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Balikbayan Visa Balikbayan Program

Discussion in 'Passports and Visas' started by Rye83, May 17, 2015.

  1. MIDNITERIDER

    MIDNITERIDER DI Junior Member

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    That has not been the case (re: need for a "throwaway" ticket) twice in the last three years of receiving a BB stamp at foreign airports. I demanded to be boarded with my wife and showed our DFA "red ribbon" marriage certificate, both times they checked with a superior and I was accommodated. I think the countries were Singapore & Malaysia. Thailand didn't even mention it.
     
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    Rye83

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

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    I once had the luck of being in line behind a guy in Thailand that was "demanding" to be boarded without an onward ticket. Absolutely lovely guy. I didn't mind him wasting my time, almost making everyone else late for the flight and making expats look like complete twats at all just because he didn't understand the rules/laws and wanted to act like a man-child. /sarcasm

    Note: He didn't get on that flight even with all his "demands". I don't blame the airlines for turning people away as it is them that get slapped with huge fines when they don't follow the rules of the country they are flying into. Since the Balikbayan visa is given at the discretion of the immigration officer there is no way for the airlines to know for sure if their customers will be given one (marriage certificate or not) or will be getting a tourist visa, which does require an onward ticket.

    Walking up to a ticket line without an onward ticket is not a good idea if you don't have the appropriate visa (and you don't have a Balikbayan visa until immigration gives you one upon your arrival....you are nothing more than a tourist in the eyes of the airlines). I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone that tries to bully their way on to a flight and gets smacked down by the ticketing personnel.....actually, I quite enjoy seeing it happen to the arrogant ones that go around demanding things they aren't entitled to. The ones that didn't know the rule I gladly tell them how to go about getting around the rule.

    Maybe there is a rule/law that says an airline doesn't need to see an onward ticket if you are married to a Filipino? I've just never seen it.

    I am curious though: What is it about the Philippines that attracts these arrogant trailer park mentality pricks? Maybe one can chime in here and reply to this to let us all know. I think it is just due to being low-class scum their whole lives and p*ss-poor parenting (or none at all). Perhaps it is more prevalent in one child households? Spoiled little brats that were never taught any manners or disciplined? The are (usually) tall and fat and think their size is intimidating? Their mommy didn't give them enough hugs as a kid? Too many hugs? I dunno......:troll:
     
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  3. 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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  4. Dave_Hounddriver

    Dave_Hounddriver DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    I've know there is as I remember reading it, but do not feel like finding it and who knows if and when it ever got rescinded. Here is the law if you want to search through it
    R.A. 9174
    What I noted is that there is no requirement in the law to have an onward ticket if you arrive on the balikbayan program. So my question would not be to show me the law that says you do NOT need the onward ticket, I would want to see the law that amends R.A. 9174 and insists you DO need it. I know there are amendments because I saw a letter to say the rule about balikbayans staying out of the country for one year has been relaxed so you can leave with your wife and come right back and get a BB.

    And that's the problem. There are so many amendments and letters floating around that it would take a panel of Supreme Court judges to answer these kinds of questions. Seems to me an exit ticket is cheap insurance.
     
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  5. OP
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    Rye83

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

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    And that is exactly what a respectable and considerate person would do. Cheers to ya for that. The prick I had in front of me argued for 15 minutes and went through his phone searching his emails and immigration website at the front of the line for another 5 minutes and refused to let anyone else go up to the counter. I really wanted the staff step up and call security to have the nittwit removed from the line so the rest of us could get our tickets and bags checked.
    Good to know.
    I bet if you ask 10 different immigration officers you will get 10 different interpretations of the law. This is the main reason why I would suggest a person have a cheap throwaway ticket (preferably one that can be canceled and refunded) regardless of what the law says. You never know what interpretation of the law you will get upon arrival and you also never know what the BI Chief has decided to do this week....and you certainly won't find much useful/updated information on their website.

    Edit: and on top of each immigration officer having their own interpretations of the law each airline you visit might have their own as well. I've had airline personnel reading from some memo/law before but I don't know which law or SOP the Philippines Immigration is pushing out to the airlines. If Immigration isn't updating their own website what are the chances they are keeping all the airlines up to date with the most frequent thing the Good Idea Fairy is putting out.

    goodideafairy.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  6. NYC

    NYC DI Forum Adept 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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  7. jimeve

    jimeve DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Army

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    I got a return ticket cheaper than a one-way ticket from the Uk. Don't know how that worked out with Etihad airways and saved £100 too:cigar:
     
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  8. MIDNITERIDER

    MIDNITERIDER DI Junior Member

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  9. ex231

    ex231 DI Member

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    I've traveled to the PI 4 times now with my wife. No onward ticket yet.
     
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  10. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    I know from extensive research that the Balikbayan Visa causes much confusion, especially concerning the need to have the spouse with you on entry, the non-certainty of getting a BB Visa and the matter of an onward ticket. The issue here is that if a person gets a BB then there is no requirement for an onward ticket BUT if the person is refused a BB (and there is no 100% guarantee of getting one) then an onward ticket may well be asked for by BI. So because no one knows 100% if they will be granted (the privilege) of a BB (even though some say, incorrectly, they are CERTAIN they will get one) everyone needs a return ticket (refundable) as a back-up OR is able to purchase one online whilst with immigration (which sounds a very good idea from AlwaysRt). Also, it seems a BB Visa holder does not have to obtain an ACR card (but is permitted to if the holder so wishes) and does not have to obtain an Exit Clearance (I assume the ACR card and Exit Clearance check are linked*). I am aware that someone may reply to say he got a BB 30 times with no problems but everyone should always prepare for ALL possible eventualities. *Just read on another site about 3 month old babies being refused departure for not having Exit Clearance, so not sure how that works (perhaps one was foolishly referred to by a parent as 'Billy the Kid')!!!
     
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