This post contains both good and bad news for Sec 13a Visa holders.
In the past, we have relied upon this information to advise our readers that they should downgrade the 13a to a Temporary Visitor Visa in the event that their marriage breaks down, as defined in that document.
It has been the bone of contention of a few die-hards that:
- Immigrant Visas are not conditional.
- That BI itself knows this and is seeking further legal opinion and that it cannot enforce this law until they have that.
- Under 21.
- Living in the Philippines.
Well thanks to Orion for finding IMMIGRATION MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. SBM-2014-009. He kindly posted it in our comments section. It makes BI position very clear and has the added weight of a legal review of the interpretation that BI has been following.
We have quoted the relevant sections from a Memorandum but here is the full document
1. The dissolution of marriage by declaration of nullity, annulment, legal separation or separation de facto between the foreign husband and Filipino wife shall operate as a ground for the revocation of the foreign husband’s Non-Quota Immigrant Visa under C.A. no. 613, Section 13(a) or TRV.
2. There is one exception:
If the dissolution of the marriage is due to the death of the Filipino wife and there is/are surviving child/children of such marriage.
This does not apply if the separation has taken place for other reasons and then the Filipino spouse dies, it is when death causes the separation.
No matter where the couple were in the process of obtaining a Sec 13a from first application to completion The foreign spouse or a child may petition for the spouse to retain Sec 13a status and for the child to be declared a dependent of the spouse.
The definition of child is also very important. They must be:
So having a married 18-year-old daughter, an unmarried 22year old son or even a 10-year-old daughter with no intention of joining the parent in the Philippines won’t help you retain your 13a visa
This is certainly an act of an agency recognising the importance of family.
If this impacts you in any way we advise taking action immediately.