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About ITGeek

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    Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija

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  1. I actually opened mine up while still in the US back in Dec 2015, including mortgage loan. I just provided required information to BDO and RCBC banks and my asawa opened joint accounts. One is used to finance mortgage for bahay, the other I use to wire xfer money from US. Although it was impossible for either bank to provide me with necessary IRS forms for my 2016 tax return. I had to self report, fortunately the IRS didn't require it since I ended up using the standard deduction. I'm sure the recent money laundering scandals at PI casinos and banks had something to do with the changes
  2. I wouldn't recommend going to PH Consulate in US, it's not needed. Besides, I don't think they issue tourist ACR-I cards for tourists at PH Consulates overseas. Your best option is to just book round trip ticket (or exit ticket) and get the 30-day stamp upon arrival in PI's. If you are flying into NAIA, then you can pay for the 59-day extension at BI checkpoint. A couple of weeks before your 59-day extension expires, go to an approved BI field office closest to you. There you can pay for 6 mo extension and your ACR-I card for TVV (tourist visa). You're not required to have ACR-I card to open bank account in PI's. Your passport and a foreign drivers license ID's are good enough. That's how I was able to open accounts at BDO and RCBC. Update: I forgot to mention that if you're a US citizen, you will be required to comply with IRS FATCA requirements and report all foreign assets. The bank may require you to complete relevant IRS forms when opening accounts to remain in compliance.
  3. ECC Confusion

    Final update and post for those who may encounter similar situation like mine in this thread. I've attached a copy of my I-Card waiver letter for reference. When I arrived at NAIA for my departure, the BI checkpoint worker wasn't trained on the I-Card waiver process and didn't recognize the document. He needed a supervisor to confirm as I explained to them the document was bona fide. I also showed them my 13a approval letter from BI as additional supporting documentation. After 10 mins, they snapped my picture and exit (green) stamped the attached receipt with the I-Card waiver. The next challenge was when I arrived at the Asiana Airline's SFO ticket counter to check-in for my return flight. The Asiana agent asked if I return (or outbound) flight booked from Philippines. I showed her my I-Card waiver, but she was confused about the document. I pulled out my 13a approval letter showing her that I had resident status in PI's. She then asked it I had a resident ID card (I-card). So I had explain to her the I-Card waiver and 13a resident process. That the PI's BI office was taking months to process my resident ID card (I-Card). All was good and made it back to bahay after travelling for 28 hrs straight. I felt like Steve Martin in the movie "Plane's, Train's and Automobiles" and everyone else was the John Candy role. Even the taxi driver from NAIA, thinking I was a "dumb Kano tourist" tried the full court press sell he would drive me to Cabanatuan for 5k PHP. I then broke out in tagalog, "Hindi salamat, mas mahal, walang pera! Sa 5star bus terminal Pasay po." The key is to point out on the I-Card waiver that it shows "Single exit/entry" approval and that it is valid for 6 mo's. I-Card Waiver (redacted).pdf
  4. ECC Confusion

    Good news! I was dreading traffic in Metro Manila after lifting of road closures for ASEAN summit. We left Cabanatuan at 2am on provincial bus and arrived at bus terminal in Pasay at 5:30am. It took us longer to go Pampanga/Angeles last month than Pasay! I left asawa and luggage at Sea Residences near MOA to rest while I went to BI office in Intramuros. I was 6th in line when they opened. I was handed off from window to window, some nice people allowed me to cut longest line because I was using my cane. Then after paying fees for waiver/ECC I went to 2nd floor, waited about an hour and received my clearance by 10am! So thankfully, my asawa and I have been able to spend a couple days relaxing before my flight leaves on Sunday and she returns to Cabanatuan. It cost P510p for waiver and P1670 for ECC. Thanks everyone for all your advice and help!
  5. ECC Confusion

    Kind of like my I-card situation. Pay, wait and wait and wait...
  6. ECC Confusion

    I'm sure this is good topic for mod or admin to move to LTO section. Here's my experience: I went to LTO over 6 mo's ago and they wouldn't issue me a license unless I could prove I would be in PI's for at least 1 yr. This even after I showed them my passport stamps I've spent most of past 2 yrs in PI's. Another expat had a Balikbayan Visa stamp and they were denied for same thing. How does one "prove" they intent to stay in country at least 1 year? What does a foreigner do after 90 days and LTO won't issue them a license? In my case for now, I just drive (motorcycle mostly, rarely borrow car) and only have my US/CA driver's license and ACR (tourist) card. I've been only stopped once by traffic enforcer last year for going wrong way on one way street. Neither me or my asawa riding on back of scooter were wearing helmets. I had ordered Snell approved helmet that would also fit me. None of local shops had any that fit my pumpkin sized head. He asked for my license so I gave him my foreign license. I just acted stupid, told him I was there as tourist and my asawa talked to him and let us go with warning. What's funny is one week later my bayan (brother in law) got 200p fine for same thing and didn't have license. Once I get my ACR-I card, I'll try again at LTO for foreign license conversion. Can't figure out what foreigners are supposed to do after 90 days, when they can't prove to LTO they'll be here for 1 yr. You mention it's a paper instead of plastic license? Is it legal to have them laminated?
  7. ECC Confusion

    I'm not sure how long ago you got your 13a, but BI didn't require a medical certificate for approving my application. I had read the following on the checklist for 13a conversion on BI web site:
  8. ECC Confusion

    Hi Paul, Thanks for the update. I directly contacted (email) the Main BI Commissioner's Office and explained my situation for requiring an "Emergency Waiver and ECC". Fortunately, they replied after a couple of days and said yes they will issue it to me. So that way I have a proof in case of any issue at Main BI Central Processing. My asawa and I are going to Manila on 11/16 to Main BI, 72 hrs before departure. I will have my cane so and use PWD line, which will hopefully speed things up and get my required approvals same visit. Then we can relax in Pasay until my flight leaves. It's a little frustrating that I can't be as physically active (I'm 53) as I used to be. After 7 surgeries on my right leg (4 knee, 3 ankle/foot), I already have moderate-advanced osteoarthritis and also RSD/CRPS (a nerve disorder that causes edema in my right foot/ankle). I'm sure many on here could relate to where in your mind you still feel in your 30's, but your body says no. In the words of Indiana Jones, "It's not the age, but the mileage".
  9. ECC Confusion

    They only said that Main BI (Intramuros) issues I-Card. Since I applied for 13a at Angeles BI (Marquee Mall), they and all other BI field offices send 13a applications for processing at Main BI office. So I guess I'll find out where my I-Card is when I go to Main BI in a few weeks. I applied for 13a on May 11th and received 13a on Aug 10th. Went to Angeles BI and they gave me my approval paperwork and stamped passport notifying of change on status from 9g to 13a. They said they would contact me when they received I-Card, but it's been almost 3 mo's!
  10. ECC Confusion

    Update to my situation after trip to Angeles BI (Marquee Mall) yesterday. Since I do not have I-Card yet, I have to apply for an "Emergency I-Card Waiver" at Main BI office Central Processing Unit before 48 hrs of departure. Another fee and approval required before applying for ECC-B. My departure is on Nov 19 and return on Nov 26. So instead of making 2 trips to Manila, my asawa and I are travelling (via provincial bus again) to Pasay, leaving at 2AM on Nov 16. Check-in luggage at hotel, then take taxi to Main BI (Intramuros) Office and hope to get everything done same day. I will remember to bring my cane so I can use PWD (Person With Disability) line to speed up process. I can wear pants and collared shirt, but I have to wear teva (velco almost full foot covering sandals) on my right foot due to swelling after 6 hr bus trip (won't fit in size 11 shoe). Another twist reading checklist for "Emergency I-Card Waiver". They require copy of I-Card Application Stub, which I wasn't given. I do have receipt showing I paid for I-Card, original stamped 13a application and my 13a Probationary Approval letter. I don't think they can force me to stay in Philippines, especially if I have US Federal Judge Court Order to appear at Civil Court Hearing on Nov 20. If BI denies my ECC, my Plan B would be to go to USEM Citizen Services and request some type of waiver or emergency repatriation based on US Federal Judge Court Order for appearance at Hearing. Otherwise, I could face Failure to Appear or Contempt charges. Nothing is ever easy here! Just have to keep smiling and hope my asawa or pera can persuade good outcome. You'd think PI Govt Agencies would make it easier, since all they want is our pera.
  11. ECC Confusion

    Looks like I have to go to Main BI office in Intramuros to get my ECC-B. I contacted NAIA BI Office and asked them if I could obtain ECC-B at airport terminal. They were quite clear that I'm required to get ECC-B at Main BI. I heard rumors they no longer have Express Lanes, but since I have to use a cane, hoping it'll speed things up.
  12. ECC Confusion

    Yes, I try to avoid Manila at all costs. Last time I was there was to get NBI clearance for my 13a. I'd rather fly out of Clark, but airfare is much cheaper from NAIA. I'll just take 2am provincial bus from Cabanatuan to Pasay and a taxi to NAIA.
  13. ECC Confusion

    When I booked my flight with Asiana (already have credit with them), they required me to pay TIEZA with reservations and I also had to send them my US passport bio page. Not sure why they asked for that, I'm a diamond member and have over 100k miles with them. My phone ran out of load while waiting for Angeles-BI to respond. So I'll pay the ECC fees at NAIA after check-in. Thanks everyone for your help!
  14. ECC Confusion

    Hello everyone! I will attempt to contact the BI (Angeles @ Marque Mall) office tomorrow and ask what is required (and see if my I-Card is ready too). Although they are very difficult to contact on phone. I have an ACR card listed as "Tourist", valid until June 2018. Looking at my US passport, I do have the BI stamp that indicates under section 9A that I have 13a Probationary Status. So given this information and the fact my flight is still not booked, could I pay ECC fee at Clark/NAIA or must I still receive approval from BI office prior to departing? Thanks again in advance for all your help! Andrew
  15. Hello, A few weeks ago, I officially received my Probationary 13a Residency approval paper at the Angeles BI office. However, they still had yet to receive my I-Card from the Main BI office. Next month, I am required to attend a hearing in San Francisco, so I will need to return to US in 4-5 weeks. I couldn't find a topic in the forum for my situation and want to make sure I follow the correct process. Researching it made it even more confusing for me. So I have a some questions I hope can help me understand what I need to do. I haven't booked my flight yet, so I don't have dates of travel. Must I apply and pay ECC fees at a BI office (Angeles)? Do they require my flight information/dates of travel? How far in advance must I apply before my departure? Is it possible to pay ECC fees at Clark or NAIA airport on date of departure? Finally, since I don't have an I-Card yet, what happens upon my return to PI's. Do I present BI with my passport and original/copy of Probationary 13a Residency approval letter? Will this impact my Probationary 13a status to Permanent 13a? Thanks so much in advance for your help. After a lifetime of being independent and helping others, it's been a very difficult adjustment for me to depend others for help. Between 2010-2013 I had 3 concussions where I lost consciousness and the neurological damage is now impacting my daily life. As Indiana Jones once said, "It's not the age, it's the mileage". I think my warranty has expired.