In this guide, we’ll go over the various ways you can stay in the Philippines and what you’ll need. You’ll find this guide especially helpful if you’re planning to stay and raise a family in the country.
The only thing more beautiful than the Philippines are the women that stay there. That’s why it’s no surprise that you would want to find a bride- and reside there. In fact, the idea of marrying a beautiful Filipino is actually quite popular. How long you’re able to stay in the Philippines depends entirely on the process you take. You could be permitted to stay for as short as 6 months, or as long as forever.
How can you stay in the Philippines when you find a bride there?
There are two major ways that anyone married to a Filipino- can stay in the region:
- A Balik Bayan stamp
- 13A Permanent Resident Visa
A Balik Bayan Stamp
The Balik Bayan Stamp is often used by individuals who got married outside the Philippines. When coming to the Philippines, you can get past immigration with your tourist visa, in which case, your stay will have a duration of 30 days. The Balik Bayan Stamp can then extend your visa’s duration. You can obtain the stamp upon entry, but, your Filipino love must be with you before you can get it.
The Stamp comes at no cost, and you don’t have to do any processing to obtain it. Just go to the immigration officer’s desk with your spouse. Remember to bring your marriage certificate with you. Appearing with your spouse also includes ensuring that you are both on the same line, and that you approach the officer together.
You could also be granted the stamp without your marriage certificate if the names on your passports indicate that you are married to each other. It’s important to note that getting a Stamp is not one of your rights as an immigrant; the officer is not obligated to give you a stamp. However, people are very rarely denied.
Additionally, automatic issuance is not one of your rights. You may have to ask the officer for a stamp. In fact, most people have to request for the stamp. It’s simply the more popular- way to go.
The Stamp lasts for a year, but you can get an extension of six months. Before your stamp expires, you should look into applying for a permanent resident visa, especially if you want to raise a family in the country
A 13A permanent Resident Visa
Once you marry the woman you love you should begin the process of getting a permanent resident visa. The good news is that they are not difficult to get. The only restriction you might face is the wait time. It can take weeks to months to complete the process.
Before you apply for the visa, you need to gather the following:
- The completed and signed general application form
- A letter of application, signed by your spouse who is a citizen of the country
- A copy of your bride to be’s birth certificate
- Your marriage contract
- A certificate that shows that you have a savings account, with a minimum of $10,000 deposited. This bank account is required to prove that you can provide for your new Filipino family.
- Your immigration clearance certificate
- A copy of your passport
The 13A visa is only valid for a year, but you can renew it and get a ten-year extension. But not to worry. The process of renewal is not as tedious as the process of getting the original visa. It’s quite popular for many people to simply extend their tourist visas instead of applying for a 13A visa because of the long process.
If you’re already married to a Filipino, you may also be able to stay indefinitely, without needing a permanent visa. All you need to do is make a quick trip outside the country every time your Balik Bayan Stamp expires. However, this strategy has a few limitations, like if you already have a family.
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What other ways can you reside permanently in the Philippines?
There’s another option for you if you’re not married to a citizen, but you love the country so much that you want to reside there. It’s called a retirement Resident Visa, and it’s based on the money you have deposited in a savings account in the country.
As long as you’re not on the list of excluded classes under the country’s immigration act, you’re eligible for a Retirement Visa. There are various classes of visa under this category, and they include:
- Human Touch
You can visit the Philippine Government’s website for more details on the Retirement visa.
The bottom line
If you’re lucky enough to find a Filipino woman to love and marry, you certainly can’t let a residence permit get in your way. You can start your family in the Philippines using one of two different residence documents. You should discuss your options with your lover and decide on which one is more convenient for the both of you.