aaron2

What happens if you overstay visa?

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.
overstay visa

Overstay Visa Philippines? Go to the Bureau of Immigration!

Did you Overstay Visa?

Take care of it before it takes care of you!

If you overstay a visa, it might not be a pretty situation. I get questions so frequently from people who are illegally staying in the Philippines.  The reason their stay is illegal is that they have stayed longer than their visa allows.  The common term is that they have “overstayed”.  Some people won’t have much trouble at all because they are only here a bit longer than their visa allows.  This situation is easy to fix, you just have to pay some fines.  I also get questions from people who have been here illegally for as much as 20 years.  For people in that situation, the situation will not be nearly so pleasant as just paying a fine.  Firstly, their fines will be very significant, and there will be other types of penalties as well.  We’ll talk about that later in the article.

How to Move to the Philippines Manual

How Long can you Stay?

It depends on the type of visa that you have.  Most who are in this situation have been staying here on a tourist visa. Some, however, on the Balikbayan Privilege (commonly called a Balikbayan Visa), a Resident Visa and just about anything else. Overstay visa, and how long you have overstayed depends on the type of visa.

Tourist Visa

If you arrive in the Philippines with no visa they will issue you what is called a “Tourist Visa Waiver” at the airport.  It is stamped in your passport.

The Tourist Visa Waiver will allow you a stay of 30 days in the Philippines.  When 30 days are nearly up, just go to the Bureau of Immigration office. There you can pay some money, to extend for a longer stay. The amount varies depending on which renewal you are on.

If you do not take care of this you will overstay visa. You can keep extending your visa until you have been here for a total of 36 months. At the end of 36 months, you must leave the country. You can, however, come back the next day. This will start another 36-month stay.  As long as you extend your visa at the proper times, this is completely legal. You will have no overstay visa issues.  If you do not extend your visa before it expires you are overstaying and you will run into problems sooner or later.

How will you run into trouble?

Either the Immigration Authorities will find you, or when you are ready to leave the country, you are stuck and cannot leave until you pay the penalties!  In fact, if you overstay for more than 12 months, you will be blacklisted.  What does that mean?  Well, it means that you will never be allowed to enter the Philippines again, or will be banned for an extended period of time.  When you arrive in the Philippines and the Immigration authorities check your passport they will see that you have been banned from entering the country, and you will not be able to leave the airport and must leave the country immediately.

Taguig Immigration Detention Center

Taguig Immigration Detention Center

If you overstay visa and go to the airport to leave, they will catch you, there is no way around it.  What happens if you don’t have the money to pay the overstay visa fines that are due?  Well, if you can’t pay they still won’t let you leave, but they also will not release you.  No, they have a place for you to stay!  In jail. Most people who are jailed for immigration matters are sent to the Bicutan Prison in Taguig.  You will stay there until you pay the overstay visa fines.

How much will you pay for overstay visa?

The fees that you will have to pay include fines and penalties plus all of the visa extension fees that you did not pay during your stay in the Philippines. So, believe me, it is always cheaper to just pay the fees when they are due, not waiting until you have been caught and owe overstay visa fees. The penalty for overstay visa is P500 for each month of overstaying, plus all visa fees that should have been paid to remain legal.

Podcast about Overstay Visa Issues

On this episode of the Expat Answerman Podcast, we have numerous listener questions regarding Overstay Visa issues. These questions and my answers will make a nice contribution to this article.

Cris starts out and she is asking us about how much the fees are and any other penalties involved for overstay visa in the Philippines, particular for Chinese citizens. Our next question comes from Henry who experienced some problems after his wife passed away in the middle of his 13A Resident Visa application process, leading to the possibility of an overstay visa situation. Later in the podcast, we talk about the possibilities for having to stay in Jail after an overstay visa situation.

Listen in by clicking the play button below, and perhaps my answers will help you too!

Balikbayan Privilege

If you enter the country on a Balikbayan Privilege then you can stay in the Philippines for 12 months free of charge.  At the end of 12 months you have two choices:

  1. Leave the country (you can re-enter again the next day and start another Balikbayan Privilege).
  2. You may convert your Balikbayan Privilege to a Tourist Visa and stay for another 36 months as outlined in the Tourist Visa section above.

What happens if you overstay the Balikbayan Privilege?  Same as what I outlined if you overstay a Tourist Visa.  Best to follow the immigration rules and just follow step #1 or #2 above.

But, can you overstay a Resident Visa?

"<yoastmark

Well, sort of.  It may not be technically “overstaying” but if you have a resident visa and do not follow the proper procedures, the treatment is the same as overstaying.  You will get deported.  In other words, you need to go in every year (Jan or Feb) and do your Annual Report at the Bureau of Immigration.  You will pay a head tax of P310 (only about $6) at the time of your annual report.  If you do not do this, then you are technically illegal here, and you must face the penalties.

With a resident visa, if you have missed doing your annual report, you are allowed to go in and pay fines for missing it and get current and you can continue to stay.  But, if you are caught being overdue, as opposed to voluntarily going in and taking care of this, then you can and probably will be deported.

What if my wife or children are Filipinos?

I hear from a lot of people who have a wife in the Philippines, and many of them also have children here, but they have overstayed for a long time.  They tell me that surely they cannot be blacklisted with a family here.  Surely they can return to their family.  Sorry… the rules apply to everybody.  If you have an overstay visa for more than 12 months you are blacklisted, and you cannot enter the country again in the future – even if you have a wife and/or children in the Philippines.  Either you will have to bring your family to your home country (or another country) or you will not be seeing them again.  Yes, it is harsh, but if you just follow the law you will have no problems.

What can you do to avoid this?

It is very simple to avoid these problems with large penalties and fees to pay… just follow the law, renew your visa on time, and leave the country at the proper intervals as prescribed by law.  Some people tell me that they had to stop following the law, they could not renew their visa.  Well, as I said earlier, it will always wind up being more expensive if you do not follow the law.  It will lead to serious trouble and could cost you a lot of money. So, no matter what you have to do, figure out a way to fly out of the country while you are still legal, or figure out a way to pay those visa renewal fees!  It is by far your best option.

Do You Have a Question?

If you want to send a question for inclusion in a future Podcast, just use the app below, click on the button below, where it says “Start Recording”.

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.

Most Shared Posts

946 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Robert Bula
Robert Bula
4 years ago

What about if I have dual citizen passport, Can I stay as long as I want Bob?

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert Bula

Hi Robert – Yep! If you have a Philippine Passport or a Certificate of Dual Citizenship, then nothing in this article applies to you! You can stay forever and never have to pay any fine! 🙂

Kevin Sanders
4 years ago

I can’t remember if I have asked this, but can a balikbayan visa be directly converted to a resident visa or do you first have to downgrade it to a tourist visa?

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Sanders

Hi Kevin – I have heard of both cases happening. As always with the BI – they are consistently inconsistent (a phrase I stole from my friend Dave Starr).

gezel
gezel
4 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

We arrived in the Philippines last Jan. 2015 my husband entered on a Balikbayan Visa and on March 2015 he applied for 13A in Iloiolo City and was approved June 2015 for probationary 13A we will be applying for his permanent 13A next year. Hope that answers the Balikbayan question.

Bill
Bill
4 years ago

Bob, Just to clarify for you readers. If you do overstay and get blacklisted you can apply to be removed from the list provided you pay the outstanding overstay fees and have a person or family member submit a notarized letter to the Immigration Commissioner on your behalf. You will need to state your reasons for requesting such removal. This process will take anywhere from 6-12 weeks on a case by case basis. Hope this helps!

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Indeed, you can request to be un-blacklisted. There is no guarantee, though. Better idea to just keep your visa up to date.

John A. Coldwell
4 years ago

Hi Bob, Your comment under #2 in the Balikbayan Priveledge said ” You may convert your Balikbayan Privilege to a Tourist Visa and stay for another 36 months as outlined in the Tourist Visa section above.” Actually I found out by personal experience that when you convert the Balikbayan Priveledge to Tourist Visa, Bureau of Immigration counts from the date of latest arrival in the Philippines, so that “free” 12 months is deducted from your allowed 36 months on a Tourist Visa and you start counting at month 13 on your Tourist Visa application – date of last arrival back 12 months ago.

MindanaoBob
4 years ago

Hi John – Interesting that they did that, because I also know of cases where they did not do that. See my response to Kevin.. the BI is consistently inconsistent. 😉 Thanks for sharing that information.

ProfDon
ProfDon
4 years ago

Please Bob, don’t pass on this misinformation: under the LAW as it is written, the BB privilege is ONLY applicable if you and your wife have been out of the country for at LEAST one YEAR, not one day. See 1.a.i. http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/visa-inquiry/balikbayan-previlege. I KNOW this is usually not how it’s applied, but your readers should know that there is a downside risk. And that an Immigration Officer would be acting entirely within his/her rights and within the law if they were rejected. Other points: 1. There is currently a bounty system that pays informers ratting you out to Immigration if… Read more »

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  ProfDon

Nothing I said is “misinformation” Don. The BB Privilege is consistently and always has been handled that you can re-enter after a 24 hour absence. You have been living here long enough that I thought you would have already figured out that the way laws are written and they way they are implemented in the Philippines are not always the same. My goodness. As for your other points: 1. Yes, there is, I never said otherwise. It is just another reason to keep your visa up to date. 2. “Until recently” means nothing, because as you say – it is… Read more »

Leo
Leo
4 years ago
Reply to  ProfDon

There is now a mis UNDERSTANDING tjinking this 1 year as between BEING a balikbayan and “balikbayan visa”. A filipino is a balikbayan person IF he/she has been away from the Philippines at least 1 year and then comes back with a family who are foreign citizens who THEN are allowed for a balikbayan privilege in their passports for 1 year. I did asked this during my visits with my filipina wife and also WHEN I can enter the Philippines again after leaving the country. I was told:”You can do that with the next possible flight sir, but with your… Read more »

Leo
Leo
4 years ago
Reply to  Leo

Another misunderstanding is that you as a foreign citizen are allowed for this balikbayan priviledge ONLY if you are MARRIED to your spouse who is a citizen of RP! I have relatives, a couple who lived together more than 10th of years Filipina/Canadian, but not married. They spend every year 50/50 in Canada and Philippines. Only at the first time they traveled together to their home in the Philippines they were asked a document from magistrate that they are living together in the same address before the husband did get this balikbayan stamp in his passport. “Consistently inconsistent” or not… Read more »

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Leo

Yes, you are only eligible for the Balikbayan if you are married and if your wife is with you when you enter the country (flies in with you).

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Leo

Hi Leo – Actually… you are partially incorrect. The Balikbayan Privilege is also applicable to foreigners who are married to FORMER Philippine Citizens. So, if your wife was a Philippine Citizen, but became naturalized in the USA or another country, you are still eligible for the Balikbayan Privilege.

The 1 year away rule is rarely (and I mean VERY rarely) enforced.

Just want to make sure that is clear.

Leo
Leo
4 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Ok Bob! Not talking about my wife as we don`t have any problems in our balikbayan matters, just wanted to ask where do you find this 24hours absence rule to stay away from the Philippines before coming back for a new “balikbayan visa”? You are right about that 1 year time to stay away to “get a balikbayan status” even it is clearly written there. This all is as like what Dave Starr said in his very clear story about balikbayans…a mess! That`s why all the time have to check, check and again check that you for sure did understand… Read more »

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Leo

Hi Leo – The information is from experience. I have been traveling to and visiting the Philippines for 26 years, and in practice, if you leave the country and return in as little as 24 hours, the practice is that they will issue you a new Balikbayan Stamp.

Leo
Leo
4 years ago
Reply to  Leo

So, let me be clearly understood…you NEED N O T to me MARRIED to get this balikbayan stamp into your passport, if you only can prove that you are in a relationship with your filipino spouse male or female.

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Leo

Leo – I am sorry,my friend but you are completely wrong. You ABSOLUTELY MUST be married to legally get a Balikbayan Stamp.

Leo
Leo
4 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Bob! No broblem with me and asawa ko, we are happily and legally married, I just said what is a surprising fact for my relatives too..I was so surprised also, but as did find out in their case as they can witness with a document of Canadian magistrate they are a non-married couple living together they have travelled with this Balikbayan priviledge for MORE than 10 years without any hassle. Which one I have to believe? My own eyes for that stamp in the Canadian passport or you? One thing more…only in the Philippines, and I could tell a couple… Read more »

Rusty Bowers
Rusty Bowers
4 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Your right Bob. We just went through all that about a year or so ago.

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Rusty Bowers

Thanks, Rusty.

Paul Thompson
4 years ago

Bob; My friend passed away, then it was found out that he’d been here for over 25 years with no type of visa or even a US Passport (He arrived in the 1980’s as active duty military under the Status of Forces Agreement with orders and his military ID) Then his family in Texas wanted to ship him home for burial. That never happened and he is now interned in the US Military Grave Yard on the old Clark Air Base because of the paperwork and fines required to ship his remains home. But I don’t think he would have… Read more »

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Wow, Paul, that is fascinating! A real unique situation there. I had never even thought of such a situation!

Adam
Adam
4 years ago

A trip to immigration here can either be a relatively quick an easy experience or it can be a nightmare. Ever since I was advised to go on a Thursday it has been easy. Half the amount of people for some reason. Also depends on who serves you. Once you have been to immigration a few times you will learn who is friendly and who is the foreigner hater! lol Simply wait until the friendlier person is behind the desk and it will be simple. Grumpy one will fire angry questions at you as if you are a serial killer.… Read more »

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Hi Adam – Once your daughter is a dual citizen there is no need for her to ever go to the BI again. In fact, it would be impossible for her to do an annual report after that, because she will no longer have an ACR card or any Visa documentation. 🙂

Rusty Bowers
Rusty Bowers
4 years ago
Reply to  Adam

It is true that there are a lot more people at the immigrant office after a holiday, on a Monday, or Friday. Which is true world wide. Try to go towards the middle of the week unless there is an approaching or preceding holiday. In which case you’ll have to drive to Manila. If the Manila office is closed someone will be with you when the office opens again but not sooner than 24hrs after you have filed a complaint with the proper office. Unless there is a holiday…… Just follow the laws and pay the small fees when your… Read more »

Derek
4 years ago

Hi Bob, for p310 pesos a year I get to live here in the Philippines all I have to do is go
To immigration once a year, I call that a bargain ,yes immigration officers do track down
Over staying foreigners but why all the hassle when it’s so cheap to live here legally,
Yes Bob less than £5. British pounds a year absolute bargain, Derek in pasig.

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Derek

My feelings exactly, Derek! Why put yourself through the hassles of overstaying when it is so cheap and easy to stay here legally! You would not believe how many people email me every day in serious overstay trouble! Sometimes I hear from 15 or 20 people a day who need help due to overstaying! Not a smart thing to do!

Robert A. Point
Robert A. Point
4 years ago

Bob, Thanks for the info. I currently have a 5 year Resident ACR-I card, which I had received in August. No one, either in Manila, nor here in Mindanao advised me that I had to file a yearly report. My wife and I both were under the impression that I was good until the card expiration. Glad that we can head off the mess !!! Thanks again !

MindanaoBob
4 years ago

You’re welcome, Robert. You know what? The same thing that you describe happened to me when I moved here. Nobody told me anything about an annual report, and for the first few years I did not report. I had some fines to pay, but thankfully it was not too much. 🙂

John Miele
John Miele
4 years ago

Bob: What I always find amusing is the people who seem to get into these messes always seem to be the same people who loudly carry on about illegal immigrants in the places they come from. I never understood how people can get so far behind on this stuff. Compared to most places, the Philippines is extremely easy as far as being able to stay here (many, many countries limit things like visa runs and extensions). For example: Try overstaying in Singapore. If you are caught, you receive deportation and fines like here. You also receive a prison term and… Read more »

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  John Miele

Hi John – You are so right! I would agree that the same people that you hear complaining about illegal immigrants in the USA are often illegal here themselves! Ha ha.. doesn’t make much sense to me. Like you say, it is both easy and cheap to stay in the Philippines compared to most other countries, so why not do it legally? Another thing I notice is that the people who overstay and get themselves in trouble then complain that the BI is ripping people off by charging fines and penalties! If they had kept current in the first place,… Read more »

John Miele
John Miele
4 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Yep… 100% correct. Yes, the BI can sometimes be a bit slow, or a bit bureaucratic. However, I’ve never really encountered any problems there. If something is not clear, I simply ask politely and am directed to where I’m supposed to go. I think some of the griping is related to the long list of fees (most of which are really small). The one that always seems to get people in a tizzy (and I get tired of hearing about) is the “express fee”. Yes, it is probably a remnant of older policies. OK. So what? It is part of… Read more »

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  John Miele

It all comes down to this, John.. I have always found that the BI people treat you pretty much the way that you treat them. If you are rude, so are they. If you are nice, you get no problems from them.

Leo
Leo
4 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Amen to that….said the same in the Holy Bible too… 🙂 “Do unto others….”

MindanaoBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Leo

Yep, it sure is!

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.
946
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x