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Life Philippines

Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (Initial)

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The Alien Certificate Of Registration Identity Card

Anyone wishing to remain in the Philippines beyond 59 days must have, a current Alien Certificate Of Registration I-Card (ACR I-Card).

Calling it a certificate is a misnomer, it is a leftover from the days of paper-based documentation.

It is, in fact, plastic and credit card-sized.

It also has an embedded chip which stores demographics and your business history with BI

In plain English, the ACR I-Card 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 at any other office where you present your card in the process of transacting business with them.


The ACR I-Card is colour-coded to reflect one of ten visa status that BI has designated.

In addition, the name of the visa status is printed in bold oversized lettering along the bottom right of the card.

ACR I-Card Color coded

Dates of validity are found on the lower left-hand side of the reverse of the card.
Although a rare occurrence nowadays it is very important to ensure that your card has those dates.
If not, immediately return your card to BI, for re-issue at no extra cost.
In the past, some have taken a lack of dates on ACR I-Cards as indicating that the card is valid forever. This is not the case.

Where To Apply

To find out what offices can process an ACR I-Card click here.

You will be taken to a map of the Philippines which shows most of the offices of BI.

Clicking on any of the locations takes you to an alphabetical list of those offices. It would have been more effective if it had taken you to the location you had clicked on, but it is what it is.

You then need to scroll through the list to the profile of the office nearest you, to ascertain if they have the capability to handle ACR I-Card applications.

Application Form

The form can be downloaded here, and completed prior to attending the office.

It is in English and must be completed in English, using only English characters.
All entries should be in CAPITAL letters.
If the information requested is not applicable to you enter N/A. Do not leave any questions blank.

The Paperwork You Will Need

  • Completed application form.
  • A certified true copy issued by BI, showing the visa you are here on.
  • One photocopy of passport bio-page and the pages with the latest visa stamp on it.
  • A photocopy of the receipt showing payment for the last visa extension.
  • Two (2) pieces of 2×2 photograph of the applicant with white background. Must be taken within the last three (3) months from the date of application. Two points here:
    • They may have not been asked to produce photographs when renewing, the BI site still lists photos as a requirement for the initial card.
    • While some office do have the capability to take your picture, this does not apply to all offices, so it is best not to assume they have.

All the paperwork should be presented in the order outlined above, application form on top, in a legal size (8½ x 14 in.) manila folder.
Be prepared to present your current passport. This will be checked and returned to you immediately.

All ACR I-Card applications should be accompanied by an application for a visa or visa extension.

The Process

  • You should present the completed application with all requirements to the receiving officer.
  • Your identity will be checked against the database for any derogatory record, and a certification of no derogatory records found is issued, if that is the case.
  • They will issue you a form setting out the fees to be paid is issued to you. It’s called an Order Payment Slip(OPS).
  • You will need to pay the required fees to the cashier, who will issue an official receipt.
  • Present the Official Receipt (OR) along with the completed application to the designated officer.
  • You will receive a claim stub.
  • The application will be evaluated. This can take up to one month. You can check the status of the ACR I-card here.
  • When approved it will be printed, and available for pickup.
  • Present claim stub and identification (ID) to get your card.

Hava A Trusted Representative Pick Up Your Card

The Stub you receive will have instructions on the back to enable them meet the requirements to pick up your card:

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