FAQs for the Priority Interview Program in the U.S. Embassy in Manila

Image source:  Wikimedia Commons

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

What is the Priority Interview Program (PIP)?

The Priority Interview Program (PIP) is a special program for established and reputable firms in the Philippines designed to promote and facilitate legitimate business travel between the United States and the Philippines. PIP vets and registers businesses, making it easier for certain employees to seek nonimmigrant visitor visas for business travel at reserved appointment times. 

What are the benefits of PIP?

PIP allows qualifying businesses access to expedited visa appointments (within two days) and gives priority processing of visas and deliveries. The program offers a dedicated line of communication – PIPManila@state.gov, making the visa application process more efficient and streamlined for qualifying firms.

How do firms qualify?

Firms lawfully operating within the Philippines are eligible to join the PIP, regardless of the firm's ultimate nationality. Eligible firms may include for-profit corporations, universities, NGOs, news media and international organizations. PIP registration is valid for two years. Firms must re-register if any authorized signatories change within that two-year registration period.

PIP applicants may seek B visas for their firm's business. B visas are generally issued for multiple entries during a 5-year period of time. No specific U.S. event or invitation is needed for PIP travel, however, PIP firms are encouraged to plan ahead and seek visas in advance for employees who may have a future or indeterminate need to travel.

PIP applicants include professional, permanent, full-time employees of registered firms. Casual, temporary, part-time or contract staff are ineligible. There is no minimum length of employment.

What are the criteria for PIP accreditation?

When evaluating applications, the Embassy uses the following criteria:

  1. An established profitable business, as indicated by:
    a) Annual revenue (typically in excess of 20 million pesos)
    b) Number of full-time, regular employees (typically in excess of 100 employees in
    positions requiring college degrees)
    c) Profitable business activity
  2. Strong business ties with the United States: This may be demonstrated by factors such as a large customer base in the United States, or partnership, subsidiary or supplier relationships with U.S. companies that have been in place for at least three years.
  3. Frequent business travel by employees to the United States (typically, at least 10 employees traveling to the United States per year).
  4. Positive community awareness and reputation in the Philippines: The business must be well known in its industry and business community and enjoy a strong, positive reputation.

If you are interested in obtaining PIP accreditation and have questions or need more information, please contact us. We are here to help. Follow us on InstagramTwitterFacebookLinkedIn or Tumblr for up-to-date immigration news.

Rasoulpour Torregoza is the law firm for immigrants, by immigrants. We are founded on the motto of LegalEase: we do away with the legal jargon and make law easy to understand, so you can focus on what’s important to you – going for your American Dream.
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