<strong>Beyond the First 59 Days of Your Sec 9a Non Immigrant Visa (Tourist Visa).</strong>
If it is your intention to stay longer than the first 59 days, you need to start thinking about your options as early as possible.
Your <strong>First Option</strong> is to take a side trip to Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Indonesia or anywhere serviced by no frills or cut price airlines. Stay as long as you are allowed or catch the next flight back and on your return you start the whole process, as outlined previously. Cycle that through as often as you want to and provided you obey all the entry rules of the Republic of the Philippines you will be a welcome return guest.
This course of action suits some folk who see it as a way of forcing them to see other parts of Asia.
Another reason this option is so popular, not one I would go along with necessarily, is that it is a less traumatic way of ending a relationship that is not working. The guy says well I have to leave the Philippines at the end of the week, the girl says, when are you coming back and the guy says I don’t know, but I have your cell and if I do I will ring you.
Your <strong>Second Option</strong> is two apply for further Visa Extensions. Your 29 day extension was a visa waiver and as such required minimal paperwork. Visa extensions however requires you to provide verifiable information, please ensure that your information is accurate. Visa extensions can be for either one, or two months. You used to have the option of giving your information to and filling out your forms in the office of an agent, either a travel agency, visa support agency, or legal officer, but given the new requirement for applicants for visa’s beyond the visa waiver to also obtain an ACR (Alien Certificate of Registration) Card, a personal appearance for the initial visa is a requirement.
Let me deal with the processes separately, although you may not see these clear distinctions when you apply, in fact the two processes are interdependent:
The ACR card. Is a plastic credit card size card with an embedded chip that stores and updates information that the Bureau of Immigration deems as necessary for them to know about you.
The page that explains the whole deal in “bureaucratize” is found here:
In plain English, it is issued for the purpose of identifying you as an alien by name, sex, age, weight and eye color, living at a specified address according to the terms and conditions of a particular visa. It also tracks and facilitates all your interactions with the Bureau of Immigration at ports of entry and exit and any office where you present your card in the process of transacting business with them.
The ACR card is not optional if you wish to remain in the Philippines past those initial 59 days and no alien resident of the Philippines should now be relying on the old paper based documents to conform with Philippines Law.
The offices of the bureau are listed here:
To obtain an ACR you need to attend an offices of the Bureau, authourized to issue ACR’s:
You will find a list of what each office is able to process here
Applications and data capturing may be made at the residence of the visa holder in view of his/her physical incapacity.
Checklist Of Documentary Requirements For The Issue Of An Alien Certificate Of Registration Identity Card(ACR I-CARD)
1. Accomplished application form (BI Form 2014-08-006 Rev 0); obtainable here: http://www.immigration.gov.ph/images/FORMS/VariousApplicationsForms/4.%20Application%20Form%20for%20ACR%20I-CARD%20NEW.pdf
2. Certified true copy issued by the Records Section of the Board of Commissioners (BOC)’s Order
granting the visa (for internal verification purposes);
3. Photocopy of passport bio – page and passport pages bearing valid visa implementation and latest admission with authorized stay;
4. Photocopy of official receipt(s) of payment for applicable fees;
5. Two (2) pieces of 2×2 photograph of the applicant with white background and must be taken within the last three (3) months from the date of application
When applied to a Section 9a Tourist Visa the ACR needs to be renewed every 12 months.
Cost of ACR is Peso equivalent of $50USD plus 10php Legal Research Fee plus 500 php express lane. On the last week of your ACR card validity, usually as in the 12 month of your visa extensions, you will need to apply for a new ACR, requirements as outlined here.
1.Properly filled out application form
2.Original ACR I-Card
3.Photocopy of passport (data-page, latest arrival stamp)
Cost is $50USD plus 10php LRF(legal Research Fee) plus Express lane fee 500php
It is cancelled under the following circumstances:
Death of the holder (death certificate required)
Adoption of Filipino citizenship by the holder
Termination of Visa of the holder
Cancellation of Visa
Voluntary Cancellation by the holder
When you are applying for your first ACR you are also normally applying for either a one or two month extension of your tourist visa so they usually go hand in hand. The process for for getting your one or two month tourist visa is as follows
Procedures in the Processing of Applications for Extension of Visitor’s Visa Under Section 9a.
Applications for visitor’s visa under Section 9a shall observe the following procedures, to wit:
Completion of an Consolidated General Application Form (CGAF) obtainable her:
Submit the completely filled-out application form and attachments together with the passport to the frontline officer.
If the applicant has no derogatory records, a BI Clearance Certificate shall be issued. Otherwise, the applicant must proceed to the Verification and Certification Unit for Clearance.
Get the Order of Payment Slip and proceed to Cashier for payment.
Pay the fees and get the Official Receipt.
Submit the Official Receipt with the application form, attachments and passport to the receiving/assessment Officer.
Claim the passport stamped with the requested extension of stay.
It sometimes helps to know that when you are going through this three ringed circus, that it is not the Immigration officer in front of you that is making a mountain out of a molehill, but that they are actually “only following procedure”.
Checklist of Requirements for Temporary Visitors Visa
1. The completed CGAF
2. Photocopy of applicant’s passport bio – page and latest admission or tourist visa implementation
with valid authorized stay;
3. BI Clearance Certificate or derogatory record’s verification indicating the ground(s) of inclusion in the Bureau’s derogatory list other than having overstayed in the Philippines;
4. Get the Order of Payment Slip and proceed to Cashier for payment.
5. Pay the fees and get the Official Receipt.
6. Submit the Official Receipt with the application form, attachments and passport to the receiving/assessment Officer.
7. Claim the passport stamped with the requested extension of stay.
Depending on length of stay the fee will be found here
during the last week of your 12months stay you must pay for a new ACR card
The government is celebrating the end of differences in the cost of Sec 9a visa’s between offices, as a victory in it’s campaign against corruption, so standardisation is the goal.
Persons not requiring a visa to enter the Philippines may now continue this process every two months up to 36 months. Then you must leave the country, even if only for 1 day before the process can begin again. If you required a visa to enter the Philippines then then this period is 24 months only. Then you must return to the country from which you obtained your initial visa and apply again. That being said long term use of extensions is quite expensive and you may wish to look at permanency options as we explore them in coming articles.