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  • 2 years ago
Getting a Balikbayan Visa

Getting a Balikbayan Visa

If you are a regular reader of the site, you certainly know the procedure to get a Balikbayan Visa (Balikbayan Privilege) when you arrive in the Philippines.  You fly in to the Philippines with your Philippine spouse, she requests that you be given the Balikbayan Visa, and a 1 year Balikbayan Privilege stamp is placed in your passport.  That's it, you are good to stay in the Philippines for a full year!  No visa requirements, no visits to the Bureau of Immigration, no visa extensions, no head tax.  You're good to go!

But wait.  Can it be different than that?

Well, one thing about enforcement of the laws in the Philippines is that things are "consistently inconsistent".  Credit goes to Dave Starr for that phrase, he has been saying it, and rightly so, for years now.  Fact is that what is interpreted as being OK under the rules varies.  It varies from one time to the next.  It varies depending on the location where you are entering the country.  It varies depending on which line y