Sunday, April 20th, 2014

                 
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Philippines ACR I-card, What Is It, and Why Do I Need It?

123

        

A Philippines ACR I-card is an identification card issued by the Philippines Bureau of Immigration for foreigners from other countries staying here in the Philippines. The card has a front side which displays your photo, your full name, your home country, birthdate, place of birth, visa type, visa issue date, visa status, and an electronic chip embedded into the card containing all your relevant information. On the back side is printed your sex, height, weight, blood type, address, fingerprint, and the ACR I-card’s issue date and expiration date.

ACR I-card

The card is not a substitute for a passport or a visa, and cannot be used to replace either. You still need your passport and you need to have a valid and current visa stamped inside in order to legally stay in the Philippines. So what is this ACR I-card good for then?

Well basically, it’s good for getting a bank account in the Philippines. That’s the number one advantage. The other advantages, as listed on the BI’s website are as follows:

ADVANTAGES AND CONVENIENCE OF ACR I-CARD
To the ACR I-Card Holders:

  1. They are provided faster processing time at the ports of entry and exit with a maximum of 10 seconds for the verification process.
  2. They are assured that they are holding a genuinely issued ACR.
  3. They receive faster and more efficient service at the BI offices for immigration requirements.
  4. They are provided incomparable convenience as they are holding only one immigration document. No more paper-based ACR and ICR/NBCR/CRTV/CRTT/CRTS/CRPE, ECC, SRC and RP.
  5. Online payment of immigration fees.
  6. Quick verification of information.
  7. Eliminates illegal and unwarranted detention of alien residents. The implementation of the ACR I-Card Project will prevent and eliminate instances where aliens are indiscriminately accosted, harassed and detained on mere suspicion of possessing fake or fraudulent immigration documents.
  8. It decreases the cost of transacting business with the Bureau of Immigration as the ACR I-Card Project will eliminate fixers, illegal middlemen and syndicates issuing falsified documents.

To The Bureau of Immigration:

  1. Automates process of alien registration.
  2. Eliminates fraud in all aspects of alien registration as well as in the immigration entry/exit points in the country.
  3. Reduces the resources needed for manual passport checks and encoding of pertinent data while drastically improving immigration process time.
  4. Achieves higher revenues for the Bureau and the national government through increase in number of aliens who will register and improved efficiency in collection of fees.
  5. Enhances security of national borders against entry or exit of terrorists and transnational criminals; eliminates human smuggling activities.
  6. Increases efficiency of services to the resident aliens.
  7. Improves internal governance by eliminating fixers and illegal personnel issuing falsified documents.

But as I said, the real advantage is that you can get a Philippines bank account which makes transferring money, keeping money safe, and withdrawing money conveniently and at minimal charges much easier.

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Comments

123 Responses to “Philippines ACR I-card, What Is It, and Why Do I Need It?”
  1. L. Keller says:

    Hi all,

    My ACR I-Card was issued in 2006 and now I’m told by a 3rd party that the same needs to be renewed after 5 years. Can anybody confirm this as correct?

    Kindly respond if you are in the know about this renewal of I-Card.

    Thanks!

    • grace says:

      you can check your icard validity at the back of your ACR. if you are only holding a tourist visa ,your ACR validity is only for 1 year and you need to extend or renew when date validity expire to avoid conflict upon departure from the country.

      • Cody says:

        “if you are only holding a tourist visa ,your ACR validity is only for 1 year and you need to extend or renew when date validity expire to avoid conflict upon departure from the country”

        …well, on a tourist visa, I personally have never encountered any immigration officer even ask to see my I-card, they just look at my passport.
        Has anybody on a tourist visa had an immigration officer ask to see your ACR I-card?

        • Foster says:

          Yes I have been asked on several occassions to see my ACR card. And also when I had to get my exit papers to leave after 16 months in addition to all my finger prints taken. Backwards I say, should take fingerprints coming, not going. LOL

    • grace says:

      if you are holding a retirement or any Quota visa,you must extend icard after 5 years by visiting any agency or directly to immigration to process ACR and pass the necessary documents for renewal.

      • Cathy says:

        What are the necessary documents for the renewals of our I-cards with quota visa. We will travel from Negros Island to Manila in August to renew our cards, and nobody can tell us what documents we need to take with us.

        Our Immigration Office in Bacolod can’t give us clear advice. Their list of documents needed is designed for foreigners married to Filipinos/as.

        My husband and I are both Europeans and we both have a Quota Visa.

  2. Cody says:

    Hi L. Keller,

    Your ACR I-card expiration date should be printed on the back of your card.
    Sounds right, though, I-cards are not the same as residents visas, they do need to be renewed.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Cody

  3. Tan says:

    My icard is due to expire soon but I’m overseas. Is there a way to renew without personal appearance?

    • grace says:

      yes, it can be processed even without your appearance. you just have to connect to any agency to process for your icard and must send the necessary documents including you original expired ACR.

      visa assistant
      GRACE

      • mike says:

        Hi Grace,

        Can you provide any agency office contact information that can help us renew our i-Card without having to make a personal appearance?

        Can it be renewed even if the i-Card is already expired?

        Thanks,

        Mike

    • Cody says:

      I was told by an employee of BI that it is not possible to process an ACR I-card renewal without personal appearance or from outside the Philippines, it has to be done in person in the Philippines. And if you let your I-card expire while out of the country and try to enter again without a valid and current I-card, then you will sacrifice your visa and have to re-enter on a 9(a) Tourist visa for 21 days. Then you will have to apply again for your permanent residency.

  4. Lite says:

    Hi,

    I am a native born of the Philippines to parents holding Chinese passports. When I got married, I still use my Chinese nationality. My ICard doesn’t have an expiry written on the back. I was informed that it does have an expiry which is 5 years and that one can’t travel 4 months prior to expiry and that it will take 3 months processing! OMG! I tried calling BI but to no avail, either their number is busy or no one is free to answer the calls. What a government, right? I really don’t have a guideline on this. I hope someone can help. Thanks

    • grace says:

      if you are holding a retirement or any Quota visa,you must extend icard after 5 years by visiting any agency or directly to immigration to process ACR and pass the necessary documents for renewal.

      visa assistant
      GRACE

      • Cody says:

        Yes, resident visa holders get I-cards that are good for 5 years, whether there is an expiration date written on it or not. And tourist visa holders get I-cards that are good for 1 year.

  5. steve Weddle says:

    I was reading above about the I-card being a way to pay immigration fees? Does this include the bi-monthly fees we have to pay?? I like many others hate going to manila immigration every two months an would love to find a way to bypass it..When is the PI goverment going to give us long timers better options, do they realize how much money we spend here??? I hate being forced into marriage!!!

    • Cody says:

      Hi Steve, I know it says that, “Online Payment of Immigration Fees” and I took that directly from the BI’s website, but I honestly have not seen or heard of any way to pay immigration fees online, especially the visa extension fees for tourist visa holders, and even if you could pay those online, how would you get your passport stamped if you don’t go there in person?

      They must be talking about some other immigration fees or maybe some online system that might be used in the future.

      Regarding your frustration, I think it’s unfounded, Philippines has the best options in all of Southeast Asia. Have you tried to stay for a year in any other country on just a tourist visa?

      • Cody says:

        Additionally, if you hate Manila BI office, why don’t you just try to go to one of the less crowded, smaller, satellite offices in another part of Luzon?

  6. Lea says:

    I am a native born with an ACR i-card & Taiwan passport carrying my maiden name. However, all my documents carry my married name. I was advised by the Taiwan embassy to amend my passport/ACR i-card so as not to encounter any problem when I get a Taiwan tourist visa. However, I personally submitted my original i-card to BI last Jul 21 and until now, my papers are still in the reviewer. How long is the processing time? “Coz I am scheduled to fly to Taiwan by 3rd week of August and can’t present the original card to TECO. Please help.

    • Cody says:

      You said you have a Taiwan passport, so why do you need to get a Taiwan tourist visa? Did you mean to say that you have a Philippines passport in your maiden name? If you have a Philippines passport, and native born, then why do you have an ACR I-card? This post is very confusing, please clarify.

      Lea, I believe it usually takes about one month to process an ACR I-card, but if you are leaving the 3rd week of August, why didn’t you ask at the BI office which you submitted your application and surrendered your old card at the time you submitted it? They would have been able to give you the accurate information that you need.

      Nothing makes sense in this comment and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just spam.

      • Larry says:

        I’m in the same condition as Lea. If you have a Taiwan passport issued outside Taiwan, you still need a visa to travel to Taiwan. Native born does not automatically mean you have a Philippine passport.

        I’m currently living in Taiwan and with the i-card, I can come back for a quick visit of 2-3 days since I just need to pay 3000-4000 pesos at the airport for every trip (much better than the old days when I have to go to the BI to get my re-entry permit and wait for at least 3 days)

        However, the “renewal” thing is a hassle as 1. you need a personal appearance 2. you don’t know when you will get your new i-card. One month is too long. In Taiwan, you can get a new passport overnight. Even the MECO (Philippine representative) in Taiwan is efficient – you can get a Philippine visa also overnight.

        Maybe, people who already got their new i-cards can post how long it took them to actually get the card, so we can plan our “renewal” trip.

        • Cats says:

          A friend of the family recently had her I-card renewed. It has been 3 months since she has paid for the I-card renewal and yet she has not yet received it until now. From what we were told, it would take about 4 months before yu can get the I-card.

          This is also one of my concerns as I am also a Taiwan passport holder but a native born of the Philippines and currently residing in Taiwan. I cannot afford to wait that long for I-card release so I’m also checking if there’s a ‘rush’ processing available, but from what I heard, it might cost around 10K…

  7. Cody says:

    4 months!? Where was that, Manila BI Office?

    • Cats says:

      Yes, that is from Manila BI Office and we were told that you cannot travel out of the country until you get the new I-card. But of course, since you are in the Philippines, if you have connections, you can get it in 4-5 days (for a special price) ;)

  8. Rajiv Gogna says:

    Hi, I’m a permanent resident w/ Indian passport. I am scheduled to Visit Hongkong next month. I need to know if I am required to go to BOI before i leave and what do i need to pay at the airport on my exit and return and how much? I don’t want to have problems regarding re-entry to the Phils when i come back. Thank you.

    • Cody says:

      Hi Rajiv, you should visit the BI office or any satellite office as soon as possible and get the correct answers to your questions, because I don’t know your exact situation. But from what you said, I would think you will need to get an exit clearance certificate from the BI office 2 weeks to one month prior to your trip. In addition to that, I think you will need to pay the P1,620 travel tax at the airport on the day of your departure from the Philippines. For permanent residents, your ACR I-card might serve as your exit clearance, I am not sure because I don’t have a permanent resident visa.

      On re-entry to the Philippines, I don’t think there will be any fees but you should have your ACR I-card with you.

      Your best bet is to visit a BI office as soon as possible with your passport and your ACR I-card and show it to them to get the exact requirements for your situation.

      Here is a list of BI offices, you can find the one nearest to you:
      http://immigration.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=128&Itemid=72

  9. Freddie says:

    Sorry to all I-card holders that expired,but we are screwed! I tried to renew it from a trusted agency in Manila,and they said it would take 3 months or more to renew. I immediately withdrew and went to my trusted agency in Davao to process it, same result.so I personally made some research by asking many agencies and the BI office itself.found out that you can renew your I-card within a day if you personally show up in Manila BI office with ticket showing you are leaving in short time,so off I go,but before that, I sought a connection from inside that can accommodate me.what else could go wrong?;
    well it turn out very wrong.the BI office has required all extending visitors to get I-card.now they are stuck with so many work,and the fact that issuance is only centralized to the Manila office ,plus with new personnel from the Aquino administration (cautiously,they said)handling the job.the work is grinding to a halt.may take now at least 5 months.

  10. Tieny says:

    I am also a native born with taiwanese passport. Do I need a working visa to work here in the philippines?

    • David says:

      Absolutely YES!! All foreigners need visa; student, work, tourist in fact additional to that you will also need ACR card…God bless you…

  11. gin says:

    hello,
    i supposed to open bank account in philippines, but they need ACR
    just want to ask, if i can get ACR if i only 30days staying in philippines?…

    thank u

    • David says:

      You can apply but you might not get within 30 days. You do one thing, you can take the receipt and show to the bank they might consider your application. When I did mine in BPO, i did not have ACR yet. I was processing it but I submitted my student I card…just try there are always option…there is no harm in trying and who knows U might be accepted..thanks

  12. David says:

    Why do they need ACR i card to be valid? Can’t we leave Philippines without valid ACR card? Once I asked the Immigration they told me that if I am coming back to Philippines I have to have valid ACR card but If I am leaving I do not have to extend it. And there is no point of extending ACR card coz we have Visa and Passport valid. Is there anyone who really experience about ACR card while leaving the country? I mean not valid during the time of leaving.

  13. Sunshine says:

    Hello, I’d like to ask something about I-card. Please help me to answer it.
    I’m a student in the Philippines, I will finish the course here on this December and I want to come back my country on 18 December, 2011 but my i-card and my visa expire on 15 December, 2011, I will extend student visa (9F type) more 6 month according to requirement of college, but is it necessary for me to renew I-card any more ? because I won’t come back here any more. But If I come back my country on 18 Dec, that means my I-card is not valid, so if I’ll, what happen with me ? Can I pass the air port with the I-card no valid in 3 days, and if I can pass, How much do I have to pay for penalty ???
    Please help me to explain ? Thank you so much !

  14. Lea says:

    Hi, I was asked by my sisters currently residing and working in Taiwan to have their ACR I-card renewed since they cannot come home. would there be penalties if they do not renew in time? And what are the requirements if I renew for them? Thanks.

    • Cody says:

      The information I have is that their visa will be forfeited if the I-card is not valid on re-entering the Philippines and they will have to enter as a Tourist.

  15. Kwong says:

    Hi! I am a native born of the Philippines to parents holding Chinese passports. I already renewed my ACR I-card last sept.28. I just wanna ask if how long will my i-card be released??? My parents i-card took only weeks I think, but my mines haven’t released yet.

  16. leonard says:

    hi am a student here in the philippines, just wanna know about my i-card, last june 15 the icard has been renewed and after a few days i went back to immigration to get it. when i arrived home, i went to western union the other day to recieve money and show my icard and they told me its invalid. when i look at the back of the icard and the date has not been changed for the expiration. does it mean that am just wasting my time to renew it for every six months? i dont have any plans to travel out from the country until i finish my course in 2013. this december 15 2011 will be the time to renew it again, so am just thinking and confused at the same time. can someone help please? thanks.

    • Cody says:

      Hi Leonard,
      You are not “just wasting your time to renew it for every six months”, because having a valid ACR I-card is a legal requirement, it must be renewed.

  17. Cyrille says:

    Hello. I’m Vietnamese, studying in Philippinese. My visa is student visa. How can I go back to my country when I don’t have ACR I-CARD yet, only visa. Because my ACR I-CARD is still releasing, I can’t get it yet. Please, tell me what can I do? I heard that if I go back when I don’t have ACR I-CARD, when I come back Philippinese, my visa will be changed to tourist visa, so I need to do student visa again. Is it right? Thank you very much.

    • Cody says:

      Yes I think that’s right, I was told the same thing.
      Maybe you can have a friend pick up your I-card and send it to you. You will need to give your friend a letter to give to Immigration, requesting this with your signature and friend will have to show his ID.

  18. marites says:

    How long does it take to renew acr card.Is it true that it will take 4 months to renew it.icant afford to wait for that long..Is there any possible way to get it faster..thanks

  19. Aisha says:

    I want to go to the philippines to further my master degree. My friend told me that I need to prepare notification of police clearance, transcipt and diploma. He said this is required by the university. And the school will submit some of these document to BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION to get the I card. Can anybody tell me what is the exact documentation and requirement that BI needs to make I card? And what’s the streamlining of making I card.? Thanks.

  20. Andre says:

    Hi,

    I have the same problem as David above…..

    Why do they need ACR i card to be valid? Can’t we leave Philippines without valid ACR card? Once I asked the Immigration they told me that if I am coming back to Philippines I have to have valid ACR card but If I am leaving I do not have to extend it. And there is no point of extending ACR card coz we have Visa and Passport valid. Is there anyone who really experience about ACR card while leaving the country? I mean not valid during the time of leaving.

    Any advice?suggestions?

    Andre

    • Cody says:

      If you are on a Tourist visa, it’s not needed to enter the country, but if you are on a Resident visa, Working visa, or Student visa, you need to have your valid I-card with you when returning to the Philippines or you will forfeit your visa and then you can only enter again on a Tourist visa and you must apply all over again for your Resident, Work, or Student visa.

  21. Daz says:

    My brother is working in singapore and his permanent residence icard is already expiring this feb, can he fly back to singapore after renewing his icard even if the new one hasnt been released? Like can he get exit permit without the new icard?

  22. Rose says:

    Hi. I am a permanent resident and my I-Card is expiring this January. I am all set to leave for Singapore this February. Also, I recently got married, so I have a new last name. My I-Card now still says I’m single. I’ve been reading that I cannot leave the country unless I have my renewed I-Card in my hands. In how bad of a situation am I? :(

    • Cody says:

      You need a valid I-card upon re-entering the Philippines or you will lose your residency status and have to enter on a tourist visa and re-apply again for residency.

  23. Jenny says:

    Like several people here, I am native born and hold both an icard and a Taiwan passport (not a citizen, just a passport holder). I’m so frustrated with the incompetency of the government here in general that I’m contemplating just giving up my icard. My question is, is there a good reason why I should keep my icard? I do not live in the Philippines and only come back once in two or three years. Can I just get a Filipino visa to come into the Philippines when the time comes?

    • freddie says:

      Jen, I am also a Taiwan passport holder like you.my advice is you’re better off just getting a tourist visa from TECO if you wish to return here for a short period. when my I card expired, I went to BID and got a clearance certificate that says”leaving for good” and surrendered my Icard.went to TECO in Taiwan and secured a visa for a 21 days stay.upon entering the immigration at the airport in Manila,I told the immigration officer that my mother is a Filipina and I need to stay more than 21 days,the officer stamped me with an initial “BB” for balikbayan. whoala ! that gave me a visa good for a year to stay.

  24. Troy says:

    Jan 30, my brother was halted from exiting the Terminal 3 immigration area on his way back to Hong Kong. Reason: Icard expired last Jan 10. He went to BI, and spent 1 whole day to finish the renewal process. He was informed that he will need 2 weeks processing time, but no guarantees if it will get finished in time. What??? 2 weeks time and no assurance? That means my brother can’t go back to work and has no guarantees when he can back for work. This is a big pain. We’ve consulted several travel agencies and got the same reply. You have to be here in Manila (in person) even if you want to let travel agencies process your Icard renewals for you. Anyone who knows people with connections that can shorten the 2 weeks processing time down to 3 days or less, please help recommend. Thank you very much.

  25. Cody says:

    For the people who keep asking if you must renew your ACR I-card before leaving the country (for those with permanent resident visas)…please read Troy’s comment above.

    Apparently, you will NOT BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE PHILIPPINES if your ACR I-card is not current and valid.

    Thank you very much, Troy, for your comment.
    All comments with personal experiences related to this issue are welcome. Please post if you also were not allowed to leave Philippines because of an expired I-card.

    • Stef says:

      Hi Cody! Don’t know if you are in Philippines and/or you hold ACR I-Card like me and others who have posted/replied on this thread. But you sound like you know quite a bit about this issue so I hope you can help me/us.

      My info: I am a native-born permanent resident Taiwanese who is currently living and working in the Middle East. My I-Card will expire mid-April 2012 and I don’t have schedule to be back in Phils. before that time.

      My questions:

      1. Can I authorize someone (like travel agency rep) to renew my I-Card on my behalf? I can send my original card & other required info (hopefully BID will accept scanned copy of filled out application form).

      2. How long will it take to get the renewed card? (The Express Lane fee is not really express service…)

      3. I know that one will not be allowed to leave Phils. with expired I-Card. Can one be allowed to ENTER Phils. if I-Card is expired?

      Apologies for the trouble but time is running out on my I-Card. I’ve emailed BID but no reply yet. :(

      • Cody says:

        Hi Stef,
        Honestly, I don’t know. I hope someone who is reading this blog will know and reply to your comment. If you do get an answer to your email to BI, please post back so others can benefit.
        I will do some research too, and if I find any answers, I will post them.

        • freddie says:

          Yes you can leave the Philippines if you have expired I card.just get a clearance certificate from BID,but that means you are giving up your Icard and subsequently,your permanent residence.if you wish to come back ,then you need a tourist visa(depending on your passport).if you wish to re-acquire your permanent residency,you need to re-apply it at BID.just keep a xerox copy of your previous Icard and other pertaining document.
          Renewing Icard can be done by most travel agency without your presence.just submit documents and sign an authorization letter.but there is no guarantee to how long will the process be done!

          • Cody says:

            Freddie, I agree with your comment except for the part where you say it’s possible for renewal by a travel agency. As I was told, it can only be renewed with a personal appearance.

        • Matthew says:

          Yes, thats exactly what i do and have NEVER made an appearance or even filled out ANY forms or applications. i got an email asking my blood type once, but my agency takes care of everything.

          • Cody says:

            Matthew,

            Please provide the name of your agency so others can contact them, and it would help to know what type of visa you are staying in the Philippines with. It might be a special type of visa which is why you are able to renew through an agency while most people with Student and Resident visas are required to renew in person.

      • Cody says:

        Stef,

        Here is what I have found out:

        1. No, a personal appearance is required.

        2. Still not sure, and it probably varies.

        3. If your I-card is not valid when entering the Phils, you will forfeit your visa and your residency status, you can only enter on a Tourist visa, and then you must apply again for residency.

  26. Anon says:

    Hello all,
    I am currently residing in manila on an expired student visa, I did not enroll for the current semester and my student visa has expired. I spoke with an official at the immigrations office about the best alternative solution for me to be here legally as to what type of extension I should get and she advised me to leave the country and when I get back, I should take care of everything then. My I-card is also expired :(…I guess what I’m really trying to find out, if anyone can help with this, is…without my I-card, does that give the immigrations checkpoint at the airport reason to keep me back here??..are they entitled to do such thing??..because the immigration official said I should take care of the I-card when I get back as well. Thank you all in advance.

  27. sara says:

    hello, i am student in the philippines ,i want to go to my country but i have a problem about ACR I-CARD,my acr expire on march 6 i didnt change it yet but my visa already exchanged,i cant stay to change my acr because i have a emergency problem i want to know is it possible to come back to philippines with expire acr? plz answer me as soon as possible

    • Cody says:

      Hi Sara,
      Was your student visa renewed? Or did you convert from a student visa to a tourist visa?

      • sara says:

        I converted 2 years ago , i just want to know is it possible to come back philippines with expire ACR?

        • Cody says:

          If you converted to a 9(A) Tourist visa, your ACR I-card is irrelevant and would not prevent you from coming back to the Philippines and entering the country again on a new 9(A) Tourist visa providing your passport is valid and still has at least 6 months left before expiration.

          • sara says:

            i think u didnt understand me, i ve already have student visa and its valid for 6 month but i cant wait to exchange my acr ,because i dont have time to change that ,when i will come back to philippines my acr has expired, i want to know they allow me to enter with valid student visa and expire ACR I CARD?? thanks :)

  28. Cody says:

    Hi Sara,
    You are asking if you will be allowed to come back to the Philippines with a valid 9(F) Student visa but with an expired ACR I-card which has expired on the 6th of March. Got it.

    My next question is: Where are you now? Have you already left the Philippines?

    According to this article…

    http://totallyexpat.com/global-immigration-news/philippines-alien-certificate-registration-card-holders-carry-valid-card-travel/

    …you will not be allowed to come back into the Philippines with your 9(F) Student visa (though it’s valid) if your ACR I-card has expired. You will be required to enter on a 21 day 9(A) Tourist visa and you will have to re-apply for your Student visa.

    Of course, as with all things in the Philippines, it’s really just a matter of chance.
    The Immigration officer may not ask to see your ACR I-card at all and only check your Passport for your visa.

    Seems like you have an emergency and need to leave the country no matter what, so would be appreciated if you could post back here and let us know what happen with your situation for other people in the same situation.

    • sara says:

      thanks for your help, sure i will say u what happen haha

      • Cody says:

        From your IP address, I can see that you are still in the Philippines. You may have trouble leaving the Philippines with an expired ACR card, at any rate, I guess you will find out soon.

  29. Mike says:

    Hi Guys

    Situation:- I have been acquired a resident visa 5 years ago. I know the visa itself is perpetual but the actual card is not.

    Anybody knows what would be the “complete requirements” I need to bring with me to BI?

    thanks

    M

  30. HARRY says:

    Hi,

    Can any1 please help me. I am in Papua New Guinea and just fw days back my wallet was stolen and it had my Philippine ACR card in it.

    I am a permanent resident of Philippines.

    I will be travelling soon to Manila. I would like to know if I can travel to Manila without the ACR Card ???? My passport still has a Valid Visa stamped on it stating Permanent Resident.

    Please help. Thanks in advance.

    • Cody says:

      Harry,
      From your IP address, you are not in Papua New Guinea, you are in India. Can you explain that?
      However, I did approve this comment because you bring up an interesting scenario: What happens if you lose your ACR I-card while out of the Philippines? Then how can you replace it?

      One suggestion I could make, if you haven’t done so already, is make a police report for the stolen wallet and keep the copies from the report, you may need them when applying for a replacement card.

  31. Pablo says:

    I am with my wife, son and sister studding in the Philippines. We already got the student visas and have been enjoining it here. I do not need a bank acct and we have no plans of leaving or traveling until we complete the program here. Do I need or have to get an I-card??

  32. Angela says:

    Hi. I go to Philippines once every month. each time I would stay for about a week. Do I need a ACR card? Do I have to stay in the philippines for 59-day continuously before I can apply for the ACR card? May I know what is the requirement for applying the card?

  33. saghi says:

    hi. i am student here and i am going to leave philippines for only 2 months and then i will return here.
    i have valid student visa and i have also applied for my ACR-I CARD. but because of holly week i can not get my ACR before leaving the country. on the other side, i have the receipt of my ACR that shows i have paid for it… will i have any problem while i ‘m entering philippines?

  34. sara says:

    hi,yes u will have a problem ,they will return u and say u get a tourist visa and then came back ,it was my bad experience

  35. Victoria says:

    Hello, I am wondering if…through the process of retrieving an ACR-I card, will there be a drug test administered? Does anyone know for sure??..If someone could let me know of this a.s.a.p. I’d be beyond grateful..thank you all in advance :)

  36. Dukie says:

    Hi. Im from Singapore. My Icard expired already & i want to enter philippines w/ my family without it. Will the officer let me in? Will they ask for my Icard? If i wanted to cancel it & enter as tourist, is it possible? What’s the procedure in cancelling it? Thanks.

    • Cody says:

      “If i wanted to cancel it & enter as tourist, is it possible?”

      If your I-card is expired, that means it’s already been cancelled. You don’t have to do anything special to enter as a tourist, in fact, you will be required to enter as a tourist, since your ACR I-card is already expired.

      Was your visa a student visa? working visa? or resident visa? If you want to get your original visa status back, you can start from scratch and apply again, either in the Philippines (after you arrive on a Tourist visa) or at the Embassy of the Philippines in Singapore before you come to Philippines.

  37. Sean says:

    Hi, i am going to apply for Temporary Resident’s Visa. i am wondering how long my ACR i-card will be valid for ? Thanks!

  38. ezfeelin says:

    hi.
    found this site to be very interesting and informative.
    any opinions on this:

    I have been coming to the philippines on a tourist visa, 21 days then 38 day extension, on a U.S. passport for almost four years. Never stayed past 59 days.

    I was able to open a bank account (peso and dollar) with BDO without an ACR card as a friend introduced me to the manager. Also was able to get a drivers license and purchased a car.

    Now my problem. I want to get a credit card from BDO. Went there today and was told that I could get a credit card (secured with my funds held by them) but I would need an ACR I for this application.

    I am at this time on my 21 days (expires August 15, 2012), and will go to immigration for the 38 day extension. Can i apply for the ACR i at this time, while i am still within the 21 day period?
    Also from what i read here it would be the Tourist 9a ACR I card. Can i get this card from the immigration office at Clark Base in Angeles City. This is where i get my 38 day visa each time.

    Upon getting it, can i just use it to get my credit card from BDO but not use it for departure or entry as i will never stay past 59 days., and will enter as tourist each time like i have been doing.

    sorry it is a long post and perhaps confusing too. thanks for any feedback.

    ezfeelin

    • Cody says:

      You better ask again if the ACR I-card needs to be a resident card or can be a tourist card.
      As far as I know, you cannot get a credit card in the Philippines unless you are a citizen or at least a resident.

      From the BDO website (eligibility for credit card):

      “Eligibility Criteria

      Must be 21 – 70 years old for principal; at least 13 years old for supplementary cardholders
      Must have at least one landline phone
      Must be a Filipino citizen or a foreigner who is a permanent resident in the Philippines for the last 2 years
      Must be a regular employee or if self-employed, with business operating for at least 2 years
      Residence or Office Address must be within any area where a BDO branch is located
      Income Requirement: Php 240,000 gross annual income”

  39. ezfeelin says:

    hi, i did go to immigration office a day after i got my 38 day extension and was able to apply for the two month extension along with a Tourist ACR I-card.

    cost for the 38 day extension was total 3030 pesos. and for the further two months and ACR card,
    the total including the US50.00 was 7350 pesos. The card will be picked up within 8 days of application.

    Regarding the card for getting a credit card, you are right, i do need to check if they will accept the tourist ACR. Also since i do have an account with HSBC in Hongkong Premier account, i checked with them, and they said they would be happy to open an account here in the philippines for me.
    Also they would give me a credit card too. Perhaps they will also want a time deposit for the limit
    of the card. I dont mind that at all.

    thanks for your information, cody.

    I will post later if i am sucessful in this.

    ezfeelin

    • Cody says:

      Hi ezfeelin,

      Thank you for posting back with details of your experience including the latest updated costs for visa extension+ACR I-card, it’s appreciated and helpful to other readers.

      I think HSBC is your best bet as they are an international bank and have branches in many countries including the Philippines.

      Question: Why can’t you use a credit card from your home country in the Philippines? That should also work.

  40. ezfeelin says:

    i dont use any cards from the usa, as i dont live there anymore, havent been back there in ten years.

    i do have a premier card from hsbc in hongkong, but i want to close out that account as i dont visit hongkong anymore and you wont believe how much is their minimum amount one has to keep in the account to maintain a Premier Account.

    I also have a card from a local bank from bangladesh (where I do keep a place and my origin is from there). but God knows why, i can use it for anything except charging airline tickets. Go figure that out, its the law.

    I am talking to hsbc also here in the philippines, they seem eager to open it for me, an Advance Account which only requires a minimum of 100,000 peso in the account. I will tell them I am willing to have a time deposit (secured) against the card they issue me. I am waiting to pick up by ACR card on august 8 and will go see them. I think BDO would do the same too.

    thanks

    ez

  41. ezfeelin says:

    sorry i made a mistake about the credit card that i have from bangladesh.

    I can use it for everything except charging airline tickets. And that is one of the main reasons i keep a credit card, airline tickets and hotel reservations.

    The government has this law, but no one can explain why. Thats the way this country works, all screwed up.

    thanks
    ez

  42. Janice says:

    hello, i will finish my training this sept, i will leave for good to my country as soon as possible
    i have student visa in my passport valid until dec 15, 2012 but my ACR i card was expired last june 15, 2012 and i didnt renew it
    previuosly, it needs 2 weeks for the releasing for ACR, first i dont have time more, second, do i need to extend that ACR , because i will not back philippines anymore, so i can save at least 50 USD for renewal, right?
    i have once experience in 2009, when i left philippines with expired ACR card but still valid student visa with my passport. can u give me an advice. was it my lucky time that they allowd me to pass?
    thank you

    • Cody says:

      For a student visa, I think it’s ok if your I card has expired upon departing the Philippines, as long as your visa in your passport is not expired. However, if you wanted to come back to the Philippines and continue studying, then you would have to apply all over again for a new student visa. But since you do not plan to come back, then I think you should be ok. Please double-check with your nearest Bureau of Immigration office to verify this. And if you can, post back here and let us know. Thanks.

  43. Eddie says:

    I’m now in the States for awhile (about two years to be exact), where can we renew our ACR-I Card here so we can use it to return to the Philippines.

  44. lance says:

    hi,

    can anyone help me on this matter.

    my dad’s I-card will expire January 2014, at least when is the best month that he can start processing his renewal? and also,what is the maximum waiting period for it t be renewed? can it be done RUSH? how much will it cost him?

    Thanks!

  45. Hector says:

    Could anyone please tell me what size photograph should I bring for my I.D?
    Cheers,

    Hector

    • Cody says:

      I think you don’t need to bring a photo for the ACR I-card, they will take your photo at the BI office. Post back and correct me if I’m wrong.

  46. John J says:

    I am fairly ignorant of the Immigration process here in the Philippines so I hope this question is not too obvious.
    My wife (a former Filipina) and I are here in balikbayan status. I was just wondering if this I-Card in anyway affects that? Specifically I was wondering that if we had this I-Card, would we still HAVE to depart the country once a year?
    I’m thinking that the only way to avoid HAVING to leave each year is a 13a Visa (or a 13g for her, I think) and this card does not affect that at all. I just want to be sure though.
    We have gotten a bank account without this I-Card and we have been in and out of the country with no or very little trouble. So if this card doesn’t help us with our residence status, then it seems pretty unnecessary for either of us.

    • Cody says:

      The I-card is a requirement for just about any visa that extends past 59 days, except for the Balikbayan privilege. If you decide to convert to a 13a, John, you will be required to get an I-card. You might find no use for it at all, but it is a legal requirement. Thanks for your comment.

  47. Owen says:

    Can someone please remind what the renewal fee is for my ACR-I card?
    Thank you.

  48. Hush says:

    Can someone please help me. My friend’s i-card (1 year probationary) expired last June 2013 and he to renew it to a 5 year permanent residency. What should we do? It already expired, so can we still apply it to 5 years? or we have to apply for downgrading and apply for a 1 year status again?

    • Cody says:

      What visa (stamp in his passport) is your friend currently holding now?

      Has your friend been continuously in the Philippines? Or did his I-card expire while he was abroad? I’m not sure if it makes a difference…or it could be the difference between losing his visa and having to start over, and keeping it.

      I know that if he was outside of the Philippines when his I-card expired, his visa would also be considered void and he would have to start over again.

      I am guessing that even if he has been continuously in the Philippines, he will have to start over again since he failed to renew his I-card, but it would be best for him to go to his nearest Immigration office, or if abroad, to the nearest Philippines Embassy or Consulate and ask them.

      Hope to hear back from you.

      • Foster says:

        Hello Cody:

        One thing I noticed at the BI, alot of foreigners are not aware tha if you decide to leave the Philippines after 6 months of stay for whatever reason, you are required to get a exit visa. This involves now of getting about 5 pictures, getting your finger prints taken. Note: I was finished with this by 10:30 am but they made me come back after 2 days to pick up my paper work to exit the Philippines. The pictures can be had close to the immigration office for a fee. The total cost was about P1500. The Exit visa (papers) is only good for 30 days, but best to apply at least a week before departure. (They did not take my ACR card, but did look at it in BI)

        • Cody says:

          Foster,

          The Emigration Clearance Certificate or ECC for those on a Tourist visa and who have stayed more than 6 months is required and can be applied for at any Immigration satellite office as far as I know. I got mine in a satellite office and I paid only 500, not 1500. I got it the same day, I didn’t have to come back, however it’s recommended to apply at least 2 weeks before departure. They expire after 30 days. Just bring three ID photos (white background), 2×2 size. You can get the photos at any one of millions of ID photo taking stores, which are everywhere in the Philippines. And don’t forget to bring some wet wipes to clean your fingers after the fingerprinting.

  49. Rosemarie Lam says:

    My mother is a native born Filipino holding a Taiwanese passport. She has an expired ACR and going back to the Philippines soon. She’s in the US now, where can we renew her ACR? will she be allowed to go back with an expired ACR?

    • Cody says:

      I believe that if she let her ACR I-card expire, her visa is also expired. If she doesn’t have a Filipino passport, that would mean that she would have to enter the Philippines as a tourist on her Taiwanese passport and apply again from the beginning.

  50. Sajeesh says:

    What are the eligibility crieterias for getting Native Born ACR I- Cards ? My kids were born in the Philippines and recently got their Indian passport. They have never travelled out of Philippines since birth. My wife is a Filipina and I am an Indian.

    • Cody says:

      Why do you want Alien ID cards for Filipino citizens? Your children’s mother is Filipina and they were born in the Philippines. They should have Philippines passports in addition to their Indian passports.

  51. William says:

    Hello. I have been in and out of the country now about 8 years. I think the new card is great. And official in the country can look up my current history at any time. So there is never a question of my legitimacy being here. And as long as iI have paid my monthly or yearly fees all of my information is recent to now. I have temporary residence as well this time so I can register a Icard and get a peso account and b more like a citizen of the country rather than not being able to do anything. My card expired last year so I could not just start again where I left off. I don’t expect that. But I can apply for a year visa stay with temp residency when I apply for my first extension. My records show I have had a card before and that all is good with immigrations. So those who did not keep the I card current simple apply for it again. The reason I think is the Federal Governments desire to have records about a person that are about now today. And don’t forget there is a cost to keep all these records. So one must pay for the time one has the card. Its all formal with the new system. Nothing about it is the old informal way. Hope that helps.. Ps an up to date I card is a entry and exit certificate. All those fees you paid list all the forms needed to secure one. And the government web page says so too. Be well.

  52. Brian says:

    Hi,

    I’m a native born to a dutch parents. I was really clueless about my nationality as I was under the impression of me being a native Filipino since I was born her but in turned out that their basis is by blood. How bad is my situation right now? I was told to report to BI for late registration. I assume there’s a penalty, do you know how much?

    Looking forward for your response.

    • Cody says:

      Good question, and I’m in no position to advise you. Maybe you can do some research online and/or talk to an Immigration employee at the BI. My guess is that your best route is to apply for naturalization.

  53. Anna says:

    Hi, I have an icard under ra7919. I am going to work abroad for 1-2 years. My Icard is valid until 2016. My question is How do I deal with the annual reports? Can i pay for it when I come back?

    • Cody says:

      Yes I believe you can file the annual report and make the payment within 30 days of your return to the Philippines if you are out of the country during the normal scheduling time for reporting.

  54. Bill says:

    HELP NEEDED PLEASE:

    I am moving to the Philippines (Mindanao) this year. I’ve read so much information my head is spinning while attaining very little. It seems so overwhelming. Can someone keep it simple for me and tell me how I can get there and then stay there and then worry about the I-Cards, etc. later?

    Thank you!

    Bill

    • Cody says:

      No need to keep it simple, as it’s already very simple. Ok, here you go:

      1) Buy your round trip ticket to the Philippines (you must have a return or onward ticket leaving the Philippines within 30 days of your arrival, whether or not you will actually use it).

      2) Come here.

      3) Before 30 days is up, go to the nearest Immigration office and apply for a “first extension” for your Tourist visa (technically called a “Visa waiver”), pay the 3,030p fee and you can stay for another 29 days.

      4) Before the new date stamped in your passport, apply for another Visa extension for 2 months (or you can apply for 6 months, only available at the main office in Intramuros, Manila at this time). Pay the required fees, and you will also be required to apply for the ACR I-card (for Tourists) at the same time, along with the 2 months Visa extension (it’s automatic). An additional $50 U.S. will be added to the bill.

      5) Then, for the next 34 months, before the date your last extension expires, go to any Immigration office and apply for another 2 months. Pay the fees.

      That’s it.

      (The rules have recently changed, and until recently, you could only stay for maximum 16 months, and then you would have to leave the Philippines and come back again, or you would have to submit a written request for special permission to extend beyond 16 months up until 24 months. But now, you can extend for 36 months without any complications. At least this is what I have been told, but I haven’t tested it yet, if anyone can verify this, please post.)

  55. mark says:

    hi i would like to ask you soemthing what if one arrives here in the philippines on a multiple entry visa for one year and then got a extension from june 10 2013 to july2014 and on this february 28 he obtained a provisonal work permit and his visa was extented until august 2014 even though he had his tourist visa extended until july and now he applied for a 9g work permit which costed him almost 13,000 pesos the provisional was charged just a month before for almost 4040 pesos and he payed for all his visa extension under tourist status befre until july 2014 now how mny days will it take for the immigration to issue him the new icr card as my friend wanted to travel to hongkong on april24 as per his schedule, somebody at the immigration told him he can go out and get back and then do revalidation of his visa. why cant they issue him the exit reentry which he needs just for 3 days to visit his old parents who are presently residing at hongkong and he has a provision work permit until august 2014 and his application for the 9g is under process. he has alread paid for all these process the immigration has requested and then why should he have to wait for the icard for 3 months even a country with a common sense takes a maximum of 1 week maximum to issue any card specially if its immigration and the joke this guy has been married for 21 yrs with a filipina and he is living with his 19 yr olld filipina daughter an all the checklist for the trv and wrk permits were approved why then this delay even they have been charging him whenever they want. kindly just advise us how he can travle to hongkong on april and then get back to the philippines while his 9g is under process.

    • Cody says:

      Bad timing to schedule a visit to the elderly parents I guess. If he’s been married to a Filipino citizen for 21 years, he had a lot of time to apply for a 13(a) Spousal visa, I wonder why he remained on a Temporary/Tourist visa for 21 years, and then suddenly applied for a 9(g) Pre-arranged Employment visa, and needs to go to Hong Kong suddenly, and can’t wait for it to finish processing?

      It’s normal for applications for Immigrant visas to take one or more months for processing. I suppose he should have scheduled the visit to the elderly parents for a later date? Maybe he can change his flight. Or maybe he might be approved for his visa before April 24, his date for his scheduled trip to visit his elderly parents. If not, you will just have to follow the advice of the Immigration employee, who already informed you that he can revalidate when he returns.

      This just sounds like bad planning on your friend’s part, not the fault of the Philippines Immigration. Thanks for your comment.

  56. Narli says:

    Hello! I would like to ask if I am eligible to apply for an ACR I-Card. I was born in the Philippines in 1982 and at that time, my mother was still a Filipino. She acquired German citizenship in 1988 and under the German law, I too became a German citizen. I used to have an ACR I-Card but the BI cancelled it when I tried to renew it last year. They said that I am unable to renew it because the status on my card was not correct. Can I apply for another one? What status should I be?

  57. Nino says:

    Hi Cody,

    I’m a filipino and my wife is an uzbekistan, she’s holding an ACR card with validity of 2 years and it has been expired last June 10, 2013. We just stay and live here in the Philippines and no plans to travel at all. The question is, does my wife will have a problem for being late in renewing her expired ACR Card? We just forgot to renew it and we’re planning now to renew her expired ACR card. Is there any penalty for being late? If so, how much and what does she needs to do? Your reply will be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Nino
    nricog8@gmail.com

  58. Dennis says:

    I am a Nigerian, I arrived Philippine on 9a visa, I have a valid tourist ACR-I Card that still valid till 11/13/2014. However, my Visa was converted to 9G Visa and another application for 9g ACR-I Card has been submitted since 03/07/2014 but the staff working on it went on leave without any information or arrangement on how to get the Card.

    I now have an emergency reasons to travel out of Philippine, my flight ticket will expire on 04/14/2014. Can I still be allow to travel out with the Tourist I Card. Please give me the needed information on this

  59. Kumar says:

    Hi,
    PLEASE, can any one help me ?? i am an Indian. i am studying in Philippines with student visa. Due to some medical issues i came back to India without getting ACR-i card. Can i enter Philippines without Acr-i card.
    thank You

    • Cody says:

      Do you have a Student visa stamped in your passport? If you enter the Philippines without your Student ACR I-card and there is no Student visa in your passport, then you will have to enter as a Tourist and apply again for a Student visa.
      Or maybe you can find and authorize someone to pick up your I-card in the Philippines (and stamp your passport, if needed) and then send it to you in India before you fly back to the Philippines.

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