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Balikbayan Visa Best Posts in Thread: Balikbayan Program

  1. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Admin Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    I'm sure you knew the rules and never caused a scene or gave an attitude to an immigration officer. I've lost count how many times I've seen a prick at the airline and immigration lines. These types should never take a risk with the rules as any little thing could be used against them when their petulant childish attitude inevitably comes out. Personally, I just like to make sure I have everything in line to avoid any surprises in case I run into an airline worker or immigration officer having a bad day.
     
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  2. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Admin Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    Many airlines will require you to show one before you are even issued your boarding pass. I have been asked to show an outbound ticket (or resident visa) roughly 75% of the time. Buy an outbound ticket and save the hassle of quickly buying one on your phone at the airline counter. Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taiwan, Bangkok are usually very cheap flights from Manila or Clark ($40-$100 USD). You are setting yourself up for a headache if you don't. And don't be one of those guys that yells at airline staff and causes a scene for your own lack of preparedness/ignorance, knowing and following the rules is 100% on you, they don't make the rules.
     
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  3. AlwaysRt

    AlwaysRt DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Blood Donor Veteran Air Force Marines

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    You have to arrive together as she qualifies for the benefit of her spouse enting for one year Visa free, we do not qualify on our own. Leaving together or separate is irrelevant, only arrival makes a difference. Not sure it is written Clearly anywhere, but has never been an issue as far as I am aware (nor should it be).

    I am aware of people returning within a few days and receiving a Balikbayan Stamp again, shortest period for me has been a couple weeks (no issue or even a question from BI agent)

    Related question might be "If I am on Balikbayan and leave without my wife, can I come back on it if still within the one year period?" The answer is No, it expires as soon as you leave the country, even if you leave the next day.
     
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  4. AlwaysRt

    AlwaysRt DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Blood Donor Veteran Air Force Marines

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    Personally I would (and did) try without an onward ticket. If I got pushback about not having one (she didn't even mention it), I would try once to explain I was returning under Balikbayan and did not need one. If that one try was not successful I would allow the next person in line to go while I hit expedia.com, by the time they were checked in I would have an onward ticket.
     
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  5. AlwaysRt

    AlwaysRt DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Blood Donor Veteran Air Force Marines

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    #1 I let my wife do all the talking, turns out she was 'too shy' to ask or didn't know to ask, changes back and forth when we talk about it.

    #2 Her new passport was in the delayed batch so we didn't have it when we went to Hong Kong but we did have reservations in her married name and our marriage certificate. I handed the boarding passes, marriage certificate, and both passports to the BI official.

    #3 Did not have or need an onward ticket. If I did I would have got one on Expedia and canceled it in Manila so wasn't worried if I did. Didn't need it because either the ticket agent and BI obviously saw we had enough proof of marriage and qualified for Balikbayan OR the ticket agent was distracted by the ticket in her married name and old passport and the BI agent had too much fun giving me a tourist Visa instead of Balikbayan to ask.

    As always YMMV
     
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  6. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Admin Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    Balikbayan Program - Visa - Philippines

    From the BoI

    1. Who are eligible under Balikbayan Program?


    A Balikbayan, who may be either one of the following:
    • A Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one (1) year.
    • A Filipino overseas worker;
    • A former Filipino citizen and his family who had been naturalized in a foreign country and comes or returns to the Philippines.
    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.

    Cost:
    Free

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have heard of people getting this visa without their spouses flying in with them and some even getting this after they are in the country. This is not how it is supposed to work and if you do go that route you are breaking the law. These people are either lucky to get a immigration officer that hasn't a clue or they have paid a bribe to someone.

    There have also been people caught with fake BB stamps on their way out of country. If someone offers you this visa for a price just don't do it. It's not worth getting arrested and thrown in the immigration jail while they figure out what is going on and preparing your deportation papers/putting you on the BoI Blacklist. You must be with your wife while flying in to country. You will have to leave the Philippines after the year is up or apply for the 1-6 month extension. (I was unaware that you could extend this until I read it on the BoI website. Never personally heard of anyone doing it.)
     
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  7. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    I don't have concerns. I sometimes ask questions to help others who may not be aware of rules or processes I have experienced.
     
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  8. ex231

    ex231 DI Member

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    My wife and I have never had a problem.
     
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  9. AlwaysRt

    AlwaysRt DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Blood Donor Veteran Air Force Marines

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    My experience last December falls right into what you are asking. There is no answer to your question of course, just stories of 'this is what happened to me'. We went to Hong Kong for a week, at HK airport I told the ticket agent I did not need an onward ticket due to Balikbayan status and gave her a copy of marriage certificate along with passports. No problem. At immigration my wife apparently 'forgot' to ask for Balikbayan stamp and he gave me the standard 30 day tourist. No mention of onward ticket from BI. I talked to the head guy at the Duma BI office and there seems to be a process to convert to Balikbayan but I did not do it as I had an upcoming solo trip to the States anyway.

    Back from the States on tourist Visa, got 59 day at the airport and just did a 6 month extension, another 2 month extension in December and we will try for Balikbayan again in Feb 2018
     
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  10. NYC

    NYC DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Air Force

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    Last month I flew on Delta from the NY to Manila. I only had a one-way ticket, so the airline website would not allow me to check-in. At the ticket counter (arrived very early because I could see this coming), I explained that I have an Philippine SRRV and can stay in the country as long as I want and don't need a return ticket. The agent (very senior employee) was very pleasant and it required her to make a phone call. The service person on the other end went through the Delta procedures in their database, and they do let folks go if they can show their status as a Philippine resident by showing their ACR-I card. I explained that SRRV holders are specifically exempt from obtaining an ACR-I card (and it says that on the back of the SRRV.) But Delta had no information on the SRRV program. I had in hand copies of all my paperwork from the PRA and BOI when I was granted the SRRV, and.....DELTA LET ME FLY! Took 30 minutes of the agent on the phone, but they actually relented.

    My backup plan was to purchase on-the-spot with a credit card a fully refundable return seat three weeks later, then cancel once I got my feet on Philippine soil. I wrote to Delta to explain that they need to add SRRV information to their database. Who knows if they will?

    Entering the Philippines Immigration was a non-event. Passport and SRRV card...."Have a nice day, sir." Done.
     
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