Philippines Fiancé and Marriage Visa During COVID
For over a decade, we have been successfully filing thousands of petitions for fiancé visas and marriage visas, specifically for those who currently have loved ones living in the Philippines. As we are still in the midst of the global pandemic, this process has been temporarily halted due to the Philippines closing its borders for all international travel and Filipino fiancés experiencing extreme hardships applying for a visa to the United States. While this may seem discouraging, we want you to know that there are still ways to satisfy the meeting requirement and receive the visa you need for you and your loved one to begin your lives together in the United States. Watch the video here.
But how can I meet my fiancé in person in order for us to be eligible to apply for a K-1 fiancé visa if neither of us can travel to see each other?
Below you will find two options that will help solve this issue and help you begin this process, even during the covid-19 pandemic which may have seemed impossible in the past.Option 1: Thailand
As of November 1st, Thailand has initiated new protocols that now allow for the entrance of international travelers without the requirement of a full quarantine. This is referred to as the "Exemption from Quarantine" (EQ) program and is available to travelers from a list of approved countries (including the U.S. and the Philippines). Under this program, travelers arriving to Thailand are only required to stay in an approved quarantine hotel for one night while awaiting the results of a PCR test (not including the one required 72 hours before travel). Travelers are responsible for the cost of booking the necessary quarantine-approved accommodation, as well as the cost of additional PCR test required immediately upon entry.
Those traveling from the U.S. and the Philippines do not need a visa to enter the country, so that just leaves the following documents to ensure a problem-free entrance into Thailand:
- Valid passport
- Certificate of vaccination (must be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days before travel date)
- Negative PCR test no more than 72 hours before traveling
- A Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate (https://tp.consular.go.th/)
- Confirmation of booking in quarantine approved hotel (receipt must include both the payment for the accommodation and PCR arrival test)
- Covid health insurance plan that can be purchased through an international travel insurance provider
There is a relatively short distance between the Philippines and Thailand, and the flight from the U.S. to Thailand will likely have more favorable accommodations than a flight from the U.S. to the Philippines. Once you meet with your loved one in Thailand and can show valid proof of your time together to satisfy the in-person meeting requirement, we can officially continue the process of obtaining a fiancé visa for your loved one.Option Two: Mexico
Often times overlooked, Mexico is another great option for you to meet with your loved one because it is considered one of the most open countries by international standards. You do not need to be vaccinated and you are not required to take a PCR test before travel. The only thing that Mexico requires is a visa for citizens of the Philippines (no visa is required for U.S. citizens).
Applying for a Mexican visa as a Filipino is a relatively simple process that is done through the Mexican embassy in Manila. These are the documents required:
- Completed application form (completed at the time of your appointment at the embassy)
- Valid passport
- Two pictures with a white background
- Identification card
- International credit card
The application process requires the applicant to provide their bank and billing statements. But do not let this part alarm you, as the key is only to prove your financial capability. Mexico is a country that is highly dependent on tourism, so they are not known to turn people away. The ideal amount of money to have in your bank upon the time of application should be around 80,000 PHP or more (with the application fee being 1,864 PHP).
A very common question is whether or not your loved one who is an American citizen can sponsor you and show their bank statements on your behalf. Generally, the answer is no, unless you are a minor; however, there are ways around this. Having money deposited into your own bank account by your loved one or anyone else may be another option for you if you are worried about not having sufficient funds in time for your application. The key is to begin collecting money before the time of your interview so that you are guaranteed to have sufficient funds in your account without issue, and to show that the funds didn't appear in your account just before the interview.
To schedule your appointment with the Mexican embassy, you must do so online. At the time of your appointment, you will be asked to present the required documents and complete a short interview required for all visa applications. After this is done, all you have to do is wait for the embassy to process your application and you should be good to go.
Once in Mexico, you and your loved one can complete the requirement of meeting in person, but you also have the option of getting married in Mexico as well. In Mexico, two nationals that are not of Mexican decent may lawfully get married in the country while they are physically present. So then it becomes up to you and your loved one to decide which visa is right for you, and we will take care of the rest. Whether you choose to get married in Mexico or simply gather proof of your in-person meeting together, we are positioned to help you.
While covid-19 is still actively affecting the world, that doesn't mean it has to keep affecting you and your loved one. Whether you chose a K-1 fiancé visa or a CR1 marriage visa, we can help navigate you through this process with ease and assurance.
Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have, and we look forward to helping you and your loved one live your dream lives together.