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cookie47

Visa query at Singapore Check in

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cookie47

We've just this afternoon arrived back in Cebu from Singapore (BB Run.)

When checking in in Singapore the lady perused my passport INTENSELY (first time ever) 

My wife said "any problems" 

She said,,, I'm just checking "on the computer" that your husband is entitled to a Balakbayan visa... WHAT.... Give me a BREAK (Both passports are in the same married name) There also would be 6 Balakbayan visas already in my passport. 

She said I'd better check with my supervisor.... ( wife looks at me...... keep calm). 

Comes back, that's OK he authorized it.. 

I nearly said authorized WHAT , as I could get in on a 30 day visa on arrival without my wife.. 

Some of these counter staff haven't a clue and if you were not up to speed you could fall through the GAPS. 

 

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Woolf
1 hour ago, cookie47 said:

We've just this afternoon arrived back in Cebu from Singapore (BB Run.)

When checking in in Singapore the lady perused my passport INTENSELY (first time ever) 

My wife said "any problems" 

She said,,, I'm just checking "on the computer" that your husband is entitled to a Balakbayan visa... WHAT.... Give me a BREAK (Both passports are in the same married name) There also would be 6 Balakbayan visas already in my passport. 

She said I'd better check with my supervisor.... ( wife looks at me...... keep calm). 

Comes back, that's OK he authorized it.. 

I nearly said authorized WHAT , as I could get in on a 30 day visa on arrival without my wife.. 

Some of these counter staff haven't a clue and if you were not up to speed you could fall through the GAPS. 

 

Did you have a return or forward ticket ?

if you do not have a return or forward ticket the airline is not allowed to bring you to Philippines, they will be fined

did you bring a marriage certificate ?

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enoonmai

The BB stamp is a privilege given at the discretion of the officer; it’s not a right nor is it a visa so, yes, it is “authorized”. The BB program is all about money; it falls under the Dept of Tourism, it’s purpose is to encourage former Filipino citizens (and immediate family) to return and spend the money they earned overseas. It was not intended to be used by foreigners to live free of the BI. I haven’t kept up with it but when I was there they were increasing background checks, fingerprinting, etc for registered foreigners. Allowing anyone married to a current or former citizen to come and go as they please, free of fees and scrutiny, doesn’t make a lot of sense. I only used it once but my take on it was use it while you can but don’t be surprised if they question you on a one day return and eventually put a stop to “BB runs”.

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Dafey
1 hour ago, enoonmai said:

don’t be surprised if they question you on a one day return and eventually put a stop to “BB runs”.

Possibly...but I'd be surprised the Philippines would deny entrance to those that generally spend a lot of foreign money in this country without taking up a job.

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Woolf
56 minutes ago, Woolf said:

Did you have a return or forward ticket ?

it is called onward ticket

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SkyMan
40 minutes ago, enoonmai said:

The BB stamp is a privilege given at the discretion of the officer; it’s not a right nor is it a visa

The BB stamp is a visa.  The BB program has many privileges, one of which is the BB is allowed to bring spouses, children, and I think parents to the PI without a prearranged 9A visa or onward ticket.  The ticket agent may require proof from the passenger that they do qualify for the BB but that's the end of their job.  It is then at the discretion of the BI agent whether to give the 1 year BB visa or not and that applies to anyone entering the country on any visa.  I have not heard anyone denied their BB who qualified or entry under 13A or the 30 day tourist visa that wasn't belligerent and/or drunk so I don't think that's worth mentioning really.  Now, there have been individuals qualified for a BB visa that only got 30 days but I think that was because they didn't make it clear to the agent they were with their wife and qualified.

51 minutes ago, enoonmai said:

Allowing anyone married to a current or former citizen to come and go as they please, free of fees and scrutiny, doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Many things in the PI don't make sense.  Some are actually in your favor.

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Woolf

Several have been denied boarding the airplane, when without a return or onward ticket, even if the qualified for a BB

would have to buy a ticket out of PH, that could be a throw away or refundable

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SkyMan
1 minute ago, Woolf said:

Several have been denied boarding the airplane, when without a return or onward ticket, even if the qualified for a BB

would have to buy a ticket out of PH, that could be a throw away or refundable

Yes, but that's the ticket agent, not the BI agent.  If I was travelling with my wife and expecting a BB I would have proof of that to include a copy of MC and  a copy of the letter that says BBs don't need an onward ticket.  I would keep those in my passport.

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Woolf

The op  was talking about the ticket agent 

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cookie47
Did you have a return or forward ticket ?
if you do not have a return or forward ticket the airline is not allowed to bring you to Philippines, they will be fined
did you bring a marriage certificate ?
No I/We have never been "asked" if I had a return or forward ticket, although in many previous trips (prior to calling the Philippines home) we have had. And yes I know the airline is responsible for non compliance... However

Never been asked for a marriage certificate

And based on the previous trip last year with Air ASIA when you HAVE to do self check in and do not interact with a human being at all, what happens then??? All they do is scan the ID page of your passport , get your your boarding passes, drop your bags on the belt and that's it. No one to quizz you at all.. Just get on...

I understand that the lady was doing what she was trained to do. But already having numerous Balakbayan stamps in the passport and then saying Ma'am. I'M CHECKING If YOUR HUSBAND, YES HUSBAND, is entitled to a Balakbayan entry seems to me to stating the bleeding obvious. I do think the common sense course should be mandatory in school.





Sent from my MI MAX using Tapatalk

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cookie47
Possibly...but I'd be surprised the Philippines would deny entrance to those that generally spend a lot of foreign money in this country without taking up a job.
Absolutely,Agree,,, is Six mil for a house plus a yearly spend on Taxis, Food,Travel (as we don't have a car) enough.

And yes, I'd love to get a 13a,(and are seriously thinking about it,,, but having read the archives on the subject I'm not sure the numerous paperwork and visits to the BI is good for my blood pressure.

Sent from my MI MAX using Tapatalk

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cookie47
2 hours ago, enoonmai said:

it’s purpose is to encourage former Filipino citizens (and immediate family) to return and spend the money they earned overseas. It was not intended to be used by foreigners to

What a load of baloney, Whilst the intent of the BB program may have been obscured, I bet us foreigners spend more money over a year than a Returning Philippine family for "say" a months holiday. And I in fact can actually attest to this as I have visited for 30 years, 18 times and know how much we spent for a  6 week holiday (Average time span) than actually setting up home here. My reasoning to use a Balakbayan Visa (sorry privilage) is not financially motivated at all. I would be happy to pay a fee maybe annually but why don't they make the application for a 13a a bit more user friendly after all we've committed to live here... 

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enoonmai
2 hours ago, Dafey said:

Possibly...but I'd be surprised the Philippines would deny entrance to those that generally spend a lot of foreign money in this country without taking up a job.

Never said they would "deny entrance".

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enoonmai
25 minutes ago, cookie47 said:

What a load of baloney, Whilst the intent of the BB program may have been obscured, I bet us foreigners spend more money over a year than a Returning Philippine family for "say" a months holiday. And I in fact can actually attest to this as I have visited for 30 years, 18 times and know how much we spent for a  6 week holiday (Average time span) than actually setting up home here. My reasoning to use a Balakbayan Visa (sorry privilage) is not financially motivated at all. I would be happy to pay a fee maybe annually but why don't they make the application for a 13a a bit more user friendly after all we've committed to live here... 

That is the stated purpose, look it up if you like. As far as spending all the money, they want tourist dollars not long term foreigners. As for making the 13a more "user friendly", they want to weed out some and get as much money on fees as possible so that probably won't happen.

The gist I got out of your original post is that you are angry that this officer said she wanted to check if you were eligible. I don't see the problem with that. If I was still there I would use the BB and not bother with the 13a again, but I understand what it is and wouldn't complain about the officer questioning me.

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cookie47
8 minutes ago, enoonmai said:

The gist I got out of your original post is that you are angry that this officer said she wanted to check if you were eligible.

 

ELIGABLE.. 

How would she know if we were married SHE DIDNT ASK... 

Note I'm referring to airline STAFF in Singapore NOT immigration staff.. 

Surprised yes, Angry NO.  But that's your take on it  You have never met me. Even my wife was totally taken by surprise. As this has NOT happened before.  But what you have missed in this thread is,,, Firstly its the arriving immigration officer that makes the decision if I'm entitled to be issued a Balakbayan stamp.(not the departing Airline staff). Had I'd been on my own I would not have had ANY of these issues. (apart from the onward ticket situation ) which again I've never been ask to show IN THIRTY YEARS,, As.. the Philippines has a 30 day visa on arrival. PLUS if I had arrived and was to be REFUSED a BB (Just say) I would just ask for a 30 day TOURIST Visa.... Not ideal, but I could still enter, after all I'm not forced to have a BB as there are some advantages to having a Tourist visa... (Philhealth/ACR card/ and obtaining a driver's license) SO, there would not be any fine to Singapore Airlines and I would still enter,(Assuming I complied with dress and demeaner provisions). You don't need a PRIOR issued visa to accualy ARRIVE in the Philippines. So WHAT was she on about, that's my point. Yes an onward ticket  I agree.. 

 

I made the original post to point out as it's common knowledge that Airline staff DO get it wrong.. 

 

 

 

 

 

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