marrying a foreign national

This article is a continuation of another article I wrote called, “how are filipino women”.  If you look carefully you will find some of the chapters of my life summarized in the articles I post here.  I write unfiltered accounts of real events that have happened to me, family and/or friends as well as honest opinions on controversial subjects.  Please remember that even though your life situation, opinion and culture may be different from mine, its ok to respect each others right to have different ideas and lifestyles.

 Before it happened to me, it was hard to relate to filipina wives who married other races.  When they talked about what they felt about being abroad and feeling homesick, I could not relate.

 But now its different.  I am now living outside of my home, Cebu City, Philippines, and married in Colorado, USA.  I’ve always known that getting married would not be easy but it is definitely way harder when your partner is a different race, and from a different culture and you are living in a completely different environment than you are used to.  There is a challenge to marrying a foreign national.

 You have many adjustments to make.  So many arrangements to even live together.  You have to stretch to understand each other just to make your relationship work.  So you may ask yourself:

“Is this relationship worth so much effort?”

“Am I ready for such a commitment?”

“Have I made a huge mistake?”

 Everything is completely opposite and twisted from what your upbringing taught you.  Perhaps the biggest difference is family.  Family is very close in the Philippines, but in America it’s very different.  Family members are not obligated to help each other out (especially with money).  In the USA, parents that have to rely on their kids to live are either handicap, to old to care for themselves, incoherent or have fallen on some seriously bad times.  And it’s just a shame if a sibling has to depend on the rest of the family to survive.  For any family member relying on the rest of the family, it is usually temporary.  In the US no one feels sorry for deadbeats.  They feel sorry for the people who has decided to care for the dead beat.

 Among the lower class, in the Philippines, parents are cared for by their kids PERIOD.  And the sibling that is successful and/or has access to money is expected to carry the load of the rest of the family.  This huge difference of our culture is a subject of contention between filipinas and their western husbands from US, Canada, Europe, Australia etc.

 I am here to tell you today, that even with these and other cultural differences you can still make it work.

 Here are some tips based on my experiences as a filipino immigrant being in a real relationship, and long-term commitment with a foreign guy and making it work:

  1. Signs That Things Are Not Fine.  When a woman says she is fine but not talking, it means she is really not fine.  Something has made her upset or she has a deeper problem in your relationship or her family.  Keep trying to talk to her.  Don’t force her to talk but its important to let her know that you are there for her.  Be supportive in every way you can.  Earn her trust by giving her yours.  Be open and receptive.
  2. Problems at Home, in the Philippines.  She is withdrawn.. staring far away and distant. It may mean she has problems at home and does not feel she can share the problems right away.  In the US, she does not have to want for anything, but back home, the problems have not stopped.  It can be hard for us to speak out and tell what we feel. Especially when its about our family. It is embarrassing as it is almost always to do with money (see “Signs That Things Are Not Fine”).
  3. How Do I Look?  Am I Fat? Generally women from all over the world are conscious of how we look. Filipinas on top are most conscious with hair grooming, skin color (most filipinas aim to have a whiter skin) and get alarmed when we get a little belly fat. When these questions are asked, do yourself a favor and don’t be an idiot.  The trick is to always respect what originally attracted you to her.  That part of her that made you marry her, is the same part that will remain beautiful even if her choice of pants/suit is lime green with red bellbottoms.  The answer is this, “thats, ok. But you look better in THIS?”  Then follow up with, “wow! that is amazing” when she wears what you actually do like.  Be respectful, tactful, and habit forming OR If you don’t ever want sex again, just be brutally honest.  This goes for all relationships in general, its not just a “Filipina/Foreign guy” thing.
  4. Independent Woman. (husband’s opinion)  Face it.  You married an independent women.  She has decided for herself to move thousands of miles away from home to be in a different country just to live with you.  The fact that she is has made that choice for herself and was in no way coerced should tell you her feelings are real.  So if she wants to help her family, who are still in the Philippines in poverty it should be understandable.  One suggestion, is to give her a separate bank account and let her manage what assets and expenses are there.  Let her completely control where that money goes.  Once she sees how much she has spent on family and how much there is to show for it after 5 years can be telling.
  5. What the Hell does “UP TO YOU” MEAN?  If you ask, “do you want to go out?” and her reply is NOT “Yes” but “up to you” what does that mean?  Honestly, it can mean anything. Either the filipina does not feel like going out, or feels ok with going out or undecided to go out. It is confusing right?  Many filipinas are very submissive when it comes to their significant other so mostly they just rely on their partner when its time to go out.
  6. Submissiveness Goes Against You.  Being overly submissive and obedient can backfire on us filipinas because it is used against us by our husbands or parents. Parents and families may guilt trip us to send more money because they have “emergencies”. Guilt tripping is bad!  For husbands, I heard of stories where the guy did not his wife eat filipino food! That is definitely a problem. Since food is a basic need of a human being.  Many filipinas are so used to eating rice and that they cannot survive without it. It can cause depression if a spouse in controlling even what is EATEN. It is not right. You should always meet your wife halfway. Rice is our life!
  7. Relationship Stability.  Instability is probably the quickest and most common wayst to end a relationship.  In an everyday life, as my husband says “It is not always happy”.  Meaning, in a long term relationship, sometimes things are not all good.  There are arguments, disagreements, disappointments and bad days.. it rains in “Happily Ever After”.  If there is no thrill today, there might be tomorrow.  You should excited about the prospect of making things great!  Both you and your wife or your lover are capable of making things exciting.  You can change a routine by going out to a movie, eating in a restaurant or realizing that in sex there are fifty shades of grey! lol. A relationship full of drama will just make it shaky and may end badly. Money has been mentioned in almost every paragraph so far.. because it is important.  Having unstable finances can cause serious issues, try to work them out together.
  8. Emotional Security.  The reason that many filipinas cheat is because they do not get a total security from their partner or had sensed that you are not 100% invested in the relationship.  Sometimes they cheat because they feel like it or they are completely unsatisfied with the guy but keep him anyway for her needs.  In these cases, you married the wrong girl and its best to move on.  Then there are those relationships that are in the Philippines.  I know that when guys arrive in the Philippines, their thought is, “Ohhh.. Disneyland!”  But hey! You can’t have all the caramelized vaginas in the country!  As a lover or a husband, you should always stay faithful, open and expressed that you are real and not fooling around.  It takes more than love, it takes loyalty.  Also, your words should match your actions.  That means no flirting with other women you see in the down the street, or in a restaurant or while drinking your coffee in BO’s or Starbucks, social media like FB, G+,  twitter and worst is getting caught in a dating site! Generally, women have an instinct. We are not fools.  We can see and can feel if you are playing around!  On the other hand, if it is hard to stick with one girl. Don’t pretend to be committed. Get your mind right.  Decide what you want.  If commitment is not for you then don’t commit.  There is nothing wrong with tasting the variety :-) .

It take more than Love to make it work!

I used to think that love can solve any problem.  Honestly, its just not that simple.  A relationship (LONG-TERM) takes more than just love.  You don’t hear people say that.  You see fairy tales where beautiful princesses find handsome princess and live “happily ever after”.  The truth is that sometimes it rains in “happily ever after”.  Sometimes there are grey skies. As much as you love your princess or prince charming sometimes they need you to guide them through the bad weather.  Sometimes they need your shoulder to cry on.  But they ALWAYS need to you listen.  Not just to their words.  But to their actions and that takes more than love.  It requires your attention.  The strange thing is that not all partners can do that one small thing.



i 485 status:K-1 application

i 485 status 

We are almost done! Whew. Finally. Now, lets process the i-485 Adjustment of Status (AOS). Hopefully, I will receive my permanent resident card in a month or two. I have listed everything that I have filed while preparing the papers.

1. Form I 485  Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This is the main application form that must be submitted along with other documentation for your Adjustment of Status evidence. I 485 has instructions to help file it properly: You may also file the form G-1145, the e-Notification of Application that will allow you to receive a notification when USCIS starts to process the application. Complete your information and attach the form as the first page of your package to be notified via email or text message by USCIS as soon as they receive your application. The filing fee for I-485 is $985 and additional $85 for biometrics fee.(total of $ 1070, NOT cheap)i-485-status

Other documents that are required along with i485 this are:

  •  NBI Clearance.  This form shows the status of your criminal record (if any) back in your home country. You may also submit any documents like police clearance, court certified copy, court parole order, official statements to clarify your previous criminal history.
  • Birth Certificate. You might be asked for the original copy during your local USCIS interview .
  • Copy of Non-Immigrant visa page. If you have obtained a non immigrant visa from a US embassy abroad or consulate, make a copy of your passport page.(Include the US entry stamps.)
  • Copy of passport page. It is the front page that shows the biographical information.
  • 2 pcs colored Passport style photos. Your passport photo must be as recent as 30 days when filing the AOS. The photos must be in white background and not fabricated or retouched. You cannot have any head gear unless required by religious tradition. Print your name lightly and alien number if any at the back of the photos. Photos must be placed in a small plastic bag.i-485-status (3)
  • Vaccination supplement. The vaccination paper is given after you pass the medical examination at St Lukes’s Extension Clinic.
  • Form G-325 A Biographic Information. For fiancee/fiances, do not use the previous G 325 A copy you used when filing for I-129 F because when you marry your husband because your last name changes after marriage. Also, when you get to the United States your address changes.  All of this changes your G-325.
  • Form I-864 Affidavit of Support. This form must be filled out by your husband or wife with a signature.
  • Evidence of Eligibility. Submit a copy of petition of approval notice, marriage certificate and form I-94 . Form I-94 shows some personal info of you and your record of entry in the United States.
  • Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (optional). If you plan to apply a job in the near future, you will need to submit this form. It is optional and not necessarily needs to be sent with your AOS package. However, it can save your time to do it all at once. It is free and do not require additional payment if you are filing for I-485. See instruction here.
  • Form I-131 Application for Travel Document. This application is also called a re-entry permit that allows you to travel outside the United States without stopping your entry when you return. The re-entry permit is valid for 2 years from the date of issuance.See instruction here.

After submission of papers, USCIS will send a mail regarding Biometric services. People between the ages of 14-79 must be fingerprinted. USCIS will notify you via mail for the time and location for your fingerprinting. Failure to do so may cause denial of your application.

How do pay your AOS package?


check sample

1. Write a money order or personal check which is payable in US currency only. The check must be only from banks, or financial institutions within the United States.

2. The check is payable to –  U.S. Department of Homeland Security . Do not use initials.

Where to file your AOS package for K-1 Fiancé(e) (and K-2 dependents) whose Form I-485 is based on an approved Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) ?

i-485-status (2)

USCIS Chicago Lockbox

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:

PO Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120

For Express mail and courier deliveries:

Attn: FBAS
131 South Dearborn – 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517

In case you change your address, you have to inform USCIS.  or call USCIS National Customer Service Center      1-800-375-5283

to be continued for i 485 status process

Moving to America flight preparation I

Moving to America Flight Preparation I

So, you are moving to America and need to make flight preparations!  First of all congratulations and welcome to the USA.  I am currently in the US. I came from Cebu City, Philippines.

Moving to America Flight Preparation:

  • Ticket. (get a picture tomorrow)  When booking the ticket, make sure you have about 3-4 hours layover between a connecting flight and your port of entry.  If there are any issues with immigration, three hours should be enough to work things out unless there are serious issues.
  • Passport/Visa and gate passes. (take picture tomorrow, ticket is in luggage)Make sure your visa documentation/paperwork is ready, it will DEFINITELY be checked.  Always have your tickets and your passport readily available in your carry-on, in your pocket, in your purse.  Where ever you keep it should be where you can quickly grab it and display it. It is always checked in every airport for you connecting flights.moving-to-america (3)
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes.  Be aware of the weather of your final destination.  America has areas as hot as Saudi Arabia and places as cold as parts of Europe.  You should carry the appropriate clothes with you.  In a connecting flight, you won’t be able to claim your luggage (with your clothes in it) until you reach your port of entry in the United States.  If you are from a warm environment moving to a cold area, bring the thickest jacket that you have from your closet and wear a closed toe shoe. The weather is totally different in most states in the US. I understand that women including me wants to look good by wearing high heels shoes. However, wearing high heels stilettos and wedge won’t help during your travel. You will do a lot of walking through the airport so forget it.moving-to-america (2)
  • Gadgets.  You can bring your mobile, laptop, tablets in your hand carry.  Well for me it is very important. Time will pass by quickly if you are busy playing Candy Crush while waiting for your next flight :-) Some gadgets will have to be taken out during security checks (usually just laptops). moving-to-america5
  • Toiletries. For women who are travelling, a long flight is so uncomfortable and inconvenient. In your hand carry, bring a small pouch for your perfume/cologne, make up kit, tissue/baby wipes, hand sanitizer and other stuff that you can’t live without :-) . Ensure each bottle you are bringing should contain 100 ml or less. Bigger bottles are not allowed even if they are containing less than its size.moving-to-america-7
  • Prescription. If you have an important prescription medication, make sure you have enough to last the entire flight.
  • Food. A small pack of snack will really help while waiting for your next flight. After passing through the security, buy a small bottle of water. You also want to buy a packed meal to bring with you just in case you don’t like the food that they serve in the plane.
  • Cash. Bring some cash.  Remember some airports may not have conveniently located ATM machines, some ATMs may not take your card so you may need cash.  Calculate how much you will need and adjust for the cost of the exchange rate.  Also, consider certain terminal fees, for example, if you are coming out of the Philippines, you have to pay P1600.00 for your travel tax.  All Filipinos who leave the country have to pay travel tax. No exceptions.  You may have different fees for your country.moving-to-america-5

My personal experience moving to America:

Port of entry : Takoma, Seattle

Arrival Date: September 27, 2014

Article date: Oct 2014

On my travel day, I had 3 connecting flights to Colorado. It was tiring. I’ve learned my lesson. You have to thoroughly scan everything from your ticket, pdos sticker (philippines), passport, important files and some cash while travelling. Everything is new, every airport in each state is different, currency changes per country, and people you meet are in a huge variety of races. Everything was a rush in the airport. You have to be physically and mentally prepared during your day of travel or it can  get very exhausting. You have to be flexible and adaptable to be in a totally different environment so you won’t get stressed out. The travel took 24 hours for me because I missed my flight after the port of entry. It was hard and my butt was hurting from the very long travel.


Prepare your expectations:

Some people come to the US with the idea of finding the “American Dream”.  Though it was never my personal goal to move to America (I come here only to be with my husband), I can definitely see why many people move here.  There is a level of opportunity, convenience, comfort and freedom that many American citizens take completely for granted.  I hear many American complaining about “first world problems.”  Not everyone has it good here, but most have no idea what real poverty and real corruption is.  From the outside looking in I would say there is still an American dream, but its only for those who work hard, dream big, and don’t give up.

What many outside the US do not realize is how each state is very different: Different laws, different weather, different attitudes, different lifestyles.  Your experience in Hawaii, for example, will be very different than your experience in New York.

To people who are also moving to america, goodluck guyzzz :-) and have a safe trip!


Women rights in the Philippines II RH bill

Women rights in the Philippines II RH bill

‘’The RH bill (also known as “RH Law” or “Reproductive Health Law”) is the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10354) is a law passed in the Philippines.  This law ensures access to contraception, fertility control, sexual education, and maternal care’’. see more on wikipedia

I believe that women and generally people of the Philippines have a right to family planning.  Since the Philippines is overpopulated, the RH bill is long over due.  It is the individual’s right to use contraceptives or not.  It is the government’s duty to empower and educate its people by providing options.35144

Unfortunately, most (young) parents in the Philippines are not aware of the importance of contraception, fertility control and other basic concepts of sexual education since it has been outlawed in the pasted for religious reasons.  For this reason, young couples recklessly engaged in unprotected sexual activities that lead to accidental pregnancies at a very early age with no knowledge of parenthood and a lack of financial capability to support a child.  This cycle of teen pregnancy became rampant a decade ago and has continued.


Overpopulation became a top problem of the country along with corruption as the government can no longer afford to support its citizens for health care, financial assistance and education. The rampant poverty of the Philippines might have a direct correlation with decades of lack of family planning.  Public schools lack the study materials such as books and computers to provide effective teaching of students.  The breakdown of the education system due to overpopulation and poverty may have other far reaching generational effects that cause many other problems that seem unrelated.  Problems like a dramatic increase in crime.3348

More children are living on the streets. They are pushed to rob and snatch women’s purses so they can have food to eat. Minors are engaged to selling drugs and using drugs when they are supposed to be in school.  DSWD (WHAT IS THIS) is not capable of adopting all street children as there is no enough funds to supply all their needs.Philippines Poverty

When I heard that the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 got approved, I felt relieved. I felt that I am not alone in this battle. I feel that someone helped me to make a change for the better.  And I felt the positive impact of being in a democratic country with the freedom of allowing people the opportunity to choose their own path.

US Marine Kills Transgender

US Marine Kills Transgender

October 2014, a group of Filipinos are protesting the presence of the U.S. military after the killing of filipino transgender Jennifer Laude by Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton of the 9th Marines, based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.  The victim Jennifer (formerly Jeffrey) Laude dressed as a woman and met Joseph in a bar.


The Marine was on shore leave in Olongapo City when he befriended two he thought were Filipino women at a disco bar called Ambyanz.

According to the the Philippine National Police investigation, they checked into the Celzone Lodge, a motel.  Laude asked the other woman, Barbie, to leave before Joseph could discover that they were both transgender.

video footage

video footage

When Celzone Lodge staff went to inspect and clean the room, Laude’s body was discovered slumped next to the toilet.  Joseph had already fled the scene.  Laude was drowned in the toilet.

The murder brings back memories of past abuses and crimes by US services members when the US had a larger presence in the Philippines in the 80’s, so some groups strongly believe the US should not have been invited back.  These groups see the murder of Jennifer Laude as evidence that America and its military should be thrown out immediately.


Joseph Scott Pemberton was given over to the Philippines government to be dealt with by the justice system.  Meanwhile, this situation has put a strain on Philippine-US relations at least on a social level.  Politically, there is a lot at stake.  The US is pushing to send more troops to the Philippines in light of China’s aggressive actions to attempt to bully and takeover of the entire China sea and all the islands therein.

Although some seek to get rid of the US, President Benigno Aquino III defended the military agreement and cooperation with the military by saying, a crime can happen anywhere and “the sin of one person” should not reflect on the entire country.



k-1 visa process Places to stay Near SLEC Medical Center

TITLE: k-1 visa process Places to stay Near SLEC Medical Center

(browse below to read my personal experience)

  1. Cherry blossoms.  Cherry blossoms is a few steps away from SLEC. It is next to a seafood market. The rooms are clean, decent and spacious. Cherry blossoms also offers complimentary breakfast buffet at the lobby. Average room per night is P2000.00. visa process hotel near SLEC

  1. Hotel Soriente.  Soriente is 20-30 steps away from SLEC medical center. Although it is very near, I have read many bad reviews about it.  My uncle stayed there and I asked him if the reviews about small cockroaches was true. He said yes.. it is true.  Ew ew :(. Anyway the standard room price starts at P1500.00


  2. Ralph Anthony Suites. While researching this place I learned that it is packed for a month (October).  I’m not sure if there is a specific event in October in Manila but I know it is rainy season in the Philippines (October Fest?! ;p ).  The Superior room cost is $ 71 (P2800.00)k-1 visa process hotel near SLEC
  3. Waterfront Manila Pavilion.  The Waterfront’s rooms are normally carpeted with a relaxing ambience. This hotel looks new and quite beautiful. Room rates are P3000.00 (75 usd) and above. Prices may change depending on the season.k-1 visa process hotel near SLEC
  4. Casa Bocobo Hotel. I have chose Casa for both of my two trips to Manila during the fiance visa process. The receptionist are welcoming, pretty and friendly. Casa Bocobo is quiet with a clean environment.  I love the staff.  They made me feel better even if it sucks to be there (in Manila).  They have a cafe next to the lobby. There’s only a few option for food but it tastes good.  I would recommend staying in a room opposite to the roadside because the traffic outside can gets very noisy.  Average room price is P 1500 for the petite room (single occupancy).k-1 visa process hotel near SLEC
  5. Paragon Tower Hotel.
  6. Lodging Houses, Inns and guesthouse.  There is a guesthouse across from SLEC but it is nasty.  It is cheap around P 1000.00 (25 usd). It is so crowded around SLEC area and dirty too. I met a cebuana during my medical exam and she said that her and her mom where staying in a lodging house.  She said it had now A/C and it cost P700. I know lodging houses in the Philippines are dirty so I didn’t even consider staying in one.

Here is a google map for restaurants, hotels and other buildings around SLEC medical Center:'s+Medical+Center+Extension+Clinic/@14.579186,120.9818631,19z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x7d39c1b9fcf628f7

Personal Opinion:

During my stay in Manila, I walked around a bit to check for hotels around the area.  I was looking for convenience and resources such as banks, money remittance locations and restaurants.  I have to be honest and say that I never felt safe around that area. However, I knew I had to complete the medical examination and there is no other place to do it. It was very crowded there everyday.

I noticed that some people were coughing within SLEC.  I would advise on buying a mask before you enter the building. They also start early around 5am so you have to line up at 4am to get a priority number. The customer service is poor. The staff and the doctors are also exhausted by 9am.  They have to attend to hundreds of people every single day.

During the rainy days, the roads were muddy and the area is very polluted. Taxi drivers want to rip off their passengers.  During my each of my two trips to Manila for medical and interview, only one out of several taxis were honest or even nice to me.  I also went to Robinson’s Mall which is a few steps away from St. Lukes.  The customer service at Cabalen Restaurant was not good and the food was average.  I cannot recommend it. Just prepare yourself.  Do not expect much during your stay in Ermita, Manila.  Anyway, have a safe trip  and just get over it and be home soon after the obstacle ( SLEC):-)

filipino mail order brides

filipino mail order brides

Many women from the Philippines are looking for more stability and supportive spouses that they may not have found locally.  They are not looking for a date or a handout, they are looking for a husband.  They mean business and want to get to the point.  Filipino mail order brides get registered into a catalogue or online database hoping that a foreign man will choose her.



What are filipino mail order brides?

This is a filipina who lists herself in a catalog or online database specifically to be selected by a man for marriage.  The “mail order” part of filipino mail order bride is a bit on an old term.  Because its not necessarily done by snail mail anymore.  But before the Internet, many men from developed countries would literally look in a catalog with pictures and descriptions of women (many from Europe and later from Southeast Asia) to find a wife.

amerapparelhalloweenThere are not only filipino mail order brides.  Many of these mail order brides would be from developing countries within Europe, Latin America and all over Southeast Asia.  So these women were hoping for a better life and the men were looking for a good wife.  It seemed to be a win-win situation.  Now that it is easier to do this service mostly online the term “mail-order” is really outdated.  Now there are even “mail order husbands”.  Times have changed.

Is a filipino mail order bride site like a dating site?

Its not a dating site, where members bounce from one to another like a night club.  There is a big difference, filipino mail order brides are ready to get married not mess around with guys that may only be interested in vulgar cam shows, or brief sex tourism one night stands.  They are filipino women looking to get a husband.

Why filipinas become mail order brides?

They have their own reasons.  Some are very traditional, don’t want to date and seek real love and marriage with a foreign man.  Some are looking to change their condition with a foreign visa.  Each filipino mail order bride has her own reasons.

filipina bride

Abuse of filipino mail order brides?  

Due to the rushed nature of the “mail order bride” arrangement, there has not been much consideration of whether or not the man getting the bride is actually who he says he is and what his intentions are.  The filipina bride goes under the care of her new husband only to find herself in the hands of a man with a mental illness or evil tyrant.

Some filipina mail order brides have been abused and/or killed.  Like the case of the murderer Timothy C. Blackwell taking the life of filipino mail order bride, Susana Remerata.  They married after two day of correspondence.  The were together two weeks in the US only weeks with things fell apart and she wanted a divorce.  Timothy shot Susana in the court room.

Staff from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office’s Domestic Violence Unit with Prosecutor Satterberg at API/Chaya candlelight vigil for DV victims April 18, 2013 (Photo King County)

Some men from developing countries marry the women in order to exploit.  Because of these cases, the Philippine government prohibits the business of organizing or facilitating marriages between Filipinas and foreign men. This was enacted by the Philippine congress with the Republic Act 6955 (the Anti-Mail-Order Bride Law) on June 13, 1990.


The conclusion of filipina mail order brides

Pinay brides remain among the most popular foreign mail order brides second only to Russian brides.  And despite the bad cases that pushed the Anti-Mail-Order Bride Law its still booming.  Filipinas still actively sign up for mail order bride services based in other countries. They can also use the Mail Order Husband service to get around the law.  Other countries and states have also started laws to protect the rights of filipino mail order brides.  President George Bush signed the “International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005″  H.R. 3402: Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005.  Over all I have a positive view of the mail order bride process and I would not call it “buying a wife”.  But since organizations charge so much to process all the papers between the hopeful couples I would recommend just purchasing a membership on a dating site and taking more time to figure out who will be a good filipina wife.



k-1 visa process – Travel documents and port of entry (US)

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k-1 visa process – Travel documents and port of entry

Well, we finally did it!  I am in the US with my fiance!  We completed all of the documentation required for the I-129f, Petition for Alien Fiance.  We submitted the package to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and tracked it all the way to the US Embassy in Manila.  We completed the medical review, prepared and passed the fiance interview with the US consular officer.  All of this came with a cost in not only money but time and hard work.  So we feel we deserve our reward… each other.

If you are on your way and have done as much as we have done, there are a few things you should know about your port of entry.



During your day of travel, do a final review of your checklist to double check all the things you need to bring.  Ensure that you are not bringing anything that is prohibited at the US port of entry. Also bring a small pack of snacks (some snacks from the Philippines are actually prohibited in the US – see below).  You should buy water after you get through airport security or on the plane.  Remember that  if you have a stop over in another country (such as Japan), you cannot purchase anything without exchanging your money. You may have a limited time to do that if you have a short rest stop.

  • Filing - ensure you arrange and pack your important files before the day of travel.  Don’t forget important items will be hard to get once you leave.  You should take original documents like school records, birth certificate and Certificate of No Marriage or Annulment that may be needed in the future.
    k-1 visa process

    clearbook, photo scrapbook and food menu (not necessary)

  • CFO Sticker – check your CFO sticker that is stapled inside your passport. You cannot leave without it. CFO does conduct seminars in the airport for Filipinos who missed their predeparture orientation seminar (PDOS) but I suggest you do it ahead of time to avoid flight delay.
    k-1 visa process- 2

    CFO sticker

  • DO NOT forget your passport AND yellow packet.  Once you attain your US Visa, your passport and a yellow packet can be delivered to your home address (or can be picked up at 2go MOA branch). The yellow packet contains your original copy of documents that are submitted during the interview and your Medical result from SLEC. There is an instruction on the back that tells you are only allowed to open the plastic to take your passport. It is prohibited to open the yellow packet. US Immigration is very strict and it might cause delay in entering the United States. Ensure to bring it with you (hand carry), not in your check in baggage.

  • Arrival at your port of entry – Once you arrive at your US port of entry you will go through a line at immigration and you have to hand over your passport and the yellow packet.  After confirmation, they will let you through. They also put a stamp next to your visa showing that you are allowed to stay for 88 days.k-1-visa-process-11
  • Claiming your baggage. If you are on a connecting flight, you can only claim your baggage in your US port of entry. Your baggage is automatically transferred to another plane for your next flight.
  • Customs Check – In the queue passing through customs, you must fill out the declaration form. You need to have a detailed list of what you brought in your luggage.  It is the form given during your flight to the US.  The custom officer will point out the agriculture area. Another custom officer will ask you if you are bringing chicharon (lol).  It is not allowed so they will confiscate it if you have it. Food like dairy products, chicken and pork fresh or not will be confiscated.

Important Note:

1. Wear a jacket and a sneakers (or boots if available) its a very long uncomfortable flight.

2. Bring toiletries in your hand carry.

3. Do not pack chicharon or anything that contains chicken and pork.  They will put the bag through x-ray machine and you will be asked to open your bag for additional food check. They are pretty serious about it so its best not to bring them.  After that process, you can proceed to your connecting flight.

k-1 visa process CFO Predeparture Orientation Seminar (PDOS) – Cebu

k-1 visa process CFO Predeparture Orientation Seminar (PDOS) – Cebu

The commision on Filipino Overseas Cebu office is a first come first serve basis. It is located at the 2nd floor Causing Lozada Building, the same building of the DTI Department of Trade and Industry (old DFA CEBU ofc).

Seminars are conducted daily from 8:00am -12:00pm and 1:00pm – 5:00pm. For USA spouses/fiancees,  seminars are at 1:00 pm.

CFO Cebu location

CFO Cebu location

For filipino spouses/fiancees, morning and afternoon sessions are available. I also heard from the guard that Norwegian fiancees seminar is at 8am. He also said that they only accept 15 people. So the fiancées must go there early to get a slot. Everybody are entitled to do the seminar before leaving the country.

k-1 fiance CFO Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)photo 4

Registration requirements for the fiance/fiancees:

1. Birth Certificate – (I was not able to bring mine but I had to present 3 IDs.

2. Passport – must be presented and 2 photocopies of it.

3. Visa sticker - if visa sticker has been issued in your passport ,
1 photocopy must be submitted.

4.  Other government issued IDS – are required.
I was asked to submit 2 other ids that I had, my philhealth and  previous student ID.


Upon submission of the documents, you are given a priority number.k-1 fiance CFO Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) Your number will be called and you will be given papers to fill out. The papers are personal data of you and your fiance. After filling it up, you can submit them to the lady at the counter and wait for your number to be called..

k-1 fiance CFO Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)

Prepare P 400- payment. The lady will call your priority number once more and will give the receipt.

k-1 fiance CFO Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)


The seminar started with a video of OFWs and their experiences abroad.
Canadian and USA immigrants were called to transfer to Room 2 .

Room 2. We had an orientation that covered the following topics:

  • what we are going to do once we enter the US or Canada.
  • Where can people go just in case of emergencies.
  • The counselling officer opened a powerpoint about the value of marriage.
  • What to know about our fiances. How to make a relationship harmonious.

The seminar finished within about 5 hours. We waited outside and were called for
one on one interview.

Questions asked:
1. Why did I decide to marry my fiance?
2. What made me decide to marry him?
3. What is the reason of his divorce?
4. When did he get divorce?
5. Do you have the copy divorce papers?
6. What was the nationality of his ex-wife?
7.  Does your fiance have kids?
8. How many? How old are they ?
9. How many times did he visit you?
10. How long  did the visits take?
11. Are you aware that he is supporting his ex wife and kids?
12.  Whats the arrangement ? Will the kids be with him on saturdays?
13. Do you have photos with you? I need printed photos.

Once all the questions are asked, she asks:
Do you have any concern?
Do you have anything that you want to ask ?

The interview was fast and she wrote some details about my fiance’s divorce.
She asked me to bring a copy of my fiance’s passport,2 to 3 photos and a copy of his
divorce decree. She also told me to submit it either 9 am or 1pm before she starts conducting

A day after, I went to submit the lacking papers. The counseling officer re-confirmed the information about my fiancé and his divorce. She asked me once more if I had any questions and concerns. I handed my passport and waited for a few minutes. I got my CFO sticker, immigrant checklist  and the  booklet.  The lady gave me another folded paper. She  instructed me to fill it after my month of stay in the US and send it to the CFO address. The paper is a feedback sheet of your situation abroad and suggestions for CFO services and projects.

k-1 fiance CFO Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)

CFO booklet, checklist and feedback form


IMPORTANT NOTE: Read the booklet thoroughly. It is a guidelines preparation after arrival in the US.  It also provides information of whom to contact for emergencies. Contact information of Philippines Consulate offices within the United States are listed in this article.

In case of any domestic violence by your fiancé /spouse , you may call 911 and seek help at USCIS and other agencies.


National Domestic Violence Hotline:

1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)

1-800-787-3224 (TTY)


National Sexual Assault Hotline of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)

1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)


National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)


The National Center for Victims of Crime

1-800-FYI-CALL (1-800-394-2255)




k-1 visa process SLEC Medical Examination

k-1 visa process SLEC Medical Examination, July 21, 2014

What should You do before entering the SLEC building?

  • Eat breakfast! lol. Food is not allowed inside the building.They check the bags and are quite strict about it.
  • Bring a mask. People keep coughing and you might catch diseases from SLEC.
  • Prepare the requirements needed that are mentioned below before you get to the counter
    k-1 fiance visa medical examination

    SLEC view from Kalaw Avenue intersection

Note: Admission of drug use leads to an additional payment of P1000.00 for psychiatric test which takes 4-5 working days of evaluation. Ensure that you are healthy before you do your medical examination as it can delay you from your interview and getting your visa. Applicants should do medical exam atleast 2 weeks before the interview because SLEC only send results once a week.


k-1 fiance visa medical examination

SLEC stamp

1. Go there at exactly 4 am to get a priority number early.Senior citizens
are prioritized.

2. Prepare two photocopies of passport.
3. Prepare 2 photocopies of NVC, the letter that the embassy sent for guidelines.
4. 2 copies of 2×2 photos with complete name at the back of the picture.
5. 2 photocopies of appointment letter.
6. 2 copies of slec registration online.

What is the sequence of the medical for K-1 fiancee?
Along the process, passport should be ready as it is presented at all times.

1. Submit your requirements at the ground floor. It opens at 6am.
2. Pay the medical fee of P 9,812.00 on the 5th floor. People affected by Typhoon Yolanda (which is Tacloban, Leyte Cebu and other part of Visayas) and earthquake victims in Bohol have a discount of 20%.
3. Proceed to 3rd floor and fill up the form for chest xray.
4. Proceed to 4th floor for taking the blood test.

k-1 fiance visa medical examination

SLEC 5th floor

5. Next is the physical examination. All applicants must take their clothes off. The doctor will ask questions about medical history, allergies, medicines taken and previous drug use. I know they say to be honest but here is the reality: If you had experimental use but not a drug addiction and do not have criminal record, its best not to admit because it delays your medical result and you must undergo a psychiatric test. Other question which an applicant must not deny is, have you given birth?

There was one case where a woman got denied her fiancee visa because of lying about having children. Another woman I met who denied giving birth got caught too and was confronted by the doctor to tell the truth as it can affect her visa.  She told the truth and got approved during interview.

How did the female doctor find out?

They do check parts of your body including vagina and can tell if it had given birth or not. They also check scars in your body and wrist to see if you had suicidal attempts in the past.

k-1 fiance visa medical examination
6. Proceed back to the 3rd floor and wait for x ray result.

7. If there are no problems regarding the medical, you can proceed for
vaccination the same day or next day.

Day 2 Medical Examination

Note: They need 4pcs 2×2 visa photos. 2 during registration and 2 in the releasing area.

1. Vaccination , you will be interviewed by the physician and nurses to confirm
if you have had cancer, diseases, and more history of previous illnesses. He/she will make you sign a piece of paper to confirm that you are not pregnant during the vaccination.

2. The physician will ask you of your last first day of menstruation
and will make you sign another piece of paper to confirm the vaccination and that you are not pregnant.

3. She will also remind you once more that you cannot get pregnant
for 4 months. It varies depending on how many shots you get. I got 3 shots. Others who had 1 or 2 shots are advised not to get pregnant for a month.

4. After the shots, you can proceed to the releasing area at the ground floor.

5. Wait for your name to be called. They will ask for 2 more 2×2 visa
photos and the passport.

6. Wait again and they will call you for releasing the copy of your
vaccination paper, X-ray cd and passport with the date, patient number and stamp of SLEC.

k-1 visa process SLEC Medical Examination

SLEC medical stamp

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