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Balikbayan Visa

I had been traveling to the Philippines for some years before marrying a Filippina and settling down in provincial Philippines. When I first arrived with my spouse at Immigration (to settle permanently, just over a year ago) I asked for and was granted a BB Visa without any problem. I now am going overseas with my wife and hope to ask again for a BB Visa when we return (I plan to apply for a 13A permanent visa thereafter). My question is "If I am told at Immigration during my return that they cannot issue me with a BB visa, what is the best way to politely convince the official that I should be allowed to have one?"  I only ask this because I had reason to travel overseas (without my wife) a short time back. When I arrived back at Immigration I asked if I could have an extended tourist visa and was told that this was not possible as they didn't issue an extended tourist visa at Immigration and I would have to go to Intramuros to apply for one! As I had successfully applied at Immigration in the past (by paying a standard fee for the service) for an extended visa, I am wondering if it depends on the mood of the Immigration officer whether they will give more than a standard tourist visa - and I am also wondering if a similar problem might occur when I arrive back and ask for a BB visa? Can anyone give me any helpful information in regards to this?

there shouldnt be any problem getting balikbayan visa as long as your wife is travelling  with you when you get to manila or other arrival point   -with proof of marriage  ,the only extended tourist visa you get an airport is a 29day ext to the 30 days most tourist would get for free on arrival  ,after that you need to get extensions every 2 months   or a 6 month extension can be obtained  after been there for some time

Very unlikely to be a problem, if you are with your wife.  But refer to this page if needed:

www.immigration.gov.ph/index.php/faqs/v … -previlege

Q: Can a foreigner spouse or child of a Balikbayan avail this privilege when traveling to the Philippines alone?

A: A foreign national spouse and/or child of a Balikbayan may only be given the said privilege if he/she is traveling with his/her Balikbayan spouse or parent.

"the only extended tourist visa you get an airport is a 29day ext to the 30 days most tourist would get for free on arrival".
Yes, it was the 29 day extension that I requested, but was advised by Immigration officer that it couldn't be granted at the airport (Manila) where I arrived and that I would have to go to Intramuros to obtain it.

Thank you for your reply. However, I wasn't able to access the link you gave (http://www.immigration.gov.ph/index.php … -previlege). Is this link still active? I can only get a "server not found" response from it.

kiwibill :

Thank you for your reply. However, I wasn't able to access the link you gave (http://www.immigration.gov.ph/index.php … -previlege). Is this link still active? I can only get a "server not found" response from it.

I can't see it either now,  The entire Philippine Government Immigration site is down...
(The server at www.immigration.gov.ph can't be found, because the DNS lookup failed. )

but a cached copy on google is at: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s … previlege.


The full content is:

1. Who are eligible under Balikbayan Program?


a. A Balikbayan, who may be either one of the following:

i.   A Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one (1) year;

ii.  A Filipino overseas worker;

iii. A former Filipino citizen and his family who had been naturalized in a foreign country and comes or returns to the Philippines.

b. Immediate family members (spouse and children) of the Balikbayan, who are nationals of countries falling under EO 408, travelling together with the Balikbayan.


2. Who are not entitled to the Balikbayan privilege?

Former Filipinos and their immediate family members (spouse and children) who are visa-required nationals (nationals of countries NOT listed under EO 408). They must secure entry visas prior to their travel to the Philippines.


3. What are the privileges of a Balikbayan?

Those who are admitted as Balikbayans are given an initial stay of one (1) year. They may extend their stay for another one (1), two (2) or six (6) months provided that they present their valid passport and filled out the visa extension form and submit it to the Visa Extension Section in the BI Main Office or any BI Offices nationwide. An additional requirement will be ask for Balikbayans who have stayed in the Philippines after thirty six (36) months.


4. Can a foreigner spouse or child of a Balikbayan avail this privilege when traveling to the Philippines alone?

A foreign national spouse and/or child of a Balikbayan may only be given the said privilege if he/she is traveling with his/her Balikbayan spouse or parent.

kiwibill :

"the only extended tourist visa you get an airport is a 29day ext to the 30 days most tourist would get for free on arrival".
Yes, it was the 29 day extension that I requested, but was advised by Immigration officer that it couldn't be granted at the airport (Manila) where I arrived and that I would have to go to Intramuros to obtain it.

well many people have said that extensions can be done at airport  -it may depend time of arrival,link worked ok here

Many Thanks ABC Diamond. Yes, the site is available to me also now. Hopefully I will not have any problems coming back to the Philippines again. Appreciate your help. Bill

Thanks for your input. I got the impression that they just didn't want to be bothered with the extra paperwork - even though I said that it was a big inconvenience for me to travel back to manila, to Intramuros, etc., but they still wouldn't relent - even tried to fob me off by telling me that I could have the extension done when I arrived at Bacolod Airport on the domestic flight - which I already knew wasn't possible - but I didn't want to push the issue any further as it isn't a good idea to argue with Immigration. The Immigration control desks weren't busy at the time either as few people were coming through...I just couldn't understand why they didn't want to process the extra 29 days for me. Bill

it isnt done at the desks -there is an office somewhere where it could be done

Yes, that is the way it was done for me before - but one has to go first to the desk and they then usually refer me to an office (or sometimes ask me to wait to one side until another official arrives with a form and takes the fee etc). However, they just didn't want to make any move towards doing that - it was just "No, you cannot get that done here. You have to go to intramuros". And as I mentioned before, when I said that it would mean me having to travel to Manila again (never mind going through the paper mill at intramuros) they then said that I could have it done at Bacolod where I was arriving on a domestic flight. They must have known that it just wasn't possible to do it that way. They simply just didn't want to co-operate at all. I was also polite at all times.

It really depends on the mood of the agent and his/her decision is final.
I was also denied a BB visa before when I was totally and legally entitle to.

We took it to higher level to have the decision reversed but we were told that nothing can be done and that each agent's decision was final.

I now have a 13a visa and no longer need to argue with anyone. (if everything goes well and I cross my fingers)

To "filcan re balikbayan visa". Thank you for your input Filcan. I have just arrived back in the Philippines and got the Balikbayan visa without any trouble this time. I was careful to stand back with my wife and look at all the officials at the immigration channels. This time I made sure to go for a male official who wasn't too young or too old. He was more than helpful and when asked for the BB visa he said that he had already given it automatically as we were married and together. My plan now is to apply for the 13 A......any helpful hints there? Best regards Bill

My wife and I just return from our second Balikbayan trip in February, as long as you have your marriage license with you it is no problem.  Your wife goes through the Philippine lien then joins you at the counter of your line.

Thanks for your input mtcretired. We were not certain what approach to take, but my wife took both her own and my passport to the agent and I was surprised by how quickly it was all processed...literally seconds.

Glad you had a good experience.  Like most things in the Philippines it depends on who is on duty when you go through the line, It seems there are very few "standing orders"  in any government agency you are at the whim of the person you are dealing with.

Hello, I am new to this site. Can someone kindly clarify this for me. - I am a Philippine born, then naturalized US citizen. Am I eligible for the BB program?  I ask this because the USA is not listed on the E.O. 408 list.
Thanks in advance for the help.

The USA IS listed in the E.O. 408 list

STAY UNDER E.O. 408
NO-VISA ENTRY FOR 30-DAY STAY PRIVILEGE
PRINT
Created: 11 February 2014     Last Updated: 14 February 2017


Under Executive Order 408 dated 9 November 2014, as amended, nationals of the following countries may enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding thirty (30) days provided that they are holders of a passport valid at least six (6) months beyond the period of stay in the Philippines, and possess return or outward bound tickets to their country of origin or next country of destination.

Trident357 :

Hello, I am new to this site. Can someone kindly clarify this for me. - I am a Philippine born, then naturalized US citizen. Am I eligible for the BB program?  I ask this because the USA is not listed on the E.O. 408 list.
Thanks in advance for the help.

My wife, born in the Philippines but became a US Citizen, went to the Philippines consul in NYC and generated the paperwork that said she was a dual citizen.  She travels on her USA passport and brings along a copy of her dual citizenship and a copy of our marriage license, the young female at the airport hardly looked at anything, gave me a year on my passport.

kiwibill :

I had been traveling to the Philippines for some years before marrying a Filippina and settling down in provincial Philippines. When I first arrived with my spouse at Immigration (to settle permanently, just over a year ago) I asked for and was granted a BB Visa without any problem. I now am going overseas with my wife and hope to ask again for a BB Visa when we return (I plan to apply for a 13A permanent visa thereafter). My question is "If I am told at Immigration during my return that they cannot issue me with a BB visa, what is the best way to politely convince the official that I should be allowed to have one?"  I only ask this because I had reason to travel overseas (without my wife) a short time back. When I arrived back at Immigration I asked if I could have an extended tourist visa and was told that this was not possible as they didn't issue an extended tourist visa at Immigration and I would have to go to Intramuros to apply for one! As I had successfully applied at Immigration in the past (by paying a standard fee for the service) for an extended visa, I am wondering if it depends on the mood of the Immigration officer whether they will give more than a standard tourist visa - and I am also wondering if a similar problem might occur when I arrive back and ask for a BB visa? Can anyone give me any helpful information in regards to this?

You present some very interesting questions.   I understand that the immigration officer you talk to on arrival is not obligated to give you a BB Visa even if you present sufficient proof of your marriage and your wife is with you,at re-entry.   However, I have not heard of anyone being refused this BB Visa if they have met these requirements.   In fact, I am aware of at least one individual who was able to renew his BB Visa without his wife being with him on entry!   This is rare, and not usually possible whatsoever!   If you have your marriage documents with you on entry and your wife is not with you, there is no harm in asking, especially if you already have an unexpired BB Visa stamp  I have known a number of visitors getting their first 30 day visa  at the airport and some (like you) have been told to go to Intramuros for their first extension.    It may depend on the individual officer, the time of day, how busy they are etc. etc.    If you do not get your BB Visa, then you are stuck with the normal Visa extension fees until you get your 13A  Visa.

Thanks for this I’ll look into it. Cheers

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