My friend who lives and works in Manila applied for a tourist visa today so she could come and visit me. My friend is 35, owns a condo, has all her family living in the Philippines, has a bachelor's degree, has a decent job as an industrial engineer at a major hospital, has money in the bank, and has traveled many times outside the Philippines on trips in the past. She also has no family living here in the US.
Yet, with all this as very strong proof that she has strong ties to the Philippines, she was denied within 1 minute. The counselor didn't even look at one supporting document and didn't even let her speak. He only asked her salary. He then said you are denied because you do not have strong ties here in the Philippines!
Is this for real? She paid $165 USD for the application fee and didn't even get to say anything or have her documents even looked at. Do you call this fair? It was obvious she was not going to leave the Philippines and stay here in the US. What more could she show? All the embassy says is:
"However, consular officers are at the same time obligated to adjudicate visa applications according to United States law and visa regulations. Every applicant must qualify on his/her own merits."
This is not true. They did not even look at anything related to her background and ties at all. Sounds more like a great way to take money from people.
Should she try again? Is it possible to get approved just by getting a different counselor?