Ammendment of a Probationary 13a Visa to Permanent


I live in CDO but I have to go to Manila to amend my 13a visa from probationary to permanent.   My Probationary VISA expires June 23.  I had hoped to submit my application to amend in CDO but the NBI Clearance for foreigners takes two months and I missed the deadline and now have to travel to Manila to apply for the amendment.

Because of the expense to fly to Manila I want to have an idea of what to expect when I visit BI Manila.  At different website posts some say the process takes three visits, while other say four visits.  Some posts say the application and attorney interview took place the same day and other posts say BI accepted the application and the applicant is given a date to return to BI a few days later for the attorney interview. I'm Confused!

If you have recent experience at BI Manila to amend your 13a Visa from probationary to permanent, please shed some light on this subject and offer your advice and guidance to me.


Hello to you.

When I went through that process I was told I would have to come back some time later for the lawyer interview (this was at the old Cebu office of the BI). By this time in the process, my wife and I were getting tired of all the run-a-round and red tape. We knew that the old lawyer at the BI there was retiring and a new young, lady lawyer was taking his place. So, we just knocked on her door, explained we lived on a different island and it was tiring, expensive and time consuming to come back to Cebu the next week for the interview. We asked her if she wasn't too busy and could see us then. For some reason she said yes, and that was that.

Early next year I have to renew my PERMANENT visa. I am truly not looking forwards to that experience.

I have recently renewed my NBI clearance. It is quite easy now.

Attend the NBI office in Ermita since they deal with foreign residents. Location UN Avenue cross Taft Avenue

I recommend that you go online and fill in application and do the prepayment in EG BDO. There are good instructions online. Cost approx. 160pesos

When you arrive go straight to 2nd floor. Foreigners need fingerprints done with ink.

First visit with fingerprints took approx 2 hours that includes Photo and filling form. Bring copy of passport.

Next visit after a few days was quick . Pick up only.


What the first guy is referring to is not the yearly sign-in for foreigners with a 13A visa, but the steps a guy must go through to get this one year temporary permanent 13A visa turned into a permanent (not true as usual, its only good for five years) 13A visa.

After the first year of having a temporary 13A card, a foreigner is required to go through the paperwork (And costs) of applying for a 13A card JUST to prove he is still married and living with his Filipina wife. After turning in the "permanent" 13A visa paperwork, you are given a date a week later to come back and be interviewed by the resident lawyer at the BI office. Its basically a formality, but it is mandatory. There is no real reason to have to come back a week later for the five minute talk with the lawyer, the Filipino government just does that for fun. 

As I said in my post, I was so tired of the games the BI plays with foreigners, that after turning in the paperwork and getting the lawyer appointment date FOR A WEEK LATER, my wife and I asked the resident new lawyer if she would just go ahead and see us then. Thank goodness the new lady lawyer was not yet indoctrinated into the "let's screw with foreigner" mentality, so she saw us then. So I am suggesting that everyone going through the same BS, kindly ask the resident BI lawyer if you can be seen then. DO NOT PAY ANY BRIBERY MONEY. I believe that is what some BI lawyers want foreigners to do to save a trip back a week later.

Don, Leah and Jojo

Sorry. I understood the the NBI clearance was one of the steps which caused concerns due to long waiting time.

Hi Mike,
You are in CDO, then why don't you go to Davao BI; my experiences with them have been fine, very helpful, nice people.
The interviewer is a lovely lady, but don't think she is dumb, because she is not.
NBI is next door, and as another posting said, do the preliminary online.
There is a legal service next door, and their charges do not exceed a few hundred peso for lads of typing.
There is an online service at the back of BI, they are quick, helpful,mand do not rip you off, and they do 2 x 2 pics as well.
As for Manila BI, they were quick as well.
DO NOT pay any fixers!

I want to thank everyone who responded to my call for help.  After much thought I decided to go to Manila to apply for 13A Visa amendment to permenate status.  I'm really glad I went to Manila Immigration Office.  They were so kind and helpful to me.  I was able to file my application, file for my new ACR card and attend the interview in one visit.  I arrived to the office at 7:15am and finished at noon after taking an hour for lunch.  Now I'm waiting for my approval.


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