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1. Who are eligible under Balikbayan Program?

a. A Balikbayan, who may be either one of the following:

i.   A Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one (1) year;

ii.  A Filipino overseas worker;

iii. A former Filipino citizen and his family who had been naturalized in a foreign country and comes or returns to the Philippines.

b. Immediate family members (spouse and children) of the Balikbayan, who are nationals of countries falling under EO 408, travelling together with the Balikbayan.

2. Who are not entitled to the Balikbayan privilege?

Former Filipinos and their immediate family members (spouse and children) who are visa-required nationals (nationals of countries NOT listed under EO 408). They must secure entry visas prior to their travel to the Philippines. 

3. What are the privileges of a Balikbayan?

Those who are admitted as Balikbayans are given an initial stay of one (1) year. They may extend their stay for another one (1), two (2) or six (6) months provided that they present their valid passport and filled out the visa extension form and submit it to the Visa Extension Section in the BI Main Office or any BI Offices nationwide. An additional requirement will be ask for Balikbayans who have stayed in the Philippines after thirty six (36) months.

4. Can a foreigner spouse or child of a Balikbayan avail this privilege when traveling to the Philippines alone?

A foreign national spouse and/or child of a Balikbayan may only be given the said privilege if he/she is traveling with his/her Balikbayan spouse or parent.

  1. What is this Returning Former Filipinos Visa?

This visa may be applied by a natural born citizen of the Philippines, who has been naturalized in a foreign country, and is returning to the Philippines for permanent residence, including his/her spouse and minor children, shall be considered a non-quota immigrant for purposes of entering the Philippines.

  1. Will I lose my permanent residence in the Philippines when I leave the country without a re-entry permit?

Yes, you will lose your permanent status as a Philippine resident. However, you may re-acquire your resident status.

  1. If I will be accompanied by my family, will they be covered by the same visa?

No, said visa is a personal privilege. However, your family may apply for the same visa if they had been previously a permanent resident of the Philippines.

  1. Can I apply for visa when I am overseas?

Yes, you may file your application at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate Office at the place nearest your legal residence.

  1. What are the benefits of a Returning Former Filipino Visa?

Under Sec 13 of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended, a returning former Filipino is granted the following rights:

  1.    He/she is allowed to stay indefinitely in the Philippines.
  2. He/she can establish a business.
  3. He/she can invest in shares of stock.
  4. He/she may form an association and corporation.
  5. He/she has the right of access to the courts.
  6. He/she is allowed to work without securing an alien employment permit.
  7. He/she may leave private lands or purchase a condominium.
  8. He/she may purchase an automobile.

On the other hand, he is subject to the following:

  1. He/she is required to respect and obey the laws of the Philippines.
  2. He/she is required to register at the Bureau.
  3. He/she shall inform the Bureau, at all times, of any change of residential or domiciliary address.

He/she is subject to income tax.

  1. How long will it take for me to get my Permanent Resident status?

Processing of the Returning Filipinos visa usually takes forty (40) days, depending on the volume of applicants and provided that all the documentary requirements you submitted are complete.

  1. I am an alien whose country has no immigration reciprocity agreement with the Philippines. I am also married to a Filipino. Am I qualified to apply for permanent resident visa?

Since your country does not have reciprocity agreement with the Philippines, you are not qualified to apply for a Permanent Resident Visa. However, you may apply for a Temporary Resident Visa. For more information regarding the said visa, please click here.

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Bureau of Immigration Main Office Magallanes Dr,
Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Metro ManilaPhilippines
Direct Line (+632) 524-3769
Trunkline (+632) 465-2400