Philippines Survival Guide
Save time, money & heartache by being informed.
Google Map to J Center Mall Immigration Office.. https://goo.gl/maps/bK1X6sFBeT62
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what is acr card??
Reekay i met you in dumaguete can i get my ECC at Manila airport befor i leave from Manila airport for visa run do i need a throw away ticket when i return thank you Reekay
Thanks again was helpful video and info took care of my immigration on day one at jmall stayed at the Toyoko inn which I am still currently at until Friday when I move into my apartment living in cebu now mandaue thanks
If I am flying back out to Hong Kong and back should I even worry about doing a extension until I get back or once I extend is it good still for when I return planning on leaving Feb 19,2019 to cebu but then fly to HK for one wk in March before my first 30days is up then after that worry about getting extension then file for my courtesy srrv pr. Or can I extend with a multiple entry clearance
your ticket to HK will serve as your ‘ongoing-ticket’, so no problem there since you’re leaving within 30-days. but you will need one when your return to the PH with intention to stay beyond 30-days. a flight from manila the KL can usually be had for about $50 or less.
BTW – if you arrive before JCentre mall opens, then the route to immigration office is a little different.
I am just about to extend my visa. Very helpful, Henry. Thanks a lot.
Hey guys is the immigration for Australia is now in JCentre mall Mandate??
the PH immigration office is/has been in J Center Mall, Mandaue. for any expat from any country to do their visa-extensions.
Can I get an exit clearance from bureau of immigration in that place?
if i remember correctly it was about 500 pesos. at one time you could pay another 1,000 pesos for ‘expedite’/same-day. they keep changing it. last time i was there this year it took 3 days. so go early and expect you may have to wait a few days.
@Reekay’s LifeBeyondTheSea oh okay thank you so much 😊 may I ask how long does it take to get it and how much does it cost? I was going there next month to get one this is my first time.
yes, the J-Center Immigration Center office can do it there. i’ve gotten 2 ECC’s in the past from there.
Nice…Glad you covered the ECC for the newbies because they’d have no idea they couldn’t board their outbound flight…I was denied boarding and had to forfeit a ticket because of it when this program was in its infancy (they stamp that you need it on the bottom page of your passport but you can’t read it as the ink is faded on their stamp)!!…Get The ECC 2 weeks before you fly out…I do the 6 month extension in Manila (I’m in Pampanga) and deal with them ONLY two times per year (Thank God for small favors)…At any rate great info for the newcomers…
Sir i had paid P2200+ for 30 days extendtion . how much the cost of my next 2months extension plus the acr card? I wish to stay here longer coz Philippines is a lovely place to live in.
Just renewed my visa another 2mths for P8200+ Express lane. Without express lane they told me must come 1week before visa expired. Without express lane a bit tricky coz 1 week anything can happen. So to play safe i just took up the express lane.
LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines thank you Sir
the next extension will be for 2 months and roughly the same price.. plus the fee for the ACR card. figure about 5500p or so.
I just had a Stein implanted in my left artery a month ago an planning to retire in Philippine. The Doctor prescribes me with blood thinner Medicine Briinta. Do you know if this medicine is available in Philippine or any other substitute one?
Thanks…Great information! I am really enjoying your channel.
glad to help. 🙂
Either “go straight” or “over there.” (1 kilometer away but OVER THERE) Where? “THERE.” Again a mile away.
“and then… do i go left, or right?” (answer).. “yes”. :/
GREAT VIDEO THUMBS UP
Watching your video I can now say I know where that is because I was there in August.
Hey Henry I am in Cebu staying at the Waterfront Hotel, if you have time would like to meet.
drop me a line at my FB and maybe we can work out a time.. 🙂 https://web.facebook.com/reekay.inph
I was curious if your here more than 6 months what happens if you have an emergency and have to leave the Philippines right away can you get an ecc at the airport
same price, 500p last time i got one at the office shown here.
Before I had learned that I needed an ECC clearance to leave the country, I had before arrived at the customs counter at the airport where the officer asked for my ECC clearance and I told him I did not have one. He told me that he would issue me the ECC there and the cost was P500, so I paid the fee and I was on my way. Im not sure what the BIR charges for the ECC.
i came in on a thursday, with a flight leaving that sunday, and they expedited mine. while i was there for this video, an expat (japanese) had a flight leaving the next day and they were making arrangements for him. so, if an emergency came up and you could show your itinerary, i’d say you have a good chance of getting it that day. (no guarantees)
Ok I’m gonna need a phone and phone service (Not sure any blogs on that?). What phone would you recommend? I’m gonna need that Mapsme app for sure. I watched Mike use that on his motorcycle. Got it on my iPhone with Philippines loaded on it but I’m still gonna need a phone.
Also we’re gonna be staying for 4 months on balikbayan privilege but I’d like to get an ACR card. Can I do that and how?
Also would like to get my Philippine DL. Can I do that as well?
Great point on ECC after 6 month stay. I wondered what the threshold was.
Don Jenny & Asia
you can get an ACR after your 59th day in-country, not a problem. just don’t mention you already have balikbayan status, that may confuse/complicate matters. the driver’s license, it seems they either want an expat to have an SRRV or show proof of having stayed long. (passport stamps) as for phone, there are SO many phone stores in the malls that a decent smartphone can be had for $80-$100 usd. (android) my phone even picks up local TV stations, but i never use the function. does everything i need and was only about $110 usd.
What if coming for a vacation fot 32, days from uk…cos ino they only give you 30 days
You can likely get a 59 day visa from the Philippines embassy/consulate in the UK before you leave
technically, you’d be on ‘overstay’ those other 2 days. to avoid a notation on your immigration status, best to just get the extension to be safe.
Hi ! s that the right application form for Visa extension ?? bi forms no. TVS-CGAF-VE-2016 ??
Supra fast answer ! thanks for that. We intend to stay in Dumaguete at 2018. I try to get all he information we need to stay without any stress. We start for house hunting on side.
they will give you the most recent version of the form when you arrive at the office. currently, that looks like the right one. you can always check for the latest version online here; http://www.immigration.gov.ph/downloads/application-forms
what is acr card?
an ACR card (Alien Certificate of Registration) is a card that is mandatory to get at the 59th day of renewal for stay in the PH. it is basically your biodata (age, height, address, phone #, etc.) for an official record. the cost is included into your 2nd Tourist Visa renewal, about $80 or so and has to be renewed each year. if you want to get a PH bank account, you will first need to physically have this card. it usually shows up about 3-4 weeks after you apply for it.
You can get 6 months extension for the same price as 2 months you just have to ask for it.
Aloha,Herny. Great information, anyword on the Philippines Presdent changing the visa on the USA?
that was just a passing, flippant remark he made. nothing has changed at all on tourist visas.
Thanks for vid Henry… I live in Talisay city, on the south side of Cebu City… I use MyBus to SM Seaside (25p), and take another MyBus to SM City (25p), I then take a taxi to J-centre (100p)… I did get the six month extension… I went through all kind of steps to fulfill the requirements noted in the BIR web-site to acquire my ACR or I-card as the Filippino’s refer to it… When I went to the office for the ACR, they told me I don’t need the application, photo’s or anything, and unbeknownst to me, I had already paid fee’s for my ACR card in the previous 2 month extension I had processed… I was surprised… Anyway, the R/T from Talisay City to J-centre is a grand total of 300p or $6… MyBus is very useful…. The issue I am having now is acquiring my PH drivers license… They will not issue one with my ACR card stating visitor on the front… In the past I had heard it was such a simple process, but that has apparently changed… The only reason I can see for this, is to force you to apply for a SRRV, or Military Courtesy Retirement visa, which both cost money a person might not necessarily have… Ned discussed this on one of his live telecasts… It seems that it is inconsistent, as some commenters said they just acquired one, and some had the same problem I had… It was different in the many different locations one goes…. Again thanks for the Video… Good luck in your travels…
part of it is due to the inconsistency between LTO offices from various islands, but most will not give a driver’s license if it says ‘Visitor/Tourist’ on the ACR card. some expats got a license by using a ‘fixer’ (someone who knows somebody in the office, getting paid under the table to make the license happen).
U enjoying yourself so far! Plenty adventure ahead for u . Godspeed
yes, it’s been quite the ongoing adventure.
Security wondering what you were doing at 4:37
yah, i noticed them when filming. same happened at mall in cdo. people take selfies all the time in the mall. for some reason using a cam it gets more attention.
When I’m in a place I’ve never been I always follow my progress on Google map. They done away with the express lane fee in Iloilo but if you want your passport the same day you’ll pay 1000php to a travel agency
Henry, you dont mention if they are still making you come back to collect your extension. They had started to make you return in 3 or 4 days to collect your passport with extension, not just the ECC. There is also a BI office in Gaisano mall over in Mactan which is usually much quieter and faster, this is the one i use now, also easier to get to from where i am in Tayud.
yes, ever since they did away with the mandatory ‘express fee’, now all extensions (and ECC) take about 4-5 days before ready for pick-up. they give you a receipt with the date on it. i went in on the 24th and my receipt said to come back on the 30th. (6 days, due to the weekend). i remember when the satellite office opened at Mactan. yes, not as much foot traffic there so for extensions it’s a good alternative.
It’s a pleasure to watch your videos. Informative and helpful as usual…thank you.
thanks. more on the way. 🙂
can you explain what is an ACR card? my wife and i have a house near cebu and we go there 3 to 4 month in winter. she is filipina, before we were married i just extend,, no ACR? now of corse i get a balikbayan stamp good for a year.
so what is ACR? thanks!
ok? i never got one of those and was never asked in the past and stayed over 59 days, that was before i was married, now i get a 1 year stamp,, so im really confused, no one have ever asked or have i had any problem???
Got it Rick 👍🏽
One thing I have found when dealing with public/gov’t services in the Philippines is that you can make an impression by how you are dressed. Back in the day I went to the BI in Mandaue City – not the mall location, though – and my wife insisted that I dress in what I would describe as “business casual”. Essentially, don’t show up looking like you are either on your way to or just came from, the beach. When we got into the facility, it was packed. I figured we would be there for several hours at least. Looking around the room, however, most people were dressed in shorts and sandals/flip-flops etc. At that moment I heard someone shout “KUYA!” and I looked over at a counter where a BI employee was waving us over. He took us upstairs and sat us in a room that had air-con. He did all of the photocopies and such and filled out all of the paperwork for me. I simply had to pay the fees and sign the documents. I also told him to “keep the change” from the cash I handed him, which was only a couple hundred pesos. At no time did he ask for money nor did he imply that I should pay him or tip him for this extra service. Less than a half hour after arriving, we were in a taxi heading back to Cebu City.
I think that public servants in the Phils feel that you are showing them respect by dressing up just a little. You should have seen the look on the faces of those that were waiting to have their paperwork done as my wife and I walked out of that place, my visa extension freshly stamped and signed in my passport.
It’s a small thing, but I think it’s worth doing. If nothing else, you show a bit of respect for them even if you don’t get any kind of preferential service.
I found that also helps in general everyplace for me being someone covered with tattoos. I recently came back from honk Kong again when I shop and want to be left alone I wear normal clothes but then when ready to buy I dress up same goes if I check into a hotel like the regal my service is completely different but same goes for USA also but some places less since alot are not getting use to people with tats exspecially if retired military.
Craig Hartel I experienced the same here in Manila.
nice tip! very logical idea.
A very good informative video. I also picked up “11 in the afternoon”… Maybe the Filipino way?
Henry, I was just wondering how your videos are doing? By that I mean are your videos being flagged as advertiser unfriendly like many other are? These videos that other vloggers are posting are totally harmless too just like yours. Looking forward to your journey! thanks.
hasn’t been an issue for me. but i have heard it’s been an issue on other channels.
‘It’s about 11 in the afternoon right now’. Nice one Reekay.
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