How to Get Your Baby a U.S. Visa

Photo by WanderLabs on Unsplash
Having a baby is a huge task that going out usually means preparing and lugging around a lot of stuff. So it may seem daunting and impossible to do one of the most stressful things one can think off - getting a U.S. Visa. Horror stories aside, failing not only means you forego that expensive application fee (and would have to pay again) but it could easily derail your vacation plans. But surprisingly, it wasn't as hard as we expected it to be. Putting aside some unexpected small mishaps that was totally our fault, everything ran smoothly. Here's my tips on how we survived and got our family a U.S. Visa mostly stress-free:

1. Read-up, Prepare Requirements, and Follow the Process.
There are a lot of resources out there about how to apply for a U.S. Visa. Just follow them and make sure you keep all receipts and deposit slips. Booking was quite easy but I had to apply first myself and then tagged my wife and our baby as dependents.

The basics are:

1. Fill-up the DS-160 form for each applicant
2. Pay the Visa Fee per applicant. This is non-refundable and non-transferable.
3. Book an appointment via the online website
4. Be there on time with complete requirements.

2. Go there early. Parking is impossible so take a Cab or a Family Driver.
The biggest hurdle for us was parking. Luckily, my mom allowed us to borrow her family driver that morning. Expect to have no parking within the vicinity if you're driving. It's also a good idea to be early - Manila traffic is unpredictable so better early than late and let go of that hefty VISA fee. 

3. Avoid bringing any electronic gadgets. even smart watches and USB sticks count.
Mobile phones, gadgets, or anything that may be deemed as an electronic are not allowed inside the U.S. Embassy - even those without power like USB drive or just turned off. In the worst case that you forget, there are people outside who can keep your items for a hefty fee. They look suspicious but they actually took care of our stuff well. Still, that's going to be stressful and pricey and no guarantee on your valuable's safety. 

Additionally, the security was quite courteous even when my wife forgot about her USB drive. They allowed me to go out and back in without much fuss.


4. Minimalist will be your best options in terms of Baby Gear.
One of the biggest surprises for us was how accommodating the U.S. Embassy was to our baby's needs. For feeding, we decided not to bring any extra milk and bottles and that turned out to be a good decision overall. While the U.S. Embassy did not have specific facilities for breastfeeding, they happily helped by finding a private room for my wife. 

5. Everything is going to be express. Literally.
As mentioned above, the U.S. Embassy was really accommodating to parent/s with infants or children. After waiting for your appointed schedule, everything was rather breezy.  There will be special express queues for each application stop. The whole process took about half an hour for the three of us. Amazing right?

I hope I have helped you realize that getting a U.S. Visa with your infant is not as daunting as it may seem. Note that this is in the point of view of us renewing our Visas with our child as a new applicant. The process may be different for cases wherein your child is the only one who needs a U.S. Visa or all members are applying for the first-time

1 Comments

  1. Every parent wants to have a vacation with their kids and this guide is just perfect for those who are planning to apply a visa for their little one's.

    ReplyDelete