popular place for an American to find romance.

I know that I did.


If you have fallen in love with someone from the Philippines basically you have two choices to bring him or her to the USA.

Either get engaged then apply for a fiancee visa or marry and apply for a spouse visa. Most choose the fiancee visa route because it is much faster than the spouse visa. Currently (and this changes over time), currently it takes about 8 to 9 months to get a Fiance visa from Manila, compared to 14 to 18 months to get a Spouse visa.

That “doesn’t make sense” you say. “Married should be faster”, Well, yes, BUT the way these processes work, a fiance visa is considered a non-immigrant visa, good for a 90 day visit, to meet potential inlaws and Disneyland, and IF a wedding occurs to remain in the USA permanently. But it is a big IF, and the system assumes the fiance might go back to Philippines, so since it is officially only for a short stay, the visa does not need to be vetted as much as a spouse visa.

A spouse visa on the other hand is considered REGULAR immigration. That means the applicant is not applying for a short visit, but is applying to stay in USA permanently. So there is more vetting, more examination, and the final approval includes approval for the GREEN CARD. The spouse visa allows your spouse to enter the USA, and to STAY permanently.

Despite the spouse visa needing more time, for many the attraction of marrying your love sooner, and having a wedding ceremony in a tropical paradise, among your spouse’s family, friends, and neighbors can be very attractive.

For those here is how to get married in the Philippines.

Getting married in the Philippines takes planning and it takes some time, and needs a minimum of 10 days.

If you’re flying in for a short stay you will have to plan your time carefully. The reason it takes at least ten days is because in order to get married one first needs to obtain a marriage license. Applying for a marriage license in the Philippines is somewhat like applying to buy a gun in the USA. There is a ten day cooling off period between when you file your application until the earliest you can get to the altar.

Applying requires you and your fiance to go to the court or mayors office and present the following documents.

Passports. Birth certificates. Proof of termination of previous marriages Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage and as in most recent update each applicant (even the American) must provide a Certificate of No Marriage, (CENOMAR), issued by the Philippines Government (PSA)

The CENOMAR can be ordered in advance and can be ordered online and takes about 10 days to be issued. It’s best to order this document well in advance of your arrival in the Philippines.

But the Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage is not so easy for an American to obtain.

The Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage is a document issued by a government body, that states the holder is currently not married and is free to marry.

Many countries like the Philippines maintain a central registry of marriages so this document would normally be issued by a government authority.

However, since the USA does not have any central registry of marriages it is impossible to find any US Federal, State or local government office that would issue the statement stating they have checked their records and you are not married and are eligible to marry.

So what can you do?

Well the US Embassy is there for you. They can not issue a document that categorically states you are not married, but what they CAN do is, allow you to raise your hand and swear to a consular officer that you are not married, and he then can issue a statement, that he has witnessed you making your sworn statement.

This is called “Affidavit In Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage”

Both the consular section at the US Embassy in Manila, and the consulate’s satelite office in Cebu will do this for you.

Do be aware however, that a very few of the local towns, like Quezon City, Makati City, and Davao City and others might not accept this Affidavit. Best is to find out in advance, and if necessary choose another town to marry in.

Marriage licences are good for 120 days, and the wedding doesn’t need to occur in the same town that issued the licence.

After you bring all the required documents to the court or mayor’s officer, and pay the licence fee, after the ten day waiting period the marriage license becomes valid and you can marry, either in church or in front of a judge or mayor.

To marry within only 10 days you must plan your trip carefully. For the shortest stay, you would plan to arrive in Manila or Cebu in the morning take taxi from airport to the consulate or embassy, get the Affidavit In Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, then pushing on to the local mayors or judge’s office before they close.

On the tenth day you can pick up your approved marriage licence and marry.

When planning your whirlwind 10 day trip, keep in mind that government offices are closed on weekends and holidays and plan your arrival and departure accordingly.

And of course while a 10 day trip including wedding is possible, it would be prudent and more relaxing if you give yourself few more days overall to your visit. This would give you a cushion in case of delayed flights, traffic jams, and so on.

When can you bring your new spouse to the USA?

Unlike what we saw in old movies an American can’t arrive, sweep a foreign beauty off her feet then throw her over his shoulder to board a Pan Am jet back to the USA.

Sorry, but once the honeymoon is over, you will most likely be returning to the USA alone.

To bring your new spouse to the USA. You need to apply through US immigration. Of course I can help.

Usually we start working together well before your wedding, in order to get “all our ducks in a row”.

But the earliest we can actually submit your application will be a few months after the wedding. This is because in order to successfully apply, your application needs to include a copy of your marriage certificate issued by the Philippines Federal government.

Sadly, in the past the Philippines has been plagued by fraudulent or counterfeit Civil documents. In order to make civil documents trustworthy, the the Philippines government has instituted national government office called the Philippines Statistics Authority, PSA. PSA’s job is to verify and vet Civil documents such as birth, death and marriage certificates. Even though, soon after the wedding, the local judge or mayor has issued you a local marriage certificate, that document is not accepted by US immigration. Instead, only the PSA version is acceptable. And it takes three months or so for the PSA to issue their own marriage certificate.

Once the wedding takes place, the time it takes to bring your spouse to the USA will be about 3 months to obtain the PSA marriage certificate plus another 14 to 18 months at US immigration before the visa is issued, and life together in the USA can begin.

Because it takes such a long time to bring your spouse to the USA many couples, decide not to marry in Philippines, and instead choose to marry in the USA. With a Fiance Visa, once a face to face meeting has taken place, a couple can usually get permission to come to the USA in only 8 to 9 months.

What can you do to speed the process ?

Don’t wait to bring VisaCoach on board. Typically, we should start working together months in advance of your trip to get married.

This way we can get most of the logistics out of the way, and on your trip to get married you will be armed with detailed instructions and checklists of what bases to touch during your trip, and what to bring back in the way of evidences to make your visa application strong and likely to be processed as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Then we craft your application to VisaCoach’s high standards, leaving a placeholder to insert the PSA marriage certificate the moment it is issued.

By Fred Wahl
the VisaCoach

Manila Interview

Fiance Visa Philippines Manila Interview

Every year, Manila leads the world with the most fiancee visas; being more than three times as many as the next busiest consulate. Guangzhou, China.



We’ve been working together and sent in our winning “front loaded” petition. Now our efforts have been rewarded, USCIS approved, NVC is sending the case to Manila, and now its time to prepare for the final step, the consular interview.

Every year, Manila leads the world with the most fianc�e visas. This is great for interviewees, as the Department of State has commissioned efficiency experts to ensure that the process here is streamlined and works as smooth as possible.

About two weeks after NVC notifys you as the American Sponsor that the case has been forwarded to the Philippines, the case should arrive in Manila to be input into the Manila consulates database. The consulate then sends your fiancee an email or letter telling her she can proceed to prepare for her interview.

Manila no longer mails out a packet with instructions and forms. Instead the notice she gets provides her links where she should go to download forms and instruction sheets as needed, for her to follow in order to schedule the interview.

If she doesn’t get the notice, don’t worry, we can proceed anyway, I have already posted copies of what you need at your online Dashboard

Very important: You really must wait until the case is in Manila. Jumping ahead before the case is actively in the consulates database will only cause confusion, and does not speed processing. Give it a good two weeks from the date of the NVC letter. If in doubt call the consulate to confirm the case has well and truly arrived.

First: Your fiance registers at Travel Docs. This website has been set up to help her book her interview. The bad news is this website has been designed and is operated by the same company that designed the Obama care website. It is difficult to navigate, and worse, it was designed primarily for travelers applying for tourist visas. so Fiance visas seem to added as an afterthought and the online instructions don’t reflect the specific needs of a fiance visa applicant.

After registering, your fiance prints out a machine readable deposit slip, this she takes with her to a local branch of the Bank of the Philippines Islands, in order to pay the consulates $240 visa application fee.

8 hours later, she can return online where the consulates scheduling calendar should now be visible. Here she books her interview.

The calendar is updated in real time. if someone cancels, an opening pops up instantly. The consulate releases available time slots a few weeks at a time a few months in advance. If you don’t see any available time slots, return to the calendar every few days until an appointment time is available.

If having trouble using the online scheduling, I recommend telephoning the consulate’s Visa Information and Appointment Service to have an human operator do the booking.

The consulate emails her confirmation of her interview appointment time and date.

She should print out a copy of this page. She will show it for entry to the consulate on the interview day, as well as entry to St. Lukes for her medical.

About two weeks prior to her interview, your fianc�e should go to St. Luke’s Medical Centre, it’s about a block away from the embassy for a medical. The process takes two days, the first for testing and prodding, such as blood and urine tests and chest x-rays.

The second day for review of test results and vaccinations.

St. Lukes now provides online registration. She can save herself a little bit of time effort on the day, by going online to fill in her personal contact and medical history details online, prior to arriving at the clinic.

When she attends St. Luke’s, she brings with her the appointment notice, three visa photos, her vaccination records, enough dollars or Pesos to pay the $223 US Dollar fee, her passport, plus a photocopy of its info page. St. Lukes retains her passport and later forwards it together with her medical results to the consulate.

Before attending the interview fiance needs go online to the State Department’s CEAC website and there complete and submit form DS-160. I have already completed this online. Your fiance reviews her information is accurate and then clicks submit. After submission, she prints out the confirmation page, and adds that to her set of documents to take to the interview.

To the interview she takes the appointment email, two visa photos, her birth certificate issued by the National Statistics Office Philippines called NSO, Certificate of No Marriage if she has never been married also issued by the NSO or if she’s previously married then proof of anulment or death of spouse, Police Clearance issued by the National Bureau of Investigation Philippines, NBI, and if she’s lived at any other country besides the Philippines for more that six months at a time after she was 16 years old, a police certificate from that country.

She also brings the confirmation page from the DS-160, and the bank receipt showing she paid the visa fee. along with documents you send her about your financial eligibility, such as your affidavit of support, recent tax return, a letter from your employer confirming your job and compensation, three to six recent pay stubs and if you were previously married, proof of termination of your past marriages.

Finally, she should carry evidence of the bonafides of your relationship such as photos, letters, emails, phone bills, instant messaging messages, money transfers, plane tickets, and visa stamps.

In the final preparation for the interview, you should talk to each other refreshing your memorys on the timeline of your courtship and general knowledge about each other. I have prepared a list of 120 common interview questions. These should be practiced until your fiance is fluent and can answer each in a relaxed and confident manner.

On the day of her interview, she should arrive early and arrive at gate number two.

This is the entrance that faces the Bay View Park Hotel. She’ll pass security to get inside the embassy compound and later there’ll be another checkpoint where she surrenders cellphones and any electronics. Once inside the building, she turns in some of her documents, then is given a number just like a ticket at a delicatessen. Eventually, her number is called and she goes to another clerk for a pre-interview. This is where they check to see if she’s brought in all of her required documents.

Eventually, when her number is called again, she goes to a cubicle where she speaks with a consular officer. The officer may ask about her background, your background, the relationship, and what your future plans are. This is the moment when the efforts we made “front loading” your petition pay off. During his review of the case file, the consular officer should see so much convincing evidence that your relationship is genuine, and that the visa should be approved, that there should not be much left to talk about. Our expectation now is for a quick wrap up and to hear “Welcome to the USA”.

She gets a pink slip, and takes this downstairs, to a counter where she writes her preferred delivery address, where the “2 Go” courier service will deliver her passport with new fiance visa attached.

Depending on where she lives, she gets the passport in 1 to two weeks.

Sometimes there are typos on the visa. It is best not to book flights, chapels, etc until after the passport is received and the visa is verified to have been typed correctly.

This is Fred Wahl the Visa Coach
I do the work, you get the gal (or guy)

Call me.

By Fred Wahl

US Embassy Manila Closing

Is US Embassy Manila (USEM) Closing?

Currently making the rounds are rumors that the US Embassy located in Manila is closing in July 2019. This rumor is absolutely false. The US Embassy has no intention of closing or moving or curtailing any of its services.


When embarking on the path to deal with US immigration to bring your fiancee or spouse to the USA there is a lot of information on the Internet. Sadly there is a lot of mis-information too. There are rumors, out of date material, and sometimes deliberate lies and pranks.

And that really is why, why it’s good idea to work with an experienced guide who knows the facts and can certainly separate rumor from reality.

I am Fred Wahl the VisaCoach and I help you get through a confusing and frustrating Immigration process so you can have a happy life together in the USA with your foreign partner.

In this video I’ll talk to about the background on what’s REALLY going on. And by the end of this video you will know who is effected and who is not.

About two months ago I announced in one of my videos that the USCIS international offices scattered around the world, were going to close. USCIS has been reducing its overseas presence for many years, currently or at least when the notice was made they still had about 20 offices with about 70 American personnel plus local staff. Their work was to support the US Embassy where they were located in helping process applications that came from Americans and their dependents who were living in area that the US embassy served.

This kind of service was called Direct Consular Filing. What DCF means is that Americans and their dependents, who are living in the overseas country that the consulate served, if they were applying for immigration benefits, could for applications such as spouse and dependent visas, submit their applications directly, in person to a local USCIS office or the consulate, and this avoided expensive mailing and speeded processing times.

For example, for an American ex-pat living in the Philippines. If he or she had been granted an alien card by the Philippines government, and then had had lived in the Philippines for at lease six months, then he or she could file directly to the USCIS office in Manila, for his or her spouse or child. The American could make an appoointment, come in, show proof of the Alien card and over 6 months of residence, and then drop off the application.

In only a few short months, the USCIS staff would complete their review of the application, then pass it over to the consular staff at the Embassy. The Embassy staff would conduct the final interview.

This was a real boon to those applicants, because most applications are submitted in the USA, and take about a year and a half to be processed, before arriving in Manila for the interview. Instead the application filed using DCF, would take only a few months to get to the interview.

Twenty years ago when I applied to bring Joyce to the USA on a spouse visa, all US embassies and consulates offered direct consular filing. I was living as an expat in Hong Kong with Joyce, and I was able to file directly to the Hong Kong embassy on Garden Road, and we got our spouse visa in about 5 months.

As time went by, one by one, the various consulates and embassies stopped offering DCF. Finally only 23 locations still offered it. These were locations that ALSO has a USCIS office. Now these USCIS offices are closing. And with their closing, Direct Consular Filing, DCF will no longer be available.

But for most, the closing of the USCIS offices makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE. Only a very few applications were eligible for DCF, the VAST majority all followed the standard route.

And by the way, while this process was available for spouses and dependents, it was never available for Fiance visa applications. Always Fiance visa applications had to be submitted in the USA, regardless of whether the American sponsor lived inside or outside the USA.

So the closing of the last USCIS international offices, will frankly have little to no effect, simply now regardless of where the American sponsor lives, when he applies to US immigration, he will have to submit his application to USCIS offices in the USA. No longer can he submit the application or drop it off at a local USCIS international office.

So what caused the rumor that the US Embassy in Manila is closing in July?

Well, basically people are misreading the headlines.

The news announcements, the headlines in the Philippines press all say something like. “USCIS Closes Manila Office”

Somehow people miss read that statement and changed it to the “US Embassy in Manila is closing”.

USCIS is closing its small office presence, is certainly not the same that the US Embassy is closing.

USCIS had some office space located within the US Embassy compound. There a half a dozen American USCIS personel and local Filipino supporting staff conducted USCIS business working on DCF applications. Now these few Americans are returning to the USA and will conduct their work in the USA.

The Filipino staff will probably be reassigned to job opportunities at the US Embassy itself. And some office space within the Embassy will temporily become vacant.

The embassy itself will continue to operate, business as usual. Interviewing visa applicants and processing their cases, also business as usual.

The last local DCF application was accepted by the Manila USCIS office on May 4. Then they stopped excepting any further DCF applications. Today they are wrapping up the last cases they have in the pipeline, and packing to move back to the USA.

The vast majority of applicants never were eligible for DCF, so for them there is absolutely no change. For the few, well, now they will be treated just like the rest of us.

The few applicants who were previously eligible to apply locally in the Philippines now must send their applications all the way to the USA, and then wait for them to eventually return to Manila where the interview will be held at the US Embassy that is open today, will be open tomorrow, will continue to be open in July, and will remain open as long as the USA and Philippines have diplomatic relations.

By Fred Wahl
the VisaCoach

How to Bring Filipino Spouse to USA: CR1 Visa to Citizenship

How to Bring your Filipina Spouse to the USA: CR1 visa thru to US Citizenship

I am very familiar with the Philippines. I have traveled all over the country from Laoag in the far North to Zamboanga in the far south.

The first ever immigration petition I prepared almost 50 years ago was for my own Filipina fiancee.

I am Fred Wahl the VisaCoach and I work for you to prepare and craft
your applications to submit to US Immigration. Sometimes callers
ask me “Do I fill in the forms for them, or do they have to do it themselves?”.  Of course, I and the VisaCoach Team together prepare your application for you.

And unlike the other services, we do not abandon you once you submit
your application but remain at your side, and continue working and guiding you all the way on this journey until your Filipino Spouse calls to say she or he is “on the way”.  And then after arrival to USA, I am also available to help with the next steps at US immigration, obtaining the unconditional green card, and eventually US Citizenship.

What is Your current situation?

Well you have fallen in love, Your special someone is from the Philippines.
Covid has blocked you from meeting in-person. You have been desperately waiting for quarantines and restrictions to be lifted. And now finally in February 2022 they HAVE been lifted. Finally you can meet.

Finally you can start the process to bring her or him home to the USA to
join you for a happy married life together.

So, what do you do?

Well, besides getting on the first available flight to the Philippines,
you need to prepare yourself to overcome a complicated and difficult immigration system that stands in the way of your happiness.

Fortunately, I am here to help you.

Today I am going to explain “How to Bring your Filipino Spouse home to the USA”

And , please watch to the end of this video, because near the end I
Will also explain what happens after your spouse arrives.

After all, after going through so much effort, you don’t want her or him to
have to leave your side. I will speak about the next steps after arrival,
how to obtain and keep permanent residency and finally how your partner can become a US citizen

Now, let’s talk about “How to bring your Filipina Spouse to the USA”

So the Big picture is:

We prepare an application, it is submitted in the USA to the United States
citizenship and Immigration service (USCIS),

And then once USCIS has completed its review, the case goes to the US State
department’s National Visa Center (NVC) in New Hampshire.

And finally NVC couriers the case overseas to the US Embassy in Manila for the in-person interview and approval of the visa.

Then your uses the visa to travel to and enter the USA

Now let’s get into the details:

First we submit a thick package of application forms and supporting documents and evidence. This is the “front loaded petition” that VisaCoach is famous for.

My philosophy, the VisaCoach philosophy, which we rigorously follow on every case, team VisaCoach works on, is that success, final outcome, final approval, depends 99% on the quality of your application that you and we together prepare and submit to US immigration.

We take every opportunity, leave no stone unturned, in making your application as complete and persuasive as possible.

The quality of the work we accomplish at the start, at the “front” of this process, determines the ultimate outcome.

When quality goes in, a positive result comes out.

The petition package is mailed to USCIS.

Spouse Visa applications go to Chicago, Dallas or Phoenix

After initial sorting then the applications are assigned and forwarded to one
of six USCIS service centers that are scattered throughout the USA.

At the destination USCIS service center your case is reviewed and processed.

USCIS takes many months to complete their review.

Normally, USCIS should complete their review in under 5 months, but recently however, under Covid they have been taking around twice as long.

Hopefully this will improve. Recently I just had two cases emerge from USCIS in a super fast, three few months. I don’t know if that is a trend for 2022 (I hope so) or an anomaly. It’s too soon to really tell.

If I get good news later, I will post a short “In a minute” video to update processing times. For the time being expect it to be slow.

Slow or fast, US immigration is like a one lane highway. The sooner you enter and get in line the sooner you exit, and the cases that enter after you, will only get to Their destination after you do. So the sooner you apply, the sooner this will be behind you.

The review at USCIS includes an FBI background check. This is usually only on the US Citizen’s background, however it will also include your Filipino Spouse if she or he had ever lived in the USA for a while.

When USCIS is satisfied with your application, they “approve”, at least as far as they are concerned, then hand your case over to the NVC, based in New Hampshire.

While your case is at NVC, two fees are paid, the visa application fee and the
affidavit of support fee.

Then we gather and submit to NVC various civil documents and evidence that they require

These includc:

Your Spouse’s Police Clearances
Marriage and Birth Certificates
And your financial Evidence

Once NVC has all of your materials they will review them. This review usually takes one or more months. Eventually NVC says you case is “Documentarily Qualified”. Or DQ.

Normally, right after your case is documentarily qualified, NVC reaches out
to the US Embassy in Manila, checks the consulate’s appointment schedule and books your spouse’s Interview. They email you to advise the date and time then pack your application into a DHL mailbag and ship it off to the Philippines.

At least that is the way it normally works. The Philippines shut down and shut down hard back in March 2020. Since then the shut downs and quarantines have continued, and most businesses and services were closed for extended periods, some still have not reopened, some only partially reopened.

The US Embassy in Manila followed the local quarantines as well. And while closed, or only partially opened, cases kept piling up.

Today there are about a year’s worth of cases, which were approved at USCIS, assigned to Manila for processing, and are still waiting for their interviews.

These cases are mostly still at NVC waiting for the US Embassy in Manila to say they are ready to interview more cases. Whenever that happens, months worth of the oldest cases are doled out and sent to Manila for processing.

The good news, is that since you are now allowed to travel to the Philippines as a tourist, this is what the consulate was waiting for. If quarantines are relaxed enough that anybody can fly to the Philippines, and that also means that more officers and contractors can also fly to the Philippines to temporarily swell the consulate’s staff and processing capacity.

I expect this means more staff, more interviews each day, more visas issued, and the size of the backlog reduced day by day.

Hopefully by the time your own application gets Documentarily Qualified at NVC, the backlog will be cleaned up, or at least seriously reduced.

So that when NVC reaches out to Manila to schedule your appointment, time
slots will be available and your case can be transferred to the consulate
for processing without any extra delay at NVC.

Fingers crossed !!

Finally the day will come when your case is sent via diplomatic pouch to the Philippines.

There are two US consulate locations in the Philippines, in Manila and Cebu City.

The Consulate in Manila handles all Spouse visa interviews.

Sorry, even if your partner lives across the street from the consulate in Cebu, she or he must still make the trip to Manila for processing.

In the run up and preparation for the interview there are a few steps we need to accomplish.

And please recall, that unlike other services, VisaCoach will still be with
you on this journey, still providing personal guidance. I will provide you with clear instructions on exactly what needs to be done, and provide detailed personalized checklists.

You, the US sponsor, send your spouse the affidavit of support we had prepared, along with your corresponding financial evidence such as tax returns and employment or asset proofs.

Your Spouse obtains the Certificate of No Marriage, from the Philippines Statistics Office. This is abbreviated CENOMAR, and pronounced “sen oh mar”.

And yes, while it is called certificate of NO marriage, it is still required. This time when it is issued and reviewed it will say your partner “IS MARRIED”, to YOU.

And finally your Spouse undergoes a two day medical exam at St. Luke’s Clinic in Manila.

On the big day your Spouse attends the interview at the US consulate.

Shortly, after arrival at the consulate your Spouse is greeted by a local Filipino clerk,  and asked to show all of the documents that the consulate expected to be presented for your case.

The clerk will go over each item on his or her checklist, ticking off that your
Spouse has brought the needed documents.

It is critical that your partner be well prepared and has brought EVERYTHING that is required.

Failure to bring even one item might cause the interview to be canceled,
or if allowed to proceed, might add months of additional delay till the visa is issued.

Because this is so critical, and with proper planning it is so easy to avoid problems, we at VisaCoach prepare for you a personalized precise checklist on what must be brought to the consulate without fail for your case. We prepare this checklist using our knowledge of your background and situation combined with our previous experience working with the consulate, knowing what they want and what they don’t want.

Finally comes the actual interview. This is when your Spouse meets with an
American consular officer, it is no longer the local hires. This officer will be
making the final decision on your case.

This is the BIG event.

During the interview, the consular officer must be CONVINCED your relationship is bona fide and not a sham contrived for immigration purposes.

Sorry, to say this, but US immigration has had a long and troubled history with fiance and spouse visas. Their experience has not been a good one.

For regular immigration, there are simple tests of eligibility. For example if a naturalized US citizen were to apply for his/her mother or brother to immigrate to the USA, the simple test would be birth certificates. As all the names on these official documents would match, the mother or brother would be clearly eligible and approved for their immigration visas.

But for “romance” type visas, for spouse visas like you have applied for there is no simple, clear test.

Instead, the officer must rely on you and your spouse words, your statements that your relationship is real, not a sham for immigration purposes..

Don’t get me wrong. I know that YOU are totally sincere, totally in love, totally genuine.

But the officer does not know you like I do. There is nothing personal about the officers suspicions, the problem is that the “well has been poisoned”, by the con-men and scammers who long ago figured out that if they could trick their way into the USA. These crooks have made it difficult for honest people.

Because no simple reliable test exists, because so many consular officers have been tricked and made fools of before, because of their frustration and embarrassment, the consular officers have decided to take the pessimistic and confrontational attitude that all romance visa cases are probably shams. not bona fide.

Sadly they will treat you and your spouse as “guilty until proven innocent”

The original application that we prepared and submitted to USCIS, long long ago, at the start of the application process, now is opened on the Consular officers desk for his or her preparation for the interview.

The officer always reviews the application while your partner is waiting in the lobby of the consulate. He or she is preparing what questions to ask and
is searching for “red flags” that increase his or her suspicion. The officer is
looking for reasons for denial.

And this is why the Visacoach method of “front loading” a petition is so valuable. We craft each application, understanding the consular officers’ stand point.

We understand as a professional, if he or she finds convincing evidence of
your sincerity he or she will be prepared to approve and issue the visa.
We also know that if it is not totally clear that the couple is genuine, if
for any reason he or she is not totally convinced, that the officer
would prefer to deny, instead of taking any changes.

After all, if he or she approves a scamming couple the officer’s career
and reputation is hurt, but if the officer denies an honest couple, he or she is only being diligent, and the denied couple can always reapply, so “no harm done”.

So what we want to do is help the officer make the right decision.

We help him/her do their job by going the extra mile to make sure your application does the talking for you, that it contains what is needed to convince a reasonable but skeptical person to trust you and your situation.

It would be nice if you could attend the interview and personally smooth out
any misunderstandings before they cause problems. But you won’t be there.
Only your spouse attends the interview. Even if you are present in the Philippines you will not be able to enter the Consulate, you will be kept outside. Your spouse faces the interview alone.

While you can’t be there in-person, our plan at VisaCoach is to help you to
be there, at least “in Spirit”.

With each VisaCoach “front loaded” application, we include a personal statement from you that describes “how you met, why you were attracted to each other, the development of your relationship, key moments in your courtship, the circumstances of your proposal, what happened at the wedding and your plans for a future life and family together in the USA.

Bona fide couples have history. They have plans. Their history and plans have many, many details. By sharing these details, we help the officer to get to know you.  And once the officer gets to know you, he or she is surely going to trust you and your situation.

For most of my clients, creative writing is difficult. I know it is difficult for me.

But I have designed our system at VisaCoach to help make it easy for you to tell your important honest detailed story.

We guide you step by step, bit by bit, prompting you with short questions, in order to hear your answers in your voice. Then using our expertise in what is important to the consular officer’s decision, we combine and edit your words together crafting a clear, readable document that goes a long, LONG way to bring the consular officer to an understanding of the you and your spouse as two sympathetic honest human beings, people who are truly in love, people could easily be his or her neighbors back in the USA.

By front loading your application with well chosen evidence, by including you there in spirit, we set the tone, for a successful interview.

Most of VisaCoach’s interviews are short and sweet, ending with “Welcome to the USA”.

About two weeks later, the consulate has printed the visa into your spouse’s passport and then returns her or his passport to your partner using LBC Express courier.

The courier can deliver the passport to your Spouse’s home, they have offices, and couriers on motorcycles scattered all over the Philippines to help do so. Or if your Spouse prefers, she or he can arrange to personally pick the passport up at one of 99 LBC offices, including one at the Mall of Asia.

Your Spouse’s visa is valid for 6 months. The clock starts on the, date of the St. Luke’s medical

This gives your Spouse plenty of time to settle affairs before leaving for the USA.

But, before your Spouse boards the aircraft, she or he must attend a 2 hour class sponsored by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).

This is a requirement made by the Philippines government basically to
protect your Spouse teaching how to recognize spousal abuse and what to do about it..

Your Spouse must take the class, and obtain a stamp affixed to her or his passport. This is checked at the airport. Your partner will not be allowed onto the aircraft without proof of taking the class.

Soon after arrival your Filipino spouse gets her or his Green Card.

Regularly I am asked, “why does a spouse visa take longer to get than a fiancée visa?”.

Well the answer is because a Fiance visa only is like a temporary tourist visa. It only gives your partner permission to visit the USA for 90 days. But the Spouse Visa is more serious (at least in the eyes of US immigration). It is considered REGULAR immigration. They know your partner is not coming for a short visit, but is coming to stay permanently.  So the process for a spouse visa takes longer because in addition to granting permission
to cross into the USA, you partner is granted permission to stay as a lawful resident.

This means her or his Green Card is already approved and is waiting on your partner’s arrival to be issued.

But wait ! This Green Card has an expiry date that is only two Years away !!

The reason that they only issue a Conditional green card valid for only two years is because US immigration is still cautious, they are still skeptical about your “romance” case and they want one more opportunity to catch you in fraud.

Just prior to the end of the two years of Lawful Residence, we apply to USCIS once again.  This application is called “Removal of Conditions on Residence”

At the end of this process, usually 1 to 2 years, your Filipino spouse finally gets a regular Green Card, this one is permanent without conditions.

For many this is the end of the US immigration journey. Your Filipino spouse has her or his green card, can reside in the USA as long as she or he wants. Your spouse is still a citizen of the Philippines, and still uses her or his Philippines Passport when traveling outside the USA.

However, for most, there is one more, one last Final step that can be taken.

Once your Filipino spouse has been a lawful US resident for 3 years, if she or he wants, can apply to become a US Citizen, and be able to vote in US elections and travel using a US passport.

The couples Team VisaCoach helps become our friends and family. We are honored to guide you through each step of the immigration Journey. Starting from courtship to arrival on Spouse visa, to Green card and permanent residency and finally all the way through to US naturalization and Citizenship

This was Fred Wahl, The VisaCoach,

How to Bring Your Filipino fiance to USA

How To Bring your Filipina Fiancee to the USA?


I am very familiar with the Philippines.
I have traveled all over the country from Laoag in the far North to Zamboanga in the far south. The first ever K1 fiance visa petition I prepared almost 50 years ago was for my own Filipina fiancee.

Continue reading “How to Bring Your Filipino fiance to USA”

Tagalog Intro

Fiance Visa Philippines : For your Filipina Fiancee

Kumusta Ka. Salamat sa pagbisita.

I loved and married a Filipina. I know how wonderful, loyal, shy and patient you are. I understand how hard it is for you to directly suggest to your BF to take action to do what needs to be done.

And since I am an American Man, I also understand his situation. We hate reading and struggling through a stack of government forms and documents. Ask him in April when he is preparing his taxes. This is NOT something we look forward to.

Sometimes, even though we know better, and we WANT to move forward, we procrastinate, and delay.

Getting a Fiance or Spouse Visa to join your lover in the USA takes a LONG time. 4 – 6 months for Fiancee. 10 to 14 months for Spouse. Its just like shooting a rocket to Mars. You work, you prepare, you LAUNCH, then you wait. Besides dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s”, the ONLY thing you can control is how soon you launch. In the case of immigration, its how soon you send in your complete Fiance or Spouse petition.

Simply said, “the SOONER you start, the SOONER you get here”. Delaying, just stretches out the time you are separated.

What should you do?

Copy and Email him my phone number 1-800-806-3210 ext 702
or this address 

In just a few minutes, I WILL set him straight. I’ll teach him what needs to be done, I’ll answer any questions he has. I’ll clear up and make simple what seems so confusing.

The sooner he calls, the sooner you start your happy life in the USA.


Bringing your Filipina From Philippines to Your Doorstep Has Never Been Easier.

” Everything was done professionally. When we were uncertain about things you knew exactly how to ease our minds. Having these forms in our hands prepared by you gave us a sense of confidence as we sent them off. Your timeline was 5-7 months…it was 6 months exactly ,right on the money. 

You know Fred ,it’s funny now…in the early days of our filing others would say..”oh ,you need an immigration attorney or you will be years bringing her over”… , since she got here so quickly they are asking me for your website and phone number ,lol. 

Thanks so much Fred ,i will be downloading your form and sending you a postal money order soon for AOS for Maribel and Thessa. 

Thanks. Brent 
Fiance from PhilippinesPhilippines



If you want your visa, FAST and SURE
you are at the right place.

I have recently (May 2014) had a case approved by USCIS in only NINE DAYS !!!!. USCIS barely had time to cash their check.

This means if hire Visa Coach,now, she will most likely join you, in the USA in about SIX months.

Ritchy and I are patiently waiting for her interview appointment in Manila. Thank you so much for all your help so far….the petition you prepared for us is excellent. While I felt confident I could have? done this on my own, I realized that just one tiny error would set us back for months!!! We are happy we found you…..

Bill + Ritchy
Fiance from Philippines Philippines

Fiance Visa Philippines Help
(this video is specially made for Tagalog Speaking Filipina fiancee or spouse, on how I personally guide you through this complicated immigration process)


Click here to view the English Version of the above Video
Not only do I know the Philippines, and am an expert with over 35 years experience, but I ALSO know how to help make your Interview at the US Embassy in Manila easier for you. When I work with my couples, I ALWAYS help them to “FRONT-LOAD” their fiancee or spousal visa petition. This helps to answer the questions the consular officer normally asks, and once answered, he won’t have much left to ask YOU. Watch my video below that explains how I can take the pressure off of you.

You only have ONE chance to make a First Impression.

Most Consulate Visa interviews last a grueling 15 to 30 minutes

most of MY Fiance Visa Petition clients 
pass the interview in ONLY 5 minutes


This is because we provide the information we want the consular officer to see, ‘up front’ as part of the petition submitted originally to USCIS. The consular officer will typically review the package prior to the interview. When he reads the extensive and persuasive evidence that we have logically laid out for him, he should be convinced of the ‘bone fides’ of the relationship before the interview even starts.

This makes asking any remaining questions more a formality than a fact finding, interrogation, and leaves very little for the consular officer to say besides ‘Welcome to America’.

It certainly requires extra work and effort, to produce a 100 to 150 page petition, versus a few dozen pages that most un-motivated preparers are willing to submit, but the benefit is PRICELESS as it results in of taking the pressure off of the fiancee to :”PERFORM” at the interview, thus improves chance of SUCCESS.

Get Visa to Join your Lover: Sooner…I’ve Been Helping International Couples Unite for Over 35 Years!

You want to come to the US as quickly as possible, without anxiety, and for a reasonable cost, right? Then we’re on the same page.

I am a fiance visa specialist with over 35 years experience in international matchmaking.

My sole focus is helping couples navigate the complicated US fiancee visa requirements with ease so they can obtain their K1 fiancee or CR1 Marriage Visa and be united permanently.

This isn’t just a business for me.

I petitioned successfully for MY wife, (AND my Fiancee) too.


I genuinely care, and I work with you one-on-one throughout the entire process until you succeed. My edge is that I offer unique support that comes from 35 years of experience helping many hundreds of real couples like you. Their stories and their experiences are the foundation of “what really works” in addition to following the fiance + spousal visa procedures.

Philippines Fiance Visa


Maraming taon nang tumutulong si Fred Wahl sa mga magkarelasyon upang makakuha ng kanilang Visa ,  at pwede ka rin nyang tulungan! Naiintindihan ni Fred na isang mahirap at minsan ay nakakatakot na proseso ang pagkuha ng Visa, kaya sinisigurado nya na sya mismo ang gagabay sa kanyang mga kliyente sa buong prosesong ito.

Siya ay parehong bonded Immigration Consultant, at isang tanyag na matchmaker. Bilang isang matchmaker, ang kanyang misyon ay tulungan ang mga magkarelasyon upang maikasal at magkaroon ng isang masayang buhay.  Bilang isang Immigration Consultant, ang kanyang misyon ay tulungan ang mga magkarelasyon na magkita sa USA sa pinakamabilis at pinakakomportableng paraan hangga’t maaari.

Palagi siyang nagtu-tuon ng personal na pansin at nagbibigay ng suporta upang tiyakin na ikaw ay komportable sa buong proseso. Siya ay pamilyar sa lahat ng mga kinakailangang gawin sa Immigration hanggang sa huling detalye.  Sisiguraduhin nya na walang mga natatagong sorpresa na hindi kanais-nais. Siya’y may mahabang karanasan pagdating sa ganitong aspeto at kapag ginawa ng tama ang paghahanda sa simula pa lamang, ang buong karanasan ay magiging madali.

Hindi kagaya ng ibang kasangguni, si Fred ay tunay na nagmamalasakit sa kanyang mga kliyente, at talagang nais nya na kayo ay magtagumpay. Makikipag-usap siya sa inyo ng malinaw at pwede kayong makipagugnayan direkta  sa kanya, Lunes hanggang Biyernes sa pamamagitan ng telepono at email. At siya ang personal na sasagot sa inyo, kaagad!

Ang Paghahanda ng isang matagumpay na petisyon para sa Visa ay kagaya ng isang sining at isang agham.  Agham ang pagsagot sa mga form ng tama, at paglagay ng lahat ng mga opisyal na dokumento sa tamang paraan.  Ang sining ay sa pagpapakita ng karapatang katibayan upang makumbinsi ang isang taong hindi ka kilala na kayo ay totoong magkasintahan. Magaling si Fred sa pagsasabi ng inyong kwento, at titiyakin nya na kayo ay lalabas na kapani-paniwala.

Ang paghahanda ng isang petisyon para sa Visa ay maaaring maging kumplikado, at ang lahat ng mga forms at mga papeles ay dapat isampa sa Estados Unidos. Bagaman tila mas madaling magbayad ng isang tao na nagsasalita ng iyong sariling wika, hindi ka nila matutulungan sa pinaka-mahalagang bahagi, ito ay ang tamang pagkumpleto ng “petition package”, na kailangang ihanda ni Fred at ng iyong kasintahan, at pagkatapos ay isusumite sa US. .

Patuloy kayong tutulungan ni Fred sa sandaling dumating ka sa US, at sisiguraduhin niyang magiging madali ang iyong paglipat sa iyong bagong bahay, at maaari ka rin niyang tulungan upang ikaw ay makapag-aplay para sa “permanent residency”. Ito din ay isang bagay na kung saan ang isang lokal na tao sa iyong bansa ay hindi ka matutulungan.

Pinagmamalaki ni Fred Wahl ang kanyang pagiging isang tunay na propesyonal. Hindi nya lamang titiyakin na lahat ng iyong papeles ay tama, pero titiyakin nya rin na kumportable ka sa proseso at alam mo kung ano ang aasahan at sasabihin. Ang mga petisyon na ginawa ni Fred ay karaniwang mas mabilis na naaaprubahan. 

Para sa bawat hakbang, maaari kang mag-log in sa iyong sariling pribadong account sa web kung saan magbibigay si Fred ng malinaw na direksyon tungkol sa kung ano ang susunod na gagawin. At pagdating ng iyong interbyu sa embahada, siya ay maghahanda sa kung ano ang iyong sasabihin, kung ano ang dadalhin, at magbibigay sya ng isang daan at dalawampung mahirap na mga katanungan para sayo at sa iyong kasintahan upang kayo ay makapagensayo at ikaw ay handa na kapag sila’y magtanong.

Nais ni Fred Wahl na ikaw ay mamuhay ng masaya habang buhay. At ang isang matagumpay na petisyon para sa Visa ayang iyong huling hadlang. Hayaang si Fred ang iyong maging kaibigan at gabay sa prosesong ito upang tiyakin na ito ay magawa ng tama. Maaari mong talakayin ang mga detalye kay Fred sa telepono o sa personal, kaya huwag ng mag-atubiling makipag-ugnayan sa kanya anumang oras.  

Para sa mga ganito kaimportanteng bagay, tiyakin na mayroon kang isang tao na maaari mong mapagkakatiwalaan. Bisitahin ang upang makakuha ng proseso at makapagsimula kaagad.


Let me do ALL the work for you.

I guide my clients through the whole process, starting with strategy to help you ANTICIPATE what the consulate you are dealing with wants, helping you to plan trips, and collect evidences, from a personalized, detailed “kitchen sink” document and photo check list, to preparing an AWESOME petition that because it is complete, and thorough, and well organized, and tells your story in the most believable way, paves the way for your Fiancee to have a sucessful AND pleasant interview. Not only do I prepare the intitial petition, but I ALSO stay with you all the way through the time we wait for USCIS to approve, providing guidance on police certificates, vaccinations and interview questions, then in the final run-up to the interview, show you how to schedule the earliest appointment and lastly I upload to your private page, completed forms for your Fiance(e) to sign to take to the interview at the US embassy in Manila, detailed instructions on obtaining chest x-ray and blood tests at St. Lukes Medical Center, Manila , paying the visa fees at Banco de Oro , obtaining Police Certificates from NBI Philippines, obtaining the “CENOMAR”, details on exactly what needs to be done, what you and your Fiance(e) should do to prepare for the interview, a list of 120 most likely interview questions for you to practice, a completed affidavit of support for your signature.

By Fred Wahl
The Visa Coach


Philippines 9a Visa for USA spouses during Covid

If you have been keen to travel to the Philippines, now you can. 

Spouses of Philippine citizens are now allowed in. No longer banned from travel due to Covid 19.

So if you are married to a Philippine citizen and ready to travel, now you can.  

This really is great news. 

To the great frustration of all, since Covid quarantine started, nobody except Philippine citizens have been allowed to enter the Philippines.

Until recently.

Starting in August 2021, after 15 months of Tight lockdown, the Philippines immigration service finally announced that they would start issuing visitor Visas to American citizens who are married to Philippine nationals. 

This includes those who got online marriages and may not have even met in person yet.

For details on how to obtain an online marriage for $100 

The visa now available to allow American spouses travel to the Philippines, is called a 9a temporary visitor visa. 

To apply for it, reach out to the nearest Philippines consulate, fill in an application form, pay $30, and provide  supporting documents and evidence.

Last week, I got calls from two of my clients who had successfully accomplished this. They were on their way to the Philippines.

And of course, immediately on return To the USA,from this honeymoon trip we will apply for their spouse visas. 

Previously They had to put their plans to submit CR1 spouse visa applications on hold, because US immigration only approves spouse visa applications when there is proof that the couple has met in person, AFTER the wedding has taken place.

So not only are these couples on the way to their honeymoons, but are finally making progress to complete the necessary steps to have a Life together In the USA !!

For those who don’t know about online marriages, this is what they are and how an American can obtain one.. 

An officiant based in Utah can conduct a lawful marriage ceremony over a zoom conference. 

This is called a “web conference” wedding. It is not a proxy wedding. As a proxy wedding means one of the couple is absent and someone else is standing in as a representative, a “proxy” at the ceremony.

At the “web conference” wedding everyone is present, bride, groom, officiant, and witnesses all via a Zoom video conference.

The result of this wedding is a binding and acceptable marriage certificate. And it does not mention that the ceremony took place online. It reads the same as any marriage certificate proving a lawful marriage has been entered into.

And this proof of marriage is totally acceptable to the Philippines and can be registered in the Philippines at the PSA, the Philippines statistics authority.

But for US immigration purposes, you are not quite there yet. US immigration requires this piece of paper proving a lawful ceremony has taken place, AND on top of that also requires proof that the couple spent time together in person after the ceremony.

Due to Covid this in person requirement has been very hard to satisfy. 

Until now!

Here is how you you apply for your Philippines visa

Your marriage needs to be recognized by the Philippines government. If you married in the Philippines this should have followed as a matter of course. Obtain a certificate that confirms your marriage from the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA). 

If you married outside the Philippines then register your foreign wedding certificate at PSA and wait on them to issue their corresponding certificate.

Do a google search on what Philippines Embassy or Consulate location is responsible for handling cases from the State where you reside and download from the consulate an application form for the 9a Temporary Visitor Visa. Fill it in.

Gather the documents and evidence needed for your application. Usually this includes your Passport, your PSA marriage certificate, proof of income, visa photo, and an invitation letter from your spouse. Unfortunately the application process is still in its early stages, and there is no uniform set of requirements yet. Each consulate appears to have slightly different requirements. So obtain the list of supporting documents that is needed from the consulate you will be working with and follow their individual procedures..

Send in your completed application package and include a self addressed prepaid return envelope.

Be patient.

Feedback so far is that it takes awhile for the consulate to process your application, And I have received multiple reports that the consulate’s seem to change the goal posts during the process asking for more materials than which were instructed to you at the start. Bear with it and eventually your visa will be on its way to you.

Once you receive the visa, Jump on a flight to the Philippines, and enjoy quality time with your spouse and her family in person. If you had married over the internet and this is your time to meet then also enjoy your honeymoon and collect and bring back proofs to apply for a CR1 spouse visa. Ideally you hired me and the VisaCoach staff to prepare your application.

This was Fred Wahl, The VisaCoach,  here to personally guide you on this journey.

Web Conference Online Proxy Marriage for CR1 Spouse Visa

These last two years under Covid have been very frustrating for all of us. And for those who were ready to marry their foreign fiancee’s but have had to put their wedding plans on hold it has been a long lonely time as well.

Today I want to share with you how to obtain an online marriage and use it
for US spouse visa immigration.

And I have found an organization that offers this wedding service for
Only $100.  Links at bottom of this article.

And watch to the end of the video, as I will share how you can use your
Online marriage to travel to the Philippines to meet your Filipino spouse.

Now, let’s talk about “How to marry online via Zoom and apply for
CR1 Spouse Visa.

An officiant based in Utah State can conduct a lawful marriage ceremony over a zoom conference.

This is called a “web conference” wedding.

It is not a proxy wedding. As a proxy wedding means one of the couple is absent and someone else is standing in as a representative, a “proxy” at the ceremony.

At the “web conference” wedding everyone is present, bride, groom, officiant, and including witnesses all via a Zoom video conference.

The result of this wedding is a binding and acceptable marriage certificate.

It does not mention that the ceremony took place online. It reads the same as any marriage certificate proving a lawful marriage has been entered into within the State of Utah.

Decide which Utah officiant you wish to work with. I recommend using the county clerks offices in Utah County, Utah. They are not private but government, and the fee they charge reflects that they are providing a service to the public not for profit. You can obtain both a licence, ceremony and certified marriage certificate for around $100. I have put a link to their website at the end of this article.

I use their procedures for the following instructions

Complete an online registration form. I will include a link to this in the video notes also

Submit online images of your government issued photo identification

Pay the license fee online via credit card.

Pay fees, and book time and date for your Web Conference wedding

Enjoy your wedding ceremony

Watch for certified copies of your marriage certificate to arrive in the mail

That’s it.  You are now lawfully married and you have solid proof that is valid wherever you go.

If your next step is to apply for a spouse visa to bring your spouse to the USA, sorry you have one more hurdle to jump before US immigration will accept and approve your visa application, you need to meet your spouse in-person.

That means getting on the plane, spending time together and now with both a marriage certificate and proof of in-person meeting while married, you are ready to apply for a spouse visa.

For couples where one partner lives in the Philippines, this final step, to meet in person has been impossible during the last two years, as the Philippines had shut its doors to foreign travelers.

Until now.

As of August 2021, foreign spouses of Philippine citizens are now allowed in. You are no longer banned from travel due to Covid 19.

But you need to apply for and be granted a Philippines Temporary Visitor Visa. The 9a visa.

After the wedding, your Filipino spouse registers the marriage in the Philippines. Then you submit that proof of that registration along with your passport and additional paperwork to the nearest Philippines consulate and pay $30 to apply for your visa.

I have recorded a  video on how to obtain the 9a Temporary Visitors Visa.

Once granted, you can Fly, meet up in person, and at that point you are eligible to apply for a CR1 spouse visa.

This was Fred Wahl, The VisaCoach, here to personally guide you on this journey.

Links for Online Marriage

How to get Philippines 9a Visitor Visa for USA spouse 


Utah County Clerk Online Marriage 

Utah County Clerk Online Marriage Application


Philippines Reopens for tourism : Fiance + Spouse In-person meetings are back ON

Fantastic news
Philippines Re-opens  !!
allows tourists to visit.

This means if your romantic life has been on hold, and you have been unable to apply for your Filipino Fiancé or spouse, because you’ve been locked out of the Philippines since March 2020, and you have Been unable to satisfy the in-person meeting requirement, well, now you can.

Philippines has announced that they will be open for international tourists starting on February 10. Yes we know they have said this before, but this time, I think it’s for real.

Visitors from the USA, as well as from 150 other countries that don’t require visas for the Philippines Can now enter, and if fully vaccinated do not have to undergo any quarantine.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers are welcome too, but have to quarantine for five days, followed by nine days at home.

All travelers are required to provide proof of a negative PT-PCR test taken within 48 hours before flying.

If you’ve been waiting to apply to bring your fiancé or spouse to the USA, and the stumbling block, has been that you have been waiting on the in-person meeting, now you can get it done.

The trip that you take, the trip that you have been waiting for for so long,
is critical to your immigration success. On your trip you’ve got to touch all
of the required bases, you’ve got to document what you are doing fully and
you need to bring back to the USA all of the various documents, proofs,
photographs, and evidence, necessary to complete your application.

The time to hire me to help you, it’s not after you return to the USA.

You want to hire me NOW BEFORE you go.

Getting started early, before your trip, allows us to get a jump start on
your front loaded application. I can counsel you on what needs to be done,
and teach you the best ways to document what happens, I send you with
detailed instructions and checklists, and I am standing by to answer your
questions via email or telephone while you are traveling and get answers to you promptly when you really need the answer right away.

That way we can work together to ensure that you bring back everything
needed so we can submit your winning application, immediately upon your return,

Bon voyage !!

This was Fred Wahl, The VisaCoach,

US Embassy Manila Working to Clear Covid Backlogs

2022 US Embassy Manila Working Full Speed!!

During the height of the Covid pandemic, th US Embassy in Manila curtailed their operations, shuttering their doors, and ceased visa processing.

This lasted about a year and a half. Cases destined for interviews in Manila, piled up, higher, higher, and higher.  The State Department’s National visa center (NVC) which normally would hold onto a case for a very short time, before shipping it to Manila, instead held onto the cases,
Stockpiling them in New Hampshire. By the end of 2021 almost 18 months of pending cases awaiting to be shipped and eventually processed in Manila were stockpiled at NVC.

While closed, the US Embassy in Manila, promised that once quarantines were lifted, and travel to and from the Philippines was no longer restricted, it would import extra staff, open more desks and work diligently to clear the backlog.

US Embassy Manila has KEPT it’s promise !!

In February  2022 the Philippines reopened and tourists from around the world could the country again. They came for tourism, and to rekindle their in-person relationships with partners who they had endured enforced separation from during the Covid Pandemic.

The US Embassy, as promised, recruited more staff, more contractors, more officers capable of interviewing visa applicants. They have been working long hours. First interviews are scheduled at 6:30 am. progress to clear the backlog have been made. Hopefully within 6 to 12 months they will have caught up.