Jump to content

Recommended Posts

First, great forum. I just signed up after reading some very useful info and experiences from other people here.

After years of coming and going, with usually stays under a year, I'm going to do a visa run for the first time. Since I received questions even the last time I exited and re-entered 3-4 years ago, due to all the extension stamps, and after reading some potentially worrying things in other threads, I'd be very interested to hear other people's experiences and insight on visa runs (which I think would also be useful for other people in future).

My first question is about the ECC form, which I've done before but was leaving for unknown time/months. For a visa run of just a day or two, what should be put on the form for reason for leaving and the length of time abroad? Presumably not visa run, and would two days raise any flags? Is it better to just put a vacation and/or week or two? Does it matter that much?

Are visa runs known about and okay with the BI/airport immigration, I mean to say that you're doing it? Do airport immigration raise any questions on re-entering about why you've been gone just a day or two or just understand/accept it?

From what I've read, different airports may be stricter than others, Cebu in particular. It would be interesting to me, and probably others, for people who've done a visa run to give when they did it (to get any idea if things are getting more difficult or not), what airport/terminal, and if there were any questions/issues raised by the immigration officer on arrival.

Thanks for any help and info anyone can provide.

Cheers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum ZX.  I have not done a visa run and am now a permanent residents so no an issue for me.  I am sure you get some input soon from others who have taken runs recently.    To get some initial  information you can use the search box in the upper right of your screen.  Enter "visa run" with the quote marks and you will find some recents posts that speak to your concerns.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I have read and been told by friends Cebu is very strict. One must be patient and polite. After being told by the officer on the availability of other visas  one must just say thank you sir I shall definitely look into this. 

I left recently after 11 months and entered vacation on the ECC which was no problem, returned via  Manila also no problem. 

Please check this site under immigration, there are lots of advice and helpful tips there in.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Puerto Galera you turn up at a little office with a pre filled in form.  A few passport photos and pay the officer if I remember correctly 500 peso.  No questions asked.  24hrs later you collect the certificate. Nice and simple. 

  • Like 2
  • Love it 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, ZX81 said:

My first question is about the ECC form, which I've done before but was leaving for unknown time/months. For a visa run of just a day or two, what should be put on the form for reason for leaving and the length of time abroad? Presumably not visa run, and would two days raise any flags? Is it better to just put a vacation and/or week or two? Does it matter that much?

We are not sure how much it matters, but that question did not exist years ago.  Over the past few years the questions they ask have become more in depth.  When they ask if I intend to return to the Philippines I say yes,, truthfully.  When they say when will i return there was a box that said "unsure" or something similar.  That is the one I checked.  I would hesitate to lie on the form, but even if I have a ticket back the next day I cannot be sure if I will use it.  Who knows what life will bring tomorrow?  It seems to me there was a spot to give a reason.  I seem to remember marking "family".  Again, I do not want to lie on the form but whether I am leaving to see family members or leaving so that I can return the next day and visit my girlfriend it is still al about family.

They have made the ECC quite inconvenient in Cebu.  Last time I got one I had to apply in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon.  If you are not from Cebu that requires a 2 night stay in the city.

During re-entry there may or may not be harassing questions from the officials.  The advise on this forum is pretty good and if you have done what is needed then just be polite to the officials.  As far as I know they do not have the power to refuse admission to you UNLESS you get snotty with them. Then they gotcha!

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Snowy79 said:

In Puerto Galera you turn up at a little office with a pre filled in form.  A few passport photos and pay the officer if I remember correctly 500 peso.  No questions asked.  24hrs later you collect the certificate. Nice and simple. 

Lucky you, IloIlo there are a lot of requirements including 3 copies of tickets plus finger prints and goodness knows how much more.

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2
  • Hmm thinking 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

Last time I got one I had to apply in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon

Also I think there is a cut off point for submitting the paperwork of 3pm if I recall correctly. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the welcome Mike and thanks to everyone for the helpful replies. It's very interesting to hear other people's experiences and how things may differ between areas.

 

10 hours ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

We are not sure how much it matters, but that question did not exist years ago.  Over the past few years the questions they ask have become more in depth.  When they ask if I intend to return to the Philippines I say yes,, truthfully.  When they say when will i return there was a box that said "unsure" or something similar.  That is the one I checked.  I would hesitate to lie on the form, but even if I have a ticket back the next day I cannot be sure if I will use it.  Who knows what life will bring tomorrow?  It seems to me there was a spot to give a reason.  I seem to remember marking "family".  Again, I do not want to lie on the form but whether I am leaving to see family members or leaving so that I can return the next day and visit my girlfriend it is still al about family.

They have made the ECC quite inconvenient in Cebu.  Last time I got one I had to apply in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon.  If you are not from Cebu that requires a 2 night stay in the city.

During re-entry there may or may not be harassing questions from the officials.  The advise on this forum is pretty good and if you have done what is needed then just be polite to the officials.  As far as I know they do not have the power to refuse admission to you UNLESS you get snotty with them. Then they gotcha!

 

Yeah, I don't really remember those questions so it's possible they weren't on the form the last time I applied, or I just forgot since they're not as much of an issue when not doing a run. Thanks for your advice and comments on your own experience of it.

When I applied it was at a satellite office, and IIRC I was just told to come back a week or two later to pick it up, so I assume they just sent them to the main office and back. It's two visits but I think I prefer that to having to hang around somewhere all day, or two days.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Snowy79 said:

In Puerto Galera you turn up at a little office with a pre filled in form.  A few passport photos and pay the officer if I remember correctly 500 peso.  No questions asked.  24hrs later you collect the certificate. Nice and simple. 

The first time I went to PG was a couple of weeks after an arrival, and every day I decided to spend 'just one more day' there until one day I realised the 21 days was almost up and there was no way to get to Manila in time to renew. Fortunately managed to find a place that would handle it. Just hand over passport, pay what didn't seem any different from what I'd paid for previous extensions in Manila and pick it up on the next Monday or Tuesday, meaning I had to stay another few days. What an ordeal!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ZX81 said:

there until one day I realised the 21 days was almost up and there was no way to get to Manila in time to renew.

Been thirty days for years. Best to research when traveling. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...