Pre Departure to USA

Before arriving to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Preparing for departure from the Philippines to the USA can be very stressful.


Updated for August 10, 2019 – Please take some time to study The list of items that all K1 Visa holders must have on their person when the time comes to head to the airport.

Make sure you’re K2 Children has all of the exact same important documents in you’re care while traveling.

Exiting the Philippines may be more of a hassle than arriving to the United States Port of Entry. You gotta make sure that you are carrying on your person at all times the U.S Embassy Visa packet and be sure not to bend it or damage it.

We’re talking about this:

Carry this at all time until you arrive to the US Customs & Border Patrol to hand it to them.

List of items that absolutely needs to be on your person at all times:

• Original Passport.

• Photocopy of you’re passport biographic page kept in a different place.

• K1/K2 Visa original located inside you’re passport.

• Photocopy of your K1/K2 Visa kept in a different place.

• Please keep you’re CFO Certificate of Attendance on hand the original one.

• The CFO sticker that was placed in you’re passport is needed also.

• A couple of photocopies of your DS3025 Vaccination Documentation worksheet.

• Your CD Xray from St. Luke’s

• Original and photocopy of your birth certificate.

• At least two original government IDs and photocopies kept in a different place.

• Address book and phone numbers of relatives in the Philippines and the US.

• An extra photocopy of your trip itinerary from the airlines.

• Ballpoint pen preferably black ink.

• Before flight have some Pesos but also have some Dollars ready for arriving in the U.S.

• If you’re on medication or carrying any nonprescribed medicine keep it in its original package.

• Dress comfortably for the long flight some airlines get very cold so keep a sweater near by.

Carry on luggage:

Unlike Philippines domestic flights that only allow you to carry on a smaller and much lighter carry-on bag, the International flights give you a much heavier allowance even the size of you’re carry on can be the standard International size and not the small Philippines sizes.

Every passenger is allowed one hand-carry baggage (max 7 kg & 56cm x 36cm x 23cm dimension) and one small bag not exceeding 35cm x 20cm x 20cm. This includes handbags, purses, and laptop bags that can fit under the seat. Yes. A checked bag cannot exceed 32kg per piece.

Some international airlines have different sizes pound and piece restrictions based on fare class and travel zones. Overall, the average weight and size for checked bags is 50 pounds and 62 inches. The average maximum size for carry-on luggage is 45 inches.

What are you carrying?
Make sure you do not carry anything in your carry on or check-in luggage that’s gonna make trouble for you especially on the US side? If your unsure about what is allowed and what isn’t then go here to (learn more..)

Manila or Cebu International Flights

Exit Tax:

Depending on who buys your airline tickets could decide whether or not you’ll be paying Exit Taxes at the airport?

This would include K2 children also if you have any?

Exit taxes are usually now included in the price of your airline tickets if the tickets are bought in the Philippines. If you’re US Fiance purchased the tickets for you then you may be required to pay exit taxes before getting your boarding pass?

Exit tax is Php 1,620.00 per passenger and must be paid before you can get your boarding pass. (Learn More go here..)

Bureau of Immigration Departure Card

Once you have your boarding pass, the next thing to do is get through the Bureau of Immigration station. If you look around you’ll see tables with stacks of Departure Cards. This is what you’re looking for and you’ll need to fill one out for yourself and any K2 kids you might have? Get your ball point pen ready.

Bureau of Immigration Departure Card.

Inspection time:
Bureau of Immigration – you’ll need to show your passport and the visa and the Certificate of Attendance from CFO and most importantly you’re CFO sticker that is inside of your passport page.

Attendance proof from CFO means you can exit the Country legally.

Once you get through the Bureau of Immigration

Go to your gate and wait for your flight to be called for boarding. Most of these flights tend to be cold and very long, so bring a warm sweater and stay hydrated.

In route to you’re US Port of entry:
Once your flight is on it’s final approach to landing on US soil the flight attendants will pass out two types of cards that you must fill out to give to the Customs and Border Patrol. The first card is your I-94 Arrival/Departure card. The second card is your customs declaration form that you need to tell them in the form of everything that you’re bringing into the United States.

Example of US Customs form:

Answering this customs declaration form honestly is a must!

U.S. Port of Entry Procedures

After you get off the jet, you’ll just follow all the rest of the passengers until you can see a large area with usually long lines? You’ll have to get in the non-US Citizen lines normally titled non-immigrant or immigrant arrivals check in here.

• Things You’ll Need to show to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Officers:

• Philippines passport with K1 Fiancee Visa

• If applicable your child’s Philippines passport and K2 Visa

• I-94 Arrival / Departure Card, If applicable K2 child’s I-94.

• U.S. Embassy large yellow envelope that is not to be opened by you.
If applicable show also your K2 child’s.

• Remember this must not be damaged have tears or little holes in it upon giving it to the immigration inspecting officer.

• St. Lukes, the DS-3025 Vaccination Documentation Worksheet, You X-ray cd. If applicable all of the same items of your K2 Child.

• You should have a couple of other unexpired identification cards to show if asked? Unexpired driver’s license, Voters registration, Postal id, etc…

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol lanes in America

US Port of Entry Possible Questions?

The below questions may or may not be asked? It’s usually at the discretion of the officer, they are nice some days, not so nice on other days, basically, they are humane.

Question: What kind of visa do you hold?
Answer: K1 Fiancee Visa

Question: What does the K1 Fiancee Visa allow you to do?
Answer: It allows me a one-time entry only and to marry the sponsor within 90 days.

Question: What must you do if you and the sponsor do not marry within 90 days?
Answer: I must return back to the Philippines

Question: What is the complete address where you will be living?
Answer: You need to tell them the sponsor full address

Question: What phone number can you be contacted on?
Answer: You need to provide the sponsor’s phone number

Question: Tell me at least three points of interest about the state you’re going to live in?
Answer: You must learn at least 3 important things about the state you’re going to.

Tell them you have 90 days to get married or leave the USA.

Tips & Warnings

  • Processing your first entry on a K-1 visa may take some time. Allow plenty of time — at least three to four hours — between your entry into the United States and any connecting flights or ongoing travel plans.
  • When you enter the United States on a K-1 visa, this is with the condition that you marry your fiancé(e) within 90 days.
  • Do not joke with immigration officials. They are not obligated to allow you into the United States just because you have a visa.
  • Request help with translation if you do not understand the questions you are asked

Last you will be inspected by Customs Officials

Now that you have all of your immigration papers work checked and you now have your carry on luggage plus you have gotten your check luggage also you may now get in a line to be inspected by the Customs. Give them all of your bags, shoes, purse, laptop and the “Customs Declaration Form”.

Be sure to not forget your check-in luggage

Once you have collected your check-in luggage from the carousel, proceed to the Customs officer for inspection.

This is where you must hand them your Customs Declaration form and allow them to open and x-ray your luggage. If they see anything alarming, you must be prepared to explain what the item is? 

Then if you have a connecting flight you can now proceed to your gate.

Connecting flights can be stressful if Customs & Border Patrol held you up?
You will need to find a wall full of computer monitors and look for a departing flight.
Look at your ticket and see the airline name and flight number to identify which gate you must go to?

If asked whats inside you’re luggage always tell them exactly.

K1 Visa Arriving to the USA from the Philippines

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