Tourist Visa Extension Philippines
Long Term Tourist Visa for the Philippines and Visa Extensions are more in demand than ever. Tourismus in the Philippines is booming. Each year sets new records in arrivals. For most tourists from around the world the regular immigration stamp upon entry is good enough. However, there is also a increasing number of foreign nationals entering the Philippines to stay longer. Some just want to flee from the cold, miserable weather in their homeland, some are looking for a place to retire and explore the Island and others found their partner and want to stay for a longer period of time.
The former commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration Hon. Siegfried B. Mison recommended a updated regulation for Tourist Visa in the Philippines which fall under the section 9(a) of the Philippine Immigration act. This recommendation was honored by Secretary of Justice (SOJ) Leila M. de Lima.
Tourist Visa Extension in the Philippines
The following media release of the BI December 2013
Honorable Secretary of Justice (SOJ) Leila M. de Lima approved Immigration Memorandum Circular No. SBM 2013-003 on 23 December 2013 which was recommended by Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison. Said issuance provides for the policies and guidelines on the extension and updating of temporary visitor’s visa (TVV).
Foreigners admitted under Section 9 (a) of the Philippine Immigration Act (PIA) of 1940, as amended, or Executive Order No. 408, as amended, may extend their authorized stay every two (2) months for a total stay of not more than:
a) Twenty-four (24) months for visa-required nationals; and
b) Thirty-six (36) months for non-visa required nationals.
The said periods shall be counted from the date of applicant’s latest recorded arrival.
Foreigners with Derogatory Records
Foreigners included in the Bureau’s derogatory list shall be allowed to extend/ update their authorized stay as temporary visitors; Provided that, their inclusion in the derogatory list is not on the ground of having overstayed in the country.
Restrictions on Extension/Updating
The following applications for extension/ updating, accompanied by a sworn written explanation stating valid grounds and/or justifications with supporting documents, shall require the approval of the Commissioner:
a) Extensions of stay beyond the maximum allowable stay prescribed in Section 2 hereof; and
b) Foreigners who have overstayed for more than six (6) months but not exceeding twelve (12) months regardless if their stay is within the maximum allowable period.
Acquisition of Appropriate Visa/Permit
Foreigners may be granted an extension beyond the maximum allowable period provided that they shall secure appropriate visas/ permits during such extension and have not overstayed in any given period.
Foreigners who have overstayed for twelve (12) months or less but have been in the country beyond the maximum allowable period already may be permitted to update their stay with order to leave the country within fifteen (15) calendar days therefrom and their names may be included in the Bureau’s blacklist upon the discretion of the Commissioner; Provided that, the Commissioner, in the exercise of sound judgment, may allow such foreigners to update and extend their stay taking into consideration their Filipino lineage, medical condition, minority and other analogous circumstances.
Foreigners who have overstayed for more than twelve (12) months regardless if their stay is within the maximum allowable period or those found to be overstaying by virtue to a complaint or Mission Order regardless of the period shall be referred for deportation.
In addition to the extension/ updating fees and other charges, the concerned foreigners shall be required to pay all immigration arrears imposed by Republic Act No. 562, as amended.
Additional Info for Tourist Visa in the Philippines and Visa Extension
Foreign visitors who enter the Philippines on a Tourist Visa are required to provide an onward or outbound ticket. This does NOT need to be a return ticket to the destination of origin. Many long term tourists in the Philippines who have no fixed plan when to leave the country use a “throwaway ticket” from one of the cheap Asian discount-airlines. Some of the best rates are flights via AirAsia to Kota Kinabalu or Kuala Lumpur.
It also need to be mentioned that sometimes the staff of the smaller Satellite Offices of the Bureau of Immigration are not aware of new regulations. In this case they are probably informed about the change of the regulations regarding Tourist Visa Extension in the Philippines under the section (9a).
As of September 2014 the info above is verified and correct. However, there are some new regulations of the BOI, but like many times there is a delay in implementing it. We will update this post the day we get a reliable verification by the BOI offices.