For our foreign friends who might have heard the FALSE rumors or read some “wishful thinking” on various websites and internet forums, we feel some clarification about the Implementation of the Long-Stay Visitor Visa is needed.
Since 2013 long stay tourists can apply for a 6 month Long Stay Visitor Visa Extension (LSVVE), or how most foreign visitors call it, the 6 month visa. This is a good move of the BI. Plenty of long stay tourist stay in remote areas in the Philippines and travel in areas where no field office is located. They always needed to find a field office of the Bureau of Immigration and plan their travel according to their 2 month extension.
As of now (date article published), the 6 month Long Stay Visitor Visa Extension can ONLY be applied in the BI Main Office in Manila, Intramuros. Find below the content of the Memorandum Order No. RADJR-2013-007
Implementation of the Long-Stay Visitor Visa Extension (LSVVE)
Pursuant to Memorandum Circular No, RAIDJR-2013-002, the following guidelines are hereby issued in connection with the implementation of the LSVVE:
The LSVVE shall apply to all nationals.
Extension of Tourist Visa
Subsequent LSVVE’s may be applied for during the last thirty (30) days of the previously issued LSVVE or upon the expiry of a regular visa extension.
Restriction of Extensions
The approval of the Commissioner shall be required for visa extensions when the number of month applied for would exceed the 16-month limit.
Foreign visitors with an accumulated total stay near the 16-month cap from the date of their latest arrival should be informed of the preceding restrictions should they apply for additional visa extensions.
No LSVVE shall be issued to visa-required nationals whose stay exceeds twenty-four (24) month and thirty-six month for non-visa required nationals.
Payment and Fees
An additional One Hundred Peso (Php 100,00) as cost of the sticker visa shall accrue for the account of Bureau of Treasury.
Applicable visa extension fees shall still be collected based on the schedule of fees for the entire six (6) month period.
The initial implementation of the LSVVE shall be limited to the BI Main Office in Intramuros, Manila, until further notice.
Number 3 is very important. It states when reaching 16 month, one STILL need the approval of the commissioner. Due to some reasons, we would not speculate about, some might have gone away without writing a motion to get the approval of the Commissioner.
Regarding this topic we contacted the BI and asked the following (Q&A quoted from a longer mail exchange):
DINS: Does that means applicants still need to write a letter to the BoI to stay longer than 16 month?
Here is the clear answer of the BI
It would mean that the foreigner would write a motion for reconsideration stating the reason/s why he or she would like to stay here longer which would be upon the approval of the Honorable Commissioner.
A very clear statement, we believe.
Our advice to our foreign friends:
As a visitor, guest or permanent resident of the Philippines, stick to the rules. Visa Extensions or any Visa related issues should be processed by the rules and regulations of the Bureau of Immigration and not some unverified rumors published in confusing manner somewhere in the worldwide web. The rules, regulations and requirements are all public. For any questions get in touch with the offices in charge, in this case, the BI Head Office in Manila.
Do yourself a favor, stick to the rules to fully enjoy your stay in the Philippines. Those who spread all those wrong information, half-truths or special deals won’t surely be around to help you if something goes wrong.
Should you have any immigration-related queries, please do not hesitate to call the BI Helpdesk Hotline at (632) 524-3824 or (632) 524-3769 Trunk line: (632) 465- 2400, visit the BI website at www.immigration.gov.ph