Airport Immigration officers

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Posted

My British friend who has lived here about 2.5 years every now and then goes back to Hongkong where he lived for some time but the other day arrived back at Cebu airport and the immigration officer questioned him.  Now I think in this forum I read something similar recently but I will try to post what my friend experience was.

He got back and do what everyone does at airport immigration but the officer looked over his passport and started asking questions. Sir you have been in and out of the country.

Sir do you live here? Sir do you work here? Why do you come and go, you should have a retirement visa. My friend answered that no, he does not work and he owns a condo here where he lives. The officer who was young says that he will allow him in but red tick or something his immigration status. My friend asks if there was an issue but the officer says its routine to ask these questions but will still red flag? his status.

So what is going on, a scam or a possible way to suggest that those entering should talk to "Ate" bla bla who happens to be a retirement visa agent?

My friend is going to immigration tomorrow to ask what is happening so will be interesting to see what they say.

As far as I know there are no changes or issues as to tourist visas so why is someone asking questions? 

 

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Posted (edited)

If your passport indicates multiple entries during the year as a tourist, it is a cause for suspicion. The immigration officer is right in questioning whether or not your friend is a resident of the Philippines. The suggestion is correct that your friend should obtain another type of visa -- for example, a retirement visa.

Edited by JJReyes
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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, JJReyes said:

If your passport indicates multiple entries during the year as a tourist, it is a cause for suspicion. 

 

I was questioned the last 2 times I entered, probably for this reason.  I've been spending roughly half of my time in the Philippines and the other half in Australia and there were 4 entry/exits in the preceeding 12 month period.

Both times I told them that I have a fiancee in the Philippines but that I have investments in Australia and I have to go back there to manage them, so far it hasn't been an issue.

I suppose after we get married (the whole thing has taken a lot longer than I initially expected hehe) next year I could apply for a 13a visa if this is likely to cause issues?

Edited by GeoffH
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Posted
9 hours ago, Jollygoodfellow said:

As far as I know there are no changes or issues as to tourist visas so why is someone asking questions? 

 

It seems reasonable to me for an Immigration Officer to ask these questions when someone's travel history suggests they may not simply be a tourist.  I suppose everyone is required to get the Visa which most suits their circumstances rather than the one which is most convenient for them.  If your friend is a tourist who visits here frequently then he has nothing to worry about I suppose.  I'm pretty sure Immigration Officers in countries like the USA/UK/Australia etc would be asking a lot more questions of a Filipino entering their country frequently! 

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Posted
17 minutes ago, hk blues said:

It seems reasonable to me for an Immigration Officer to ask these questions when someone's travel history suggests they may not simply be a tourist.  I suppose everyone is required to get the Visa which most suits their circumstances rather than the one which is most convenient for them.  If your friend is a tourist who visits here frequently then he has nothing to worry about I suppose.  I'm pretty sure Immigration Officers in countries like the USA/UK/Australia etc would be asking a lot more questions of a Filipino entering their country frequently! 

We Canadians are spoiled.  Many "snowbirds" spend 6 months in the US as tourists every year and there are no questions at US immigration.  Thus it is surprising when an immigration officer will actually get irate when I spend 10 years coming back to the Philippines, as a tourist following all the laws, instead of wintering in the US of A.  Why is it their problem?  I get the impression they profile anyone who does that and is not married as a sexpat.  I am going to try to tell them I have a wife next time.  When questioned why no 13a I will say we did not get a marriage license but just live together.  PERHAPS that will stifle the attitude I get each entry.  But probably not.  They are just pissed off that they have to work for a living while us old retired farts are living the dream (IMHO).

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Posted
5 hours ago, JJReyes said:

The immigration officer is right in questioning whether or not your friend is a resident of the Philippines. The suggestion is correct that your friend should obtain another type of visa -- for example, a retirement visa.

Why? where does it state who can be a tourist or how often they come and go? I bet they make more money from those on tourist visa.

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Posted

Only ever had one problem, a little chick asked me what I'd come to the PI's for, the wife was standing beside me holding our marriage certificate and she was looking at it along with the air tickets. In good Ozzy lingo I told her, gnitoo- dna gnikinrd, the wife took over the conforsation and I know the sheilar didn't understand, her face didn't change colour. :biggrin:

Like some of the posts said, it's a pain after being cramped on a plane then being asked a lot of silly questions when it's obvious what you have come for. :angry:

Translation of phase: write the letters down starting from backwards to forwards. The language was used by butchers when dealing with difficult customers. :hystery:

 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah thats what happened to me, then ended up being blackisted for being disrespectful. They originally put me on an internal thing just for their office but then my wife complained to the head office. Head office phoned them up and they told them I was rude and then decided to take it further and blacklisted me lol.

Is the stamp he got exactly the same as normal? May be that it can't be renewed, after I got the blacklist removed they told me that was the last extension I'd get and I'd have to leave and return again. The stamp looked the same as normal but was a different color.

Edited by fillipino_wannabe
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Posted
33 minutes ago, fillipino_wannabe said:

The stamp looked the same as normal but was a different color.

What color is the stamp these days? 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Jollygoodfellow said:

What color is the stamp these days? 

Was a sticker actually not a stamp my bad, his will be different if he's just entered for the first 30 days. Better tell him to be careful though, visa extensions are at the immigration officers 'discretion' which apparently just means they can do whatever they like.
Even when I was getting it sorted at the commissioners office, they were all really friendly and surprised I'd been blacklisted but doesn't seem like they can or aren't willing to do much about it. I think they get paranoid they'll get accused if being corrupt if they get involved.

Edited by fillipino_wannabe
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