Today we got a comment and question from Mike.
This is what Mike had to say:
Mike from Dumaguete here, American living in Phils for about 2 years. Congrats on the 13a visa and thanks for this great article, its the best one I’ve seen online on this topic. I’ve read it slowly and carefully and I’ve also read all the replies.
There are a couple of details I would like to ask about, and also a couple things I want to comment on and I hope others will be able to benefit from my questions and comments, and your answers.
1) Is the “Duly notarized letter request from the petitioner-Filipino spouse” for changing the probationary 13a to the permanant 13a THE SAME “Duly notarized letter of application by the Filipino spouse” that was originally submitted the first time?…or is it a new, different letter? If so, do you have a link to a sample for that second letter?
2) Is the exit fee always the same: 2,160?
3) You got your 13a in Manila, but can the whole process also be done in Cebu BI? Or is it necessary to go to Manila?
4) And…most importantly, and what I am wondering about most, is the NSO authenticated documents that are necessary for getting the 13a visa. Can you go into a little more detail about that and the process for getting those NSO authenticated documents like marriage cert. and birth cert. ?
You mentioned in the beginning of your article that it is necessary to be a Philippines resident in order to get a Philippines drivers license “3. A Philippine driver’s license requires residency.”, but that’s not my experience, I don’t hold a resident visa, currently I am staying on an extended tourist visa, however I already have a Philippines drivers license. I just went to the LTO and filled out the app, got the necessary drug test, and physical check up (very brief and quick and cost about 300p for both at the health office just near LTO), submitted my paperwork along with my valid, current US drivers license (returned back to me after they processed the application), and paid the fees which came to a little more than 600p. And I had my Philippines drivers license, expiring on the same expiration date as my US license.
I also wanted to mention, because someone asked about getting a Philippines visa in another country other than your home country, that when I was in Bangkok, Thailand, the Philippines embassy there was able to issue to me any visa that was available in the Philippines embassy in the U.S. and they were very friendly and helpful too.
And lastly, some people commented on their experiences coming back into Phils and being required to show an outbound ticket or being required to show it before they boarded the plane going back to Phils. Well in one of my experiences, coming from the U.S., I HAD an outbound ticket going to Malaysia. But the Philippines immigration officer, who I believe was a supervisor, rejected me and actually threatened to deport me if I didn’t show a return to ticket to the U.S. I have no idea why they did that, there was nothing different about me than any other foreigner who got off the plane. So she told me to go to the PAL desk and get proof of my return ticket to the U.S. (I didn’t have a return ticket because I bought my round trip ticket here in the Philippines, going first to the U.S. and then returning here to Philippines) I talked to a few people at the PAL desk, then they told me to try a different line, so I went on the line of a different immigration officer and that one looked at my itinerary going out to Malaysia and gave me a 30 days tourist visa stamp. I wonder if anyone else had that experience at Manila where they required, not just an outbound ticket, but a return ticket specifically going back to your own country. I wonder if they did that because my ticket was not an actual ticket but an e-ticket and I had only an itinerary printout from the airline’s website?
John, thanks again!
This is John Miele’s reply:
Mike: That must have been a new or misinformed immigration agent… I’ve never heard of that happening. As many times in and out on the tourist visa, never once was I ever requested to show the outbound ticket by immigration, much less asked the destination…. Always the airlines.
1. I think the letter is the same. Notarization at BI. (I plan to do that…If they want different, there are half a dozen Internet cafes nearby to type and correct.)
2. The first exit annually is around 2,800 (I think that was it)… Subsequent are at the 2,100.
3. I think you can do it in Cebu (almost positive), but I think the times may be different. I would call them and ask.
4. The NSO has them all online now at the NSO site. The hassle comes in if they don’t have the docs on file, which may require a visit (ie… recently married and the docs aren’t there yet…takes time).