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Visa choices


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Old 4th June 2014, 05:53 AM
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Default Visa choices

So Im confused as to the many different options as far as types of visas to get.

1. As many of you have advised here, it is easier to acquire an immigrant visa when one is married to a Filipino citizen. Since I am a naturalized US citizen, it does mean that I have to gain dual citizenship in order to petition my husband for an immigrant visa, correct?

2. And then I come to the PRA website and they offer all these Special Retirees Retirement visa with $$ deposits requirements, etc.

3. Are those 2 visas the same? If we plan on retiring and acquiring property, exactly which visa do we need?

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Old 4th June 2014, 06:25 AM
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No, those two visa's are not the same. The PRA retirement visa is extremely expensive and ties up a lot of cash that can not be used. In most cases I'd say it is not worth the outlay of $$$.
The information and requirements for your husbands permanent residency visa would be best obtained by contacting the Philippine embassy or consulate closest to you. That is the one you would probably want to have him get. But get the information straight from the Philippine embassy...

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Old 4th June 2014, 01:47 PM
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Default Balikbayan Visa Priviledge

Quote:
Originally Posted by GWrobes View Post
So Im confused as to the many different options as far as types of visas to get.

1. As many of you have advised here, it is easier to acquire an immigrant visa when one is married to a Filipino citizen. Since I am a naturalized US citizen, it does mean that I have to gain dual citizenship in order to petition my husband for an immigrant visa, correct?

2. And then I come to the PRA website and they offer all these Special Retirees Retirement visa with $$ deposits requirements, etc.

3. Are those 2 visas the same? If we plan on retiring and acquiring property, exactly which visa do we need?
Balikbayan Visa

Balikbayan Visa

Technically, the Balikbayan program is not a Visa, but rather a privilege, the Balikbayan Privilege. However, for the purposes of this site, we will call the privilege by it’s popular name, the Balikbayan Visa.

In language terms, in the Filipino language, “Balikbayan” translates to English as “return to nation” or generally means a person who is returning to his/her homeland. The Balikbayan Visa is available to former citizens of the Philippines, their spouses and children. So, for example, if Maria goes to live abroad for work, marriage or whatever reason, and she becomes a naturalized citizen of the foreign country where she moves to, when she returns to the Philippines, she is eligible to take advantage of the Balikbayan Privilege and receive a Balikbayan Visa.

Additionally, Maria’s husband, be he American, Saudi, British or whatever nationality may also be given a Balikbayan Visa if he is traveling with Maria at the time of their entry into the Philippines. If the couple enters the country separately, the husband is not eligible fort he Balikbayan Visa. The previous information regarding Maria’s husband also holds true for her children, be they citizens of a foreign nation.

Those issued a Balikbayan Visa are given a one year stay in the Philippines. There are no charges or extensions necessary to stay up to one year. Should you wish to stay longer than one year in the Philippines and are issued a Balikbayan Visa upon entry, you may stay on the Balikbayan Visa for a full year, then report to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and convert your Balikbayan Visa to a Tourist Visa, at which time you can stay up to a maximum of 24 additional months following the rules and regulations imposed on a tourist visa holder in the Philippines.

If you wish to be issued a Balikbayan Visa upon your entry to the Philippines, and are the husband of the former Philippine Citizen, it is advisable to carry with you your Marriage Certificate, showing proof of your marriage and eligibility to be issued a Balikbayan Visa. The Immigration authorities will not always ask for a Marriage Certificate, but have been known to do so at times. Again, if you are the child of a former Philippine Citizen, it would be advisable to carry a copy of your birth certificate, again to prove your eligibility to be issued a Balikbayan Visa.

If you are a former Philippine Citizen, having been naturalized in another country, you may want to consider re-acquiring your Philippine Citizenship through the Philippine Dual Citizenship law. By availing of the benefits of this law, you can be a citizen of both the country where you were naturalized and in the Philippines too. Once you re-acquire your Philippine Dual Citizenship you may stay in the Philippines for as long as you wish free of charge, and without the hassle of Visa renewals.

Once your Philippine Citizenship is re-established you can then petition your husband for permanent residency and obtain the ACR card for him. One he is approved, he will be on probation for one year's time, then a final interview and approval is done and the ACR become permanent and you renew it annually at the BI.

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Old 4th June 2014, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWrobes View Post
So Im confused as to the many different options as far as types of visas to get.

1. As many of you have advised here, it is easier to acquire an immigrant visa when one is married to a Filipino citizen. Since I am a naturalized US citizen, it does mean that I have to gain dual citizenship in order to petition my husband for an immigrant visa, correct?

2. And then I come to the PRA website and they offer all these Special Retirees Retirement visa with $$ deposits requirements, etc.

3. Are those 2 visas the same? If we plan on retiring and acquiring property, exactly which visa do we need?

I think that JetLag already answered your question. Just a quick note on the SRRV; I have one and I am glad that I got it. It does indeed tie up some money, but for me it is worth it. Also, the money can be used for PRA approved investments. Since I want to purchase another condo anyway, I can use that money towards the purchase.

A few pros:
1. Purchase of a one way ticket.
2. Never have to go to immigration.
3. They have offices scattered across the islands (most of the major cities). As an example, the local Baguio office that I use is one jeep ride and a 5 minute walk away from my residence.
4. Renewal takes 1 minute (they always have mine ready ahead of time because I inform them by email when I will drop by to pick it up.
5. You NEVER have to leave the country like you do for some of the other types of visas
6. PRA will assist you with certain government services (I have not done this yet and do not know how much if any it helps us out.

Cons:
1. Expensive (as already pointed out).
2. The renewal is $360 a year. I was lucky enough to get in before the hike and only pay $10 a year.

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Old 4th June 2014, 02:43 PM
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Thank you, all, for the quick replies. Obviously, I have a lot to consider when choosing which type of visa to get. I had initially thought that the SRRV's are the only choice I have (other than the tourist).

The things I do want to look for are (1) easy to process, preferably one that I can do abroad (NAIA or BI will be a nightmare) and (2) affordable for our family. I do have a spouse and 2 children under 11 yrs old.

Balikbayan and tourist visa are perhaps out of the question as we intend to stay longer than a few months/year.

SRRV's have a lot of pro's (tax exemption, etc), but Im not sure if the cost of the visa itself is worth the few hassles of an immigrant visa? The deposits alone, although can be used toward investments, are scary to look at, not to mention, the cost of the visa itself.

I may have to do a little more researching.

Thanks again everyone.

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Old 4th June 2014, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWrobes View Post
Thank you, all, for the quick replies. Obviously, I have a lot to consider when choosing which type of visa to get. I had initially thought that the SRRV's are the only choice I have (other than the tourist).

The things I do want to look for are (1) easy to process, preferably one that I can do abroad (NAIA or BI will be a nightmare) and (2) affordable for our family. I do have a spouse and 2 children under 11 yrs old.

Balikbayan and tourist visa are perhaps out of the question as we intend to stay longer than a few months/year.

SRRV's have a lot of pro's (tax exemption, etc), but Im not sure if the cost of the visa itself is worth the few hassles of an immigrant visa? The deposits alone, although can be used toward investments, are scary to look at, not to mention, the cost of the visa itself.

I may have to do a little more researching.

Thanks again everyone.

Good luck with your decision. Although I am not an expert by any means, if you decide to get the SRRV, let me know. I can give you some tips that will make the process much easier.

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Old 5th June 2014, 12:33 PM
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You can get the Balikbayan Visa, stay for 1 year, then go back to the BI and convert it to a Tourist visa.

As far as going for the SSRV, there are certain monetary things you have to meet and you also have to remember that if you have a lot of savings, you can't bring it all to the Philippines because of the limitations, otherwise you have to pay a big fee for any additional money possessed over the ceiling limit. It would be better to keep any large amount of savings in your bank in the USA and then, periodically, do a wire transfer to your established bank account here. There is another thread dealing with SSRV and I highly recommend that you read it.

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Old 8th June 2014, 11:46 AM
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Default IRS is watching you

IRS alert folks Lets not forget that if you have an account in your name YOU MUST REPORT it to the IRS if it is 10k or more. That includes investments (House Condos) The SRRV you must maintain over the 10,000 USD which is reportable.
If you add your name to your GF account it must be reported and if she becomes your wife again you must report it. Now having said all that does IRS know you have a bank account do they know you got married. That depends on you


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Old 8th June 2014, 12:43 PM
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Default Philippine Consulate US (controlling)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GWrobes View Post
So Im confused as to the many different options as far as types of visas to get.

1. As many of you have advised here, it is easier to acquire an immigrant visa when one is married to a Filipino citizen. Since I am a naturalized US citizen, it does mean that I have to gain dual citizenship in order to petition my husband for an immigrant visa, correct?

2. And then I come to the PRA website and they offer all these Special Retirees Retirement visa with $$ deposits requirements, etc.

3. Are those 2 visas the same? If we plan on retiring and acquiring property, exactly which visa do we need?
I'm not sure what state your in... but here's a short cut to the Philippine Consulate that controls your state, I would go for the 13a visa Non-Immigrant for husband and kids, in order to go for Quota Immigrant they will need to live here I think 10 years so you will have husband and kids apply for the Non-Immigrant Visa:

Embassy of the Philippines - Consulate Finder Map

Here's another short cut from the Philippine Consulate in Chicago, I used this one and they have a download file with all the forms in one spot, trouble is that the headers read "Chicago" are for the states that they perform functions for only, I have no idea why the Philippine Consulates don't standardize their forms, they have minor or slight differences:

http://www.chicagopcg.com/forms/newimmigrantform.pdf

If you still have your Philippine passport and it's up to date, if not the Philippine Consulate in the U.S. should be able to help you there, it's going to be so much easier to get things done in the US then here but the Philippine Bureau of Immigration in Manila has come a long ways since my first dealings with them.

There are (5) Philippine Consulates in the states and they will only take phone calls from the state they are authorized to work with, same with emails, all your documents will need to be verified through them, the short cut above has many of the procedures, some of the Philippine Consulates are harder to get a hold of like the one in DC, I do have that short cut if it applies to your state.... here's that form.

http://www.chicagopcg.com/forms/newimmigrantform.pdf

Philippine Bureau of Immigration has updated their website and it's not user friendly, I think they made it worse...LOL, what step back, I can't even find a picture of the I-Card, hows that possible dang...
simonsays and Asian Spirit like this.

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I am not a regulated immigration adviser. I am offering an opinion and not advice. Check here for professional help with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration PBI https://www.facebook.com/officialbureauofimmigration or Philippine Retirement Authority PRA for an SRRV Visa https://pra.gov.ph/contact/ Always stay alert and don't let your guard down.

Last edited by M.C.A.; 8th June 2014 at 12:55 PM.
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