katbh wrote:I have a Filippino friend who is acquiring visa stamps in his passport to make his application for visa's to other countries easier. He doe not intend to travel to the countries he is getting stamps for, but thinks if he has the stamps it will mean that the UK, USA, Singapore etc are more likely to look upon him favourably when he goes to get a visa from them.
He tells me it is quite common.
Just wondering if it is a good idea or a dangerous one
Only partly true; this is what most Filipinos believe and hence some are collecting visas, the same way Indians are collecting PRs.
What other countries are looking for are a history of travelling and NOT overstaying as a lot of Filipinos are wont to do. If he gets visas and does not use them not only is he wasting money and the embassies' time, it will look suspicious if he has visas but did not bother going to those countries. Having those visas will not improve his chances at best and make him even more susceptible to denial at worse.
He can try to go ahead with his plan but like I said, he's only wasting resources. If he's risking being denied a visa, if he's spending time and money to apply for those visas, if he really wants to look favorably, then he should travel. If he's applying from the Philippines, the more so will those consuls look suspiciously at his plan. There's anecdotal evidence of visas being denied for uncertain plans.
Also, ASEAN countries don't count.
I'm Filipino and let's take my US visa (B1/B2) application as an example:
* Have travelled to other countries in the past few years? Check (e.g. countries that require visas from Filipinos such as Japan and Australia).
* I was applying in Singapore so that means I didn't overstay.
* Have a stable job and other obligations to come back to? I got proof that I will lose more if I overstay in the US than to come back.
* The job pays good enough and has enough money in the bank in the course of years--it means I can finance my trip and hence not dependent on anyone else (or worse, needing to find a job and work illegally).
* Is my trip just really for sightseeing? I got an itinerary and everything; doesn't need to be formal but just letting them know which flights? Yup; intend to take and where I would generally go (e.g. city A, city B...)
* Moreover, I did say I was visiting relatives BUT I would be financing my trip, not them so that tells them I'm independent and that I'm not going there to find work and that my relatives won't need to support me.
Summary: I gave them enough proof that I will definitely not abuse my visa so they let me go there (which I did).