Allea Real Estate

Allea Real Estate
Real Estate in Davao City, Philippines

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bureau of Immigration

I'm often asked by foreign clients about visa extension and where to go. So I thought I'd share a little about it based on my experience with my husband.

John, being a foreigner in the Philippines, was given a 21 day tourist visa when he 1st arrived in the country. Before its expiration date, we always make it a point to visit the Bureau of Immigration for its extension. After the 21 day tourist visa, foreigners are given a 59 day extension. The fee ranges from P2,500.00 - P3,000.00 depending on how long your extension is.

What To Bring:

     2 pcs ID picture (passport size)
     Photocopy of your passport which shows the following:

          * the page where your photo and details are
          * the page where your initial entry to the Philippines is shown
          * the page where your last extension is shown

You only need to fill up the form and pay the corresponding fees then wait for your name to be called upon release of the passport with the latest stamp.

Please note that there is no need to hire either a lawyer or a middle man to do this. It's so easy , you can do it yourself. :)

A foreigner can extend his visa every 59th day to a maximum of one year. I believe that it's been extended to 18 months now. If he/she is not married to a Filipina, the foreigner needs to get out of the country for a few days and when he/she comes back, has to do the same process all over again.

If married to a Filipina, then he can apply for a 13A Visa. That way, he/she only needs to visit the Immigration Office once a year. And of course, pay a small amount once also.

What are the requirements:

   *  Letter of the Filipino spouse addressed to the Commissioner requesting that his/her  husband/wife
       be given a Permanent Resident Visa by way of Marriage.

   *  Marriage Certificate (authenticated by the National Statistics Office)

   *  Certificate of Co-Habitation. (you can get this at the Barangay Captain's Office for a small fee)

         ** The barangay captain will just certify that you are indeed a resident and that it is true that
              you're married to each other and that you live together. :)

   *  Photocopy of Passport (husband and wife)

   *  Original Passports (husband and wife)

   * 2x 2 ID Picture (husband and wife)

   *  Original copy of the Official Receipt

Just submit those at the Immigration Office and wait for the interview.  John and I did this on our own without help from a fixer. It's so easy actually. And contrary to what I've heard, the Davao office of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation is very fast.

John got his 13A Visa (Probationary) , 3 months later. The said visa is good for one year. So before this expires, do the same process all over again.

And then wait for your Permanent Visa. John got his 2 months after the interview. 

So yes, it is easy and fast. Again, there is no need to pay for a fixer. :) 

The office of the Bureau of Immigration is located in J.P. Laurel Avenue (locally known as Bajada). It is the building across Victoria Plaza Mall.

                                                            Lea C. Walker 

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