Just like complicated tax returns, visa and immigration paperwork can be a stressful and intimidating process. One simple mistake or oversight can result in costly, complex and lengthy delays and having to go through the whole process again.
You must understand that it is not the job of the immigration officer or the embassy to point out your mistakes and give you advice. They are simply there to approve or deny the visa on the basis of what is submitted to them. They do have a lot of discretion in this process, but are on high alert, looking for people who are trying to cheat their way out of the Philippines!
If you make several mistakes in your application, the immigration officer will not point them all out to you the first time they deny your visa, they will simply go to the first mistake, deny the Visa, then leave it to you to go through everything before you resubmit it.
If you go through the process for every mistake you have made, you could literally delay your Fiancée or spouse’s immigration approval and, in some instances, a serious mistake can jeopardize the entire procedure!
The stress and heartbreak can even result in the end of your relationship in a worst case scenario!
To make sure this does not happen to you, we have documented the 5 biggest Heart breaking blunders we have seen people make and offer some advice on steps you can take to avoid them and successfully bring your Fiancée or Spouse home to you!
1. Not Preparing for the U.S Embassy Interview
This is a very common blunder as there is a real misconception that preparation is not needed as English is the language of communication and people in the Philippines speak English.
But it is not just language that you have to worry about for the interview situation, it is also culture and often Filipinas will not ask enough questions and just pretend they understand so as not to upset the foreigner they are speaking with.
This can often result in the wrong answer being given to a question which may weigh badly on the decision to allow or deny the visa.
Take the case of a young girl from the province who was interviewed by an American from Alabama with a thick southern accent. “Y’all ever take recreational drugs?” asked the interviewer. Confused, the girl gave the answer she thought would make the interviewer happy: “Yes”. The visa was immediately denied!
Being poorly prepared is not just risky in this way; it is also very stressful to your Fiancée or Spouse. It is something nobody would wish on someone they loved. Her nervousness will show during the interview and even make the official suspicious that maybe there is really something wrong… perhaps she is really not eligible for a visa and is just trying to cheat her way out of the Philippines and into a better life.
So the interviewer is on high alert, watching for any mistake, any indication of false information which takes the interview to a whole new level, winding up the stress and dramatically increasing the chance of it being denied. It can be a truly shattering experience for your loved one… an experience she may not want to go through a second time!
Women can often walk out of this process after a visa denial, believing they are not really suited to marry you and go to your country. It can really have an impact on their self-esteem and on your relationship, in extreme cases bringing it to an end!
Interview preparation will give your Fiancée or Spouse confidence and peace of mind. Good interview preparation is not coaching the applicant to lie, cheat or be evasive. Preparation should really involve the following:
- A summary of the type of questions that will be asked to ensure your Spouse or Fiancée has the information to answer them correctly.
- Training on the culture of the interviewers, getting your Spouse or Fiancée used to the more direct and confrontational style they may face during an interview.
- Training to stop the interviewer, getting your Spouse or Fiancée to stop the interviewer and have them repeat or rephrase the question or to provide a translator so that she fully understands what is being asked .
- Training in answering, the questions truthfully to the best of their knowledge and not trying to tell the interviewer what they believe they want to hear.
- Training in the way to dress, for an interview and how to conduct themselves during the interview.
2. Neglecting to correct health problems before the official medical examination!
Regardless of the country or visa they are applying for, your Spouse or Fiancée will face a rigorous medical examination which they will have to pass with flying colors if they are to be accepted. Medical examinations for the Philippines are more carefully considered than many other countries because of the high rate of infection, particularly contagious diseases like tuberculosis.
Take a look at the facts: According to a World Health Organization report in 2011, The Philippines has one of the highest rates of tuberculosis infection on the planet and certainly the highest in the SE Asian region. With 260,000 known cases, a rate of 270 infections per 100,000 people, it has an infection rate higher than Ethiopia, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
By contrast, the United States has an infection rate of 3.9 per 100,000 people and Australia has a rate of 6 per 100,000. So you can understand their concern!
The signs of tuberculosis are not always obvious as it is a complex disease, so it is entirely possible that people you meet are infected with the disease. It is even possible your Fiancée or spouse has an infection of some kind.
The last thing you want is to find this out during the official medical exam for your Visa, as it will result in the Visa being delayed for some time and a stringent process of medical treatment she must adhere to before the visa will be processed.
You must not leave anything so important to chance. If you’re not sure what to do about this or are worried your Fiancée or Spouse could possibly have a health challenge, it’s best to get in touch with a good Immigration Professional at the earliest possible time.
A good Immigration Professional can organize necessary checks and then advise you on the best course of treatment, to ensure the medical part of your Visa application sails through smoothly!
3. Missing documents or errors in official Philippine documents!
It’s a well known fact that official documents in the Philippines can be full of errors. Birth certificates are probably the most prone to this as poorly trained, overworked staff rush the tasks and make errors. Even if your Fiancée or Spouse has obtained a valid Philippine passport, all documents will come under much more scrutiny than before, when they are submitted for your Visa application.
Some examples of errors that can stop you include:
- Incorrectly spelled name or a different middle name to the one used in the application
- Wrong sex listed (male instead of female)
- Name of parent or parents spelled incorrectly
- Discrepancies because of parents marital status at the time of the birth
- Incorrect birth date recorded
Many Government services in the Philippines are not computerized and you cannot simply go to a central office and have corrections made. Correcting misspelled or incorrect items on official documents can be a harrowing process if you are not familiar with the bureaucratic system, the local culture and the process of dealing with government officials.
The process is extremely frustrating for anybody from abroad who is used to a more streamlined system. It can also be intimidating for your Fiancée or Spouse to deal with these government officials, particularly if she is not well connected and does not have the inclination to push people, she could be forced to endure lengthy delays, which will in turn delay your visa process.
But the importance of getting these errors corrected cannot be overstated. The most common reason for visa denial is paperwork submitted with errors or omissions. According to the US Embassy, for instance: “Even if both parties (U.S. citizen and foreign born spouse) submit all necessary forms, errors on the forms will be a cause for concern.”
Missing Documents are probably the second biggest problem. The US Embassy’s official line on this is: “Requested documents that are not submitted will result in visa denial.” There are a large number of official documents that must be submitted for your Fiancée or Spouse and they must all be correct. She could also face additional problems due to previous relationships. As divorce is not yet legal in the Philippines, anybody previously married will have to obtain an annulment, which is a lengthy process that can be quite costly.
It is vital that all documents are accounted for and are free from errors and discrepancies. If you are unsure of this or unable to obtain or correct necessary documents, a good Immigration Professional will be able to assist you through this process. They will be dealing with these departments on a regular basis and can usually expedite the process!
4. Providing insufficient financial documentation for the sponsor or proof of an established relationship
With all the focus on the Philippine party, couples often forget that there are essential documents that must be submitted by the sponsor in the US, the UK or Australia. The whole process needs to be coordinated as when the Sponsor and his Fiancée or Spouse gives different answers to the same questions; red flags go up, resulting in possible visa denial. This is where a third party like a good Immigration Professional can be a real help, because when you are too close to something, you often miss essential mistakes and other information. You need someone with experience to provide that “Third Eye”. Remember, it is not the job of the embassy to do this; they will simply come to the first mistake and deny your Visa, requiring you to go through the process again.
The most commonly forgotten documents are those required to prove the sponsor has the ability to support his Fiancée or Spouse and those to prove they in fact have a relationship. In the case of the US for instance: The applicant must submit an Affidavit of Support, demonstrating to the government that he has resources to take care of his foreign-born spouse, who won’t be able to legally work until she arrives on the visa and goes through a change of immigration status. If he is deemed to have insufficient income, the Visa will be denied. Also, if he is older, has health problems or otherwise gives the government cause for concern that his spouse could become a future public charge, the visa could be denied.
Requirements are different for each country and they are always changing. Often advice you get from “experts” is inaccurate because requirements have changed and they have not kept up with all the changes. You will have to prove beyond reasonable doubt your ability to support your Fiancée or Spouse and this will require you to provide substantial proof of income and assets!
It is essential you get this right or the visa will still be denied, despite all the hard work your Fiancée or Spouse has put in and she will be left stranded, devastated and heartbroken until you get it right!
If you are unsure about anything, a good Immigration Professional will be able to help you through this complex, confusing process!
5. Hiring the wrong people to process your Visa!
When you look for assistance with your Visa, you will see people everywhere claiming to be experts… and some of them actually are experts, but they are usually experts in just a part of the process and getting only part of the process right will still result in a Visa denied. You must get everything right to obtain a visa for your Fiancée or Spouse!
Every part of the process must be properly attended to!
People who claim to have expertise in immigration include:
- Lawyers in the sponsor’s country of origin –They will certainly be able to help the sponsor with the necessary paperwork on his side, but usually have very little knowledge of the Philippines and will be of no help at all to the Filipina Fiancée or Spouse!
- Lawyers in the Philippines –These people will usually be able to get the Philippine requirements right, but usually offer very little support for the Fiancée or Spouse and she will probably face the interview unprepared. They also have limited or no knowledge of the sponsor’s side of the process and can give very little support to them. They are also often very difficult to deal with when you are in another country!
- Travel agents and other people in the Philippines who have limited experience working with Visa processing. This industry has sprung up quite recently and these people will offer a very low cost, low quality service. Their lack of experience will begin to show as you go part way through the process. Important things will be overlooked and there will be little preparation for either party.
Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for with immigration services. Somebody who is cheap is cheap for a reason, they are usually just starting out, or they are desperate for clients because they are not getting referrals from anybody. People who have their Visa denied do not give referrals!
Their communication is notoriously bad. When you call their line, you will usually get somebody who barely speaks English, who will simply tell you the person you are looking for is “Not around”.
These low cost operators live for the “Deposit”. They are continually chasing the next deposit, leaving the hard work for later and you waiting endlessly to have your Fiancée or Spouse’s visa processed!
If you truly love your Fiancée or Spouse, why put her fate and yours in the hands of the lowest bidder?
Saving money on your immigration specialist is false economics in the extreme! The money you save will quickly be eaten up by additional airfares, accommodation and loss of income when your Visa is denied and you have to go through the whole process again. Not to mention the frustration and stress suffered by both you and your Fiancée or Spouse… It is just not worth it!
About Olvis Immigration & Travel Services
Olvis Immigration and travel services are true Immigration professionals with over 30 years experience in the industry and offices in both the U.S. and the Philippines.
We provide a premium service for people who can afford to get it right the first time and can’t afford the cost of lengthy delays.
We based this report on the mistakes we have seen people make over the years before they engaged us to correct those mistakes and help them. Without exception, they all regretted not contacting us before they had started.
We are the oldest and most experienced Fiancée/Spousal Visa processing company of this kind in the USA or the Philippines and we give you telephone support from the USA, Australia and the UK throughout the entire Fiancée/Spousal Visa process.
We are the only company of this type uniquely qualified to provide Fiancée/Spousal visa preparation and full support services to US Military personnel and Civilian contract workers in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have provided this service at special rates since 2001.
Our staff work closely with your lady no matter where she is located in the Philippines and we hold her hand through every step of the process, communicating with her in HER language. It can be a daunting process for the lady and we are there to support and comfort her whenever she needs it.
Meanwhile, an American immigration specialist who speaks your language correctly will guide you through the entire Fiancée/Spouse Visa process.
We are fully accredited by the Philippine Department of Tourism, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Cebu City Tourism; and we can cover all phases of travel, immigration and international wedding arrangements, providing support for both you and your spouse or Fiancée.
We have a 100 % success rate and have had thousands of K1/K2, Spousal and K3 visa applicants approved!
We handle the entire immigration process for you, from the time you first contact us until the time your spouse or Fiancée arrives in the USA. Our services also include assistance with passports, police clearances, authenticated documents, medical, CFO classes and all other documents required by both the Philippine and United States Governments.
If we take on your case, you are protected by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!
Your application will be successful, or we will cheerfully refund your money 100%!
This is a genuine guarantee, with no weasel clauses, we take you on as a client, you follow our advice, and we guarantee your success 100%!
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Our team will be happy to assess you or your beneficiary and personally explain our services. CONTACT US NOW
Here is what people we have helped say about Olvis Immigration & Travel Services
“I cannot describe how happy we are right now!”“We give our sincerest Thank You for assisting us in our visa process. I am approved in my K3 visa interview yesterday. I know that Cort and I would not be where we are today if it were not for your help. I cannot describe how happy we are right now! “ Mr. and Mrs. Cort Hughes
“You guys really did a great, great, great job”
“This is Yehleen Tassin (the wife of Kevin C. Tassin) your client before. I am writing this email just to thank you for helping us during the processing of my K1 visa. You guys really did a great, great, great job. Through your wonderful help, I had no problem during my interview at US Embassy, Manila.” ~ Kevin and Yehleen (Louisiana)
“You and your Olvis Team are a tribute to the high level of customer service that all companies should aspire to!”
“Mayette and I are very thrilled and thankful that Mayette was approved last Friday by the US Embassy for her fiancée visa. We want to say a sincere “Thank You” to you, Molly, Evelyn, Jing Jing, Gigi and all your wonderful staff who were so considerate and helpful to Mayette and me during the visa application process. Your staff is professional and knowledgeable, as well as kind and caring. It was huge help and a great comfort to have Olvis Immigration and Travel Services guiding us through this process over the past several months. You and your Olvis Team are a tribute to the high level of customer service that all companies should aspire to.~ Mark R. Mowatt, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
“The friendly staff has been God-sent”
Olvis Travel has exceeded my expectation beyond my wildest dreams. The friendly staff –Emelyn and Corie –have been God-sent for my fiancée & me in navigating the bureaucratic maze of the Immigration process. I could not have gone through the process myself. There are so many details, any of which may derail the visa process, and Olvis Travel has held my fiancée’s hands through it all. Thanks a lot!~ Howard Park
P.S. –Those who are considering doing this by yourself, for God’s sake –stop! Hire Olvis Travel –I know what I am talking about –I am an attorney practicing in California. Unless you are ready to move here for a year or two, and do this full time, get help from Olvis Travel. I recommend it. You will thank me for it.
“She said now it’s just 7-10 days for her to get her visa”
“Just wanted to say thanks for helping Ligaya and I through this process everything went really well yesterday for Ligaya during her interview. They only asked her 3 questions and the interview was over and that was it. That’s great for us! She said now it’s just 7-10 days for her to get her visa. She said she will also go to the CFO in a couple days. Phewwwww, it’s over now and thank God. Is there anything else she will need to do? Will she need to bring any documents through customs besides her visa?I just really wanted to say thanks. This process definitely takes a lot of paperwork, and it all has to be correct. It’s a stressful process, but I felt relieved because I knew it was all correct before Ligaya went to her interview. Thanks again!” ~ Nathan & Ligaya
“I want to thank you for backing up your promises with performance!”
Julita finally received her visa, and will be joining me on January 20. You made life so much easier than had I ever tried to do the government paperwork myself. I have BS in Chemistry and have experience as a local elected official. Had I tried to accumulate all the necessary information without your guidance, we would still be waiting. After Gigi arranged her papers in the proper order, and your preparation of her for the interview, she was not nervous at all, and said she sailed through the interview. Your staff was always patient and courteous to my wife, especially Gigi. Please feel free to use this letter or excerpts thereof in any way you choose to see fit. Thank you again. ~ Dan Borden
“Please feel free to share my story with your clients!”
“When I was in the Philippines in August, I became engaged to my fiancée Roma. Prior to my Philippine trip to meet my pen pal and soul mate, I had been on the internet researching the immigration process to see exactly what would be required of me and what the requirements would be to bring her home with me. After 3 months of research on the net and talking with fellow attorneys and friends who had gone through the process, I knew less than when I started. I looked at one newsgroup and website after another and got very conflicting information from each. For example, one site said the filing fee was $95.00 while another quoted $110.00. It finally got to a point where I realized that there was very little accurate and reliable information out there. I decided that when I got to the Philippines, I would go to the U.S. Embassy there and get the correct forms and information and do it myself. After all, I have been a practicing attorney for the last 25 years, so I imagined that the process would be quite simple and easy for me to accomplish.
So upon arriving in the Philippines, I went to the U.S. Embassy in Manila and requested the necessary forms that are required to file a fiancée visa. I then promptly went to Cebu City to enjoy the rest of my vacation with my fiancée. A few days later, as we were walking through a mall in Cebu City, I saw your office sign, Olvis Travel and Immigration Services. The signs on the window said that you prepare fiancée and spousal visa applications and could provide assistance and support services for my Roma after I returned to the USA. That part about support services stuck in my mind. When we got back to our hotel, I started to review the forms that I had obtained at the U.S. Embassy and found that I had some questions as how to properly fill them out. I then remembered your Olvis sign, so the next day I returned to the mall and entered your office.
I was greeted by your very friendly staff who told me that the owner and his wife were here from the USA and they promptly introduced me to Mike and Amalia. I told Mike that I would not need his services, as I am an attorney practicing in Los Angeles and could do it myself, but that I had several questions about the forms. Mike said that he would be happy to assist in any way that he could, so I brought out the forms that the Embassy had provided. Mike showed me that some of the forms they had given me were the wrong ones and others were outdated. Indeed, after he further explained the whole visa procurement process to me in detail, I realized that I really was in need of help.
I decided then and there to utilize the services of your fine company and have never regretted a minute of it. Your staff took my fiancée by the hand and led her step by step through the entire process, giving her support and encouragement throughout, while Mike provided help and assistance to me on the fiancée visa application forms required by the US government.
One of the reasons I felt very comfortable with the staff at Olvis was that while I was talking with Mike, I observed how several other couples were being assisted by your friendly and courteous employees. In short, you and your staff did a great job for both me and Roma. She is now here in the USA with me and we are very happy. It only took 5 months to the day to get her here and we want to thank you for the first class service you gave us.
In retrospect, I know that I could have probably done the paperwork myself, but I see that without your invaluable service in assisting Roma in the Philippines, as well as in filling out and filing all the paperwork and forms promptly and correctly, the whole process would have been much more difficult and time consuming. It would have been quite easy for me to have messed up the whole thing by making some mistake or forgetting some silly detail.
Your thorough knowledge of the whole visa application process and all the tips and information you shared with me, not to mention the speed with which it was accomplished, made your very modest fees a true bargain.
Again, my sincere gratitude and thanks to you and your staff for the excellent professional and courteous service you provided us throughout the entire process.” Your friends always, Joseph and Roma
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Our team will be happy to assess you or your beneficiary and personally explain our services.