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Want to stay long term on a tourist visa? Good news!

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Today, a new policy for tourist stays in the Philippines was announced by the Bureau of Immigration. Effective immediately, tourists can now renew their visas every two months for a period of up to 16 months, instead of the 12 months that had been the policy up to now! Additionally, the tourist visa can be extended even further, up to 24 months if the further extension is approved by BOI Immigration Regulation Division. The Commissioner of Immigration will have the final say on 24 month extensions of tourist visas.

This is really good news, as many people actually live here on tourist visas, and have to leave the country every 12 months, but now can stay longer, up to 24 months in total before having to leave and return again to start the process over again. In the past, a holder of a Balikbayan visa could stay for one year, and then convert to a tourist visa to gain an additional years stay. I do not yet know, but it would seem that a Balikbayan Visa holder could now stay for up to 3 years on one entrance – 12 months on the Balikbayan Visa, conversion to a tourist visa that could be extended for up to 2 additional years.

Survival Cebuano

The article that I read in the Manila Times goes on to say that the 2 year stay applies to “all temporary visitors.” Does that mean that a Balikbayan Visa would now be good for 2 years and then could be converted to two more years on a tourist visa? I don’t know the answer to that, but that is how it sounds in the article. So, those who are married to a Philippine Citizen (or former Citizen) could effectively stay in country for up to 4 years before a renewal would be required.

It’s really nice to see the Philippines making moves to accommodate tourists, make their stays easier, and let them stay longer. Let’s hope that the foreigners who come show their just thanks to the Philippine government for this great new policy!

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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Pete
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Hi Bob, that is good news, makes life so much easier, I have seen a very interesting document regarding house and lot ownership i would want to share with everyone here, its good because its actually about my house, and the wording is quite of interest to your readers, will be posting when I arrive back in London later on this week.

Bob
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Bob

Hi Pete – Yes, I think that it is extremely good news! It doesn't affect me, because I have a resident visa, but for thousands of people this will be a really great thing! I think it will be good for the Philippine economy too. 🙂

Paul
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Paul

Hi Bob – Certainly is good news. 😀

Was the article in the print version of the Manila Times? Can't find it in the electronic version. Of course, the BI website and other government websites lag behind the newspapers so don't expect to see anything posted there for at least a week or two. 😕

Am also wondering whether new fees were mentioned in the article? Have never experienced a government benefit being given out with one hand (from any government!) without mention of the other hand being outstretched, palm up! 😆

Bob
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Bob

Hi Paul – I am sorry for my oversight! I neglected to link to the article where I read about the change! I have since added a link to the article, so you can now go read the article and get the further details.

I am sure that the fees that are charged now for renewals will continue to be charged for the additional renewals that will be given. There will probably also be a fee for getting special permission to extend up to 24 months. I don't know how much that will be, though.

Paul
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Paul

Thanks, Bob. Wouldn't you know it – I didn't read yesterday's paper and that's where it is! 😳

Bob
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Bob

Hi Paul – Happy to oblige! I should have included a link in the first place, it just slipped my mind!

ken
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ken

thats good news , because thats how i planned to stay in davao, work in alaska 4 months out of the year then stay in davao 8 months ,its nice to know i could stay longer if i choose to .

Bob
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Bob

Hi ken – not often that the government (any government) does something so good, so we ought to rejoice a little bit! 😆

Malcolm
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Malcolm

Hi Bob
That certainly is good news, there is as yet no mention of it on the Philippine Embassy or British Embassy sites. Can you find out how it will affect us Balikbayans who return to The Phills with our wives?
Best regards
Malcolm

Bob
Guest
Bob

Hi Malcolm – So far I have no further info, but I will watch out for it! It will take a while before this new policy filters it's way to the Embassy sites.

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