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#1 MrkGrismer

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 09:22 PM

Edit: Note, read the entire thread, a K-1 only has to take one of the courses, not both, as would seem to be indicated by my first post here.

It has come to my attention that there is confusion regarding the CFO Requirements, and that perhaps a discussion to iron out exactly what those requirements are is in order. Thank you John C for PM'ing me about this. Here is what I was able to find out:

First is the need to attend the Guidance and Counseling Seminar for Filipino Spouses and Other Partners of Foreign Nationals (edit: the K-1 needs to take this course):

http://www.cfo.gov.ph/fs_manila.htm

Guidance and Counseling Requirements and Schedules for Filipino Spouses and Other Partners of Foreign Nationals

Under DFA Department Orders No. 28-94 and No. 11-97, Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals are required to attend the guidance and counseling program as a pre-requisite to the issuance of passports. The objective is to help the said clientele make informed decisions and prepare them for the realities of cross-cultural marriages.

The St. Mary Euphrasia Foundation-Center for Overseas Workers (SMEF-COW) and the People's Reform Initiative for Social Mobilization Inc. (PRISM) conduct the guidance and counseling program to Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals.The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) issues the guidance and counseling certificate to clients who have satisfactorily completed the guidance and counseling requirements at SMEF-COW or PRISM.

http://www.cfo.gov.ph/GCflowchart.pdf

CFO Guidance & Counseling Program Flowchart of Operations

Counseling Requirements for Filipino Spouses and Other Partners of Foreign Nationals

  • Two (2) valid identification cards (IDs) with photograph;
  • Duly completed guidance and counseling form;
  • If married, certified true copy and photocopy of marriage contract on security paper from the National Statistics Office (NSO), or Local Civil Registry Offices (LCRO); or original and photocopy of marriage contract duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate (if married abroad)
  • Other documents as may be required by the counselors; and
  • Payment of P250.00 counseling fee.

After receipt of the passport and visa, the Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals will have to register with CFO prior to their departure. Registration is done either in CFO Manila or Cebu Extension Office, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. An emigrant registration sticker is affixed to the emigrants passport as proof of registration.

Registration Requirements for Filipino Spouses and Other Partners of Foreign Nationals
  • Original Passport;
  • Original and photocopy of visa;
  • Original and photocopy of Immigrant Data Summary for US bound/Confirmation of Permanent Residence for Canada bound/ Embassy Certification of Eligibility (for Spain bound C visa holders);
  • Original CFO guidance and counseling certificate;
  • Duly completed emigrant registration form; and
  • Payment of the authorized registration fee.


Once this is completed it appears to me that the Filipino spouse or other partner of foreign national (FSOPFN?) must then register with the CFO (edit: the K-1 fiance DOES NOT take this course, the information is included in the above course, this course is for 'other immigrants'):

http://www.cfo.gov.ph/emig_manila.htm

Pre-Departure Registration Requirements & PDOS Schedule

Filipino emigrants or those leaving the country to settle permanently abroad are required to register with the CFO. Part of its registration requirements is attendance in the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) to prepare them for settlement overseas. Those who are 12 years old and below are exempt from attending the PDOS. They must, however, be registered, even if by proxy. Children of emigrants, aged 13 to 19, are required to attend the Peer Counseling Program to help facilitate their adjustment to a new environment.

Requirements for Registration

  • Original valid passport;
  • Original and photocopy of visa;
  • One (1) 2x2 or passport-size photograph;
  • One (1) valid identification card with photograph;
  • Original and photocopy of Confirmation of Permanent Residence (for CANADA-bound emigrant);
  • Original and photocopy of Immigrant Data Summary (for USA bound emigrant);
  • Original and photocopy of the Embassy Certification of Eligibility (for Spain bound C visa holders);
  • Original and photocopy of letter of approval for Work to Residence visa (for New Zealand bound emigrants);
  • Photocopy of employment contract(for immigrant workers);
  • Duly completed registration form (downloadable at www.cfo.gov.ph);
  • Payment of P400.00 registration fee ; and
  • Attendance in the PDOS or peer counseling session;
For children 12 years old and below, the following additional documents are required if the proxy is not the legal/natural/adoptive parent of the registrant.
  • One(1) valid identification card with photograph of the proxy; and
  • Special Power of Attorney or notarized authorization letter from the parent/s/ or guardian/s authorizing the proxy to register the minor children.
Note: After satisfactory completion of the requirements, an emigrant registration sticker is affixed to the emigrant's passport


So from this information it appears that a fiance or spouse is supposed to attend two (2) seminars, the Guidance and Counseling Seminar for Filipino Spouses and Other Partners of Foreign Nationals and the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) (edit: fiance or spouse only attends the first seminar, the PDOS information is included in that seminar). The first seminar has a fee of Php250 and the second a fee of Php400. Now I don't remember Cleo attending more then one seminar, and I am wondering if these two seminars are perhaps combined into a single seminar for Filipinos that already had their passport (or got it without mentioning fiance/spouse). In which case the total fee would probably be Php650.

Please respond here with regards as to where you attended the CFO seminar, if you attended more then one, and what the fee you paid was. Maybe we can iron out what precisely is required so nobody in the future will be confused (we can only hope ;) ).

Edit: There has also been some confusion as to who may register at the airport, this is in the CFO FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

http://www.cfo.gov.ph/FAQ.htm

Who are allowed to register at the CFO-NAIA Desk Office?

The following Filipino emigrants leaving the country to settle abroad may be allowed to register with the CFO-NAIA Desk Office:

  • Filipino spouses and other partners previously granted permanent residence status in the country of destination
  • Filipino spouses, fiancé(e)s and other partners of foreign nationals who have completed the pre-departure counseling requirements, as evidenced by a genuine counseling certificate
  • Filipino emigrants exempted from attending the PDOS or peer counseling under special circumstances
  • Filipino emigrants with permanent residence visa issued abroad who will be exiting from the Philippines
  • Emigrants whose visas will expire within three (3) working days of their issuance
  • Other emigrants under meritorious circumstances, as may be approved by the Executive Director or the duly authorized representative.

What are the requirements for registration at the CFO-NAIA Desk Office?

The following are the requirements for registration:
  • Original valid passport;
  • Original and photocopy of visa;
  • One (1) passport-size photograph;
  • Original and photocopy of Confirmation of Permanent Residence (for Canada-bound emigrant);
  • Original and photocopy of Immigrant Data Summary (for USA-bound emigrant, except for K-visa holders);
  • Original and photocopy of letter of approval for Work to Residence visa (for New Zealand-bound emigrants);
  • Original and photocopy of the Embassy Certification of Eligibility (for Spain-bound C visa holder);
  • Original and photocopy of employment contract (for immigrant workers)
  • Duly completed registration form (downloadable at www.cfo.gov.ph)
  • Payment of the P 400.00 registration fee
  • Other documents supporting special circumstances of the emigrant (e.g. proof of permanent residence, permanent residence visa, guidance and counseling certificate, medical certificate/report)


Edited by MrkGrismer, 14 April 2011 - 01:20 PM.

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#2 Ampalaya

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 10:36 PM

Basic requirements for CFO are pretty standard. However after that they can get out of hand on what they expect.
They wouldn't allow a friend of mines fiancee to take the seminar asking for a certificate of singleness from my buddy here in the US!!!
Also asked another friend here for court transcripts of his divorce. If fiances lady is under a certain age [ seems to vary] they sometimes ask for parental consent.
Hopefully additional things they ask for go on a case by case basis.


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#3 John C

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 12:41 AM

The specific question that I have is this:

Is it allowed to attend the CFO departure seminar prior to having physical possession of your k-1 visa? Can this be done before the interview? Or after the interview while waiting for the actual visa to be delivered?

Not the counseling for fiancés which will give you a yellow certificate for 250 pesos. I understand this can be done at any time, but the actual departure seminar. The second one that costs 400 pesos.

Item 2 on the list above clearly states Original and photocopy of visa as a pre registration requirement. I do however keep hearing stories of people who claim to have taken the seminar and returned later with the visa to have it validated. Are these stories true? Has anyone personally done this? What alternative documentation other than the visa will they accept to allow this? (if it is in fact true)

More importantly where can a person find something in writing which says this is allowed since it contradicts the official information on the CFO site which Mark posted here?

This is in fact the main source of confusion of this entire CFO matter as far as I can tell.

Anyone?

Thanks

Edited by John C, 28 February 2008 - 12:42 AM.






#4 gen

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 01:47 AM

hello mark, i attended the CFO in quezon city when i got my passport October of 2007. im the only one there attended that have no visa yet so i quickly assumed that same seminar will be given when i get my visa..i asked and discuss it with the personnel if i still need to attend and pay once i get my visa since same thing will be discuss by then.. they told me that " I will not attend anymore and pay as long as i still have the original copy of certficate of attendance and guidance and counselling certificate..but i need to come back there once i get my visa coz they will affix the CFO sticker on my passport. ohh by the way i also kept my receipt just in case they will ask..
i dont know if this is the same thing to cfo cebu.. and one more thing some CFo personnel are not consistent sometimes thats why u need to need to make a point before its too late.. i got a friend a wof member here two who said she was told to attend again..
My advise:
to those who will apply for passport dont give the original copy..bring the photocopy but tell the DFA personnel to return your CFo certificate when they issue your passport.. if you apply thru the agency tell the liason officer that they will return your cfo certficate that way you still have the original.
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#5 fe

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 01:48 AM

There is only one seminar for a K1 VISA holder, the Guidance and Counseling for Filipino Spouses and Other Partners of Foreign Nationals, and sometimes they call it the Pre-Departure and Orientation Seminar (PDOS). I was confused about this before, and I thought that there were 2 seminars. I had attended the seminar at the People's Reform Initiative for Social Mobilization Inc. (PRISM) in Malate, across De La Salle University. I was issued a Guidance & Counseling Certificate of Attendance. After the seminar, I went to the office of CFO in Quirino Avenue for registration and issuance of sticker. The CFO issued another Guidance and Counseling Certificate about the size of a 1/4 (crosswise) of a short printing paper and the sticker is pasted on one of the pages of my passport.

A K-1 VISA holder can attend the seminar before the interview, and he/she can be issued a Certificate of Attendance, but without a VISA, he/she can't register at the CFO. The CFO's main requirements for the registration (sticker issuance) are Certificate of Attendance and passport with VISA. The attendance in the seminar is also one of the requirements for issuance of passport, if a K1 applicant has no passport yet.

So to clear things out, the seminar can be done before the interview, or after the interview when you receive your passport with the VISA. I preferred to do both after I received my VISA. It took me less than a day to do both. Less hassle for me since I was still working at that time. I think the seminar was P250 and the registration at the CFO was P400, a total of P650...

Hope this helps...

Edited by fe, 28 February 2008 - 02:49 AM.

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#6 Felicity

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 01:59 AM

same with fe, i attended only one seminar. there are different venues of the seminars and it depends on the type of visa handled.

i took the cfo seminar b4 i had my visa cos i was renewing my passport at that time. They required me that green certificate which i got from the main office (P400). To get that green check-like certificate, u need to have the yellow one which is given right after the cfo seminar (i paid 250 for this).

#7 MrkGrismer

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:39 PM

QUOTE(John C @ Feb 27 2008, 07:41 PM) View Post
The specific question that I have is this:

Is it allowed to attend the CFO departure seminar prior to having physical possession of your k-1 visa? Can this be done before the interview? Or after the interview while waiting for the actual visa to be delivered?

Not the counseling for fiancés which will give you a yellow certificate for 250 pesos. I understand this can be done at any time, but the actual departure seminar. The second one that costs 400 pesos.

Item 2 on the list above clearly states Original and photocopy of visa as a pre registration requirement. I do however keep hearing stories of people who claim to have taken the seminar and returned later with the visa to have it validated. Are these stories true? Has anyone personally done this? What alternative documentation other than the visa will they accept to allow this? (if it is in fact true)

More importantly where can a person find something in writing which says this is allowed since it contradicts the official information on the CFO site which Mark posted here?

This is in fact the main source of confusion of this entire CFO matter as far as I can tell.

Anyone?

Thanks


I think the confusion stems from them mixing the Registration requirements with the Pre-departure Seminar on the website. The more I read on this the more it appears that the Pre-departure seminar is for non-fiance/spousal visas and the Guidance and Counseling seminar is for fiance/spousal visas.

The actual Registration is seperate, but requires one of those two seminars to be attended. It appears to me that even if a person tries to attend just the Pre-departure seminar if they are fiance/spouse they will be given the Guidance and Counseling as well. Perhaps the two 'seminars' are pretty much the same thing, with the only differences being what they ask during the 'one-on-one' Q&A session (reportedly about 5 minutes).

To Register the person needs the certificate, but if the seminar is attended after the visa is in hand then it will all be done at once. With the total fee being Php650. Otherwise it will be Php250 to attend the seminar and then Php400 to register (and get the stamp).

It is interesting to note that this means that non-fiance/spouse visa holders appear to save Php250, although that is not a large amount.

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#8 fe

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 04:47 PM

You're right here, Mark. PDOS is usually attended by Overseas Filipino Workers. When I had my seminar, they separated us by VISA classifications, and countries of destination. Before the seminar, all of us were required to fill up a form then we waited for somebody to usher us in the room where we had our seminar. The rooms were marked by country of destination. You wouldn't go wrong on what seminar to attend to, as there were enough workers in the place who guided participants on what they should do. You would only attend the seminar that is appropriate for the VISA that you're holding or you're applying for. The highlight of the seminar for us, fiancees and spouses, was the showing of the video of some documentaries about abuse of women by foreigners. We were also provided with telephone numbers and addresses of offices where we could call or go, in case something bad happened to us while we're abroad.

So whether you're a fiance/spouse or non-fiance/spouse VISA holder, you're sure to attend only one seminar. But everybody is required to register at the CFO for the sticker. I think there are some places where one can attend a seminar and register at the same time. And the fee is a total of P650.

QUOTE(MrkGrismer @ Feb 28 2008, 07:39 AM) View Post
I think the confusion stems from them mixing the Registration requirements with the Pre-departure Seminar on the website. The more I read on this the more it appears that the Pre-departure seminar is for non-fiance/spousal visas and the Guidance and Counseling seminar is for fiance/spousal visas.

The actual Registration is seperate, but requires one of those two seminars to be attended. It appears to me that even if a person tries to attend just the Pre-departure seminar if they are fiance/spouse they will be given the Guidance and Counseling as well. Perhaps the two 'seminars' are pretty much the same thing, with the only differences being what they ask during the 'one-on-one' Q&A session (reportedly about 5 minutes).

To Register the person needs the certificate, but if the seminar is attended after the visa is in hand then it will all be done at once. With the total fee being Php650. Otherwise it will be Php250 to attend the seminar and then Php400 to register (and get the stamp).

It is interesting to note that this means that non-fiance/spouse visa holders appear to save Php250, although that is not a large amount.


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04-05-2010 Received Notice of Receipt (03-29-2010)
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#9 Richard90027

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 07:09 PM

Here is a pic I took of the requirements when at the cfo with my honey in manila,

http://facops-chla.u...u/cfo/index.jpg

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#10 saccharine

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 01:30 AM

From my CFO experience in Cebu, both Guidance and counseling and pre departure topics were discussed in the seminar..At first upon entering the SMEF-COW office in cebu ( the accredited counseling center) we had to fill out some forms ( pay 250-pesos, picture taken) , then later on went to a room where a documentary was viewed, after that an open /forum discussion about the documentary, about the immigration processes when in US, about helpful agencies to go/contact to in US, then they added some pre departure topics such as the minimum weight of the baggage and " what not to bring " ( e.g. imitation bags/clothes of known brands) .After the seminar in the morning which lasted maybe 3 hours or so, we were asked to return in the afternoon for 1 on 1 interview with the counselor , then after 5-10 minutes interview, was given a guidance & counseling attendance certificate, and told to go to CFO building for registration. ( at this time i dont have my visa yet) but i went to the office and paid 250 pesos registration ( this amount was in 2006) picture taken then handed with the green certificate. So when the time came when i had my visa, i went to CFO manila for the sticker, just gave them the registration receipt and other papers/certificate, got the sticker and thats it!

#11 karkajou

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 12:58 AM

In the requirements for the CFO seminar, it says: 2 valid Ids with photo.

The problem is that my wife only have one Id with photo (her Postal ID). Is the NSO Birth Certificate can count as another valid ID, even if there' no photo on it?

Is there any other Ids that she could get easily in days? PhilHealth card for ex?

thanks!

#12 MrkGrismer

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:52 PM

In the requirements for the CFO seminar, it says: 2 valid Ids with photo.

The problem is that my wife only have one Id with photo (her Postal ID). Is the NSO Birth Certificate can count as another valid ID, even if there' no photo on it?

Is there any other Ids that she could get easily in days? PhilHealth card for ex?

thanks!


Does she not have any student ID?

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#13 karkajou

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 01:51 AM

Does she not have any student ID?


Yes, she have one, but it'S her 2003 Student ID card, we think that it's invalid because it's old already. Or maybe we're wrong?

#14 MrkGrismer

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 02:29 PM

Yes, she have one, but it'S her 2003 Student ID card, we think that it's invalid because it's old already. Or maybe we're wrong?


Use it, others have. Event tho it is old it is a picture ID. She probably doesn't even look much different. ;)

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USCIS Response: Customers should notify the Director of their local office when they have a complaint about a civil surgeon.


#15 kjbienvenu

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:09 AM

Use it, others have. Event tho it is old it is a picture ID. She probably doesn't even look much different. ;)



hi guys.. i only have 1 id.. my postal id.. i want to ask if i can use my passportas second id? pls reply..

#16 MrkGrismer

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 12:55 PM

hi guys.. i only have 1 id.. my postal id.. i want to ask if i can use my passportas second id? pls reply..


A passport is one of the 'most accepted' IDs you can get.

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USCIS Response: Customers should notify the Director of their local office when they have a complaint about a civil surgeon.


#17 kalamputi

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 05:45 PM

Can someone kindly tell me if my fiancee needs copies of me passport (or birth certificate) and proof of singleness in order for her to pass the CFO seminar? I think she has already attended but she's asking me now for these things and it's a major pain in the butt because I'm on a boat in the middle of nowhere with none of those documents on board with me.

What is the best proof of my singleness, for christ's sakes? Just when you though it was all over, they through another wrench in the works.

Thanks,
Kalamputi

#18 MrkGrismer

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:14 PM

Can someone kindly tell me if my fiancee needs copies of me passport (or birth certificate) and proof of singleness in order for her to pass the CFO seminar? I think she has already attended but she's asking me now for these things and it's a major pain in the butt because I'm on a boat in the middle of nowhere with none of those documents on board with me.

What is the best proof of my singleness, for christ's sakes? Just when you though it was all over, they through another wrench in the works.

Thanks,
Kalamputi


Depending on which CFO she attends they may ask her for those proofs, but if she already has the K-1 Visa in her passport then that means that you have already been shown to be single to the satisfaction of the U.S. government. The only other 'proof of singleness' you could get would be get an affidavit from the embassy (forget what it is called) there in Manila. But this is all just BS. If she is trying to attend in Cebu or at PRISM in Manila and they are asking for that stuff, tell her to tell them to 'get stuffed', okay, maybe not that. But tell her to tell them that you are on a ship and cannot get those things to her at this time. Also she should consider attending the CFO in Manila (but not at PRISM) if possible, as it has a tendency to avoid these types of things.

I assume she is 'younger'?

Since you say 'boat' I assume you are not in the Navy...

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#19 kalamputi

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:01 PM

Thank you for that Mark. She's already got the visa and the CFO seminar is in Cebu, where she is from. We thought it would just be easier for her to come home and take the bus into the city for the seminar, rather than linger in Manila...I'm 41, she's 32.

I'm a fisherman, not a navy guy, correct, and while I can have my family retrieve some of those documents from my house (and scan and send them to her), I'd rather not have to go to those lengths, I've already jumped through enough hoops as it is, as I've detailed elsewhere. I'll try the bluffing approach first and hope for the best.

Thanks again,
K.

#20 Mr. Lee

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:24 PM

Thank you for that Mark. She's already got the visa and the CFO seminar is in Cebu, where she is from. We thought it would just be easier for her to come home and take the bus into the city for the seminar, rather than linger in Manila...I'm 41, she's 32.

I'm a fisherman, not a navy guy, correct, and while I can have my family retrieve some of those documents from my house (and scan and send them to her), I'd rather not have to go to those lengths, I've already jumped through enough hoops as it is, as I've detailed elsewhere. I'll try the bluffing approach first and hope for the best.

Thanks again,
K.


If it would not be a major problem for your family to find and scan the documents, then I would say to go ahead and have them do it, rather than try to fight the system. I believe the CFO/Philippines is just trying to protect their citizens and often get overzealous in their jobs in doing so.

Jumping through hoops is something we all have faced and IMO will continue to face even more of with the US immigration process, so IMHO just go with the flow and try not to let the hoops upset you too much because from my personal experience you will probably face many more along the way.

Retired, happily married since 94 & live part time in Cebu.





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