Long Stay Visa Available at Philippine Bureau of Immigration

A new six-month, Long Stay Visitor Visa Extension (LSVVE) will soon be available for foreigners intending to stay in the Philippines longer.  Currently non-visa required nationals are admitted for 21 days and have had the option to extend their stay in the archipelago by applying for a visa waiver. This current visa waiver entitles them to an additional stay of 38 days and allows them to stay in the Philippines for a period of 59 days.  If you want to stay longer, the tourist visa has to be renewed. Bureau of Immigration entrance in Iloilo

From the Bureau of Immigration website:  On 14 June 2013 the Bureau of Immigration announced that foreigners intending to stay longer in the country may now avail of a six-month, long-stay tourist visa that will be launched next week by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

BI Commissioner Ricardo A. David, Jr. also announced the introduction of a new visa sticker that will replace the wet stamp used by the Bureau in implementing extensions of stay in the passports of foreign tourists.

David said the Long Stay Visitor Visa Extension (LSVVE) project was launched to spur tourist arrivals in the country by giving foreigners the privilege to prolong their stay here without the need to frequent the BI office. Presently, the BI grants foreign tourists a maximum stay of two months each time they apply for visa extensions.

“Through this long stay visa, we expect lesser crowding in our offices due to the decreased volume of visa extension applicants,” David said. As for the new visa sticker, the BI chief said it will prevent the proliferation of fake visa extension stamps that has victimized many foreigners. He disclosed that the sticker has security and tracking features that cannot be copied. “It will also speed up transaction in our visa section, allow more efficient tracking of records and faster detection of forged and tampered stamps,” The BI chief added.

According to David, the projects were initiated after meetings between the BI and Department of Tourism and Department of Foreign Affairs were held on what policy reforms can be initiated to further attract more foreign visitors to the country. The tourist department had said it is aiming to increase volume of tourist arrival to 10 million by 2016.NAIA immigration in Manila

(Arrivals at NAIA)

What’s the cost of this new long stay visa and what Immigration offices in the Philippines can you obtain it from? Here’s some additional information taken directly from the Philippine Bureau of Immigration website:

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LONG-STAY VISITOR VISA EXTENSION (LSVVE)

The following guidelines are hereby issued in connection with the implementation of the LSVVE:

1. Applicability – The LSVVE shall apply to all nationals.

2. Extension of Tourist Visa – Subsequent LSVVEs may be applied for during the last thirty (30) days of the previously issued LSVVE, or upon the expiry of a regular visa extention.

3. Restriction on Extensions – The approval of the Commissioner shall be required for visa extensions when the number of months applied for would exceed the 16-month limit.

Foreign nationals with an accumulated total stay near the 16-month cap from the date of their latest arrival should be informed of the preceding restriction should they apply for additional visa extensions.

 No LSVVE shall be issued to visa-required nationals whose stay exceeds twenty-four (24) months and thirty-six (36) months for non visa-required nationals.

4. Payment and Fees – An additional One Hundred Pesos (Php 100.00) as cost of the sticker visa shall accrue for the account of the Bureau of Treasury.

Applicable visa extension fees shall still be collected based on the schedule of fees for the entire six (6) month period.

5. Implementation – The initial implementation on the LSVVE shall be limited to the BI Main Office in Intramuros, Manila until further notice.

Antonette Mangrobang, spokeswoman of the Bureau of Immigration, told Kyodo News the new policy took effect on Thursday last week.

It is aimed at attracting foreign visitors and also clearing the backlog of applications by tourists at the agency’s offices seeking extensions.

She said the Long-Stay Visitors Visa Extension, which costs around 13,000 pesos (around $300), will specifically benefit foreign tourists who come to the Philippines to escape the winter season in their respective countries. (Source: Global Post.)

12 comments

  1. Dave,

    At first glance this seems like a really good deal. I hate having to renew my visa two or three times. I usually go to the filipines on the 21 day exclusion then around day 19 or 20 I extend my visa for the 39 days.

    Then I have to do it again. This is so much better!

    So if I read that right I can go to the filipines for the first 21 days and THEN get the six month extension for around $300? Is that the way you read it?

    If so, I am in!

    1. Yes, I agree, Todd. It does seem like a step in the right direction. Hopefully BI will roll this out to all of the local offices throughout the Philippines. For you guys using the Tourist Visa, this should be helpful, though, as Gary points out, BI is charging you more for less work, but it will be less hassle. Now just marry that Filipina girlfriend of yours and get that 13a Permanent Visa. 😛

  2. Most of the posts I have seen on this visa have not be nice. They are charging you more for them to do less work. I understand you do save on the express lane charges. That is good…

    Having the 13a is a very good deal for me. One trip each year for the annual report at a cost of 310 pesos. Works for me!!!

    1. I’ve read some negative comments about it, too, Gary, but you know, I’m with you. That 13a Permanent Visa is the way to go for this expat. P310 every year for one visit to our local BI office. Gets me out of the house and gives my wife a break from me. 🙄

    1. As long as you get the extension done in Manila, PapaDuck, it should prove beneficial to many expats needing an extension. As you know, I also availed of the “Balikbayan Privilege” when Melinda and I moved here in July 2009.

  3. great but how about the retied pentioners i believe they need too pay 50,000 U.S DOLLARS and other payments if that was make easyer more retied men would love to live here look at what they would spend here per year mecame to the philippines 2times a year spend 100,000 or more every trip if it was easyer and cheaper i would stay here permently but its too costly to start off may be THEY SHOULD LOOK AT THAT ASWELL THANKS

    1. Well, Rocco, the Philippines remains one of the countries with the lowest tourist arrivals in Southeast Asia year after year. You would think that the government would look at ways to make retirement and travel here easier since tourists and expats certainly contribute a substantial amount to the economy here.

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