aaron2

Living in the Philippines on a Resident Visa- 2017 Update

NEW articles daily! Subscribe below to receive daily updates with our new articles!

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

This article has been updated for changes in policy for 2017. The updates appear at the bottom of the article.

When you decide to live in the Philippines, you need to get some sort of visa that will allow you to live here. In my opinion, for those who qualify, a Resident Visa is the best way to go!

Visa Assistance

So, you ask… how do you qualify? Actually, it’s quite simple. If your spouse is a Philippine Citizen, or a former Citizen of the Philippines, you can qualify. You will need to fill out an application, take some medical tests, get police clearances and such, then send it all in to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in your area. Generally, it takes only a week or two for your visa to be approved, and then you have six months to enter the Philippines, and live here for good! No need to leave the country from time to time, no need to go to the Immigration office ever 2 months, etc.

In addition to applying for the visa in your home country, you can also apply after you arrive in the Philippines, but I would strongly recommend that you do the application before coming to the Philippines. Doing it here involves a lot of hassles, extra paperwork, takes months to process, and will probably require some extra money on this end. Take my advice… do it at home!

When you apply for your resident visa, if your spouse is a Philippine Citizen you will be applying for a 13(a) visa. If your spouse is a former Citizen you will be applying for a 13(g) visa. With either of these visas you are also allowed to work in the Philippines!

Pure bliss

Pure bliss

The only requirement is that once per year (in January/February) you are required to check-in at the Bureau of Immigration office.

2017 Updates

No Longer Living Together?

As I mentioned earlier in this article, your ability to get a Resident Visa (13 Series) is based on being Married to a Philippine Citizen (13A) or a former Philippine Citizen (13G). Over the past few years, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has started cracking down on this. In the past, even if you had an annulment or divorce, they did not revoke your 13 Series Resident Visa. But, for the past few years, more and more, the BI has started revoking resident visas for those who are no longer married. Furthermore, it has even come to the point that if you are still married, but separated, no longer living together, your Resident Visa will be revoked! If the BI finds out that you are no longer together with your spouse, they are revoking 100% of those resident visas.

So, how will they find out? Well, they are asking this question now. When you go to do your annual report (you must go to the Bureau of Immigration every year – in January or February – to report and pay a “head tax” of P310. Much of the time, when you do your annual report now, or have other business with the BI, they will ask you if you are still married and living with your wife.

Guam Divorce

Something that happens fairly commonly here is that expats will go to Guam and file a divorce case. It is very easy and quick to establish residence in Guam if you are American, so if you go there for a week or 10 days, you can come back home to the Philippines with a divorce in progress, and it can be completed very quickly. The BI officials at the airport know about this, and it is very common now that if they see a 13 Series Visa holder returning from Guam they will ask if you are getting a divorce in Guam, and if you are, they will revoke your Resident Visa. You can still enter on a tourist visa, but your 13 Series Resident Visa will go bye-bye.

So, this is the new state of Resident Visas in the Philippines. Be forewarned.

Posted in

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.

Most Shared Posts

1528
Leave a Reply

avatar
656 Comment threads
872 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
559 Comment authors
Bob MartinJusaBobbyMichael WhiteMarileth Gonzales Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Dan
Guest
Dan

Bob,
Doesn't the 13 series visa require a person to check with the Immigration Office to get permission to leave the country?

Dan

Darrin
Guest

Hi dan I am married to a Philippine lady and we have a baby girl there I want to live in the Philippines can i get my police cleace her in Mexican or can I do everything in the Philippines what do i need to do

Chrisd
Guest
Chrisd

That’s correct you have to ask permission to travel out of the Philippines whilst a 13A residents visa is been processed which is a big wait up to 3 months they have massive backlogs in Manila Immigration offices( if you apply in Cebu it still goes to Manila) not a couple of weeks I’m afraid and if you went home alone and not come back in with your wife on a balik bayan visa you are issued with a tourist visa and have to renew that until your 13A is ready. You pay up front for your 13A application which… Read more »

Roy
Guest

Hi bob,I am Filipina I’m married since last year,my husband planning to stay here in the Philippine for permanent residence.but I don’t know exactly how much the exact price ? Please I need your hepl

MindanaoBob
Guest

The cost of a resident visa varies widely. Depends on where he applies, other factors too. If he budgets $500 for the whole thing, he should be fine.

Michael Williams
Guest
Michael Williams

Doesn’t the permanent resident Visa require a $10,000 deposit into Citibank for an approved Philippine Bank?

irish
Guest
irish

hello Bob 🙂 my British husband wants to live here in the Philippines. i have read that there are plenty of requirements in applying Residence visa. i just want to ask you if these are really needed in applying such residence visa. -Notarized letter of application by the Filipino spouse -Accomplished and Notarized General Application Form -Filipino spouse birth cert authenticated by the NSO -Authenticated copy of marriage cert by the NSO -Immigration Clearance Certificate -Copy of foreigners passport showing the date of arrival -Certification of Savings Bank Account with the minimum of 10000 US dollar on it to prove… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hello Irish,

Most of the information you have is correct, but the following are not correct:

1. I have never heard of an “Immigration Clearance Certificate” and do not believe there is any such requirement.
2. There is a need to prove finanial ability to support yourself, but there is no requirement that it must be $10k in the bank.
3. If the visa is applied for outside the Philippines it is permanent, not for a 1 year probationary period. If you apply in the Philippines it is probationary for 1 year.

Dan Hartnett
Guest
Dan Hartnett

Bob,
From what I gather, since I’m a U.S. citz and my spouse is a naturalized pinay, we just need the 13(g) visa in order to reside in the Philippines without having to depart the country yearly and just check in with immigration once a year. Can we still leave the Philippines like to visit the U.S. without having to get another 13(g) visa? Thanks.

Dan

MindanaoBob
Guest

Yes, you are correct, a 13g is what you need to get.

Yes, you can leave the Philippines to go abroad and do not need to get a new visa.

Scott Shero-Amba
Guest
Scott Shero-Amba

If I may add: If a 13A visa holder departs the Philippines and does not return prior to the new year or within 60 days of that new year to “report” to immigration, on return they must “report” to BOI within three days. Even with the advent of technological advances, business requires me to leave for extended periods.

Bob Martin
Guest

Once you are married and have your NSO marriage certificate you can apply.

Lordz
Guest
Lordz

Hello Bob. I am a Filipina, living here in Germany. We plan to retire in the Philippines, so for now we are planning our future while we are capable of working. My question is, if my husband will apply for ACR card as a resident, can he also apply for SSS? Or such other security stuffs which we can have benefits if we get old? Having other sources is better than just relying on our future retirements. All gets expensive and we want to get independent and not ask for allowances from our kids if we get old. You know… Read more »

Lassaad Latrous
Guest
Lassaad Latrous

hi Bob. i am a permanent resident in the philippines 13A with an ACR . all what you have said is correct but i still have a question which i didnt get a chance to inquire about it yet.
i left the philippines for vacation for the 1st time after obtaining my permanent resident and in the airport they charged me around 100$ calling it immigration fees. what do you know about that knowing that the lady there is saying that whenever i leave i have to pay the same amount. have you ever encountered that.? tnx

jeanne
Guest
jeanne

Hello Bob i am a filipina living here in belgium i only have a f card holder (5 years holder).
I want to return to philippines and stay there like 6 months is it possible to return in belgium without getting new visa?
My son also is born here in belgium he will not have any problem staying in the philippines an returning in belgium if ever were allowed to stay and not loose our or my visa?
Thank you in advance.

Bob Martin
Guest

I am sorry, basically you are asking me about the laws in Belgium, and I know nothing about that. Good luck to you.

MindanaoBob
Guest

Off the top of my head,there are three fees that you should have been charged in the airport:

1. ECC Fee, which is around P500.
2. Terminal fee, I am not sure how much that is these days, it changes from time to time.
3. Travel Tax, which is P2,560 or close to that amount.

You should have been issued a receipt, which would list in detail every charge.

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

I’ve lived here since 2010 and yes you still have to pay the exit fee at the airport every time you leave. You are allowed to come and go as often and as long as you want. I have also been able to get a senior citizen card that saves you 20%. I use my wife’s Phil-Health card. There are a lot of benefits if you know what you are doing.

MindanaoBob
Guest

I am sorry my friend, but it is it illegal for you to use or even possess that senior discount card that is reserved only for people who are citizens of the Philippines and live in the Philippines. Be very careful, because you can automatically be deported if you are caught with that.

Bobby
Guest
Bobby

I use my Philippines driver license

Bob
Guest
Bob

Hi Dan – that used to be the case, but it is no longer like that. This year, all foreign immigrants living here were required to obtain what is called an "ACR-iCard". It is a little yellow card with a computer chip built in. Now, when you are going to leave the country, at the airport they just scan your ACR iCard and you are on your way. No more need to go to the Immigration Office before leaving the country.

apple
Guest
apple

Hi bob.. Can I ask something if my fiance marry me in Philippines. Is he can stay longer together with me in Philippines without any visa?I’m filipina and he is British citizen. Please help me to know what to do. Thank you very much.

MindanaoBob
Guest

Your boyfriend can enter the Philippines under the Visa Waiver program, and he can stay in the Philippines for up to 36 months with no visa, as long as he extends at the appropriate times and pays for his extensions. After you marry, he can get a 13a resident visa and live here permanently.

Samir
Guest
Samir

Hi Bob, what is the mean of visa Waiver program?

Bill
Guest

hello Bob my name is Bill and I was married to a Filipino woman who passed away 3 years ago March 2012. we were buying land there and I finished making all payments. a real estate agent in the Philippines told me that I would be the legal owner because I am now the beneficiary. I plan to return to the Philippines in the next few months after i sell my house in USA. I would like to retire there. am I able to apply for a permanent visa before I leave the states? or because my wife passed away… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Bill, I am sorry to hear of the death of your wife.

Firstly. I am afraid that the real estate agent has misinformed you. The Philippine constitution expressly will not allow you to own property in the country.

Secondly, more bad news. Because of the death of your spouse, you no longer qualify for a resident visa. You have to either remarry or look into getting an SRRV retirement visa instead.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Regarding the SRRV, it seems to be the wsy to go. If you are ex-military they waive most of the $10k deposit/investment requirement. There is no annual check-in with Immigration. But you do need to renew annually with Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA). $10 renewal fee and the renewal can be done entirely by email. Supposedly no extra exit fees, and no pre-travel clearances required, but I have not tested that yet.

I’ve done one renewal, and the PRA office in Cebu has been very easy to work with.

Mr. MC
Guest
Mr. MC

You mentioned ex-military. I’m prior US Navy. Do I qualify for the discount? If so, where and how do I apply. Is the discount good for the 13a also?

Bob Martin
Guest

I agree.

Douglas
Guest

My Philippiine wife died 8 months ago and I was told that I could get a 13A once my daughter turns 30 in 2 and a half years is that true?

Bob Martin
Guest

You can get a 13A if you marry another Filipina. But, your child, regardless of her age, would have no impact on whether or not you can get a 13A.

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

not true. I own 12 properties with my wife and if she dies I legally own my house. I have already checked on this.

MindanaoBob
Guest

I said nothing about owning properties, you mentioned the senior discount card and that is what I was talking about. It is illegal under current Philippine law for you to have or possess that. Good luck to you.

jonalyn
Guest
jonalyn

he can own the property automatically if his wife died after they get married..

MindanaoBob
Guest

No, he can’t.

aurelio
Guest

Hi Bob I am reside in the Philippines since 2012,my first visa was student visa,but now I’m bout to get marry to a Filipina citizenship, what can I do in order for me to have Philippines citizenship? Is that possible? If I will marry her will I still have 9(f) or what sir?

MindanaoBob
Guest

After marriage, you have to live in the Philippines 5 years and then you can apply. After applying it will take 7 to 10 years.

If you want to learn how to do it and what all is involved, we can set up a consultation, just let me know.

Billy Fallon
Guest
Billy Fallon

Yes, but you need to pay almost 3000 pesos for everytime you leave the country! I was shocked and can still not understand why the country treats its foreign residents this way.

MindanaoBob
Guest

Yes, that is correct. The original commenter did not ask about exit taxes, though, only permission to leave the country.

Alan
Guest
Alan

Bob,

Some years ago I had a 13a visa and surrendered it when I returned to the states. I understand that I am not eligiable for another but a 13e might be an option. I have been unable to get any information from the local Philippine Consulate, as I understand this is something that has to be applied for in country, and am wondering it you have any information on this type (13e non-quota immigrant) visa?

Thanks, Alan

Bob
Guest
Bob

Hi Alan – I am sorry to say that I am not familiar with the requirements or benefits of a 13e. If you are still married to a Filipina you should be eligible to re-obtain a 13a though.

erlinda
Guest
erlinda

Hi bob,I marriage the Pilipino man but his citizen card is not come yet.can I go to Philippine that my pe
rmanent residence
Is not yet .can I help me if what a good idia to go in Philippine

Patrice
Guest
Patrice

Hi Bob,

What kind of visa do you have? I don't know in the states, but here in Canada I think )I still have to verify it) we should not leave the country more than six month if you don't want to loose some benefits. I have a friend who live in Belgium and will verify with him. Regarding the doctors and medicine, how do you qualify them…the services and evrything is it good? still enjoy this site thank you again

Bob
Guest
Bob

Hi Patrice – I have a 13(g) Resident Visa. It allows me to stay here permenantly without need to leave on yearly trips like a tourist visa would require. I find that living on the 13(g) to be the way to go in my case. So far I've been here for over 6 years and have never left the Philippines. So, making regular trips out just for visa purposes would be inconvenient for me. The thing you are talking about with having to be in Canada part of the time to keep certain benefits is not something that is a… Read more »

randy maxwell
Guest
randy maxwell

That’s not quite totally correct if you’re gone from the US longer than 30 days and you are on SSI sssid benefits you lose your benefits

MindanaoBob
Guest

What you say applies to some types of SSI benefits, but not others, Randy.

Tony Gabriello
Guest
Tony Gabriello

True Bob. I am a retired American living in the Philippines. I get direct deposit to BDO dollar account from the SSI in the United States. I just transfer it into my peso account at BDO. I currently have my ACR-1 (tourist) card and I am applying for my permanent resident card because I am married to a Filipina. Philippine Immigration in Tacloban said it is about p10,000 before all said and done. It will save some where in the neighborhood of p2000. + – every 2 months for visa renewals.

Michael
Guest
Michael

I too am on SSI, and it is a Federal Crime to move out of the STATE that gives it to you. On REGULAR SOCIAL SECURITY you can move anyplace in the world on that (as long as you continue to be an American citizen) but SSI does NOT WORK like that! But, the worst that can happen to you, since you are in the Philippines already, is that they cut your money to zilch 0 and you have no money perhaps. They can’t hardly arrest you.

Mike
Guest
Mike

What you are doing is a federal crime.

John
Guest
John

Hi Bob. Is it possible to apply for a resident visa through a Philippine Embassy in a country other than your country of origin whilst working abroad. Also if working outside the Philippines with a resident permit, would I be liable for tax on my earnings. And one more, is it possible to have property registered in my name if I had a resident permit. I am married to a Filipina.

Bob
Guest
Bob

Hi John – wow, you are full of questions! That's OK, I am happy to answer for you! Applying for a Resident Visa (13 series) should be possible from wherever you are living. I am thinking of one thing that may be a problem for you, though. You need to have police clearances from the police in every location where you have lived over the past five years. So, if you lived in the USA, in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, or whatever, you would need police clearances from each of those places. Regarding taxes – under Philippine Law, as an ex-pat… Read more »

Chrisd
Guest
Chrisd

What the attorney will do is state on the land Title your Filipinas wife’s name first married to then your full name so your not left out fully and feel part of the package and may help legally further down the line.

name
Guest

Hi Bob & Jhon, Im a filipina with dual citizen, my husband is french. I made a permanent visa for him in Philippines last january this year. He got it just for a month of processing because i have a friend in the imigration, but i paid 500 euro to my friend which was just normal compare to others. The permanent visa is just for one year we call it provicionary permanent visa, the philippines consulate here in france tell me that it is just normal to have one year provicion to know if i am still married with him.… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

Oh, one other thing, name. Your information about land ownership is 100% incorrect. A foreigner is not allowed to own land here, it is forbidden by the constitution.

Gerard
Guest
Gerard

The constitution prohibits the foreign ownership of land. However, there are certain exception to this rule. As an example the Law on Succession provides for such exception, the condominium act also provide another, as well as the Corporation Code. But, Bob is correct in saying that generally, on his own, cannot own real property as in the ‘physical’ land. On the other hand, under the Family Code of the Philippines if a couple is married after the effectivity of the Code and no pre-nuptial agreement is entered into, the property regime that will apply to the property relation of husband… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Garard,

Thank you for your kind words, and your advice. Welcome to my website!

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hello “name” (I do ask that you use real names on this site, and I am sure that your name is not “name”). I will tell you what I think is going to happen. You will move here, and within 6 months or a year, you and your husband will get disenchanted, and you will start complaining about the corruption in the Philippines. You will bitch and moan about so much corruption, and you might leave because of it You know what, though? You are part of the corruption by making an illegal payment for your husband’s visa. You are… Read more »

Paul
Guest

Hello Bob,

We are in Guam. I went through the Philippine Consulate here on Guam and did the Physicals, Clearances, etc. The wife and kids are all dual citizens US and Philippines). I have 13a Visa that is good for 1 year.

I was told to take my large sealed envelope to Manila before the year is up. The Consulate here didn’t have any further information to give me.

Not really sure what the next step is, or who to call to make an appointment.

Can you give any insight as to what comes next/

Thank you,
Paul DavisManila.

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Paul – When you arrive in the Philippines, you will give the envelope to the customs/immigration officer that checks you after you get off the plane. They will send you to the Immigration Bureau, and also to the Bureau of Quarantine to complete the entry requirements for your 13a. There will be some additional fees to pay and such. It’s all easy, nothing complicated. Your visa will likely be permanent, not 1 year. Those that are issued abroad are generally made permanent immediately, so that will be good news for you!

Good luck.

Paul
Guest

Thank you for the information. The folks at the local consulate here did not have the information as to what happens next. There is one other question I have – where does the ACR I-card or IRC come into play?
Thank you,
Paul

MindanaoBob
Guest

During your time when you go take care of everything at the Bureau of Immigration you will apply for an ACR-I Card. It will be ready for you in a short time.

John roberts
Guest

Hi bob can you please advise me I am a British citizen livening in cape town south Africa .i want to come and stay permanently in the phillipines and open a bar business what do I need to do ?I see you seem to have all the right intelligent answers .
Regards john roberts

nhie
Guest

Hello Bob, i’m wondering why you call me (name) in fact that i write my real name or maybe i was confuse in my keyboard to type. Anyway im so sorry for that. I want to clarify to you that i am a victim of their system (processing the i card). Before i lunch for the permanent visa of my husband i made a research, even i ask in philippines consulate her in Paris if a can process it here in France. But they told me that i can do only the request of permanet visa in Philippines. So i… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hello Nhie – The reason I called you “name” is because that is what you put for your name on the last comment, that’s all. The cost that you mentioned of P250k is not the real cost. Somebody is playing games with that.

chris
Guest
chris

and i card cost only in philipines only 2500 pesos im married with filipino and for resident visa cost only nothing so what u talking abouth to pay it come on be normal greethings chris from belgium i live here in philipines

Sandra
Guest
Sandra

yes you are right,it cost only P 2,500.00 the ACRI card and I year validity

John
Guest
John

That's great Bob. Thanks very much, if I ever meet you there I will buy you a few pints of beer.
John

Bob
Guest
Bob

John – looking forward to seeing you in Davao! 😉

SIGN UP TO JOIN OUR GIVEAWAYS & INFO NEWSLETTER

Make sure you've signed up to our newsletter to get exclusive newsletter only content! Also be updated about all our important events and other important info that our readers rely on.

SIGNUP FORM


Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.