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.
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.
(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.)