So here is the most "scary" part if a foreigner wants to settle down in the Philippines. The 13a Visa Application or the Non-Quota Immigrant Visa by Marriage (Probationary). We are done with the process in just half a day that normally takes weeks. More to that later. So let me discuss first the requirements. First, provide two legal size folders with fastener. You have to fasten all the documents. Yes, even the original ones, because they will get them. The documents SHOULD BE IN THE PROPER ORDER, to avoid delays. For the first folder compile the following: Joint Letter addressed to the Commissioner from the applicant and the petitioning spouse According to Instruction #4, "All sworn statements or affidavits must be original and duly notarized". I advised to notarised your letter a day prior to your actual date of application. The notarization cost us Php 300.00 for four copies. All you need is just one copy though. Here's the joint letter that we have submitted. July 21, 2016 The Honorable Commissioner Jaime H. Morente 2nd Floor, Bureau of Immigration Bldg. Magallanes Drive, Intramuros Manila Dear Commissioner: May I respectfully request a Non-Quota Immigrant Visa under Section 13, Paragraph A of the Philippine Immigrant Act as amended, in favor of my foreign spouse (name of spouse), a British National. I am (name of the Filipino spouse), a Philippine Citizen. We were married in (place of marriage) on May 30, 2016. I am enclosing here, copies of the following documents to prove my above-cited information: My NSO-Issued Birth Certificate Our NSO-Issued Marriage Certificate Photocopy of the pertinent pages of his passport. a. Bio-Page b. Page/s showing: 1. His immigration admission and its extension/s. Sincerely, (Name of the Filipino Spouse) Petitioner/Filipino Spouse Address: (Name of the British Spouse) Applicant/British National You have to sign it above your name in front of the lawyer. Duly accomplished CGAF (BI Form 2014-00-001 Rev 0) I advised you to download this form from their website, instead of filling it out there. It will save you more time. Kindly write legibly. And use CAPITAL LETTERS and English Characters. And black ink. Letters like ñ, é, ü, and ç are not recognised by system. Use n, e, u, and c. Write N/A, if ever the information is not applicable. This form must be accomplished in two original copies. One for the 13A Visa Application and the other one is for the ACR I-Card. Marriage Certificate/Contract Must be original and NSO Issued copy. Birth Certificate or Certified True Copy of BI Issued Identification Certificate as Filipino Citizen of the Filipino Spouse Just like the marriage certificate, the Filipino spouse's birth certificate must be original and NSO Issued. Instruction #5 stated that "All civil registry documents issued in the Philippines (i.e. Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate, etc) must be original and issued by the Nations Statistics Office of the Philippines (NSO)" Photocopy of the Filipino spouse's valid government issued ID (i.e Passport, SSS/GSIS ID/PRC ID, Driver's Licence, TIN or Voter's ID) I photocopied both of my postal ID and PhilHealth ID. Front and back. Photocopy of passport bio-page and latest admission with valid authorised stay Take note that you are allowed to apply for 13a Visa at least 3 weeks prior the expiration of your authorised stay Valid National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance, or National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), if the applicant has stayed in the Philippines for 6 months or more from the date of the latest arrival. Please remember that only NBI Main Office is allowed to administer NBI Clearance for the foreigners. BI Clearance Certificate You can get it upon your application. For the second folder, compile the following: Your second duly accomplished CGAF Photocopy of the passport, bio page and the latest admission and extensions Official Receipt that will be automatically filed to your folder. So we are done now with the required documents. Let me go through to the process. I left my ID first to the entrance lobby. And went straight to the Public Assistance Information Unit. The lady there checked our documents, once she was satisfied, she listed my husband's name and told us to wait. After a couple of minutes, we've been called. The evaluator assessed our papers. It was a very casual interview but still we are very careful with everything we said. I noticed whilst he was asking us some questions, he was bending his passport, and checking each pages of it. He only asked us basic questions. When he found out that we traveled for almost 10 hours just to get there, he suggested that we can request for an early hearing on that same day for Php 1,000.00. So we agreed we better do that than going back and forth, where it cost us alot. After he signed our papers, we were directed to Window 25 - Central Receiving Unit and the officer there checked once again our paper and signed it. We proceed to Window 26 - Central Receiving Unit for the assessment of our payment. And some certificates. And we were directed to Window 12 - Cashier and paid Php 10,978.00. We photocopied our receipt outside. In the receipt, there were two dates there wherein he us designated to present himself. You have to choose between those two. You don't have to commit right there and then. But you should be on time on your scheduled and chosen date, otherwise you will repeat the whole process again. And we then made a request letter for considering our situation for an early hearing. There's no need to notarise it. With this, I cannot guarantee you that you will be allowed to do this, however our reason was valid. We wrote a letter once again addressed to the Commissioner thru Attorney Henry B. Tubban (we were advised to write Atty. Tubban's name, so maybe it still depends on your hearing officer) July 22, 2016 The Honorable Commissioner Jaime H. Morente 2nd Floor, Bureau of Immigration Bldg. Magallanes Drive, Intramural Manila Thru: Atty. Henry B. Tubban Dear Sir: May we respectfully request an early hearing for my 13a Visa Application due to the distance traveled from Quezon Province, our place of residence. Hoping for your favorable judgment. Thank you. Very truly yours, (name of applicant) Applicant (name of Filipino spouse) Petitioner/Filipino spouse We then signed it and went to the 4th floor and submitted it to Room 424 for approval. After few minutes of waiting, they approved it. And attached a small paper with an instruction on which window where heading next. But then we first went to Window 20, and gave us an information sheet that we filled out. We photocopied our request letter. And proceeded to Window 39 for the assessment of payment. He gave us a small sheet of paper again, an order of payment I assumed, wrote down his information and on the transaction type, we put "early hearing". We once again proceed to Window 12 to pay an extra thousand. We went back to Window 20 to submit everything we have. The lady there told us to wait until 10.15 am. It was only 9.30am and we decided to go to the 4th floor. Whilst waiting, we were asking each other some possible questions that the lawyer might ask. Around 10.15am, we went back to Room 424, but told us to wait again for couple of minutes. After 15 minutes, we were called. When we went inside, our folders are already on the lawyer's possession. To our surprised, the lawyer didn't ask us anything. The questions we were expecting to be asked. He just asked me about his nationality. When and where did we get married, and that's it! He explained to us the procedures we're about to do next after the hearing. He asked us to sign two documents. First document was when he wrote down all the information we were giving below the certificate. Whilst the second was most likely the terms and conditions of our application. He then wrote on a piece of paper, that the hearing has been implemented. He gave us the second folder. We then proceed to the separate counter near the entrance/lobby to get a number for photo capturing/biometrics. And lastly, we went to Window 44. We waited for his number to appear on the screen. And he then proceed to the designated window, gave the second folder, and signed on the logbook and proceed with the biometrics. And gave us a stub from the form he filled out. And he's done! He's estimated date for the approval of his application is this coming September 5, 2016. Meaning he still has to pay -hopefully for kney last time- for his tourist visa extension. Just remember as long as the application isn't approved yet, you still have to buy your time in the country until you will see your name on their agenda verification section. I just want to clear something though. Those foreigners who live in the country for not more than 6 months, you DON'T need to have a police clearance from your home country. 2x2 Pictures with white background aren't needed anymore. Do NOT stress out yourself with your financial capacity. It isn't an issue. As long as you can pay then I guess you're good. Remember tourist visa holder isn't allowed to work in the country. So as an additional documents and even though they aren't needed, I tried to bring a bank statement of my savings, and even a certificate of employment. Piece of my unsolicited advice: You should plan ahead of time. Ready your documents. Notarised what needs to be notarised. Authenticate what needs to be authenticated, let's say you have foreign documents with you, and it happened that document is one of the requirements, go have it red ribboned first to DFA. Do not stressed yourself out with the instructions on their website. I am not saying that do not take them seriously, but sometimes their instructions can be confusing. And sometimes whenever we tried to ask them questions, we always get mixed answers. But overall, the application isn't onerous at all. All you need to have is effort, time, and enough money to support this application.