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BB vs 13A

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None of the BI rules apply to the BB stamp (except that you need to leave the country within a year). There are no fees, no forms, and no hoops to jump through. The BB stamp is basically a get-out-of-jail-free card, and it is also (by far) the cheapest route for somebody who is married to a Filipina and will likely leave the country at least once a year. It is far cheaper (even with airfare) than a tourist visa, a 13A visa or an SRRV even if you are going to be in-country long-term (with yearly trips out of the country, of course). I wish I had taken that route rather than the 13A route. It would have saved me a lot of money.

Some worry that they might change the rules at some point, and not allow you back in on a BB stamp if you have only been out-of-country for a short period, but that doesn't appear to be in the foreseeable future. If anything, over the past ten years the rules for the BB stamp have loosened up considerably. There is no reason to think they will reverse course. Of course, if it happens someday, people will have to use the other options, but until then the BB stamp will save people who can take advantage of it a lot of money. Until then, the BB stamp is the best choice. Just remember to have your marriage certificate with you when you travel.

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SkyMan
16 minutes ago, Headshot said:

and it is also (by far) the cheapest route for somebody who is married to a Filipina and will likely leave the country at least once a year.

If she comes with you, yes.

17 minutes ago, Headshot said:

It is far cheaper (even with airfare) than a tourist visa, a 13A visa or an SRRV even if you are going to be in-country long-term (with yearly trips out of the country, of course). I wish I had taken that route rather than the 13A route. It would have saved me a lot of money.

I think I've saved on the 13A over the BB.  We go to the US about every 2 years and being on 13A those trips have an added ~p4450 for departure between TT and ECC-B which I wouldn't have had to pay on BB.  BB also saves the p310 AR and I suppose you could round that to p450 for the trip to pay it.  So, in 9 years that is an added p22K. There is also the cost of the ACR-I card but I think it's difficult to get a bank account without one so staying long term on a BB you'd probably get a voluntary card.  To stay on BB though, I would have had to make 4 additional int'l trips for 2 to reload the BB.  So, right now considering the up front cost and the extras I'd say I'm essentially breaking even or a little better and as time goes on (assuming our travels remain consistent) it will get even better.  Like you say though, anyone planning to take their wife out of the country once a year, they are much better off on the BB Visa unless they plan to work.

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Headshot

If hassles with BI (both at the airport and in the office) are worth anything, I would say that I would have been miles ahead to have just used the BB privilege. We generally take a trip out of the country every year. Even if we don't travel to the US, then we travel to other Asian countries. I am on a 13A visa, and it costs me every time I leave the country. If, at some point, we move to the US (which we still plan to do), I will let my 13A visa lapse. From then on, I will be entering the Philippines on a BB stamp ... even if we decide to move back to the Philippines later.

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DeedleNuts
11 hours ago, SkyMan said:

anyone planning to take their wife out of the country once a year, they are much better off on the BB Visa unless they plan to work.

I assume this has a 'locally' qualifier at the end? "A friend of mine" has been considering setting up a condo or something there and working a US based software gig remotely from it. The income would be in USD from a US company; (s)he is a remote software developer. 

 

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savarity




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The BB stamp is basically a get-out-of-jail-free card, and it is also (by far) the cheapest route for somebody who is married to a Filipina and will likely leave the country at least once a year. It is far cheaper (even with airfare) than a tourist visa, a 13A visa or an SRRV even if you are going to be in-country long-term (with yearly trips out of the country, of course). I wish I had taken that route rather than the 13A route. It would have saved me a lot of money.
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Just remember to have your marriage certificate with you when you travel.


Haha, that's the key point. One has to be married! Get out of one jail, into another, heehee.

I am 100% sure, that over the past 5 years, I saved more money not being married than I've spent in tourist visa fees.

Just making a silly observation, a BB stamp does sound like a good deal for those who can avail it.

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SkyMan
17 hours ago, Headshot said:

If hassles with BI (both at the airport and in the office) are worth anything, I would say that I would have been miles ahead to have just used the BB privilege.

Haven't had any such hassles myself.  Never had a problem doing an RA.  A little time once a year, no big deal.  No problems on exit and never had to wait for more than one other at the BI window.  No problems on entry.  The reports of people with problems coming are those getting BBs and trying to convince the check-in agent that they don't need an exit ticket.  The other hassle with the BB is that you do have to leave once a year or start paying tourist visa extensions.  Leaving once a year may be quite normal for you to do, but now you have to because staying longer means you're eating up the money you could spend on your vacation with extensions.  There's no one size fits all visa solution.

Nonetheless, if you do feel you'd be better off on BB you can do that on your next trip out.  The ECC-B can be obtained at the BI if you tell them you aren't coming back and I believe that terminates the 13A.  Then when you come back you can get your BB.  And that's probably what I would do too if I was sure I'd be flying out annually.  

7 hours ago, DeedleNuts said:

I assume this has a 'locally' qualifier at the end? "A friend of mine" has been considering setting up a condo or something there and working a US based software gig remotely from it. The income would be in USD from a US company; (s)he is a remote software developer. 

Yes, locally, I believe your friend would be fine working from the US.

 

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Jawny

The use of a 13a visa has a benefit attached to it that may be useful for some.  The 13a allows for a one time importation, duty free, of household items.  So, a person with the desire to make a shipment of their stuff may find a 13a useful. 

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SkyMan
2 minutes ago, Jawny said:

The use of a 13a visa has a benefit attached to it that may be useful for some.  The 13a allows for a one time importation, duty free, of household items.  So, a person with the desire to make a shipment of their stuff may find a 13a useful. 

Sure you don't mean BB?

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Dafey
20 hours ago, Headshot said:

Just remember to have your marriage certificate with you when you travel.

We always carry pertinent documents including Marriage, birth and anything that may be asked for...though we were only asked for marriage certificate the first time. Even after obtaining a new passport we showed them my old one and they stamped and waived us through. Once you have the BB stamp it seems they don't want to bother with digging for more.

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SkyMan
2 hours ago, Jawny said:

Not sure if I'm reading that right but it sounds like it expired in 1979? Anyway, it says it 'should' be applied for within 60 days of arrival.  Not sure if beyond 60 days is still possible or if that means first arrival after getting the 13A but if so, it pretty much could only be used by someone obtaining their 13A in their home country.  Part of the BB privilege is also duty free HHG and even a vehicle so this isn't an advantage for the 13A over the BB.

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