Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Visa Extension for Foreigners in the Philippines

So let's say you've fallen in love with the Philippines and you've decided to stay longer than 21 days (that's never enough for a country with 7,000+ islands!) and your visa's about to expire, how do you go about the extension? Since we don't have any land borders shared with other countries, you can fly out and in again for a visa run. But hey, you wouldn't really want to do that since the cost of the flight might just be the same as the amount to pay for a visa extension, plus it's just going to give you another 21 days.

Now before you head out to the nearest Bureau of Immigration office, make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months. If the expiration of your visa falls on a weekend or holiday, you may apply for the extension beforehand.

For visa extension fees, you may visit Bureau of Immigration's website. I have to warn you however, that even though the breakdown seems to be straightforward (and updated?), the amount they'll charge you may be different. So come prepared, bring extra cash.

If you intend to stay in the country for a long time, like a year, you might want to look into this very helpful site: It will provide you a rough estimate of how much it's going to cost.

For the satellite offices, you can check this list.

When in Manila, to avoid the chaos at the main office in Intramuros, the Paranaque office is a good option. It's situated on the ground floor of Great Mall of China (Neo Chinatown) along peaceful Bradco Avenue near Mall of Asia. I have accompanied someone here about four times already and the process only usually takes about 20 minutes. Unless some liaison officer from a travel agency came before you, who's applying for a minimum of 5 visa extensions in one go, then you might have to wait a while.

Satellite office at Neo Chinatown, Bradco Avenue near Macapagal Highway.

When you get there, you will be asked to fill out a form. No other documents will be asked. They will photocopy the front page (your personal info), and the page where your visa-on-arrival is stamped. A pricey P3.00 per page.

After accomplishing the form, you then submit it (together with your passport and photocopies) to the 'receiving counter'. The attendant will print out a statement of the amount of the visa extension. The statement is final, and you cannot argue with him/her why you were charged for an ACR (Alien Certificate of Registration) even if you didn't ask for it - and they didn't really provide you with an ACR.

If it's your first time to apply for an extension, no worries because you will not be charged for an ACR yet. Also, you will be paying for 38 more days. If you add that to the initial 21 days, that's a total of 59 days. Meaning, you pay for the first two months.

After paying at the cashier, you just wait for your name to be called. And there you go, you can again set off roaming around the beautiful islands of the Philippines and talk to people back home about it as if it's the last frontier in South East Asia. Of course you exaggerate a little, after going through immigration hassles.


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Vince said...
January 7, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Oh wow cool page! I have a Google Alert set up for "When In Manila" coz that's my site ( So stumbled upon this because of that. Good stuff!

Out of Town Blog said...
January 20, 2010 at 8:12 AM

this is a very helpful post for overstaying foreigners in the Philippines:)

9g visa philippines said...
April 7, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Visa extension is a process in which a foreigner tourist must do after exceeding a certain time period given to him/her by the embassy concerned. It is helpful to post a blog like this to help them be informed about how to extend their visa's effectivity.

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
April 7, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Thank you. That is the main objective of this post. Cause really, 21 days is not enough to explore the Philippines' 7,000+ islands!

Anonymous said...
September 9, 2012 at 7:39 PM


What happends if you want to stay over the 59 days?
We have a trip planned thats takes us over this by 4 days.
We know for sure we will be there a minumum of 7 weeks, is it just easier to cut the trip short and stick to the 59 days?

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kmmyp said...
March 31, 2013 at 4:16 PM

I would have gone to Intramuros but now that I know there is a satellite office which is nearer (thanks to you :D), I'll go there instead.

Very helpful.

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April 1, 2013 at 5:30 PM

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Gay Emami said...
April 1, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Great! Hope it's still a no sweat process.

Tex said...
September 18, 2013 at 7:59 PM

How soon before your tourist visa expires do you need to apply for an extension? Should you go a week before it expiry? Or can you go a day before it expires? said...
September 18, 2013 at 8:46 PM

You can go a day before. Since to process for renewal is while-you-wait.

Tex said...
September 20, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Thanks so much!!

Lyucel said...
October 3, 2013 at 4:19 PM

I've been there luck.....this satellite office has been CLOSED and not operating anymore!!! ((( said...
October 3, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Thanks for the advise! I'd prolly update this post.

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