How Often I Have to Renew

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Today we got a comment and question from Sean:

This is what Sean had to say:

Tagalog Buddy

Hi John,

Just a couple of quick questions for you. I just want to make sure I am on the same page. So is the total cost for the 13A 1510.00? or is the extension not included in that? I already have the BB stamp and wanted to go ahead and apply for the 13A for work purposes. Do you know how often I have to renew the 13A and how much? Thanks for all the help.

This is John’s reply:

Sean: I’m hesitant to get too detailed on fees now because the article was written a while ago and the fees change frequently. As noted above, there are fees when you apply, and then fees at implementation. Including getting my documents, ACR, and extension, I paid around P10,000 total by the time it was all said and done. The 13A issued is probationary for one year, and you convert to permanent after that time (so one “extension”…There is an article on here from about 6 months ago that I wrote on that process). After the visa is permanent, you only need to renew the ACR every 5 years and make your annual police report… no other action necessary. You never have to renew a 13A visa once it is permanent.  There is a lot of confusion about this.  The only thing you have to renew is your ACR card, which is not the visa.

Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

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Bob - Expat Answer ManLes SydescsrijskampMindanaoBobJim Reed Recent comment authors
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Jim Reed
Jim Reed

Sean; Bob is correct in all. I just converted my probationary to permanent and they gave me 5 years. The only place tthis shows is the expiration on the ACR, I would suspect that between the probationary and the permanently it cost me in the neighborhood of P15T. Here’s the only catch no matter how long your visa is good for you still have to go check in with the BI in person, once a year (Every January) Presumably this is to update the criminal check and contact info. That sucks but that’s the rules.


Thank you Jim. the truth is, the visa never expires, but the card does after 5 years.

The annual check in can be done in either January or February.


I just came from the IM office in CDO city for my wife her request to allow me a permanent visa after we got married already in 2008. Before I was told this visa allowance was very expensive so, because of my priorities I went always to the IM office for two months extensions. I was not able to find the right information on the website of the Main Office of the IM in Manila, but I just find something that could be the right stuf. I still do not know for sure this will be the right amount it… Read more »


Yes, that amount should be about correct. Getting the resident visa is very inexpensive compared to the cost of continual renewals of a tourist visa.

Les Sydes
Les Sydes

I am wondering,after I want to extend my BB visa, how to go about it, and what visa application form I have to download to apply for my extension of stay in the Philippines? I will be applying for a 13A visa soon.

Bob - Expat Answer Man

When it is getting close to the expiration of your Balikbayan Visa, just go tot the Bureau of Immigration office and tell them that you want to convert to a tourist visa. They will take care of everything you need.


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