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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone

I have just joined the forum and look forward to being an active member.

I am planning to fly to the Philippines to stay in Luzon on extended tourist visa and have a few questions. At present I am in Phnom Penh furiously packing. I could wade through a lot of threads for advice but I think all questions in one thread would be better. If you could provide answers or even links to threads giving answers I would be eternally grateful.

1. Which is best - visa on arrival or apply at Embassy here in Phnom Penh?

2. I am suffering from osteoarthritis meaning I cannot walk very far and have to use walking stick. I will be staying with people who will care for me so living there would not be a problem for me but would it raise eyebrows with the authorities.

3. Must I purchase a ticket out of Philippines before arrival? If so any suggestions to keep cost down appreciated.

4. I am sending clothes and household items by shippers to Manila, are these subject to import duty?

5. I receive a UK pension and initially will have it sent to my partners bank. what is the difficulty in opening a bank account in the Philippines?

6. Is there anything else I must be aware of before my leaving date in 4 weeks time?

Thanking you all in advance....
 

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Hello everyone

I have just joined the forum and look forward to being an active member.

I am planning to fly to the Philippines to stay in Luzon on extended tourist visa and have a few questions. At present I am in Phnom Penh furiously packing. I could wade through a lot of threads for advice but I think all questions in one thread would be better. If you could provide answers or even links to threads giving answers I would be eternally grateful.

1. Which is best - visa on arrival or apply at Embassy here in Phnom Penh?

2. I am suffering from osteoarthritis meaning I cannot walk very far and have to use walking stick. I will be staying with people who will care for me so living there would not be a problem for me but would it raise eyebrows with the authorities.

3. Must I purchase a ticket out of Philippines before arrival? If so any suggestions to keep cost down appreciated.

4. I am sending clothes and household items by shippers to Manila, are these subject to import duty?

5. I receive a UK pension and initially will have it sent to my partners bank. what is the difficulty in opening a bank account in the Philippines?

6. Is there anything else I must be aware of before my leaving date in 4 weeks time?

Thanking you all in advance....
Hi micass, welcome to the group, there is good info here if you care to trawl as I have done for years as have others, things change though and for up to date/current regulations one asks as you have done.
For up to date requirements you are best to check with the PH Immigration site first. If you are suddenly planning (it appears so) a long term stay in the Philippines, another country without any research and need time to digest info on this and other sites then simply arrive with your throw away exit ticket, the cheapest one you can buy to fulfil your obligations and you get 30 days free, as a tourist, day 28 or 29 go to Intramuros immi if you are in Manila and extend your tourist visa for a further 6 months, I believe you can do this and stay for up to 3 years providing you keep renewing your visa before exiting and returning the next day, visa run and then start again for the next 3 years. Others may add to this. Yes you have to have a return flight or onward ticket or they probably won't let you on the flight to PH from your departure country.

Bank accounts? Good luck as there are many requirements. It took 4 attempts for us to secure/open 2 accounts with BDO even though I had the ACR1, a 12 month lease on a condo, electricity bills, a Filipino partner, not married etc. Success came with an appointment with the manager, a task in itself. (a thinker unlike the drones behind the counters) of other BDO branches,,,,,, the fourth by now. Again others will offer advice and many experiences.

Question 2 is interesting, from my perspective spending lots of time there no one will bat an eyelid at a government level with your disability, only my opinion. There are agents available to extend your visa saving you the trouble at a cost, personally I enjoyed and learnt more fronting up myself for extensions and in my days that was every 59 days.

Question 4 is open, how much are you sending? Balkbayan boxes or a container load? Personally these are things that I have looked into many times for years and one needs to be careful, vigilant and observe the many requirements and obligations not to mention the brown paper bags.
Given what appears to be a speedy arrival by yourself and little research there could be a costly can of worms opened and it appears advice and research is too late as you are shipping already.

Question 6 Go with the tourist visa unless you are married to a Pinay (there is the 13a) and if so your learning would be done and complete,,,,,,,, lol, mostly.
Any thing else? Plenty and then more, not trying to paint a dark picture but I and I am sure others would suggest that in the next 4 weeks instead of turning on the TV; turn on the computer and investigate your future in a foreign land.

Not wanting to appear cynical but for myself I would not wish to rock up in Paris or Phnom Penh without research to firstly find out if it could be affordable and suitable.

Good luck micass and I am sure we all wish you well and will offer opinions when asked.

Cheers, Steve.
 

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5. worries me, I'd keep the bulk of your money in the UK and wire it to yourself, Xoom, Western Union etc. Or use a debit card in the many ATMs. I certainly wouldn't be paying it into someone elses account.
Sounds like this is the least of the worries but worthy and should be considered but I and I may be wrong given little info from the OP that there are worthier issues afoot considering that only a pension being paid to a what, partners/recipients account, that can easily be terminated, little or no knowledge of why such a quick uninformed move to another country regardless of the country with what appears to be be little investigation sounds like what? A life change? I need to get out of here? Or simply I met a lovely lady and I want to be with her. Mostly suppositions and until micass elaborates if he/she dares then it is all guesses based on the original post.

Yep as you say Gary be careful and don't get burnt. Over to the OP.

Cheers, Steve.
 

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Hi Micass,
Welcome.

1. You can just arrive, no need for a Visa. You will be given 30 days exemption. After this you need to go to your local Bureau of immigration, where you can extend another 29 days.
After this, you can return every 2 months to extend. The staff there can advise you further.

2. I don't see how your condition would raise any eyebrows. Lots of elderly expats being cared for by their Filipina partners here!

3. You do need to buy a plane ticket. You can look at flights to Indonesia, Malaysia, or other Asian countries. Cebu Pacific, Air Asia and Tiger are some of the cheap carriers. Just play with dates and destinations until you find a cheap flight, book a one-way ticket, print out the booking confirmation/receipt, and show it when you check in.

4. It used to be easy to send balikbayan boxes and avoid duties but since 1 August only Filipinos can send boxes duty free (at least this is my understanding). Apparently you must show your passport when sending and must provide an itemized list. I'm not sure what will now happen, but if you are sending used clothes and other personal belongings it may well still be duty free. Don't include taxable items such as chocolates, perfumes etc or you may be charged a hefty import fee.

5. It's not easy to open a bank account whilst on a tourist visa. If I need to send money from my UK bank account, I use BCRemit (website). They charge a few pounds and can transfer to any Philippines bank account or even deliver to your door. That will be much better than using your UK bank card, which will cost you a lot each time you withdraw money.

6. I would do as much research as I could in the next 4 weeks. Give yourself some time to get settled once you arrive. If you get too hot, go to the mall. Keep an eye on Pagasa website for typhoon warnings. Don't drink tap water.
I hope you have a great time here.

What part of Luzon will you be staying in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Many thanks Steve,

I will be staying near Malasiqui in a compound full of my partners family. We have been together for 14 years and lived in Brunei (where we met), followed by 11 years in Thailand and now in Cambodia. She is very trustworthy and has proven it over the years so I have no worries regarding the bank issue. I have been to the Phils before so I am not totally without experience and already spent holidays with family etc. loved it and did not want to leave ... hehe. Looking forward to living there. Thanks so much for advice, will follow where relevant. Also using Balikbayan for shipment but glad of advice for her to do paperwork etc!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi GaryD

Thanks for message, please read my previous reply to Steve. Thanks for the caution though!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dear All

I think I need to say a group thankyou. Your welcome and greetings are so kind and I am glad I joined the forum. Collectively you have answered all my questions, some with extreme detail. I am very grateful. I look forward to maybe conversing with you more in future and look forward to living in Phils. Bless you all for your kindness, I am overwhelmed!!
 

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Micass, the members are here for all and give when they can and though my input and others may appear cynical, and others complimentary there is love and experience shared. Given your last post to me I can only say that you have been around the block many times more than myself (only 6 years partnered to a Pinoy) but have to ask? Is your wife/lady/partner Filipino? I/We gather this is the case. If so with considerations to your partners homeland what have the pair of you been doing with regards to questions/research into the Philippines and doctrines over the last 14 years and potentially living there?

After only 6 years I am still frustrated by antiquated laws, corruption and the socialy accepted norms but retire there we will but with eyes wide open security and knowledge in place

Gods speed to you micass and I am sure you will enjoy.

Cheers, Steve.

Personally I take an interest with everything Filipino, family, law and sadly politics as it is relevant to me/us and where we will retire/settle.
 

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Hi Micass. Malasiqui is very close to my partner's place. We moved down to Pampanga for work but I know lots of expats around Carmen, Urdaneta and Dagupan.
We head back to Pangasinan once a month or so. Happy to introduce you to the other expats I know in the area. Feel free to PM me once you've settled in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Bless you Steve and thankyou for your post. Happily I can say for once on a forum I sense no cynicism at all just pure, frank, honest advice and I am so grateful to have found this forum. I am well seasoned here in the far east and understand many can fall foul of laws, customs etc but I learnt a long time ago to wrap myself with 'good' people and steer clear of the 'others', I think you understand what I mean. I look forward to meeting you at some time and sharing experiences over a beer or two. YES, my girl is Filipino and a diamond!! Mike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Hi Simon. Thankyou for your invite to PM on arrival and settlement and this is what I will surely do. Your offer to introduce other expats is heartwarming and makes me more confident I have made the correct choice. I will keep you all posted on progress and events!! Mike.
 

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Hi Micass,
Welcome.


4. It used to be easy to send balikbayan boxes and avoid duties but since 1 August only Filipinos can send boxes duty free (at least this is my understanding). Apparently you must show your passport when sending and must provide an itemized list. I'm not sure what will now happen, but if you are sending used clothes and other personal belongings it may well still be duty free. Don't include taxable items such as chocolates, perfumes etc or you may be charged a hefty import fee.
I sent a balikbayan box to my fiancée in Pasig on August 27 from Australia was filled with chocolate, food stuff, toys and a few other things this was with BM Express, no passport was asked for and only a short list of items in the box was needed, my fiancée received the box on September 6 with no problems. The agent that picked up the box did say that some rules had changed but I still am not sure what those rules are.

Roger
 

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Gary,
Keep the bulk of your money in the UK. Just wire enough money to last you 3 years because on a Tourist Visa you need to exit the country after 3 years.
I heard stories about once your money is here, it's hard to transfer out say, back to the UK. I keep the bulk of my money in Hong Kong where I used to work. I wired over enough money to live on for 3 years since I'm here on a Tourist Visa. At the end of 3 years, I fly to Hong Kong to do my banking. Then I re-enter the Philippines to start the 3 years process again. It seems to work out fine........ going on my 5th year here.

Good luck
 

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moving to Luzon

Hello everyone

I have just joined the forum and look forward to being an active member.

I am planning to fly to the Philippines to stay in Luzon on extended tourist visa and have a few questions. At present I am in Phnom Penh furiously packing. I could wade through a lot of threads for advice but I think all questions in one thread would be better. If you could provide answers or even links to threads giving answers I would be eternally grateful.

1. Which is best - visa on arrival or apply at Embassy here in Phnom Penh?

2. I am suffering from osteoarthritis meaning I cannot walk very far and have to use walking stick. I will be staying with people who will care for me so living there would not be a problem for me but would it raise eyebrows with the authorities.

3. Must I purchase a ticket out of Philippines before arrival? If so any suggestions to keep cost down appreciated.

4. I am sending clothes and household items by shippers to Manila, are these subject to import duty?

5. I receive a UK pension and initially will have it sent to my partners bank. what is the difficulty in opening a bank account in the Philippines?

6. Is there anything else I must be aware of before my leaving date in 4 weeks time?

Thanking you all in advance....
You may have left already, but I have been in Luzon (La Union) for 2 months, I have just restarted reading this forum. It is a great spot and I am sure you will enjoy it.
I would go via Visa on arrival and then renew again just before 30 days is up. After that you can get 6 months at a time.
Banks a/cs are a problem as they want to establish your long term stay. Probably not get one until you get ACR card after 1st renewal. I had a long lease and got it via that.
You will not be charged any duty on your personal and used goods,
You will soon be very frustrated with mobile and internet charges, they are outrageous. Apart from that, all is good.
I have severe back issues so getting about is also a problem, jeepneys and trikes (bikes with a sidecar) are horrible to get in and out of. I bought a car.
Hope this helps.
 

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Just a side issue, how did you find Vietnam. I have been there 2 many years ago and then earlier this year after a long break. I liked it but not Saigon. Had a great 1.5 weeks in Vung Tau. Language difficulties were the only minus we encountered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi everyone, arrived OK. Everything seamless and using your collective advice it was a success.

Safely ensconced in house. One big problem is flies. In UK had a product called "Vapona" which killed all as soon as they arrived in room. Is there anything similar here? Got spray but it is not efficient, got mosquito net but cannot hide under forever. Advice will be greatly appreciated.

Once again, thankyou so much for yoiur input and advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just a side issue, how did you find Vietnam. I have been there 2 many years ago and then earlier this year after a long break. I liked it but not Saigon. Had a great 1.5 weeks in Vung Tau. Language difficulties were the only minus we encountered.
Had two trips to Vung Tau via HCMC for business. Loved it and locals so friendly. Fortunately had no difficulties with english. Found out though that in Viet oil and gas they had Russian as second language!!.
 
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