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Settling in PH, Help Needed.

Discussion in 'Migrating to the Philippines' started by Garydarby84, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Garydarby84
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    Garydarby84 Member

    Hi everyone, Really great that i found this forums as its just what i needed to get help and advice.
    I've had a quick flick through the forums but i still have some unanswered questions, so if anyone can help me i would really appreciate it.

    So, ill tell you what me and my fiance have planned and hopefully someone will be able to give me advice.

    We are planning to get married next year, in February, in PH, and after we are married we want to start a business together in PH.

    Right now shes in PH and im in england working, i plan to work until beginning of january, then fly to PH 5 weeks before the wedding.

    We already know what business we will start, we will basically be starting by selling fabric and materials, which her mom does, because her mom will be retiring in the next couple of years so we will slowly be taking over.

    Now, for the wedding i know that ill need a certificate of no impediment, i believe thats what its called, which ive read i can get it in UK and have it sent to the embassy in manila, but how? do i have to visit the phil embassy in london or can i do it by post?
    and for the marriage certificate, i read that we must apply in ph and it will be announced for 10 days, then the certificate will be awarded, but how long after those 10 days until we will receive it?

    After we are married, we were going to go on honeymoon and upon returning to ph we would request a balikbayen stamp for me, but i need to know what i will need to do to allow me to work and open a business with my future wife.

    any help and advice would be appreciated, please forgive me if it takes a while to reply as im out 16hrs a day with work.

    thankyou.
  2. ChoiAndJohn
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    ChoiAndJohn Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    No you do not obtain documents in the UK.

    In order to marry in the Phils you will need to attend the British Embassy in Manila with some documentation (such as passport, proof of address/ divorce documents if any / birth certificate - see the below link for information) and obtain an affidavit/affirmation of marital status. They will give you the addirmation right there. The whole process takes about an hour including waiting time. You need an appointment. See this link.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/marriage-in-the-philippines

    You will then need to take that document and all the others (along with your wife-to-be CENOMAR and her documents such as passport and birth certificate and so on) to the town hall and personally register your intent to marry (both of you).
    After that, you will receive a license about 10 working days after although in practice It might be nearer 15. You will then need to marry at the venue/date of your choice. Some time later you will receive your NSO marriage certificate. This means that most likely you will need to make two trips to the Phils. One to register and one to marry, unless you are free to take an extended break there.

    It is not a difficult process. I did it last year. I visited 1 May to visit embassy, registered with town hall on about 2nd May, received the license by about the 21st May and visited again 28 May to marry.

    It's worth noting that if your fiancée doesn't have a passport, she should get one now. It's simpler for her to get a new passport as a single person (if she's married to you already she needs to attend a CFO seminar before she is allowed to renew her passport).
    • Like Like x 2
  3. graham59
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    graham59 Well-Known Member

    As a foreigner you are not officially allowed to work (or run a business) without a proper permit, regardless of whether or not you're married to a Filipino.

    Assuming that you have little experience of life in the Philippines as an expat, I would learn a great deal more about the country and its culture, laws , etc, and certainly reside there for reasonable legth of time before investing any funds there or getting involved in family businesses. ;) It is NOT a foreigner-friendly country, despite initial impressions.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Methersgate
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    Methersgate Well-Known Member Lifetime Member

    Although I don't always agree with Graham (;)!) , I most certainly agree with that advice. Be EXTREMELY careful.

    Ordinary Filipinos may be well meaning but they often are unaware of the laws restricting the activities of foreigners. It is horribly easy to fall foul of the law. One member of this Forum is currently in jail, as is his Filipina wife, for allegedly doing something (running a recruitment agency) which would be perfectly legal here, but which is illegal in the Philippines.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. Garydarby84
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    Garydarby84 Member

    thanks for the replies guys, could you tell me where to find info on what i'll need to do once me and fiance are married, to allow me to open a business with her.

    we will be going on honeymoon and when we return i'll be getting the balikbayen (if i typed correct) stamp and we will be living together in batangas, and we would like to open a business to support us, is there a visa or anything i can apply for to allow us to do this?
  6. oss
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    oss Not Here Staff Member

    You need to be able to show the marriage certificate at immigration to get a balikbayan stamp when you return to the Phils, sometimes they will give you it without a certificate, but strictly speaking they should not.

    The investor visa's have quite high capital commitment and or requirement to employ a number of Filipino's, I can't remember the details off the top of my head.
  7. graham59
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    graham59 Well-Known Member

    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Aromulus
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    Aromulus The Don Staff Member

    It is an old one, but still very true and valid............

    "If you want to make a small fortune in the Philippines, go there with a large one.""

    As it has been suggested already, the Philippines, despite all the beauty, the smiles, the weather, the food, the people, is terribly prejudiced against all foreigners, to the point of outright xenophobia. Especially in business .
    Yup......... open season all year long............
    • Agree Agree x 5
  9. Markham
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    Markham . Lifetime Member

    You will need to apply for a Settlement Visa once you are married - a Section 13A Visa. This takes at least two years to acquire, you will be issued with a probationary Visa for the first year(s). You will need an ACPO Police Clearance certificate which should be no more than 5 months from date of issue when you apply for the 13A (you do have to be physically in the UK to apply for this). Once you have the full 13A, you may seek work but you will need to have any employment offer cleared by DOLE - the Department of Labor. Incidentally you should not travel abroad during your 13A probationary period unless it is a documented emergency as you may find your Visa cancelled by the Immigration Officer upon your return. With the full Visa, there's no problem for trips of up to six months but you will need an Exit Control Certificate for each trip.
  10. Bootsonground
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    Bootsonground Well-Known Member

    Im pretty sure that you should really travel in from abroad with your wife to get a BB stamp..
    I know quite a few foreigners that have done more than OK in various businesses here for some years..That said ,it can be a very long and hard road.
    Send me a PM if you want more info..Its not something I`m happy talking about on an open forum.
  11. graham59
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    graham59 Well-Known Member

    MUST be accompanied by wife, and on the same flight. :like:
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. Garydarby84
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    Garydarby84 Member

    yea, for the BB stamp we will request it when we return after the honeymoon.

    its not until next year, but we want to find out everything we will need to do so that once we are married we can start our life together in ph.
  13. Anon04576
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    Anon04576 Well-Known Member

    I hope youre able to post here and give us updates on the move to PI Gary. It would be nice to get a noobs perspective on moving and establishing a new life there. We have members here who are already established in their lives in PI but a new starter perspective would be good. :like:
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Micawber
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    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    I'm almost at the end of my 13a probationary period.
    Took a visit to the Mayors office to keep things moving.

    Now I'm facing another problem in that I'm still waiting for NBI clearance to come through. Seems even after 6 weeks it's still in Manila and my ACR will expire.
    Immigration say they cannot process my amendment to permanent without NBI clearance.
    NBI say it takes as long as it takes.

    I'm seriously thinking of leaving the country and starting the 13a process all over again with all processing done in Manila

    It's very disappointing.
  15. PatVen
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    PatVen Active Member

    I can feel that it's very frustrating. I just want to share my experience in getting an NBI clearance here in Manila. I applied for an NBI clearance most of the time for work purposes. However, last year, it was my first time to get 'hit'. I was given a slip confirming that I will have my clearance issued after 10 working days. But before I left the NBI office, I was advised by a staff that I can come back and get my clearance after 3 working days and I did. So, I got my clearance then without waiting for the timeframe previously given.

    I don't know how it works with other NBI Satellite Office. As far as I know, you can get your NBI clearance within the day of your appointment if there are no issues. Six weeks is too long. :)
  16. Markham
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    Markham . Lifetime Member

    There are some very friendly and helpful people working for BoI in Davao. But my sources tell me that all the Davao branches of national government offices have been suffering lengthy delays in getting "stuff" from Manila and my source tells me "it's all political" and started a year ago. I expect it's a similar situation with the NBI.

    I would think twice about restarting your 13a journey as you may find that you'll be asked to produce a recently-dated ACPO Clearance. I believe you have to hand-in a form and payment to your local (UK) nick and that it will be sent to your home address.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Bootsonground
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    Bootsonground Well-Known Member

    I applied in the UK...Much easier process and issued a permanent residence straight away in Manila.
    Did you pay the "Express fee" Micawber?
  18. Micawber
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    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    Hi Gary,
    Good luck with your plans :like:

    I'd generally support the views others have shared relating to having a business together in the Philippines.

    If you have enough Peso the safest and easiest route IMO is to incorporate a business.
    Give extra special attention to local 'by-laws' which can often catch you out.

    Here's some bedtime reading to give a better background and understanding

    Republic Act No 8762
    An Act Liberalizing The Retail Trade Business.
    http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno8762.htm#.VuzQbft95dh

    Philippine Foreign Investment Negative List
    http://www.gov.ph/downloads/2015/05may/20150529-EO-0184-BSA.pdf

    The Philippine Anti-Dummy Law.
    http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/comacts/ca_108_1936.html

    The labyrinth of laws, rules and regulations are, except for some special exception, considered absolute.
    Be assured that just having a Filipino spouse isn't counted in those special exceptions.

    The usual "legal" workaround is to have your Filipina wife named as the owner of the business.
    Means proprietor, employer and manager.
    With marital property as absolute community of property any investment money also belongs to your spouse.
    Your part in the business is "technically" limited to providing guidance and support.

    As long as you're not in retail or a business demanding 100% Filipino capital you can legally have many businesses
    Just be very cautious about those reserved for Filipinos by mandate of the Philippine Constitution and laws.
  19. Micawber
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    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    There were a number of reasons why I didn't do the 13a route in UK
    I wouldn't say it was much easier.
    The issues I've faced and facing now seem only to apply here in Davao. I spoken with many folks who prefer to get their processing done in Manila despite needing to fly and fork out for accommodation.

    I've organised a meeting with the Immigration people and will be supported by others.
    I'm expecting some options.
  20. Micawber
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    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    I haven't looked into the detail for my current circumstances.
    Certainly before relocating here I secured my Police Clearance Certificate solely online.
    No need for any personal visits at all.
    They'll happily send the certificate to an international address by courier, at extra cost of course.

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