Philippine BI Kicks Off Paperless Annual Report System

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.

Local Bureau of Immigration Office in Iloilo City

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”:

AR Online System
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???

20 comments

  1. Hi Dave ,the annual report I’ve had no bother each time I have filed my report ,I go in fill in a questioner
    Show my 13a card , passport , give them 310 pesos and I’m done, why some people complain is beyond
    Me,it’s very cheap here if you compare it to usa or uk or any were else,some foreigners don’t pay because
    The have something to hide ,but what happens if you want to travel abroad go home to see relatives , your in
    Deep shit with immigration , Derek in sunny pasig .

    1. Yep, if you try to leave the country, you will have a problem, Derek. I definitely will keep my status here legal at all times. Just doesn’t make sense for me to screw it up. And, if you don’t have the money to pay the fees to stay, which are quite reasonable, I would have to wonder why you would move here in the first place.

  2. I’m with Derek on this one. All the moaning and complaining I hear over a few pieces of paper is just nuts.

    If you have an extra bit of time for a coffee or something while in town this week, please give a shout. I’ll meet up with ya for a bit 🙂 Hope ya liked the bologne and salami from last trip! Oh, have a new “surprise” item you may want to add to your kitchen inventory as well….

    1. Rease, we will be in town sometime this week to pick up our new truck at …..(to be revealed later.)

      The chicken deli meat was my favorite, thanks for the tip.

      I’ll let you know when we will be coming over, I’ll have to check out your “surprise” item. Take care.

  3. Dave,
    Yes the process was easy and painless. Why complain about it if you plan on staying here. So you may not get they Isuzu. Looking forward to finding out.

  4. Hi Dave,

    Long time no chat. I believe I have a couple emails pending with you .. perhaps I used the wrong address? Your contact menu item on the top menu bar does not appear to be working. Please give me a hsiut when you have a moment at Dave (st) philfaqs (dot) com.

    Thanks for all the work you put into trying to keep everyone up to date on the BI and their annual registration process. Makes me love my little BB stamp more and more every day. Be well.

    1. Good to hear from you, Dave. I had some problems with the website last week that Webmaster Supreme Rich Pawly over in Houston took care of. I’m still tweaking some things on the site and I will check into the contact menu.

      Dave, have you heard that BI is even thinking of making Balikbayans like yourself register under the new Alien Registration Program, ARP? That sort of defeats the whole purpose of the Balikbayan Privilege in the first place.

  5. And best of luck with the truck. Buying my Mitsubishi AUV was the best purchase I have made since I came to the Philippines … I’ve had a car for 55 years now, I was not ready to come here and live without one. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the flexibility and convenience.

    1. Dave, I’ve tried to convince my asawa of almost 15 years that other options other than crew cab passenger trucks should at least be considered. Guess what? My “suggestions” fell on deaf ears. My wife got her license back in the States at the age of 40 and all the vehicles we owned back in the States were trucks. So what does a smart guy do? Listen to his asawa. Happy wife. Happy life. 😉 I’m not as dumb as my avatar looks.

    1. Hi, Toby. Well, that’s a good question. I’m updating The Philippines Expat Adviser digital copy that I have offered for sale on this website in the past. Right now I am selling the book in paperback form on Amazon. Now I’ve tried to release it on Kindle before but since I have a few paragraphs from the Bureau of Immigration, Kindle did not deem the material all original, though the vast majority of the book is.

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