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Balikbayan Visa Balikbayan Program

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

  1. 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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  2. SirDaniel

    SirDaniel DI New Member

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    My wife's cousin and her husband are going to the philippines, they'll get the BB stamp for one year. He will be returning home without her. I know the BB stamp is for foreigners that are traveling with their spouse, but what happens when the foreigner leaves without his spouse? I was under the impression that you had to enter and leave with your spouse with the BB stamp. Where can I find official rules on this, that I can show him?
     
  3. SirDaniel

    SirDaniel DI New Member

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    We returned back to our home in Canada, June of 2019, we are returning to the Philippines this January 2020, My wife is a dual citizen with a Canadian passport, and a Philippine passport. Will we still be able to get the balikbayan stamp, even though we have been away for only seven months? I can't find any info on this anywhere.
     
  4. ex231

    ex231 DI Member

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    My wife and I have never had a problem.
     
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  5. jimeve

    jimeve DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer Veteran Army

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    Only need to enter with their spouse, just have a the marriage papers ready, he can leave inside the 12 months without her. Done it myself.
     
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  6. 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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  7. ThatChampi

    ThatChampi One Hit Wonder?

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    Hi, I am currently planning a long trip for a year or so in Pinas, w/o any idea on when to go back home. I was wondering if I avail the balikbayan privilege do I need to have a return ticket or ticket exiting the country pre-booked before I enter the country? Or is it ok if I enter the country w/o a ticket exiting the country.
     
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  8. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    I think you will receive different answers from the Forum.

    Many have entered using BB (remembering that your Filipino citizen wife must be the one to ask for it) and had no return ticket. But my view is that, as you have no 100% guarantee of being given it (although it is rare not to be granted one if you meet all the conditions) then you may have to accept a tourist visa and theoretically immigration is then entitled to ask to see your onward ticket.

    Because I am cautious by nature, I always buy a return ticket. It does not have to be back to where you came from - it just has to be to another country. There are companies selling very cheap 'throwaway tickets' but many are scammers - I tried one once and never received my ticket (reviews showed this to be very 'hit and miss'). There is also the possibility of buying a ticket you can cancel soon after getting through immigration here.

    Others may write here not to bother - so it is your choice. The problem now is the virus and how that might affect immigration rules - they may not be as logical as you will expect.
     
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  9. ex231

    ex231 DI Member

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    As far as BOI is concerned, no you will not need an onward ticket with the BB. You may want to allow extra time at check in to argue your case because that's where you're likely to run into a problem with an inexperienced check in counter agent. I use to travel with a copy of the BOI memo that said no onward ticket was required when using the BB. I may still have that memo somewhere.
     
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  10. jimeve

    jimeve DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer Veteran Army

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    I use to come to the Philippines every year since 2002 with my pinay wife using the BB privlage, only once I was told to buy an onward ticket and that was in Hong Kong. I argued with them but forced to buy one. Good idea to have a copy from BoI stating that a onward tickets not needed.
     
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