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Shol last won the day on October 31 2020

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  1. Hi there still following up on a friend's husband who might come to the Philippines at some point. I gather currently if on a red list country he won't be able to come at all. But for the purpose of this message let's assume that he's allowed to come, or it's lifted or whatever. And I know the balikbayan program is working as per my other thread, but I was wondering since this is a privilege I was wondering what folks are doing since there is no automatic 30 day visa on arrival currently? Couldn't the customs/immigration guy have a bad day and if he's coming in with his filapina wife and for whatever reason they reject the request for a balikbayan and he would not get a visa upon arrival. Should he apply for a "backup 9A" visa in his home country and then "hope" that the balikbayan is approved. I get that this might not be something anyone knows and will try to make an attempt to reach out to an official source tomorrow but hey some of you fellers might have some thoughts or practical experience here. Thanks
  2. Hi there sorry for the delay in responding was unable to read things for a few days. @grahamn59 - Yes you will indeed BUT (And you can read my other thread specifically on NBI Clearance) if you can / want there is at least in Manila to do an online renewal but I will caution on that, since even if you update your address online, some of these changes didn't seem to go through when you show up there to get the paper copy. I am praying that because of this there are no issues with my approval since for whatever nonsensical reason, they seem to want to follow your NBI clearance's address. Also they were clear that it should be valid when your are approved, NOT when you are applying so despite mine being still technically valid for another 2 months or whatever I had to secure the updated one. (Which was, identical except for the dates, go go redundant behavior here haha) @happyjack - Sorry for the clarity though you are right it is hard to read; you can save a copy and zoom, and it would read "Filipino citizens, after being duly sworn to in accordance with law, depose, and say"; This is just the version that the notarize scam provided as a template for us. And to add to that, this letter was not existing online and at least when arriving at the Manila office is presented to the applicants as a new requirement due to the pandemic en lieu of doing the interview. (Though, based on my own personal experiences, I cannot say for sure that this is even accurate or true, as mentioned in my other threads I just did what they asked to get it over with.) Since it's a surprise and expected to be notarized, you are herded off to do that down an alley for apparently 5 times + the price of what it should cost. It's a scam, but hey it's probably faster and much easier than doing the interview. (Or getting red faced foreigner mad and causing a commotion or whatever haha.) As per others here, I suspect that some of the other offices are not doing this or requesting the letter, but you might want to see with some folks that have recent information because as you know things can change here depending on the time of day, who you talk with and of course how much of a bigshot you an act like when you show up. (Unfortunately, if you show up acting like a lamb who didn't do your prime research, you are ripe for the plucking although the notorize scam seems to be universal to anyone who was being dealt with this year. (And last year, just the person who accomplished it, was just bigger, younger and female.)) Most of them to seem to be in on it in some way. Hope it helps :)
  3. They say 2-3 months but you can check the link on the far left side of the NBI main page probably within the a month or so because you never know :)
  4. One thing I forgot to mention is that they will ask you to "refill" out another application form as there's an apparent new form for the ACR card that's different (Looks the same but seems on legal/longer paper) It's not available online but everyone there was having to fill that out separate.
  5. I agree it's sad and tough but that building is one where you simply want to get out of there as fast as possible. So yeah I did just pay the extra. Pretty sure they only fleece you for that low amount so they can keep doing it without the big "anti corruption commish" (Who's office is like a few feet from the stairs right near them within shouting distance) won't figure out what's going on under his nose... Or I could be wrong and he's good with it lol..
  6. Agree 100% although it's quite clear that this is referencing the Intramuros main site by design. For anyone at other offices the process and experience will most likely be 100% different perhaps with it's own series of nonsense or magically, none :) And that would be great if someone could champion some of the other offices :)
  7. Hi there. Just wanted to as usual, share my experiences visiting and doing the visa nonsense so that YOU will have an idea of what to expect and perhaps make your quality of experience as solid as possible. Also as usual, take everything here as potentially an individual experience but anything is probably better than nothing which is quite often what you might end up with :) This is a summary of my experience from Monday November 8th, 2021 arriving around 7:50 AM at BOI Intramuros for my 8:00 AM appointment. 1. Online Appointments As usual make sure to book the online appointment from the link on the BOI website. It seems like these days that the lead time for appointments is far better than in 2020 as I was pretty much able to book with about a two week lead. Make sure to do this but also align it with your NBI clearance which NEEDS to be updated so that it will be valid when your visa is approved, not when you show up there to do all this. You can check some of my other threads for current details on obtaining NBI clearance but pay attention to the upcoming section on it here as it's important. 2. Notary Scam As discussed in previous topics, it appears that this "scam" is in full force as it was last year since they did away with the "interview" and replaced it with the questionnaire / Guarantee Affidavit. The players changed as this year's helpdesk helper looked more like a creepy lizard like Filipino politician versus Ellen Degeneres but eventually after "going through" your documents they will find something wrong with the joint letter or this "guarantee" affidavit that needs to be amended and they will call a yellow shirted "assistant" to take you to I assume a prearranged notary republic to fix the documents up for around 800-900 PHP. We were told that all of it needs to state "conversion to 13a Amendment Visa" despite on previous calls into immigration to simply use "any" online format and it would be OK. Keep in mind there are no online templates in BOI for this guarantee affidavit so as expected we overheard foreigners and spouses wondering 1) Why I researched, what's wrong with my documents and 2) Why would I have to have that since it's not listed as a requirement; just hearing about it now." I suspect that no matter what they will find something to get you over there to be ripped off. Can you imagine if they are doing this to 100-200 foreigners a day how much plunder they are acquiring and it seems like they lot of them are probably in cahoots. These are just my observations with formulated opinion however my wife begged me just to pay the 800 and get it over with with and I complied. Begrudgingly. Subtle non-aggressive scam hidden behind "procedure" so as not to be considered corruption despite all the "anti-fixer" signs all over the building now. I feel for the people and low paid government positions however I will never be comfortable having no choice in handing over cash to plunderers regardless. 3. NBI Clearance Address Match Not a massive deal but will save you some heartache. Make sure that either your NBI Clearance matches the address you put down here on your application or they will not approve of your documents. We had moved and even included a barangay clearance that took some time to get, but apparently despite being told that this would be the requirement, once there he told us to just put in the address on the NBI clearance. We had updated our NBI Clearance to the new address but apparently it takes some time to update and when you use the online update function, it never included the new address when it was sent to us. So we had to white out our new address and put back in our old one which we no longer lived at all based on the direction of the immigration lawyer. Crazy to be told to put in the wrong details but the only reason we were in that predicament was because we listened to the "guy on the phone lol. It's more fun in the Philippines. Anyway just make sure that whatever is on your NBI is on the application and to check it as in the grand scheme of reality it probably doesn't matter as you really just want the visa to get approved :) 4. Miscellaneous Just some notes, it's a lot less to do than when doing the first one as once you deal with the documents and payment nonsense you get to leave instead of being stuck there doing biometrics and pictures and other things that take more time and potentially expose you to covid in that old, decrepit building. Prepare about 11k or a bit less if you intend to argue the "notary scam" as mentioned above. You can do photocopies if your documents inside BOI for 2 PHP, no need to leave for that. When entering the building, your appointment is not really an appointment but more of an "OK to enter the building" and you will have to line up at the various windows or behind other so kind of on your own. Bring the receipt for your appointment and scan the bio and fill out the personal information and save the screenshot so you can expedite your entry when you get the front. The line up on Monday, November 8th, 2021 was minimal and once they opened it was 5 minutes to get inside. 5. Guarantee Affidavit Well I scanned my "old" guarantee affidavit template to share with you fellers since it's pretty much non-existent online. Remember this one is for the temporary visitor to probationary but the ONLY difference is on the form would be section 2 which would then be changed from probationary non-quota immigrant to conversion to 13a amendment visa. Once again as indicated, not sure that you will be able to pass this without the nonsense that I have endured twice however at least you are now informed of what to expect. That's it for now will respond to this thread as I don't think I can keep editing it but anyway let me know if you have any questions and concerns and I will be glad to help. Take care always :)
  8. Normal with this administration to cite nonsense without context to try and paint a narrative they desire.
  9. Yes the 1 year visa thing because it was suspended in 2020 just wasn't sure if it was reinstated but I think so.
  10. Hi there. Unrelated to my own scenario I have a friend who will be coming to the Philippines and is married to a foreigner as well. Is this program back on and can anyone let me know or link any current info related to their experiences coming here. I am pretty sure it is functional again but I want to be certain I get the latest info with any peculiarities before I make any suggestions. Thanks!
  11. Haha you guy are hilarious. The document last October was identified as required in lieu of the interview due to the pandemic. As we see though it's completely unable to be researched since I suppose up until recently it was never asked for. Anyway I will post here and let you know on the update when we call in where we can get a copy outside of at the notary republic charging us 900 for that and the other documents. (Which apparently don't need to be notarized, but they were when we got there according to the "helpdesk")
  12. That's all I am finding on google also :) Pretty sure it's specifically this: Affidavit of Guarantee with Authenticity Which as you are finding there's only that template you found which isn't exactly the same. I am scolding myself for not making a copy of it but it was a surprise "required notorized" document when we arrived there. Won't make that mistake if I have to show up there again. I am going to call them again tomorrow and see if i can get some more clarity on it. Thanks
  13. I asked this twice now on the phone and Intramuros responded both times that as long as you report in when you land back in the Philippines within 15 days you should not have to "redo" the 13A and won't pay any penalties and can start from there. They said there is no time limit or expiration on that. Whether or not this is true in practice is probably a combination of where you are, who you speak too and how they feel on that day. At the very least since it's almost as much hassle and cost to downgrade and pay tourist fees for a few months, it's worth doing it I suppose. But as with lots of things in the Philippines, along with the fun comes the mandatory rolling of the dice :)
  14. Hi there. I am wondering if anyone who is doing the permanent or temporary 13A visa has saved a copy of this baby? This one is is a surprise when you get to Intramuros as it's not mentioned anywhere online and they will passively mention it as a "replacement" due to the pandemic to the interview. Thing is when I applied for my temp we were forced to get one of their copies and brought to a nearby Notary republic and asked to pay 900 PHP to get his and some other nonsense notarized that's not mentioned online. I just want to go in there like a shooter and have everything ready but when we went the last time, I never got an opportunity to make a copy and when i search for templates online I can't find anything other than similar but not specifically for this purpose type affidavits / guarantees. If anyone had anything that would be stupendous. Thanks
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