web analytics
Life Philippines

Good and Bad News For Sec 13a Visa Holders

Click here to get this post in PDF

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.
  • 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

    Major Points

    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:

    • Under 21.
    • Unmarried
    • Living in the Philippines.

    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.

15 thoughts on “Good and Bad News For Sec 13a Visa Holders

    1. mbannist Post author

      Good Question, I would think that they would revoke the visa and return to sec 9a, but I will put the question to BI. Watch this space

    2. mbannist Post author

      Chris my advice is that you should use the next 7 years to work toward either a quota visa under Section 13 or a SRRV. The Sec13a will be revoked once the child reaches 21 or earlier if she marries.
      HTH
      Charles

      1. Chris

        Thanks, what u mean with quota visa under section 13a. What kind of visa is that and what are the requirements? May u have a link. Thanks again.

        1. mbannist Post author

          Quota vis is limited to 50 persons per year from countries that have a visa agreement with the Philippines, plus 50 stateless people per year. The cost of the visa is 19,000 and requires some financial capacity. You can find out more here In your circumstance it may pay you to start talking with BI as soon as possible, so you can get the best long term advice.

          1. Chris

            Thanks again. Bank certification of inward remittance amounting to at least US $50,000.00 or equivalent in other foreign currency; Thats a lot of money. This money must stay permanently to the bank or u can use it when u here? I am a little shocked….

          2. mbannist Post author

            I know what you mean, especially on a pension, I had enough to do it when I retired but went the 13a route which I realise now has a lot of drawbacks for many expats. For me it is still ideal because my daughter will not reach 21 until I am 91. Check with BI about, using your money to buy a condo or investing. This is specific information that they won’t give without knowing your circumstances. THE SRRV may be a better option depending on your age. Actually, the 13 is not bad with the US, UK, European an Australian equivalents costing millions of dollars. Let me know how you get on.

  1. Chris

    I was in Visa section 13 a in cebu immigration. I dont have to do something, only when i make my annual report i change my status in widow and give a birthcertificate of my child.

    1. mbannist Post author

      Interesting Chris. The instruction says . In case of petition for (i) adjustment of status from Temporary
      Visitor Visa under C.A. No. 613, Section 9(a) to Non- Quota
      Immigrant Visa under C.A. No. 613, Section 13(a) or TRV; or
      (ii) amendment or extension thereof, respectively, the surviving
      foreign husband, in his own capacity1
      , or the child, as
      petitioner2, may file a petition for Non-Quota Immigrant Visa
      under C.A. No. 613, Section 13(a)

      Obviously filing a petition means different things to different people. We will see how others fare over the next few months. Thanks for your input Chris

  2. John Fraser-Ross

    I find 2. There is one Exception strange.

    My late wife passed away in 2010 and I was on a 13A, I have a daughter who was 8 years old when it happened. I rang my local BI Field Office and was told it was fine as I was a permanent resident. When I went to renew my Icard I was told this was not the case and I had to revert to a Tourist visa and pay back penalties which came to 140,000 PHP. If I did not pay it I was going to be deported. This was from the Commissionaire himself in 2013.

    1. mbannist Post author

      John you are correct the memo was not approved until September of 2014, so your encounter was under the old ruling. Furthermore this Memo has only been activated since late last year according to the person who discovered it. See Orion comments. Hope that is helpful
      Charles

      1. mbannist Post author

        You would definitely be eligible to petition now. If you were in the frame of mind to do so and your circumstances remained the same.

  3. dawggydaddy

    This is why the PRA SRRVisa is a better way to go. It is lifetime if you s desire and not dependent on a spouse living or dying or heading to BI when mad at you to get you kicked out of the country.

    And if you are ex-military, the CD is only $1500.00 with a measly $10.00 per year renewal fee.

    1. mbannist Post author

      Jeff
      Your wife can’t get you kicked out of the country, I work with many couples and on the rare occasion that breakups are not amicable, and animosity is at a level where vengeance is in the mind of the Filipina, they cannot just go and complain. Republic Act 9262.
      The SRRV is an excellent choice if it fits your needs. There is also the Quota visa which gives you 13a rights without having to have a Filipino wife. Cost is about the same or slightly cheaper than the 13a.
      Thanks for your input.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *