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Do Foreigners who have stayed more than 59 days need to file AR?

Earlier this month I made my Annual Report (AR) with my local Bureau of Immigration Office in nearby Iloilo City. Upon publication of that post, I’ve been asked a question regarding the AR from a faithful reader of “Philippines Plus” for many years.

Do Foreigners who have stayed more than 59 days need to file AR?

Here’s a portion of the email “Justin B.” (not his real name) sent to me:

Hi Dave,

“…for example, if a foreigner arrived in the Philippines at the beginning of Nov 2017 and got their ACR I-Card at the end of Dec 2017 when they extended their tourist visa after 59 days, would they have to file this BI Annual Report with the Philippine govt by Mar 1, 2018?  (I realize the normal initial tourist visa is 30 days, but there is also a 59 day tourist visa.)  Or is this process just for foreigners on non-tourist visas?

This topic might also make a good article for your blog, foreigners reading it who live in the Philippines would likely appreciate the reminder.


“Justin B.”

The Answer

Dear “Justin”

Thanks for your question. You’ve mentioned two important pieces of information in your email:

  • “foreigners who have stayed more than 59 days on a tourist visa” and
  • “gotten their ACR I-Card.”

The short answer is “yes.”

First of all, if you stay more than 59 days you will need to apply for an ACR-I Card, Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card as you noted.

I base my answer on information from the Philippine Bureau of Immigration’s own website.

Foreign nationals registered with the Bureau of Immigration are ordered to report to the nearest immigration office for their annual report on January until March 1, 2018.

The bureau has reminded registered foreigners that the 1951 Alien Registration Act requires them to report either to the main Immigration office in Intramuros, Manila or to the nearest bureau office within the first 60 days of every calendar year.

Those who fail to comply may face fines or imprisonment.

The order covers “resident foreign nationals who have been issued immigrant or non-immigrant visas and are holders of alien certificate of registration identity card (ACR I-card.)”

Philippine Bureau of Immigration Jaime Morente also stated: “For aliens who are not in the Philippines during the annual reporting period, they shall make the report within 30 days from the date of their return to the country, provided they have valid re-entry permits.”

So there you have it, “Justin T.” I hope this answers your question.


However, there are those foreigners that are exempt from filing an Annual Report at their local Immigration Office. Here’s an infographic loaded with some “eye candy” listing the different ACR-I categories and those that are exempt:

infographic acr i card categories

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