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Tourists on extended stay urged to get I-card


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Tourists on extended stay urged to get I-card

 

MANILA, Philippines - Foreign tourists who are on extended stay in the country, or are studying, or working for a brief period in the Philippines are now obliged to secure their alien certificate of registration identity card (ACR I-Card) from the Bureau of Immigration, it was learned yesterday.

 

The new regulation is provided for, under a memorandum order issued by Commissioner Nonoy Libanan on Dec. 2 and which was subsequently approved by Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera.

 

Under the said memorandum, all temporary visitors or tourists who have extended their stay in the country, or are engaged in other activities are required to apply and obtain their ACR I-Card from the BI.

 

The I-Card replaced the paper-based ACR which the BI had issued to foreigners who are registered with the bureau and serves as proof of their legal residence status in the country. In proposing the new regulation, Libanan informed Devanadera that issuing the ACR I-Card to foreign tourists will enhance the capability of the BI to monitor the activities of said aliens in the country. Libanan added it will

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  • lazydays

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If I read that correctly, if you will extend past the free 21 day visit, you are required to get the i-card. The article doesnt mention a initial time like after being here for 3 months or whatever, so even someone who will stay for only a month will need an i-card. Wow! That will really make things busy at the BoI!

 

It also doesnt say anything about how that impacts renewing visas, so I'm guessing if you dont have a 13a or something like that, you would still need to visit BoI to pay for 59 day extensions too.

 

I wonder how that impacts somebody on a BB stamp in their passport?

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Do you know how long you have to be there before you need an ACR card for example if I go there for 3 months do I need to apply when I extend my visa after 59 days just for the extra month?

 

I hate this modern world you pay to enter a country and you pay to stay in a country and you pay to leave a country no one pays you to visit them unless you are some kind of entertainer. My exwife freaked out when they charged her to use the toilets in Paris if you know Brisbane all the public toilets are free to use.

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If I read that correctly, if you will extend past the free 21 day visit, you are required to get the i-card. The article doesnt mention a initial time like after being here for 3 months or whatever, so even someone who will stay for only a month will need an i-card. Wow! That will really make things busy at the BoI!

 

It also doesnt say anything about how that impacts renewing visas, so I'm guessing if you dont have a 13a or something like that, you would still need to visit BoI to pay for 59 day extensions too.

 

I wonder how that impacts somebody on a BB stamp in their passport?

 

Yeah. Unfortunately, BoI is pretty slow at updating their site.

 

It seems pretty silly to require an ACR-I for someone extending within their first (or even second) 59-day period. It says that you can pick up your ACR-I card 48 hours from applying (most likely in Metro Manila), but unless something has drastically changed in Cebu's service, you won't get it for 3 or 4 months after the approval.

 

If you are on a tourist visa, you would still need to extend as usual. However, it will eliminate the need to go to BoI to get your Exit Clearance Certificate when you go to leave the country (assuming you have been in country for a 6 month period). :D

 

Since the Balikbayan Stamp isn't a visa, I doubt it will affect it at all. We will have to wait for BoI's offical information.

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Well that is interesting. Certain banks will, if you have an ACR-I Card, allow you to make Peso deposits, HSBC being one such bank. As far as that bank is concerned, the ACR-I card is proof of residency here and, as far as I know, holding one will also permit one to apply for a local credit card. So it's all good!

 

However, I have just had a message from the Ancient One, who happens to be at BoI Mandaue, and it would appear that they won't be issuing (extended) tourists with ACR-I cards any time soon.

 

BoI (Manila) has been issuing these cards to tourists who apply there for around a year and, since there are obvious advantages in holding one (like full-service banking and no need for Exit Clearances to be applied for at a BoI office prior to departure), I enquired at BoI here at the time. I was told, "yes sir, you can have one but you must apply in Manila". Now, if tourists must hold ACR-I cards and they can't get them here, what will happen when those tourists come to leave the country and fly out from Manila? Will they be denied exit until they have obtained said card? Or will they be "fined" by the airport Immigration Officer?

 

 

Mark

Edited by Markham
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However, I have just had a message from the Ancient One, who happens to be at BoI, and it would appear that they won't be issuing (extended) tourists with ACR-I cards any time soon.

 

So what does that mean, the original news articles is BS? It was written as though it was active now. What a crock.

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A_Simple_Man

the original news articles is BS?

And that surprises you because . . . .?

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I guess the moral of the story is: don't always believe what you read in the newspapers. Wait and see what it says on BoI's website.

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ancienrocka

I guess the moral of the story is: don't always believe what you read in the newspapers. Wait and see what it says on BoI's website.

As Mark said, I was at BoI today and no one knew anything about it. I will be there at least 3 more times before Xmas and will try to find out what's going on.

 

Beware, the office will probably be closed from next Weds and reopening on 28th - closed 30th which is a holiday and open again 31st.

 

Paul

Edited by ancienrocka
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Dissemination of information is not exactly instanteous here.

 

I remember when the whole 'have to leave the country after 12 months of renewals' was extended to 16 months (24 months with special authorization). I inquired about it while in Cebu's BoI and, although they had known about it, they had vague answers. Two months later, I went to Tacloban for my renewal and asked about it. They were like 'what?'

Edited by Mailman
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lazydays

Like many announcements,they take a long time to come to fruition.

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The Mason

If I read that correctly, if you will extend past the free 21 day visit, you are required to get the i-card. The article doesnt mention a initial time like after being here for 3 months or whatever, so even someone who will stay for only a month will need an i-card. Wow! That will really make things busy at the BoI!

 

It also doesnt say anything about how that impacts renewing visas, so I'm guessing if you dont have a 13a or something like that, you would still need to visit BoI to pay for 59 day extensions too.

 

I wonder how that impacts somebody on a BB stamp in their passport?

 

I didn't read it that way....

 

Lawyer Floro Balato Jr., BI spokesman, said those covered by the new regulation are non-restricted foreign nationals who were previously granted an initial authorized stay of 59 days as tourists and those who applied for special work permits and special study permits.

 

You only get an authorized stay of 59 days if you have a visa issued in another country prior to entering the Philippines or are applying for your second extension. The visa waiver is good for 21 days and your first extension is 38 days. So your first authorized stay of 59 days doesn't come until your second extension or when you first enter on a preissued visa.

 

So doesn't that mean only people on preissued visas or on their second or more extension are impacted? To further confuse things....the lawyer says the ACR card is needed by foreign nationals granted an initial stay of 59 days. That means people on the 21-day visa waiver would NEVER need an ACR because their initial authorized stay is 21 days, never 59.

 

I'm really glad I have my 13(a) so I don't have to worry about BI too much.

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I didn't read it that way....

 

Lawyer Floro Balato Jr., BI spokesman, said those covered by the new regulation are non-restricted foreign nationals who were previously granted an initial authorized stay of 59 days as tourists and those who applied for special work permits and special study permits.

 

You only get an authorized stay of 59 days if you have a visa issued in another country prior to entering the Philippines or are applying for your second extension. The visa waiver is good for 21 days and your first extension is 38 days. So your first authorized stay of 59 days doesn't come until your second extension or when you first enter on a preissued visa.

 

So doesn't that mean only people on preissued visas or on their second or more extension are impacted? To further confuse things....the lawyer says the ACR card is needed by foreign nationals granted an initial stay of 59 days. That means people on the 21-day visa waiver would NEVER need an ACR because their initial authorized stay is 21 days, never 59.

 

I'm really glad I have my 13(a) so I don't have to worry about BI too much.

 

You are on the right track.! Here's the way I see it.

 

All regulations, and news articles as well, are both lacking clear content! It's required here! LOL

 

If you've entered on a visa issued in your country it's most likely a 9a multiple entry type. You get an initial 59 days and then you must leave the country or extend it. If you extend it, it's for 59 days, that makes you subject to the new regulation.

 

If you are here on a Visa Issuance Made Simple type scenario, it's the time you request your first full 59 day extension.

 

It's all about money for sure.

 

If you think about it carefully, you will see a plethora of advantages this will bring to the government. But more importantly expats will be under a whole new set of dynamics that will make things interesting for sure.

 

Getting an ACR I-Card is a two edged sword. Yes you gain some simple advantages as Mark pointed out. BUT, I can see a whole new ballgame when they require anybody staying in country more than 59 days to submit both electronic and manual finger prints and photographs. This will be interesting for the more nefarious types.

Edited by Bob Ward
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Getting an ACR I-Card is a two edged sword. Yes you gain some simple advantages as Mark pointed out. BUT, I can see a whole new ballgame when they require anybody staying in country more than 59 days to submit both electronic and manual finger prints and photographs. This will be interesting for the more nefarious types.

I don't think there's anything two-edged about it: if it helps the Philippine Government rid the country of undesirable aliens, then that's all to the good. And the US has a very similar scheme for resident aliens as do other countries, so I'm not altogether sure what the beef is about. If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear!

 

As for BoI requiring fingerprints, having them electronically encoded into the ACR-I Card is a definite plus as it obviates the need to have sets of fingerprints taken at BoI when leaving the country (and requiring an Exit Clearance Certificate).

 

I see no hidden agenda here, it's a win - win situation for Government and foreigners.

 

They may well be a loser, though. According to statements made in the past by the Commissioner, the issuance of ACR-I cards puts to an end the use of unaccredited "fixers" and proxies to obtain Extensions of Stay (incorrectly known as "Visa renewals"). Given that scenario, foreigners would have to obtain their own Extensions thus depriving the Ancient One of a source of income unless he can get accreditation.

 

 

Mark

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