Lead Photo Source: IllustradoLife
The Philippines BI, Bureau of Immigration, kicks off their paperless online Annual Report, AR, System. I recently went to my local reporting station in Iloilo to make my annual appearance. I checked BI’s website yesterday to see if I could discover any new information regarding the AR. The new online reporting runs until March 1, 2015. Though an article from the Philippine Information Agency, PIA, stated the Bureau of Immigration implemented the new paperless filing system on January 1 of this year, you couldn’t download the necessary forms until January 5th.
“The paperless filing is the first step towards the fully online system that we hope to be in place by next year,” said BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison, as reported in the PIA article.
The new system, as implemented under Immigration Operations Order No. SBM-2014-063, removes the requirement of the paper-based application form through the online application form. The enrollment can be done at vua.immigration.gov.ph and should be done before proceeding to the BI office for completion of the annual report.
Registrants are required to file the report in person and present their original ACR I-Card, pay a fee of P310, and submit the confirmation number generated through the online BI AR Form.
I did not go online, and thus, did not have the aforementioned confirmation number. I simply presented my ACR-Card and paid my 310 peso fee. Did my 13(a) Permanent Visa exclude me from this? I don’t know. Papa Duck remarked in a comment that he went to his local Immigration Office but had to go to a nearby Internet cafe to file online and acquire his confirmation number He, too, has a 13(a) Permanent Visa.
The annual report is pursuant to Republic Act No. 562, Section 10 requiring registered aliens to report to the Bureau of Immigration within the first 60 days of the calendar year.
Mison reminded foreigners with pending obligations with the BI to settle their arrears prior to registration. He mentioned that only those below 14 years old, 65 years old and above, mentally or physically incapacitated, and those who appeared during the 2014 Annual Report are exempt from personally appearing for this year’s annual report. They may submit their form through a representative provided they present a special power of attorney.
Wait a minute. I appeared during the 2014 report and filled out a four page form and was fingerprinted. So is the Commissioner saying I did not even have to report in 2015 in the first place? I don’t know. I’m confused.
What if you didn’t report last year (or in previous years?) Will you be thrown into the slammer? Probably not, the following document from the Philippine Bureau of Immigration website lists the penalty for “Annual Report Arrears”:
Looks like a fine of 2,000 pesos, 45 bucks, for each year you don’t make your annual report, according to the BI website. But why not make your report? It was relatively painless for me this year and it can avoid you paying higher fees in the future, plus, it’s the law.
All of us expats are only visitors in the Philippines and I really would recommend that you keep your status legal and not risk getting deported. It does happen and keep in mind that despite what you hear or read, you really don’t have any rights as a foreigner in the Philippines and can get yourself booted out of the country at Immigration’s discretion. Play it safe. Keep it legal.
BIG NEWS COMING UP!
Well, at least for us down on “The Farm.” My asawa and brother-in-law Joery are in nearby Iloilo City today to buy a water tank for our new property AND our new truck will be delivered this coming Monday or Tuesday. But did we go with the Isuzu D-Max???