Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

                 
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Tourist Visa Extensions in the Philippines, Duration and Cost

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Visa extensions are one of the things that puzzles new arrivals here in the Philippines….How does it work? How long can I stay on an extended tourist visa? And how much does it cost?Philippines visa extensionPlease check with the Philippines Bureau of Immigration for the latest, correct costs, these fees/rules are always changing and I’ve updated this article a few times since it was originally written. Comments are welcome to keep up to date with costs and procedures.

Keep in mind this information is for tourist visas only, either the kind attained prior to coming to the Philippines at your country’s Philippines Consulate office and good for 59 days, or the kind that is stamped in your passport on arrival in the Philippines giving you 21 days of stay.

Visa extensions are for either one or two months, with a maximum of two months for each extension. When your extension expires, you can get another extension, usually about a week before the expiration date.  You can do this until you have stayed a total of 16 consecutive months in the Philippines, and then you must leave the country, or you may request special permission from Manila BI to extend longer. If you leave the Philippines and come back again (even for one day), the process starts over again and you can extend your tourist visa every two months for another 16 months. Visa extensions can be issued at any Philippines Bureau of Immigration office.

The costs for Philippines tourist visa extensions vary depending on how long you have been in the Philippines. The prices are also always changing and new charges are being added such as the express line fees for P500 and the (now required) ACR I-card which every foreigner must purchase, even if they are only on a tourist visa, if he/she will stay in the Philippines for more than 6 months. Most people will extend for the maximum two months every time so I will assume that you are too. If you are extending for one month only, subtract P500.

If you entered the country on a 59 day visa issued at the Philippines Consulate in your own country, you can skip the 38-day waiver extension. If you entered on a 21 day stamp issued at the airport, then your first extension is actually called a “Visa Waiver” which will extend your stay another 38 days to a total of 59 days, and it costs P3,030 or about $70 US dollars.

After that you will have stayed a total of 59 days and if you want to stay longer, you can apply for an extension for one or two months. So this first Visa Extension (the previous one was actually a Visa Waiver) costs P4,860 for two months, or about $120 US dollars. You will also have to apply and pay for an ACR I-Card at this time, which is basically a temporary ID card for foreigners. You can read more about the ACR I-card and the advantages of having one in the post entitled, Philippines ACR I-card, What Is It, and Why Do I Need It?. So the cost for the visa extension will be P4,860, about $120 US dollars and the ACR I-card costs P2,200 or $50 US dollars, so the total, including the I-card, is P7,060 or about $170 US dollars.

After 4 months of stay in the Philippines,  to extend another 2 months, it will cost P3,330.

After six months of stay in the Philippines, your visa extension for another two months will cost P4,240 or about $100 US dollars.

Then after that, the prices go down. Your extensions at 8 months, 10 months, 12 months, and 14 months will all cost P2,830, about $70 US. And after 16 months of stay, if you still love living in the Philippines, you can buy a cheap roundtrip ticket to a neighboring Asian country (See my post, Finding the Best Airfare Deals in Asia) and come back again to the Philippines to start the whole visa extension process all over again! Have fun!

Notes: These prices are based on my own receipts, from the BI office in which I extended, at the time that I extended. You might be charged differently depending on where you extend and if new charges have been added or removed (not likely any charges will be removed) since this article has been written.

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Comments

43 Responses to “Tourist Visa Extensions in the Philippines, Duration and Cost”
  1. Anonymous says:

    I was required to purchase an ACR-I card on my first extension. I was told it would allow me to get a drivers license, bank account & faster processing at BI offices.The cost was $50 converted into pesos.

    • grace says:

      icard may must apply after 59 days of stay here in the philippines which is for 2nd extension.

      thank you!
      Visa Assistant
      GRACE

      • Mark says:

        The card does not allow you to get a Drivers License with a tourist visa. You must have a valid DL from your country for this path to work. Also due to record keeping and the ability to verify….if your DL is not North America or Europe it is basically impossible to verify to other Asian countries. If you do not have a valid DL from another country, the only path to a DL is to marry a PI Citizen because the DL is part of the path to registered voters….and the country actually enforces that law when they can.

        You must have the card for a bank account.

        These facts are verified as of 2/28/2013

        • Cody says:

          Thanks for your comment Mark,

          “If you do not have a valid DL from another country, the only path to a DL is to marry a PI Citizen…”

          Hmm, marrying for a drivers license…that’s a strange thought…people seem to be marrying for any reason these days…so maybe it happens.
          I personally would rather take the jeepney or the bus than commit the rest of my life to a woman simply for a drivers license. Weird thought.

          Next thing you know people will marry each other for gym membership or supermarket discounts.

    • basha says:

      hi i would also like to ask if you also have the p\fees and procedures regarding the other visa forms? like the missionary, commercial, student permit and special working permit. thank you.

      • Cody says:

        The fees and procedures for the other visas which you mentioned can now be found on the new and updated BI website which explains everything in a very clear and step-by-step format.

  2. Cody says:

    Anonymous,
    Do you have a special circumstance in which you were required to get the I-card at the time of your first extension?

    From the BI website:

    "All registered aliens, including their dependents, who have been duly issued paper-based ACRs are required to replace their ACRs with the hi-tech microchip-based ACR I-Card.

    All aliens who have been duly issued immigrant or non-immigrant visa and all other aliens who are required to register under the Alien Registration Act are required to register and apply for the ACR I-Card. They are the following:

    1. Native-Born

    2. Permanent residents under:
    a. Section 13 and its sub-sections
    b. Republic Act Nos. 7919 and 8274 (Alien Social Integration Act of 1995)
    c. Executive Order No. 324 (series of 1988)
    d. Note Verbale No. 903730 dated Sept. 17, 1990 between Philippines and India

    3. Temporary residents under:
    a. BI Law Instruction No. 33 (Series of 1988)
    b. BI Law Instruction No.13 (Series of 1988)
    c. BI Law Instruction No. 48 (Series of 1988)
    d. BI Memo Order No. ADD-01-038 (series of 2001)
    e. BI Memo Order No. ADD-02-015 (series of 2002)

    4. Temporary visitor under Section 9(a), PIA –one who is coming for business or pleasure or for reasons of health if his stay exceeds six (6) months

    5. Treaty trader under Section 9(d), PIA

    6. Temporary student under Section 9(f), PIA

    7. Pre-arranged employee under Section 9(g), PIA

    8. Such other aliens as may be required by law to register

    9. For those who are required to register but exempted from immigration fees, they may opt to avail of the ACR I-Card subject to payment of the card fee."

    Anonymous, basically the paragraph you need to pay attention to if you are just a normal tourist is this, "4. Temporary visitor under Section 9(a), PIA –one who is coming for business or pleasure or for reasons of health if his stay exceeds six (6) months" …stating that an ACR I-card is required if your stay exceeds 6 months. But I did hear that it's possible to apply and get an ACR I-card before 6 months if you want to.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I had no special circumstances. Just your average everyday tourist.I just presented my passport with my filled up aplication for an extension at the BI desk, she asked if I wanted to stay for one or two months, I replied two, she added up the fees, told me it would cost me extra this time because of the ACR-I card. She told me to wait,then handed it to a second woman who looked it over and handed it to the cashier who asked me to pay 7,491 pesos. After paying the cashier he handed my paperwork to another woman working in the back. Ten minutes later she came out & told me my ACR-I card would be ready in 2 weeks and handed me my passport & receipt. I was then told by the first woman that if I was going to renew again in 2 months that I could pick up the ACRI card at that time rather than make an extra trip.
    I was well aware of the paragraph you mentioned and was surprised that I had to buy an ACR-I card even though I had been here for only 2 months.I didn't want to question or argue because I was more interested in getting an extension than making a point about something I would eventually have to buy anyway.I'm also aware based on other expats experiences that no two BI offices do things exactly the same way & they charge you whatever they feel like.Your only options are to pay or leave. If you decide to leave, be aware that there is also an exit fee. Mabuhay everyone and Merry Christmas! Welcome to the Philippines.

    • jonny says:

      hi i went thru the same scenario i went for my first extension after my initial 59 days and they charge me extra for acr-i card which i thought was only needed after 6 months.My first extension after my 59 days cost nearly 9000 peso ! for 2 months because of extra for the card but they didnt even issue me the card or explain about it just wrote something about it on my passport ?

    • Foster says:

      It is now mandatory to get an ACR card with second extension which would be end of 2 months stay.

      Having said that, they have changed again and your first arrival visa is good for 30 days instead of the old 21 days. Then you must apply for an extension. So now I don’t know when you need ACR card.
      Extensions can now be 6 months if issued at Manila. Costs will be accordingly.

      Back to Cody’s comment ;)

  4. F. B. says:

    The problem with the Immigration website is that the longer one analyses everything, the more confusing – and sometimes even contradictory – things become.

    I am going to join Anonymous, except that my situation was different again.

    Having gone through the 21+38 days I showed up some weeks ago and knew that I was going to be required to get an ACR-I. How did I know, if the website says it is not required? Because this is the Philippines and the easy rules for foreigners to reside here under what I will call ‘grey hat’ immigration rules also mean that BI will try to charge you whenever possible. And that’s fine as far as I am concerned because after all they allow us to stay/live here thanks to rules which would not be accepted in many other countries (the whole VISA waiver extension program – up to 24 months with agreement of the commissioner).

    So when looking at the VISA extension fees (yes, that’s how the link for the VISA Waiver extension fees page is called) you will notice that the ACR-I is mentioned in the section ‘After 59 days of stay’, as ‘re-issuance of ACR-I (with the mention ’2nd entry of every entry after 59 days’. This means that upon first entry after 59 days, an ACR-I will be issued or is my logic wrong?

    Anyway, surprisingly it only took little more than an hour and the ACR-I for me was ready, without me having to give me thumb or a print of it. :)
    I also paid around PHP 7500.

    I have another question though: my extension expires end next month. So far no problem, show up at BI again and pay again, enjoy the Phils for a little longer. But, only two weeks after that I leave for a week. This means I will have to start it all over I assume? Even though my ACR-I, although not a VISA, is valid for 12 months, I will have to start everything over?

    • Cody says:

      F.B. –
      Another thing I wanted to mention – you said that you are leaving about one week after your next extension, which, if I am doing the math correctly, puts you over 6 months, right? So you are going to have to get an ECC or Emigration Clearance Certificate at the BI office 2 to 3 weeks prior to leaving the country. You will pay P500 for that and you need to bring your passport and three 2×2 color photos (with white background), and something to clean your hands after they fingerprint you. Curiously, you don’t need your ACR I-card when processing your ECC. After about a week processing time, you will come back to the BI office to pick up your ECC, a paper with your fingerprints and your photo glued on it, which you will have to relinquish to the BI officer at the airport when they stamp you out of the Philippines.

  5. Cody says:

    That’s a really good question. I think your ACR I-card will be good until the expiration date printed on the back, however, you will have to start over again with the visa extensions. That’s my best guess. Post back and let us know what happens or ask them at the BI office.

    • grace says:

      you can use your icard for 1 year ( tourist visa ) even after you depart and arrive again in the philippines. immigration cannot process your extension after 59 days (2nd extension) without showing your icard with valid date.

  6. F. B. says:

    Thanks for your reply, Cody. I will definitely post back.

    Btw, I’m in Mactan early March. Are you in the neighbourhood? Want to go for a drink?

  7. Cody says:

    Updates:
    Regarding ACR I-card requirement, it says here at Number 4, it’s after six months:
    http://immigration.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=114&Itemid=61

    Regarding First 2 month Extension, the price went up from P4,050 last year to P4,800 this year, there was an additional 250p fee and another additional 500p fee added and labeled with vague names.

  8. Sam says:

    I have a 9a Tourist/Business visa one year multiple entry. I usually leave the country for a day or two on business and return to get a fresh 59 days stamp. Well, I have been here since Jan 23 and did not leave so I decided to extend my visa to avoid any overstaying. I went to the BI office here in Makati and extended my visa and had to also get an ACR card (will pick it up on Friday). Everything went smooth and quick….the only thing the confused me was the ‘Express Lane’ fee…I was laughing with the cashier because there is only one window…I asked him “where is the ‘non-express’ lane. Guess it’s a good way to get an extra 1,500 out of me.
    I plan to go to Singapore in a week or so. I heard that I must surrender my ACR card upon departure….I guess I won’t need to get another one until I have to get another extension, if ever. Can anyone with experience on this shed some light? I hate to pay to basically rent an ACR card for 2 weeks. I wonder if I can just not mention that I have an ACR when I leave and enter??

    Another thing I would like to add…I was always told that I need an ACR to get a driver’s license here, but I was able to go the LTO and get my license no problem without an ACR, just did the paper works, drug test, med exam, copy of passport and US license. I was then was able to open a bank account with my Philippines license….I was also told that you need an ACR for this as well. I guess every rule has its exceptions.

  9. Cody says:

    Sam –
    I guess, from all the different stories I have been hearing about WHEN a foreigner is required to get the ACR I-card, that it could be anytime from the first extension to the third, but the point is, if the Immigration employee believes your time in the Philippines will exceed 6 months (even if you are leaving and coming back), then they will require you to get it. I think if you had told them that you were leaving to Singapore and not planning to come back, then you would NOT have had to get the ACR I-card, because the rule, as stated on the BI website, is “Temporary visitor under Section 9(a), PIA –one who is coming for business or pleasure or for reasons of health IF HIS STAY EXCEEDS SIX (6) MONTHS”.

    But I don’t think they are going to take your I-card at the airport when you leave, I heard the same rumors, but I never actually knew anyone who had to give it up. I never even heard of them asking to see it at the airport. What is the expiration date printed on the back of your card? Should be good until that date. Please post back here after your trip and let us know what happened. Thanks for your comment.

    • Sam says:

      Thanks for the info Cody. I read the same thing on the BI website about a stay exceeding 6 months requires an ACR-I for temporary visitors, but the BI office insisted that any stay over 59 days requires you to get and ACR-I anymore, and I technically have been here for a lot longer than 6 months, just always leaving for a short trip before my stay runs out. Anyway, I don’t mind having the card as it is another legal form of ID I can use here in the Philippines.

      I will keep you posted after my trip and let you know what happens at NAIA.

  10. neil says:

    hello just wondering if anyone can clear this up for me ive been here in phillies for a total of 14 months this coming 21 st jan i wondering if i have to leave the country after the 16th month as im on a tourist visa and me and my wife wanted to change it to a 13a non quota now do i have to leave the country then return and apply for the visa conversion or can i go now and make the conversion without leaving the country and still get the full 1 years probation dang so confusing lol any help would be appreciated thank you in advance

    • Cody says:

      Hi Neil-
      From BI website’s “Checklist of Requirements for Conversion to Non-Quota Immigrant by Marriage Under Section 13(a)”:

      5. Photocopy of applicant’s passport showing its bio-page, admission and authorized stay of at least 20 days from date of filing;

      Hope that helps.

  11. jonny says:

    hi from what i see here everyone paid around 7500 peso for there first extension i just return from immagration on roxas blv and they charge me 8488 peso ? and i had to get acri card but they didnt issue me the card just made me pay for it ? they also charge me 1500 for express lane ? even thou theres no express at all just the same fpr everybody

    • Cody says:

      Yes, P1500 is charged for express lane fees. You will pay for the ACR I-card card and then you should be able to pick it up after 2 months, it usually won’t be issued to you on the day you pay for it. P8488 does seem to be too much. If you want, you can list here all the fees in your receipt and maybe others can compare it to their own receipts. Or you can ask to speak with someone at the BI Office to help you understand the fees. I really don’t know what else to suggest.

  12. mark weber says:

    Hello everyone,
    I got my last visa extension on dec 7, 2011, I paid about 7495. This was at my 60 day mark. I got my acr card the same day in about 2 hours. I read everything on the BI website, it states that the card will be ready in a few days i believe but when i paid and went back to the orginal window where the gentleman gave me the clearance, he told me to come back in 2 hours and my acr card would be ready, its good for one year. I was wondering does anyone have updated numbers about how much its going ot cost me at the 6 month point. Thanks

    Mark

    • Cody says:

      Hi Mark,
      I don’t know why you were required to get that at your 60 day mark, but since it seems you are planning to stay more than 6 months, it’s ok. You are lucky to get your I-card so quickly, the processing times vary from office to office and even from person to person and can be a few hours to a few months. Also keep in mind that there are different types of ACR I-cards. Yours is a Tourist I-card, valid for one year, and on the front of your card under “Visa Status”, it should say in big letters, “TOURIST”, and “Not An Entry Visa”. For tourists, the ACR I-card, is a requirement, however it does not serve any purpose at the airport upon exiting or entering the country, and immigration will rarely ask to see it. However, if you are a Permanent Resident with a 13(a) visa, I am fairly sure you would need your I-card to pass immigration at the airport.

      Keep in mind, Mark, that your I-card is valid for one year, however, your visa extension should be expiring February 7 (if you extended 2 months the last time) and you have to get extend again before it expires on Feb. 7 or you will suffer penalties.

      To answer your question, at the 6 month point, the visa extension should cost P4,240.

      • Nick says:

        Cody,

        I’m guessing Mark got his card at the BI office in Intramuros. Like him, I was told I needed to get one at the 60 days mark if I was staying more than 6 months, and it was ready in a couple of hours. Same price too.

        • Cody says:

          Hi Nick,
          Yes it’s true, it seems everyone must get the ACR I-card at the 60 days point. So after you extend from 21 to 59 days (visa waiver), if you go back again to extend again for another month or 2 months, at that point, you will apply and pay for an ACR I-card.
          I am guessing they are made at Intramuros so that if you go there, you can get it within a few hours. However, if you apply at a satellite office in another location, they may have to send out your application to Intramuros and wait for the I-card to be sent back to that office and that might account for the extra waiting time.

          • Stuart says:

            I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth on the topic. i arrived here in PI on June 15 (I am a U.S. Permanent Resident and travel on a British passport) and was granted the 21 visa. I am staying in Iloilo and went to the local customs office for my 38 day extension. No problem, took less than 1 hour and cost a little over 3000 pesos. At the 59 day mark, I returned to extend again and was told I had to get the I-card this time. I did have the foresight to take two pictures with me just in case. I paid about 7000 pesos for the extension and card…it would have been more, but I only asked for a one month extension. They are supposed to call me this coming Monday to pick up my card, so we will see what will happen. BTW, even though I only asked for and paid for a 1 month extension, the date they wrote in my passport is 2 months!

            • Cody says:

              Hi Stuart,
              Thanks for your input, your experience seems pretty normal except for the extra month added, maybe it was a buy one month, get one free promo in Iloilo? Hehe. Enjoy your free month!

  13. Nicole says:

    Anyone have a suggstion for the cheapest way and place to go to leave the country to avoid needing to get a Visa. I only need to extend for over 21 days but under 59.

    • Cody says:

      Nicole,
      The extension from 21 days to 59 days or the “visa waiver” as it is technically called costs P3,030. I think you won’t find many round trip flights cheaper than that (unless it’s a special promo deal), so your best bet is to just go to the BI office and extend to 59 days. It’s also less of a hassle than leaving the country and coming back again, paying taxi, terminal fees, and other costs involved with taking a flight to another country.

  14. Jose says:

    Hello !! I discover this page today and i wish to ask a question about my Visa extension.
    I am from Spain and i am in Philippines since April 29 2012 as tourist. I pay my visa extensions and i have my ACR I-Card. Next October 26 i have to renew my extension again and i will but the question is that perhaps i need to go to Spain for two weeks on November 3 for familiars matter. Could i follow my extensions in the same way when i back to Philippines or i need to start again from the beginning as a new arrival?
    I suppose to buy return ticket Philippines-Spain-Philippines but… i need a run-out ticket when i arrive again in Philippines (as my first time) or i dont need now coz my new extension would be on time when i come back?
    Thanks a lots and sorry about my English.

    • Cody says:

      “Could i follow my extensions in the same way when i back to Philippines or i need to start again from the beginning as a new arrival?”

      You would need to start again from the beginning as a new arrival. Everything starts over when you leave the country if you’re on a Tourist visa. And depending on the people at the office of the Bureau of Immigration where you go to extend, you might also have to get a new ACR I-card if they decide your current card is cancelled out because your visa was terminated when you left the country.

      From the BI website:
      ” ACR I-CARD CANCELLATION

      The ACR I-Card may be cancelled on the following grounds:

      1. Death of the holder (death certificate required)
      2. Adoption of Filipino citizenship by the holder
      3. Termination of Visa of the holder
      4. Cancellation of Visa
      5. Voluntary Cancellation by the holder”

      I hope you will post back here because I am curious as to whether they will allow you keep your current ACR I-card when you come back or if you will have to get a new one after 59 days.

      “I suppose to buy return ticket Philippines-Spain-Philippines but… i need a run-out ticket when i arrive again in Philippines (as my first time) or i dont need now coz my new extension would be on time when i come back?”

      Yes, you will need a return or onward ticket. Your extension will be cancelled once you leave the country and they will stamp your passport with a departed stamp so if you are leaving Nov. 3, then you should only get an extension for 1 month on Oct. 26, since you don’t need 2 months and you will save P500.

  15. Cody says:

    Just to update, as one “commentor” (is that a word?), Foster, pointed out recently (but his comment was lost in the mess)…

    Foster’s comment

    …they have now extended the Tourist or Temporary Visa which is stamped in your passport at the airport on arrival in the Philippines from the old…21 days…. to the new…30 days. I posted about it here:

    Philippines Visa On Arrival Extended From 21 Days To 30 Days

    The BI has also, as Foster mentioned, increased the length of time for which you can extend your Temporary visitor visa in one trip to the BI office. It used to be that you can only extend for a maximum of 2 months at a time (each visit to BI). That meant that you would have to go to the BI office every 2 months for another extension if you will be staying in the Philippines. Now they are offering a 6 months extension. Cost and fees are the same, so you will pay the same amount in the end, but for the 6 months extension you will just pay more up front. However, as of now, you can only apply for the 6 months extension at the Intramuros head office in Manila. I posted about the new Long Stay Visitor Visa Extension (LSVVE) here:

    The new Long Stay Visitor Visa Extension (LSVVE), a 6 months visa extension for tourists

  16. dean ewan says:

    I have had my 21 and 38 day extensions!!! I need an additional 10 days,and wondering what cost will be?

    • Cody says:

      If you want to stay past 59 days, even only 10 days past 59 days, it will cost the same as staying another month and you will also have to pay for an ACR I-card, which you might never actually have time to pick up. The first extension past 59 days is also one of the most expensive. You better check with your nearest Immigration satellite office to be sure, but I think it will cost you around $150 US dollars or more. Please post back with the exact amount if you have time.

  17. warren says:

    I am an Australian on a 59 day tourist visa,expiration date is the 5th of march 2014,my flight to go back to Australia is the 14th of march 2014,do I need to extend my visa and how much will this cost me to stay another 9 days before I fly home can you give me details on this matter thank you kindly warren

    • Cody says:

      I’m sorry to say that you will have to extend again to avoid a hassle at the airport, and the extension after 59 days will be very expensive. You will pay 4,050 pesos for the extension and you will also have to pay about another P2,500 pesos for a Tourist ACR I-card which is a requirement for all foreigners who extend past 59 days.

      Warren, you might want to try to change to an earlier flight to save money. If you leave before March 5, you will have no problems and you won’t have to pay anything more.

  18. Jim Pellow says:

    Hello,

    I will need to renew my two month tourist visa by September 9th. My one year temporary ACR card expires on September 11th. Does anybody know if I will be charged for the new year ACR when I renew for the September 9th extension as the ACR expires on the 11th? Or would they allow it to expire on the 11th and charge me at my Nov 9th extension? I am looking at overseas travel plans so avoiding the fee is a current consideration I need to take into account. Cheers!

    • Cody says:

      Hi Jim,

      Yes, I believe they will make you renew your Tourist ACR I-card when you get your next visa extension and you will have to pay the $50 fee for that. Since you have been in the Philippines for more than 59 days, it is a requirement that you must have a valid and current ACR I-card while you are in the country. You can try to ask them if they can postpone/bypass the renewal of your Tourist I-card stating that you will be flying out of the Philippines very soon. I don’t think you can do that, but you can try, bring your flight itinerary with you to the Immigration office and give it a try.

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