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Balikbayan Visa Valid for 1 Year

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Today we got a comment and question from Annaliza P. Zimmerman.

This is what Annaliza had to say:

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I suggested that if your trying to apply for 13 A Visa rather first exit the Philippines after your 30 days Visa expires even just to Hong Kong with your wife and came back both an hour after so that you will not pay anymore for the extension while processing the 13 A Visa because you will be given a Balikbayan Visa valid for 1 year because If you apply first for the 13 A Visa you cannot go out of the country so you need to extend and it is expensive right?

This is John’s response:

Annaliza: That will work, but the additional extension was not so expensive as a flight (Realistically, we are talking about $50). You CAN leave the country after starting the 13a (I did), you just need to inform immigration about it.

Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur. Bob is an American who lived in Mindanao from 2000 until 2019. Bob has now relocated back to the USA.

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Alice
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Alice

Hello,

I am a balikbayan, currently in Manila, planning on staying for more than a year. Do you know if there is a minimum requirement of time OUT of the Philippines one must meet before one can re-enter as a balikbayan again? In other words, before my one year balikbayan visa expires in November 2012, can I leave for HK for a weekend and return to the Philippines with a new one year balikbayan visa that will expire in 2013?

Thank you for your help! You keep a great website with valuable information.

Cheers!

MindanaoBob
Guest
MindanaoBob

Generally, if you leave for even one day that is considered OK. A weekend out is no problem at all, you’ll get another Balikbayan Stamp upon your return.. just make sure you request it.

Che
Guest
Che

Hi, please can you help me with my question? I am a Filipina married to a British citizen. We have been living in the UAE for the last 5 years, therefore, i know that when we leave the UAE and return to manila, my husband will definitely be eligible for a balikbayan visa. My question is this: what if, 2 months into the visa, we decide to go to hongkong for a weekend. What hapens when we return to Manila ( assuming we travel together), will he still be eligible for another 1 year balikbayan visa or will he revert… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest
MindanaoBob

Hi Che – If you are with your husband when he enters the Philippines, he can get a Balikbayan Visa no matter how short a time he has been out of the country, even if just one day. If you are not with him, he cannot get a Balikbayan Visa at all, even if he has been away for 10 years.

Good luck.

Cristina H.
Guest
Cristina H.

My husband balikbayan visa expires on April 1st. Do you have an idea how much it cost for visa extension and how long would the given extension be? Appreciate yr response. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Cristina

MindanaoBob
Guest
MindanaoBob

Hello Cristina – a Balikbayan Visa cannot be extended, it expires after one year. Your husband has two choices. 1. He can leave the Country overnight – go somewhere nearby like Hong Kong – then return the next day and get another Balikbayan visa (provided you are with him when he returns) good for another year stay. 2. When the Balikbayan visa expires your husband can go to the Bureau of Immigration and convert it to a tourist visa which he will have to renew at 21 days, 59 days and every subsequent 59 days up to a maximum of… Read more »

Allen
Guest
Allen

Hello Bob,

I just got back from Hong Kong with my wife and was awarded a Balikbayan visa for one year. If I leave say in a week or so back to HK again by my self and come back a week later, does that negate that Balikbayan visa status?

Thanks and I hope you have an answer as I have spent the last 2 hours trying to find the answer,

Allen

MindanaoBob
Guest
MindanaoBob

Hi Allen – Once you leave the country, your Balikbayan Visa is no longer valid. If you have left the country without your wife, thus she is not with you when you re-enter, then you are no longer eligible to receive a Balikbayan Visa. At that point, you will be issued a Tourist Visa waiver.

Makatimizer
Guest
Makatimizer

So I entered the country with my mother and received balikbayan visa stamp on my passport, allowing me stay up to one year. I have to leave the Philippines for 1 week by myself in June this year, going back to the US for a wedding, but will then be returning to the Philippines. As soon as I leave the Philippines, does this close my one year balikbayan visa and I will have to re-enter on a tourist visa, or will I be allowed to re-enter and stay out the remainder of the visa (set to expire in 2014)?

MindanaoBob
Guest
MindanaoBob

Yes, when you leave the Philippines, your Balikbayan Visa is null and void. You will have to re-enter with a tourist visa unless your mother is with you.

rose
Guest
rose

Hi Bob!

I am Filipina and I’ve been in Kazakhstan for 2 years. I am married to a Kazakh national and we are planning to visit my parents soon. Can he avail of the 1 year visa upon arrival or it is only limited to some countries?

Thanks!

MindanaoBob
Guest
MindanaoBob

To be honest, Rose, I am not certain on this one. I think it is limited to certain countries.

Ama Opoku
Guest
Ama Opoku

I’m a Filipina and We went to Philippines last May 26, 2012 and upon arrival at the airport, the immigration officer gave my baby who holds Ghanaian passport a 1 year balikbayan visa privilege and my baby is still in the Philippines now so her visa was expired already for 7 months today. I’m planning to bring her back here in Ghana very soon, During our departure, would they let her pay some charges? What if our money is not enough, is there any consideration or discount?

MindanaoBob
Guest
MindanaoBob

Yes, fines would be due, if you don’t have enough money to pay the fines, then your child will not be able to leave the country.

Really, what you should do is to obtain Philippine Dual Citizenship for your child. Since you are a Philippine Citizen, your children can also be Philippine Citizens. You should apply through the Philippine Embassy in Ghana. Once you obtain dual citizenship for your child, she can leave the country and no penalties or fines would be due.

jun
Guest
jun

hi bob, my balikbayan visa expires tomorrow. reading through all the comments by going out of the country just for one day and then come back, i would be issued a new balikbayan visa?

arriane
Guest
arriane

Hi bob

Im a filipina and just been naturalized of british last week so im planning to go back in philippines good for 8 months nowi havent got enough time to apply for my first british passport can I enter philippines using my ph passport and get that balikbayan priviledge thankyou

MindanaoBob
Guest
MindanaoBob

Hi Ariane – By becoming a British Citizen, you gave up your Philippine Citizenship, at least until you re-acquire your Philippine Citizenship through the Dual Citizenship Act. So, currently you are not a Philippine Citizenship. You cannot legally use your Philippine Passport anymore, because to do so would be immigration fraud. You could go to jail for that. Right now, you have two options: 1. Go to the Philippine Embassy and apply for Dual Citizenship. After that is issued, you can legally use a Philippine Passport again. 2. Get a British Passport. Those are the only two ways that you… Read more »

arriane
Guest
arriane

Can I apply for dual citizen even if I havent got a british passport?

MindanaoBob
Guest
MindanaoBob

Yes, I believe you can, but check with the Embassy to be certain.

arriane
Guest
arriane

Ive book my ticket already so in dat case can I just go and tel philippine immigration that im applying for dual?

Dave
Guest
Dave

I’d be grateful if you could help with this question.

I will be marrying my Filipina partner in Hong Kong next month and the balikbayan visa looks like the most convenient option when we fly back.

However, the wording of the pages I’ve read makes it sound like it could only available to the spouse of a Filipino balikbayan. My partner is not one, she lives in the Philippines full time and we just take short holidays out of the country. I’m the only ‘visitor,’ so will I still be eligible?

Thank you

MindanaoBob
Guest
MindanaoBob

I don’t expect it to be a problem. I believe you will be issued the balikbayan visa.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I requested the ‘balikbayan privilege’ at the immigration counter in Cebu today, with my wife and our marriage certificate from Hong Kong, and there was no problem being issued the visa and one year’s stay right there. This page and the comments were very helpful, thanks.

MindanaoBob
Guest
MindanaoBob

Glad that it worked out smoothly for you! Happy to help.

Mark Harris
Guest

Hi my name is Mark, could you please tell me if i will still be able to get a Balikbayan visa. My wife is a Filipino and we have been married for six months, and i stayed there with her for two months, I am going back in September to see her, could you tell me would I still be eligible for a Balikbayan visa, and do you no if my wife would be allowed in the airport since I believe that, that’s where we have to get the visa, or does she have to fly in to the Philippines… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

You can get a balikbayan visa only if your wife enters the country with you. If sh is already in the philippines you are not eligible.

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