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New tourist visas in the Philippines – EAM

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Some time back, I got a question from my friend Bill.  He was wondering about tourist visas.

How long could Bill stay on his tourist visa?

49 Ways to Make a Living in the Philippines

How often would he need to renew or extend his visa?

Where could he do the renewal?  Would he have to travel far to do the extension?

Well, as many know, the Philippines has a new Tourist Visa program for about a year now.  A lot of changes have been made, most of which make it much better for the tourist or expat who is living on a tourist visa in the Philippines.  Truth is that there are not very many countries around the world who make it as easy and inexpensive  as it is to stay in the Philippines on a tourist visa.

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Questions submitted by eMail will no longer be answered, you must submit through the voice message above.

Thanks again for listening, everybody!

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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Erik
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Erik

I have a question about your last few sentences. How do you get permission from Manila to stay beyond 16 months? Do you have to travel there?

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Erik,

No, a trip to Manila should not be necessary. A letter to the Commissioner of the bureau of Immigration should suffice.

Russell kaufman
Guest
Russell kaufman

Hi Bob, I’ve talked to you before. I didn’t know you could stay beyond 16 months, could u explain more, I can’t get your ipod channel. I’m coming up on my 16 months. I have an 8 month old and wife is 4 months now. pregnant, don’t want to have to exit and return right now. This is a risky pregnancy for her. Thanks. Hope u can email your response.
Russ

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Russell – You can listen to the podcast right here on the website, no need to go to iTunes or anywhere else. To see instructions on how to listen to a podcast, check here. Under the current Tourist Visas, they can be extended up to a maximum of 36 months. It has been more than a year since the 16 months was changed to 36 months. There is not much to explain, if you have been staying up to 16 months, you just keep doing the same until 36 months now. If you entered under a max of 16… Read more »

Carlos
Guest
Carlos

I am worried about Duterte. I heard he is so strict and will fill p his cabinet with commies. Do you think the immigration policy could be reversed back to the less pleasant form by Duterte?

MindanaoBob
Guest

Personally, I don’t think so, but the only way to know is to wait and see what happens.

Russell kaufman
Guest
Russell kaufman

Hi Bob Russ again, I was just able to listen to your podcast. I have a couple questions. What should be in the letter? any document or proof why I want to stay longer. My kids who are philippine citizens. I’m also wondering which is better the balik bayan visa or staying for the 3 years? Which is better financially also as I’m on a budget? Kids will do that to you. Lol.

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Russ – Glad you were able to listen. The letter should just request that you be allowed to stay longer, nothing special. Which is better… Balikbayan or Tourist for 36 months? It just depends on your preference and your situation. Balikbayan is good for one year and it is free. Tourist will cost money to extend. On the other hand, with the balikbayan you must leave the country once per year (unless you convert it to a tourist visa at the end). Why not look at getting a permanent 13a visa? If you are qualified for a Balikbayan Visa,… Read more »

Lenny
Guest
Lenny

The cost to renew the first extension was almost 4000p for me because you have to get a acr card also

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Lenny – Technically, the cost of an ACR card is not part of the cost of extending your visa. Yes, it is required, and it is done at the same time, but it is two separate things, though. But, yes, while you are at the BI to extend, you will also spend for the ACR card. 🙂

Greg
Guest
Greg

Hi Bob. I am currently on the 1 year Balik Bayan visa. I do not want the hassle of doing the “visa run” every year due to cost and do not like leaving the Philippines anyway. My wife has told me we will get me a permanent visa here. One year trial and then permanent. I was wondering once I get the permanent here if there will be any hassle for me to leave here to go visit Australia whenever? Another Australian expat told me there can be a hassle. I know there is probably immigration sites (very confusing sites)… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

If you have a 13a Visa, or 13g, there is a big of hassle when leaving the country, but it is not too bad. There is also some expense as you must pay the travel tax. The amount varies depending on several factors, even including what class of ticket you are traveling on. I still feel that it is the best visa available for those who qualify.

Greg
Guest
Greg

Would i need to do anything at immigration before going to the airport or can it just be sorted out there? Am used to the travel tax because my wife pays it when flying out to Australia. Am sure the amount of this varies depending how much “pocket money” the official wishes on the day!!! lol Sad but true.

MindanaoBob
Guest

The way it us set up you can do it at the airport. Things change, but hopefully not that.

Greg
Guest
Greg

Ok. Thanks

Greg
Guest
Greg

One final question Bob. If I am granted permanent residency in the Philippines, does it affect my citizenship in Australia?

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Greg – No, it will have no effect on your Australian citizenship.

Dave Starr
Guest

Finally had a chance to listen, Bob. Some good info there, especially the fact they have finally started rolling the Long Term (6 month) Tourist visa option out to the Provinces. One thing that throws a lot of people off on these extensions is to 59 day business. Really you get a 60 day extension but due to the way the BoI calculates dates it only comes up to 59 days by their count. Don’t worry folks, you will see by the date they put in your passport that you always get 60 days per renewal .. it’s not as… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Dave,

Thank you for listening to my podcast, I’m glad that you found it good with some of the info provided.

suzukig
Guest
suzukig

Tourists that stay beyond 59 days now have to register for the Alien Registration Project. https://dumaguete.com/bureau-immigration-alien-registration-project-arp-2/ http://www.mb.com.ph/bi-urges-aliens-to-register/ BI urges aliens to register by Jun Ramirez October 5, 2014 Share this: The Bureau of Immigration has reminded foreign nationals staying in the country to personally present themselves before the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for biometrics measurement and issuance of special security registration number (SSRN), Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison disclosed yesterday. BI Commissioner Siegref B. Mison reiterated the need for registration under the Alien Registration Project (ARP) after only 200,000 of the more then 1.5 million aliens staying here have so far… Read more »

suzukig
Guest
suzukig

The ARP does not apply to permanent residents or Balikbayans.

Erik
Guest
Erik

Wow. Now ARP too? The whole process Seems complicated. I wish somebody would map this out in a fishbone diagram or something. Haha.
And when you go to BI office can you bring just a copy of passport? Or do you need the original? I don’t like carrying around the original.

MindanaoBob
Guest

It is not that complicated. If you do not have an ACR I-Card that is current, you must report to the BI and fill out some forms, get pictures, fingerprints and such taken. After that, it’s all good.

You should always bring your original passport when you go to the BI.

MindanaoBob
Guest

The ARP does apply to permanent residents, but will be handled differently. They already have most of the information needed for permanent residents, thus the additional things they need (bio-metrics) will be given during our annual report in Jan/Feb.

Frank Weathers
Guest
Frank Weathers

Bob, I do not know what information is in the Podcast as internet signals are too slow to work with that.
I just want to let you and others know that more Immigration Offices now handle the 6 months and longer Visa. I had it done in Butuan City (Mindanao) and it was quick, very pleasant and efficient.. That was in May 2016.

MindanaoBob
Guest

Thanks for sharing your experience, Frank. Glad to hear it worked out well for you.

Gregg
Guest
Gregg

Hi Bob, I just came on to your site been reading a few articles I have a flight leaving November 9th 2016 to Manila I plan on visiting a few women from Christian Filipina website I speak with one regularly from Pavia, llilo. I don’t have any specific plans for traveling she did mention taking a boat to different islands is available but I have many questions I guess my first is when I fly into the airport I I’m wondering do I get my visa extension there I have a round trip ticket leaving December 21st back to the… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Gregg,

Firstly, regarding extending your visa.. you can either do it right at the airport when you arrive, or you can do it at any Bureau of Immigration office in the country, they have an office in all of the larger towns and every City.

I don’t feel that you need to hire anybody to travel with you. Just use common sense and I don’t think there will be a problem at all.

Have a great trip!

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