Philippines Immigration: 2 Things To Know For Long-Term Stays

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  1. oh man, I’m so happy to have fond this channel again. I lost my previous account some time ago, and I could not for the life of me remember the name, until it hit me, just today.
    …Strange how the mind works

    But anyway, I’ve always enjoyed your content very much.
    And since I will be making my first trip to the php in just a few days I know it will be very useful to watch.

  2. Who owns the planet Earth. God, he didn’t say or mention anything passports or ECC. Who owns the outer galaxies God. Not dictators.

    1. wrong. it’s not ‘my’ interpretation. it is stated clearly in the bible right here. if you are going to bring up God, you should know first what the bible says; Romans 13:1-2 says: “Obey the government, for God is the One who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the law of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.”

    2. @Reekay’s LifeBeyondTheSea That’s your interpretation. No place for dictators. People EVERYONE get what they ask for.

    3. no, but God did say to obey the authorities of the land. so if governments require a passport, either comply or don’t travel.

  3. I received my ECC at Clark airport on the day of my flight. I had asked immigration in Angeles and that was what I was instructed to do.

  4. I’m sure you answered this before on another one of your videos I’m kind of curious if you get married over there find a woman that you fall in love with and get married and stay married to her do you need to keep on getting extensions on your passport or what

    1. yes, the expat can apply and get an SRRV spousal visa. once obtained it makes it for savings on the usual tourist renewals.

  5. They do it in Surigao City Philippines, down from the airport at the gaisano mall up on second floor look right corner, looking straight ahead look just right in to the corner there is the office.

  6. Reekay what do you do if the visa upon entry requires a return ticket within 30 days of your entry but you want to stay longer. Do you reschedule your return trip?

    1. ph-immigration does not require a ‘return ticket’, only an ‘onward ticket’.

      so you can just buy a cheap ticket that leaves the PH (example; manila to hong kong) within 30-days and show that to immigration when you enter. (you do not have to actually fly this flight.)

      then.. extend your tourist-visa prior to the end of the 30-days.


  8. So if a passport with 6 months or less is now useless, why not just make a passport good for 9-1/2 years? What good is the extra 6 months?

    1. @Reekay’s LifeBeyondTheSea And it can be used as a coaster to put your cup on. It just can’t be used for it’s primary purpose: to travel outside the US. If it’s primary purpose is removed, then it’s highly crippled. Maybe useless was not exactly right, but those other minor purposes aren’t really why you bought it.

    2. why are you assuming it’s, “useless” after 9.5 months? it can still be used for ID purposes and for air-travel back to your home-country.

      the reason immigration wants at least 6-months validity on the passport is so that the expat is not living in the country without a valid passport. 6-months gives him enough time to get a replacement from the nearest embassy.

  9. Thanks for the great information. You sure help out a lot providing great information for those that need it

  10. You can still travel with less than six months validity IF you are taking a direct flight to your home country (the country of the passport). All immigration officers know that you do not have minimum amount of time left on your passport to return home, unlike if you have a transit enroute. You are perfectly correct that if you need to renew, then its a good idea to do it about nine months before your present passport expires. Also any time left on the present passport will be added to your new passport.

  11. 13-A I’m coming in from America Philippines my wife I plan to live down there in the Philippines do you see any problems with that.Thank you

  12. I have an SRRV and I have 12 years to retire. Is the SRRV worth it
    for me to have, now? And if not, how do I get rid of it for
    later, when I do retire?

  13. I was told in the Iloilo office that I had to show my outbound ticket before I could get the ECC. I know in Philippines different offices have different rules, And sometimes they Just make up the rules as they go along.

    1. yah… first time i needed an ECC, i talked to the immigration branch on bohol. the officer behind the window told me i had to go to manila for that.

      it turned out they simply didn’t know what they were talking about and made something up rather than say, “i don’t know, but let me find out.” that’s a phrase you will almost never hear in the PH.

      so, after a bit more inquiry i found out i could get my ECC at cebu. otherwise i’d have flown to manila based on bad info… straight from the source.

  14. I enjoyed your content and really appreciate your straightforward delivery. I am moving to The Philippines for good next year, I had an experience this year that sort of surprised me, I went to BDO in IloIlo to open an account, they said I need an ARC before they could open an account, that being an Alien Resident Card. I would be willing to pay for a consult with you at some point if thats ok. I have watched many things on getting extended visa. I plan to go there an not return., thanks sharing your info.

  15. Its only for all foreigners that visiting here in philippines

    1. having a valid passport applies to visiting any foreign country.

  16. you should let people know about this Tourist Visa (Pleasure or Business) — 9(a) Visa up to 12 months

  17. Hey Reekay, quick question. Im in California with a US passport. Do I need a tourist visa to travel to the Philippines? If so, where can I go to apply? Thanks buddy…….

  18. I am considering retiring in the Philippines this June. My two kids with be coming with me. About every 2 months I will return to the United States to check on my investments for just a few days. When leave for my trips, do I have to take my kids with me or do they have to exit the country with me? The will be have a caretaker of course. Also you have a great channel. Thank for all you effort.

  19. I always 4 times in a row…got it right preboarding at Manila. I get it as I going to board. ECC

    1. What if you leave the country with your new passport and come back and start as new ?

  20. I am looking at retiring there as an American disabled vet and have some questions. Can a person my age get a retirement visa (i’m 42) and how is it different than a tourist visa? I am also looking at leasing land for 25 years and i have done some checking on how to do this. I do have family through my brother there (distant family yes) but i want to get into specialized farming specifically aquaponics (fish water feeding a hydroponics system for growing plants). I do plan on finding a good woman there and want to build a future for anyone in the family including children. Im not rich by American standards but have a major background in construction and engineering (i have researched the building style there and have adapted my designs to this). The aquaponic system is just the starting point to help fund all the other farming i have plans for. basically i have a 10 year plan for setting up one hector of land to sustain (feed and water) up to 50 people. this includes harder (higher price fruit and Veggies like grapes) and animals like pigs, chickens, goats and so on. i grew up on a farm in the united states and have studied not just raising animals and crops but the processing of much of it to. Im hoping to set up a small winery and smoking meat like ham with apple wood one of the fruits i plan on raising. apples need replanting every 5-8 years to keep production up and ill have the old wood for smoking. doing all this will make it possible to help my family that i build with work and food. after i have the first harvesting going i also plan on setting up a store to send my products to (may also find stores looking for my products to sell at first). my last question is, do you think my plans are viable for me?… thank you, you can contact me via this is the email ill be using after i move and is not used much yet

  21. Excuse me ? But why is it so good to live in a country that is terrorising the EXPATS with clear INTENTIONAL bureaucracy ? This YouTube (Together with the ” Bullet in a suitcase ” video ) was the ” final straw ” for me , I am looking for another place . Maybe Vietnam ? More expensive , but maybe nicer to its expats ?

    1. @Reekay’s LifeBeyondTheSea Thank you for allowing me to open my eyes ! You are the best one out there who is IMPARCIAL. You are only talking , but what you say is really important . The rest of the YouTubes out there are fooling the subscribers.

    2. until the PH gets their act together, more and more future expats will come to the same conclusion. a country either makes itself “tourist friendly” in real terms or it fails to do so. no amount of tourist-board slogans will change that.

  22. Great info Reekay, and transfer stamp info was news to me. Had recently gotten my new renewed passport, and as an expat permanent resident holder and also needed the transfer stamp to show my permanent visa stamp from my old passport. Thanks to you I used the services of Olvis to acquire this transfer stamp. Took three weeks and was a very reasonable cost compared to going to Manila. Thanks for all your valuable info. Your topics a very timely and informative!

    1. @Reekay’s LifeBeyondTheSea Also I didn’t mention that I just made it on my old passport as it was very close to 9 months but I wasn’t aware/worried about addressing it yet. Thanks to you I was able to get over to Waterfront and get that done. Thanks again Reekay!

  23. When you are in the Philippines as an ex Pat is all about how much money they can actually suck out of your pocket nothing is made easy I honestly believe they don’t even like ex pats down there but they love the ex pats money

  24. Hi. Can you help me to apply Philippines visa. If you can give me immigration information or even the contact to immigration near you

  25. Excellent show, I never heard of a transfer stamp was never told by immagration that one is needed thank you much for the heads up.

  26. Hey Reekay – hope you remember me (Bruce McClarron / from AZ)….. We had dinner together in Dumaguete about 2 yrs ago!! Hope you are doing well on your travels around the Phils! I have a question for you about Bacolod! Have you visited there yet? Plse email me at and we can chat!! Tks in advance for your anticipated coop and I hope to hear from you soon!! Best 4 now!!

    1. hi bruce, how’s AZ? my youngest son just moved there a few months ago. as for bacolod, i only passed through it on the bus returning from boracay, so i didn’t see much from the window. i have seen some videos by other expats on the place, i was thinking i’d move there after dumaguete at one point. but everyone i spoke with seemed a bit unexcited about it. they do have the Maskara Festival, which is a huge event every year. but as for the city layout, night life, things to do, the rest of the year… i haven’t heard much that compelled me to go. i do know quite a few filipina’s i’ve known left bacolod to live in dumaguete, so i guess they preferred Duma. but maybe someone here has lived there and could give more info on it.

    2. RE: Bacolod…..If anyone else has been there – then plse feel free to also email me, as I have questions about decent rental accommodation + monthly charges in that city!! I would appreciate hearing from anyone on this issue! Tks in advance for your coop!! Best…Bruce

  27. I learned this the hard way processing this for my mother what a BIG HEADACHE not clearing all these requirements. Another great vid bro!

  28. ECC is no problem in Baguio City. I don’t need to update my passport for awhile but you got me thinking. I presently have a 13a Permanent Residency Visa, these never have to be updated according to immigrations. If I decide to leave the country on vacation but have a new passport. Will I need to get the transfer stamp and my new passport stamped again with the 13a Permanent Residency Visa? I also have a yellow ACR-I card that also proves I am a Permanent Resident of the Philippines.

    1. Baguio City Dreaming : I am in the exact situation as yourself, is it necessary to have the new pp re-stamped with the 13a visa ? If other over-the-top stuff is anything to go by, you can probably bet it has to be done ! It wld also generate more income for the benevolent Phil. Govt?

  29. After you leave the Philippines on an ECC are we able to return to the Philippines?

  30. I usually extend my visa at a satellite office near Bayombong. This year is the first time I will be staying over 6 months. It sounds like I will have to get my ECC in Manila (8 hours drive) well before my departure date. This is a lot of extra expense and time. I will check to see if this satellite office can issue an ECC but thanks for the information.
    Also I got my ACR card last year with my visa extension but I dont really understand what it is used for. Does it give me any privileges for future visas?

    1. at the same immigration office you get your visa renewals. same form, just check the box at 59 days that says ACR registration.

    2. the ACR card is required after 59 days in-country. it’s useful if you want to open a bank account, but it’s not used for much other than you being in their ‘system’ as a registered alien. but it is mandatory and roughly $70 in addition to your usual visa extension fees.

  31. another great one! I think of my “10 year passports” as a “9.4 year passport”. But I’ve had 2 for a few years now. Very convenient.

    1. @John Kidd this is not true. US citizens are allowed to have 2 passports. It’s not uncommon among first-generation Americans actually.

    2. But illegal to have 2 passports. If they check the numbers you could be in trouble both at home and abroad. Be careful.

  32. Ty very informative. Just one question what if im married to a Philippine lady hows does this effect me.

    1. if you get the balikbayan visa you won’t need the ECC, if less than 18 months stay, from what i’ve heard. but best to check with your local immigration office when you apply for the balikbayan visa.

  33. 2 things wrong Reekay, i renew my passport 3 months before it was expired, no problems, and second, i went to Immigration with my 2 pasports and i get my extension stamp, no transfer stamp needed.
    I,am talking about tourist visa, and i live in Davao city.

    1. It’s been my experience… Every clerk… May do something differently… And it will go through… The same can be said for different offices.. Have a great day.

  34. After receiving your exit clearance and departing the Philippines, is one day (in another country) enough time away to then return back to the Philippines? Also, on your return flight, do you need to show another (departing) throw away ticket? Thank you for your reply.

    1. @Reekay’s LifeBeyondTheSea A lot of this is great information. But what is a throwaway ticket? And how do we get a balikbayan visa? Can you get that in the States before leaving for the Philippines. Thank you.

    2. yes, unless you enter with your filipina wife under a balikbayan visa.. 1 day out of country is sufficient and you begin like you first did, with a throwaway (onward) ticket.

  35. If you have a Retirement Visa you don’t need an ECC. You are exempt.

    1. i’ve only seen maybe 2 videos. not enough to form an opinion on it yet.

  36. thanks Reekay,,, did the transfer stamp a year ago here in Cebu…. The exit clearance applies to those who have stayed for 6 continuous months but if your stay is under a year you can just show up at the airport and pay for the clearance. I just did that this past June.

  37. I went on the 4th of October to Cebu for my ECC in the J Center Mall. Got there at 8 am and had my ECC by 11:30 am. A little over 3 hours. Cost 500 pesos.

  38. Man, your good. always full of good info. one day I hope to thank you in person. I’ll be in MoalBoal for 6 months starting this January, maybe then eh.

    1. Yes its needed sir if u got a new passport ,while ur staying here..

  39. Thanks for the info, you are the go to for my immigration issues, thanks for what you do.

  40. I just completed 6 months in the Philippines and did not need an exit clearance when I went to the US a few weeks ago. The Bureau of Immigration office has the requirements for who need one posted on the wall. It is not clear if the Balikbayan visa holder needs one. Two BI offices told me I didn’t need one. I arrived at the airport early and Korean air reps went to Immigration and asked for me (can’t see Immigration til I’m checked in). They told me I need one and can get it after check in is completed. After 5 hours waiting Immigration told us no need for Exit Clearance for me. BTW, I have the BB visa stamp.

    1. That’s right
      If you happen to go through immigration in Cebu you probably want to have your wife ask the agents which line she should go in (Filipino or foreigner). They should direct her to Filipino line and you get to tag along for the Balikbayan visa. I think it’s a normal stamp with “BB” handwritten over it. Double check before you leave immigration that this was done. Not sure how it’s done in NAIA but it must be similar. This can save 45 minutes in line.

    2. I’ll be traveling to Cebu this December for 6/7 months, with my Filipina wife ( who has dual citizenship), so I’ll be getting the Balikbayan Visa stamped in my passport which is good for one year, so I don’t think I’ll need this ECC, right?

  41. Can you please spell out the name of the travel agency? I heard Ovis. Do they have a web site?

  42. 3:52 … ECC…”if you are in Leyte you should go to Manila” ?!! why not to Cebu as the same as from Bohol ? Cannot understand why Manila. Very easy to take a trip to Cebu and back , with a supercat or a Cocalion line ferry overnight..

  43. Great advice on the near expiration problems with an aging passport, I never knew that.

    1. yes, they do visa-renewals and the ACR can be done with it on the 59th day of stay.

  44. Any big City in the Philippines has Bureau of Immigration Office for sure especially the in the Capital Cities of any Provinces.

    1. @John Kidd you have BI office in bagio and Clark that are much closer to you than Manila.

    2. Not true. I stay in Bayombong, capital of a province but closest immigration office is 8 hour drive in Manila.

    3. yes, although many offices are “satellite offices” and only offer limited services.

  45. Man your channel Is a good help,and one of my favorite, thanks for those advice

  46. Good stuff, also my last time out, because I’d been here over a year I had to pay about an extra 1200 fee at the airport in Manila, to exit and that was after I had my exit visa.

  47. Does leaving, and reentering the Philippines restart the 6 months? Also, do you know how this affect retirement visa holders? Thanks, Al

    1. i’m saying that your passport and your SRRV visa are 2 separate items. an SRRV visa holder will need an ECC if they have been in the PH more than 18 months, but not if in-country for less than that. the 6-months apply to those with a tourist-visa.

    2. Meaning you won’t need an EC to exit the PI’s if you went to , say, Hong Kong for even a day, and then returned? Thanks again, Al

    3. leaving/reentering the PH has no affect on your home-country passport expiration. it only affects your PH tourist visa. those with an SRRV can enter/exit, but from what i understand, only need an ECC if they have stayed more than 18 months continuous in the PH. otherwise, not needed for lesser stays, for those with an SRRV.

  48. Great video with very good information. On another topic, if one is viswiting the PH and already knows that he wants to stay for perhaps 2 months, can he apply for an exten with immigration when he first arrives at the airport? I have heard that one can get the 30 day visa and then go to Immigration and ask for an extension say to expire in 59 days straight away. Please advise.

    1. No they give u 30 days on arrival then 29 days only then can u get 6 month extentions they wont do it in first 2 months

    2. i’ve heard the same thing from several expats. also, getting a 59-day visa at the PH consulate/embassy in their home-country before departure. if there happens to be one near enough. anyone who has done this already, feel free to share your experience.

  49. I remember having to transfer the old visa onto my new passport back in 2012. Pretty much had to waste a day in Manila.

  50. Thanks for the good information.
    How do we know that the travel agency service is really legit?
    I remember a few years ago some expats were sent to jail (in Thailand) when they used a non-legit travel service that was adding false visa stamps in the expat passport.
    How can we be sure to avoid such a travel-agency visa scam and avoid the danger of going to jail, even when the expat tried to follow all the rules?

    1. @ASIAN ROMANCE all travel agency inside the mall is legit u dont have to worry just avoid the people outside mall that talking to u and offer something ,U will not put in the jail easily without any reason as long as u have passport and the papers u proof its fine .. Unless u violate the law they will put u in the jail if the reason is about ur staying and u r applying and its still on process u can tell them ,,, do not worry ,,,but if they would bring u and put u injail without reason u can file a case against them because its against ur right and there is a process ,its very simple …

  51. I lived in the Philippines for two years and have been there for many long vacations since then. I want to say that I have found your video’s to be very accurate with the information you put out just based on my knowledge of living there. I wish that you could warn men about the pitfalls of marrying a Filipina because it could help save someone a lot of trouble. Everyone knows there are good things with Filipina’s but like American women they have issue’s also.

    1. D Michael Only if shes a poor person with a really poor family ??‍♂️ If this is an issue for you, dont marry a poor girl. simple.

    2. Like ALL Women have issues would have been a better way to put it. Nothing unique about American Women or Filipinas ☺

    3. Everybody has issues and people change. You will have to support the filipinas family for sure 99%

    4. Totally agree . Keep them short term . 3 months is starting to be long term. Keep the nice house and Ferrari . ???

    5. Not sure how long you’ve been following Reekay, also Ned and others, but he has posted many videos about life and relationships with filipinas.

  52. Valuable info on both passport renewal as well as the “Transfer Stamp”…I’d like to know what the Transfer Stamp costs and what amount of paperwork/supporting documents is needed to get it ~ What form to use…?…How long does it take to get said stamp so as to know when to arrive at PH Immigration ~ While you wait or do you need to drop it off and return a day or two later……?…Anyone that has got a recent Transfer Stamp please post your details here for the group…Thanks In Advance!

    1. if you go directly to manila, i’ve been told there is no form and no fee. just let them know what you need and it can be done while you wait. but if you want an immigration service to do it for you, the cost for that can be between 5,000 pesos to 6,000 pesos. which, if you live far away from manila, is still less than flying round-trip there, getting a hotel, time waiting, taxi fares, etc.

  53. I guess you could just take the opportunity to hop out and back in of the country to get round the transfer stamp

  54. Great info Henry… Hopefully they will be able to do the Transfer stamp in Cebu when it will apply to me… 2026 is my year to renew… Thanks for the video….

  55. Reekay… I had a visa stamp in my U.S. passport and as you said when I had it renewed I had to go to Manila for them to transfer it but I didn’t have to make an appointment. I was needing to renew the visa so I flew up on a early flight and had booked a return for the same day. I didn’t want to stay the night. Once I got there they told me what window to go to. I turned the request in and wad told to sit. After about an hour of watching no one doing anything but their make up, eating or checking out their phones. I went up to the window, saw my paperwork still there, and I told the girl “Do you know the status on my request because I have a plane to catch”. She said “show me your ticket”.
    I did……she told my paperwork out of the box, stamped something on it and said “take it to room xxx on the 2nd floor”. I took it to them and when I gave it to them I told them “I have a plane to catch”. 15 minutes later I was in a taxi and even got an early flight and got back to J center mall (in Cebu) in time to turn it in.
    CRAZY place ?

    1. I did the same thing two years ago. Day trip to Manila immigration with no appointment and took only a few hours and no problems. You can also have them put the visa extension stamp in your passport there.

  56. You don’t need an ECC if you’re on a Balik Bayan Visa, I stayed for 15 months, was told only after 18 months of living in Philippines would i need ECC clearance.

    1. Traveled last August, after being in the Philippines for almost a year with a BB visa and didn’t need an ECC..

    2. That’s the problem – different info from different branches and departments. I had a12 month BB Visa, then extended it for another 6 months, left 2 months later, i too called and researched (so much stress with misinformation in PH) and eventually got through to the Official Immigration in Manila and they confirmed I didn’t need ECC clearance, my Wife and I left the country with no problems. Maybe when i extended the BB visa they did all the checks at that point? therefore that’s why i didn’t require ECC. Good luck!

    3. I emailed La Union and Vigan BI branch, WITH BB stamp ,they told me, we still need to get an ECC if we have been here for more than 6 months. I am really confused.

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