Saturday, January 9, 2010

Travel Romance: Temporary Residence Visa for Foreigners with Filipino Spouses

"This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know upfront, this is not a love story..." - or something like that. A quote from 500 Days of Summer. Just thought of throwing that in.

For the love of travelling, you end up in far-flung places to maybe party, soul-search, sight-see, and even work for perpetual travellers. And somewhere along the way you find another 'love', and this time it's a person. Summer fling gone serious.

Intercontinental newlyweds will be put to the test.

Inconceivable to some, it really is possible. But after these intercontinental couples tie the knot they deal with harsh bureaucracies after. Then you witness a fairytraveltale turn rough. Certified documents to submit, proof of relationship, and passport name-change (for women) to name a few. All these for a residency visa.

Remember this is not a love story? This is about how foreign nationals with Filipino spouses apply for a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV). A TRV is valid for a year, and may be extended every 2 years thereafter. Bureau of Immigration's satellite offices do not accept applications. Head to their main office in Intramuros.

Under Philippine regulations, even if a foreigner is married to a Filipino, he/she will not be granted a Permanent Residence Visa. However, the TRV already allows the following:

1. Employment in the Philippines
2. Lease real property
3. Own personal property
4. Be qualified for Philippine citizenship after residence of 5 years.

What are the requirements for a Temporary Residence Visa?

1. Duly notarized letter of application by petitioning Filipino spouse;
2. General Application Form duly accomplished by the foreign spouse and notarized (BI Form No. MCL-07-01);
3. NSO authenticated copy of birth certificate of Filipino spouse;
4. NSO authenticated copy of the marriage contract of the alien and Filipino spouse, or if solemnized abroad, marriage contract authenticated by the Philippine embassy/consulate in or nearest the place where the marriage was solemnized, with English translation if written in other foreign language;
5. Bureau of Immigration (BI) Clearance Certificate; and
6. Photocopy of the passport/s of foreign national spouse and/or children showing its bio-page, admission stamp and authorized stay at least 20 calendar days from date of filing.

Above was taken from a checklist provided by the Bureau of Immigration.

Also, to avoid the delay or denial of you application/petition, be advised of the following:

1. All sworn statements or affidavits must be duly notarized.
2. Documents executed outside the Philippines must be authenticated by the Philippine embassy/consulate official of the Philippine Foreign Service at the place of issuance or nearest to it, with English translation, if written in other foreign language. Any document executed within the Philippines must be duly certified by the offices having official custody of the originals.
3. All documents required for submission must be arranged in the order as listed above, otherwise your application or petition cannot be processed immediately.

I don't know about that last one.

For the fees visit Bureau of Immigration's website. If you add all the charges, your payment is summed to P10,000+. It isn't that bad compared to renewing your tourist visa every two months which may cost P20,000+ a year.

If you don't intend to work, lease property, or qualify for citizenship in the Philippines - there is another option. The Balikbayan Visa. Which is a sort-of tourist visa provided to foreign nationals with Filipino spouses that is also valid for one year. All you need to do is fly into the country with your spouse (yes, on the same flight) and at the immigration, he/she takes your passport with him/her to the immigration officer and he/she asks for a Balikbayan Visa. Make sure you bring your NSO certified marriage contract just in case they ask for it.

One year granted, for free! I strongly suggest that before you decide which visa to get, visit the nearest satellite office to be sure that none of the regulations have changed.


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pinoy boy journals said...
January 11, 2010 at 5:03 AM

wow this is really very helpful coz i know a lot of foreigner with filipina housewives have no clue what to do, they end up doing nothing and complaining later on.. nice post!

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
January 11, 2010 at 5:02 PM

i do hope it helps. because sometimes we think government websites provide all the information, but they really don't. and a few would change their policies every so often.

PLUS contact numbers are always, always busy. or the numbers listed don't work at all. 'contact us' daw pero parang ayaw magpa-contact. haha!

resident philippines said...
April 13, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Info's about migrating or dealing with visa's are sometimes the problem of most people. This post is a big help. Atleast now it's even more clearer to us.

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
April 13, 2010 at 6:26 PM

True. And some government websites do not lay everything out in the open.

joey said...
May 10, 2011 at 12:20 AM

hi do you happen to know how to apply for fast schengen visa and their requirements? i love your blogs and i have learned a lot.. thanks!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
May 10, 2011 at 7:24 AM

Your Schengen Visa requirements depend on which country you're applying it with.

Anonymous said...
June 22, 2011 at 1:58 AM

hi that sounds wonderful, but I am having so much trouble, I have been told by the Philippine embassy in London that a TRV does not exist, I have also checked various forums and sometimes I get excited because they confirm that a TRV does exist and then down-hearted that because I am told that a TRV does not exist...Did your husband have to give medical and financial evidence also??...So happy for you because against the odds you found the love of your life and managed to get through all the red tape!!!....hope to get confirmation of a TRV somehow from someone!!!!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM

TRV does exist, but after we found out about setting an appointment for a "hearing" after submitting all the documents, we withdrew our application.

I suggest call the Bureau of Immigration for further info. Goodluck!

Crew said...
June 25, 2012 at 7:51 AM

Hi, does being married to a Filipino automatically qualify you for a balikbayan visa? Aren't there other requisites?

Re: TRV, since your procedure suggests to apply for it in the BI office in Intramuros, do you suggest that it is better to change visa status in the Philippines as opposed to applying for a TRV in the country of origin?

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM

No other requisites for the balikbayan visa. What kind of visa status do you wish to change?

Gaye @ Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 22, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Could you please elaborate?

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