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Procedures on 13A Visa Application

Discussion in 'Migrating to the Philippines' started by Chie Taylor, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Chie Taylor

    Chie Taylor New Member

    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:
    1. My NSO-Issued Birth Certificate
    2. Our NSO-Issued Marriage Certificate
    3. Photocopy of the pertinent pages of his passport.
    a. Bio-Page
    b. Page/s showing:
    1. His immigration admission and its extension/s.


    (Name of the Filipino Spouse)
    Petitioner/Filipino Spouse

    (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)

    (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.
  2. Markham

    Markham . Lifetime Member

    Your account, whilst interesting, is specific to the procedure used by the Intramuros office in Manila. The procedures may be a bit different at other offices.

    The other point that needs to be made is that you have described the procedure for only one part of the Section 13(a) Visa process and, if successful, the Visa will be a Probationary. You need to apply again in 9-10 months time. Whether that second application will result in a Permanent Visa depends on a number of variables - including whether or not the applicant has travelled overseas whilst in receipt of a Probationary Visa - and you may be issued with another Probationary Visa.
  3. Chie Taylor

    Chie Taylor New Member

    Yep. Because we applied his 13A Visa at the main office. And if I am not mistaken, only the main office can administer the application for 13A Visa. At least in Luzon area. Correct me if I am wrong though. Because satellite office cannot administer it. The things I am posting here is only based on OUR experience.

    And yes, this is only for a year, cus we have just started to apply for it, days ago. And we were also informed that we have to sort things out at least 2 months before its expiration.

    We usually do his extension at the satellite office at SM North. We still have to pay -hopefully for one last time- this coming August. :( because his estimated approval is this coming September 5. So I don't know if we'll know the result earlier than expected. :(

    One thing I asked them years ago, is if he's allowed to have a job once he get his probationary visa. At the satellite office, they said yes, but it depends on his employer. At the main office, the guy from the legal department we need to get a certificate from DOLE. So once again, another mixed answer from them. :(

    So we're just wishing that his application will be approved. :) Thanks for dropping by Sir :)
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  4. Markham

    Markham . Lifetime Member

    You can apply at any Regional Office as well such as Angeles or Baguio.

    It would have been cheaper to take a day-trip to Hong Kong with Cebu Pacific and obtained a Balikbayan Privilege on your return to Manila ;).

    Both answers are correct. But both are also incomplete! Yes he will need a Certificate from DOLE and yes that does depend on his employer making an application. In practice, unless his employer is a foreign company, permission will not be given.
  5. alfie

    alfie Active Member

    If you live in Quezon province, he can do his extension at the Lucena field office.

    Which part of Quezon do you live? It takes me around 5hrs to drive from Catanauan to Manila.
  6. Chie Taylor

    Chie Taylor New Member

    Lopez, Quezon. Thank you for that. We're thinking of that actually. It's in Capitolyo right? We might call them :) Thanks for the info. :)
  7. Bootsonground

    Bootsonground Well-Known Member

    WoW.. My daughter was born in Lopez!!!
    What a nightmare experience that was!!!! ...Another story....Another time perhaps.,.
  8. Chie Taylor

    Chie Taylor New Member

    Wow. Small world. I wasn't born in Lopez though. But I grew up in Lopez. :)

    Oh really?! Were people in Immigration-Lucena nice? Satellite office from North EDSA -well some of them- gave us a hard time.

    The last renewal for his ACR I-Card was a nightmare too. No offense. There was a mistake on their part. My husband went alone there because I wasn't able to due to the volume of my work, when he was about to claim his ACR I-Card, he noticed that there was a mistake. On his civil status, it says there that he's "SEPARATED-IN-FACT", where two weeks prior to that, we renewed his extension and the people there even greeted us when they found out that we got married last May 30th. And we even clearly ticked the married part. According to my husband, the people there were so "shocked" and "apologetic". They said because of the "systems upgrade". Like what?! Systems upgrade? From what I know it should enhanced their system instead of committing mistakes. They admitted that the mistake was on their end but they said they CANNOT do anything about it. As they don't do the printing. And if they will be the one to send to the main office it will take ages. I asked my husband if he can get a certification or a note, proving that he's really married and there was a mistake on the ID. But they didn't give him anything, because they said it will become invalid. I totally understand that part, but what I mean with certification or note was like an affidavit to a birth certificate (I dunno if you're familiar with this) that if there's a correction on the birth certificate, there's a side note or an affidavit correcting the mistake/changes. Instead they console him that it will be okay, as the ID will still be acceptable at any government institution. Granted it is still acceptable, but how about for applying for 13a Visa? I know it isn't needed but knowing them they can ask for it anytime. And they even said he can go to the main office and sort it himself! Whatttt? From Quezon City to Manila. And even told him, he'll get the ID the same day. Ignore the fact that he traveled almost 10 hours just to get that ID! He left them no other choice. He traveled to Manila. And people there just made him running and circling around. All the things that officers were saying from the Satellite Office were the total opposite! First, he needs an endorsement from them since it's their mistake. Second, they should be the one to sort the mess, since.. guess what? It is their mistake. And third, he cannot get it on the same day! So the lady there felt bad for him, she just asked him to make a request letter. So after he went to NBI, to apply for the clearance, he went back to the immigration and wrote a request letter. And call them after 5 days. We tried to call them but to our luck, no updates from them. We tried to call them alot of times and up until now, that we're already finished for the 13A application, no updates from them. We paid around Php 2,300.00 for the I-Card for nothing. I tried to message them last week, but they just seen my message. Next week, we're going to to renew once again but in Lucena. I am actually tempted to visit their satellite office at SM North to clear things.
  9. Garydarby84

    Garydarby84 Member

    I had a quick look at the forms and it says something about a medical check, with xrays etc... Will I need to do this in UK or Phil?
  10. Chie Taylor

    Chie Taylor New Member

  11. Bootsonground

    Bootsonground Well-Known Member

    Wow!! What a pile of stress that sounds like!!
    I applied for mine in the UK..It took a while and was a bit pricey because of all the medical requirements that I had to get there..
    The positive part was that my visa was marked Permanent!!
    Unfortunately an application in the R.P and its only Temporary for one year.. Then a new process to make it permanent..
    Its a real pain but its worth it in the end..At least for me.. 310.00 Pesos report fee a year lang. ..Happy days!
    Keep persevering..Its worth it if you both want to live here long term.
  12. graham59

    graham59 Well-Known Member

    Could I apply for a 13a and still 'come and go' between UK and the Phils ? :)
  13. Bootsonground

    Bootsonground Well-Known Member

    I think from what I have heard Graham it is fine to do that..The important thing I believe is that you report at B.I to pay the report fee within the required times..From memory between Jan and March..Or is it April??
    I dont think the 13a will suit you unless you are here continually for long periods...For one you will have to pay travel tax (plus terminal fee) every time you exit.
    One good way for you to stay visa free is to find your Mrs a cheap return ticket to lets say Hong kong and meet her there..Travel from HK with her a receive your one year visa free stay.. (Balikbayan stamp)
    If you are only gonna stay a month or two it`ll probably be cheaper to do what you are doing now with the tourist visa thing..
  14. graham59

    graham59 Well-Known Member

    Thanks mate, I was really thinking along the same lines.

    Perhaps something to consider in the future, should present circumstances change. :like:
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