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What does the process of acquiring ACR I-Card involve in CDO?

I am Dale, from Toronto, canada. I will be staying in Philippines for a 3 to 4 moth visit in 2018.

I am planning to return to CDO, in February until June 2018.  Could anyone explain to me how the process of getting a ACR I-Card works?  I have read the philippines Immigration website, however I found it rather confusing.  What is a
1.  Certified true copy issued by the Records Section of the Board of Commissioners (BOC)’s Order granting the visa (for internal verification purposes)?
I am planning to get a 6 month visa, at the Philippines consolate in Toronto, Canada before i leave for the philippines.  Is the document above a separate item, that I can acquire here in Canada, prior to departing for Philippines, or is it a document That I can only obtain while in the philippines?  Further,  How do I have this document certied true copy?
Visa (for internal verification purposes).  Isn't the Visa, afixed to my passport page, or am i confused yet again? It should be apparent,  I am no world traveller, heheh.
Visa (for internal verification purposes).  Isn't the Visa, afixed to my passport page, or am i confused yet again? It should be apparent,  I am no world traveller, heheh.
What is the time frame involved in obtaining this card?  Can all the documents required, be submitted on the same day?   I assume I will have to return to pickup the ACR I-Card itslf?  Are we tallking days weeks or more than a month?  I ask because i will be stayng North of CDO in Gingoog city. I apologise for being so verbose.  Thank you, Cheers, Dale Gill

I am also from Canada and I can agree with you one one issue for sure and that is the first time you research for official Visa information from Philippine government websites, it is a bit overwhelming and confusing.   If you want to stay in the Philippines, for six months, there is really only one way to do it and I can briefly explain.
You are aware that for the first 30 days of entry, you simply require just your passport.  The next month and only the next month requires a visa to extend your stay.  While you can obtain that Visa here in the Philippines, it is cheaper to obtain that at the Philippine consulate in Toronto.  I think it is only about $40.00.  That process is relatively straightforward and you can download the application and take it with you, or mail it to the embassy office in Toronto along with your Passport.  Better to take the application in, if you can because there is additional financial supporting documents required and you want to be sure it is all acceptable.  Your passport can be mailed back to you or it will be ready in about 4 days for pick up.  Your Philippine Visa will be stamped in your Canadian passport (occupying a full page) and you are good for 59 days in the Philippines now. 
A week before your 59 days is up, you can apply for another 4 months extension here in the Philippines.  At this time, You will need to apply for the ACR I card as well. A simple way of accomplishing all this documentation is to take your passport into some select travel agencies and let them do the legwork.  Of course, they will charge a fee, but this is a much simpler process for you.  In about 5 days (without express service) you will pick up your passport with a Visa stamp for the additional 4 months.   I know of a few agencies around Makati that will do this for you and there are others outside Makati as well.  Your alternative here is to download all the documentation and take the completed submission to the Philippine Embassy in Manila or to one of the regional offices you may locate throughout the Philippines.
I am not aware of a 6 month VISITOR Visa that you can obtain in Canada.  You may also make a voluntary application for an ACR I card any time you are here with your first 30 day Visa if you need it to try to open a bank account for example.  However, that is another story.   You can also obtain a multi entry Visa for the Philippines in Canada as well, but you may not need this (based on what you say) but again, as each trip in total, still cannot exceed 59 days.  I am aware that 30 plus 30 should be 60, but it is 59 and that is another story.   
If you have further questions, just ask, or I am sure you will see more input here as well. 
There are different ACR i cards as well, but yours should be quite straightforward  to obtain. 

Enjoy the visit !

Thank you for your in-depth explanation of the process bob18.  I have a few follow up questions, that come mind, if I may.   I have stayed in the Philippines, on the 59 day visa before.  At the Philippines Consulate in Toronto, Part of the requirements to obtain the 59 day visa, was to show a return or onward plane ticket dated within that period of time.  I notice, that at the Aiirline  check -in , they want to see a return or an onward ticket dated within the 59 day period of ones stay in the Philippines. as well.   I have observed that the Philippines immigration/customs officials, at the point of entry to the Philippines, also ask to see this ticket from time to time, to verify that you will be leaving within the maximum 59 day stay.  I guess I am wondering, how you managed to cope with this requirement?  The follow up to that would be, when you apply for a visa extension, do they want  to see a departure ticket at that time as well, in order to  extend your stay? 
I have read, in the past, where other foreigners bought what they call a throw-away ticket to present to the  airline and immigration officials, and then just throw away afterwards.    I thought about just changing the departure date, on my return ticket back to Canada to accomplish this, but this can turn into a very expensive proposition.  I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on the above?  Thank you  for taking the time to respond to my inquiries.  Cheers Dale

Hello Dale

In your situation, to prevent yourself from getting hassled, and into heaps of trouble, you will need to carry a return ticket with return travel dated within the 59 day Visa period.   Although I have not done the research, see if some other airline (like China Southern) has a less expensive change fee.  I am aware that Philippine Airlines (the most convenient for you)  will charge a large fee for any ticket changes.  Furthermore, a promotional ticket will allow no changes at all!  So unfortunately, unless you purchase  a business class ticket, or full fare economy ticket, changes are expensive or worse still, Not Available for many of those 'cheap 'fares. 
Another way to avoid large change fees, is to buy the ticket with mileage points or at least for the return portion of travel.  On arrival in the Philippines, you may cancel the return  ticket and the points will be re-instated in your account for a small fee.   You may now have a new ticket issued for your new return date if you wish.  Be sure to pick up two separate tickets before departure!
I am aware of many other foreigners being hassled at Philippine immigration on their entry  due to the date for the return ticket.  And you are correct that some airline officials also require you to have a return ticket dated within the expiration date of your Visa. 
I know my luck has now expired, but I have NEVER been asked at immigration to see my return ticket and I have entered the country  23 times.  However, my return ticket has always been  dated correctly.
In your case, I am not aware of any other solution.....

When you go to Immigration for your 2nd extension, (59th day or earlier), You will be required to get an ACR Card.  Your ACR Card is good for 1 year.  It is an ID card and can be use to travel instead of your passport.

I am not sure if you need to Acquire an ACR card if you have a, 6 month, visa.  Go to Immigration when you arrive to inquire or pose the question to the Immigration Officer upon entry.

Please register with the State Department, with your travel information, prior to leaving.

https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration

Just a small clarification form sxharr1 .  If you are planning to extend your stay in the Philippines beyond 59 days, begin the extension proceedings about 5 days before the 59 day expiry is recommended.   You need to obtain the ACR I card as part of the visa extension beyond 59 days, whether it is a further 30 days or up to 6 months.  The card is good for one year.
You may be able to travel domestically with just the ACR i card as your ID, but you definitely will still need your passport to travel internationally.   I would always carry my passport, even for domestic air travel.

Hi Dale
With regards to your questions.
Don't worry the immigration will soon as you to buy an acr card when you go to renew your visa.
It is normal to ask to buy one on your second extention (after 2 months) in Philippines.
I can't see its importance as i've never been asked for it.
Secondly your return ticket.
Just but a cheap flight ticket from philippines to hong kong or kuala lumpa.
If you book it early before your visit you can find a ticket for less than 1k pesos.
I always buy one but never been asked for it.

Hi Dale
With regards to your questions.
Don't worry the immigration will soon ask you to buy an acr card when you go to renew your visa.
It is normal to ask to buy one on your second extention (after 2 months) in Philippines.
I can't see its importance as i've never been asked for it.
Secondly your return ticket.
Just buy a cheap flight ticket from philippines to hong kong or kuala lumpa.
If you book it early before your visit you can find a ticket for less than 1k pesos.
I always buy one but never been asked for it.

Hi Bob18,
I use my ACR card only when travelling in the Philippines.  I also carry a color copy of my passport in my wallet at all times.
The risk of loosing your passport in the Philippines is high.  I have never been asked for my passport or ID, (unless I was in the bank).
You should do what is comfortable for yourself.  I live in Bohol and we do not carry passports.

Hello  sxharr1

I think we are not understanding the scope of the word 'travel'.    Because you say you have never been asked for your ID unless you are in a bank; then I conclude you do not  do domestic air travel.  If you did, you would definitely be  asked for your ID during some point in the check-in or boarding process.   Like yourself, if I am waking to the local bar, I do not carry my passport with me, just a photocopy.  When travelling internationally however, you need your Passport and maybe a Visa at check-in and your ACR I card with your passport will be presented at Philippine immigration, before you move to your boarding gate.

Hi Bob18,

Somehow, you missed the first part of my reply,  "I use my ACR card only when travelling in the Philippines.  I also carry a color copy of my passport in my wallet at all times."

You do not need to display your ACR, card when entering and leaving the Philippines.  It is only an ID., card.  You passport is sufficient, because it has your visa stamps. 

If you have a Filipina spouse and enter the Philippines together, you will get a 1 year visa.  When I was married and received the 1 year visa, I did not get an ACR, card.  I had to use my passport when traveling in country.

I have 3 RT to the Philippines this year and will return for Christmas.
I do not go to bars.  I am a farmer.

Foreigners, visiting or living in the Philippines, is a large revenue block for the Philippines.

Hi once again sxharr1

You are correct in saying that if you are residing here in the Philippines on an extended visitor Visa and your ACRi card, it may not be necessary to produce this card when you leave the Philippines.   But, my foreign passport is now stamped by the Bureau of Immigration, which changes my admission to the Philippines from 'Temporary Visitor" to "Probationary Visa'  for resident purposes.   I do not need any Visa extensions to stay here.  Next March, I will apply for a 5 year resident Visa.   Furthermore my ACRI card is not the same as as the card given to those here with an extended visitor Visa.   My ACR I card is embedded with the words ' Probationary Resident" . 
When I exit the country for a vacation, I MUST PRODUCE THIS CARD, and also pay an exit fee of P1850 !   My friend here in the Philippines also has the same card as me and cannot escape paying the exit fee!
So, as you can see, things are different between what ACR I card you may have and the card I now have!   
We might both be correct, but with incomplete CURRENT  information on these posts.

Hi Bob18,
Please share with me the process which got you to the, "Probationary Visa", status.

This would be a good topic for you to post.  I am not familiar with this process.
My research has been on the Philippine legal system and real estate purchase.
I would like to know more about permanent resident visa's.

I suppose it might be possible to have a discussion on the Probationary Visa Process which leads to a more permanent visa status.    However, you must be legally married to a Filipino or a Filipina in my case.   :)
Although this article (in the link below)  is a bit dated, it does give an understanding to the process and the somewhat overwhelming amount of paperwork...

    http://www.philippinesplus.com/2013/06/ … nent-visa/

Thank You !

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