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3 hours ago, jimeve said:

Dumaguete immigration would not do that for me, had to travel to Cebu. 7 hours on the bus and had to visit 4x for the probation 3x for permanent. 

It sucks that the services vary so much branch to branch.  In your case, it might be that Cebu, not Intramuros, is the actually processing location and that is their policy.  Just a guess.

As I said above, it took me two trips to Manila for my probationary, and would have been a 3rd, but I paid the agent p3000 to do that run.  Well worth it!

It was my wife's persistence that found the Balanga solution when it came time for my permanent.  If you looked at the "Directory of Offices" on the BI website back then, it did not list the Balanga office as doing 13A.  However, she decided to call all the offices near us, and ask.  Balanga said they had just started a few months before.  In fact, I got the feeling I one of the first few.  Balanga office was run by an attorney so he could do the interview.  Small office, only 3-5 employees, no waiting, no crowds.  I am so glad my wife called!

Not sure if they still do them.  13A is still not listed for them in the office directory.  That directory has always been a mess.

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15 hours ago, OnMyWay said:

It sucks that the services vary so much branch to branch.  In your case, it might be that Cebu, not Intramuros, is the actually processing location and that is their policy.  Just a guess.

Dumaguete BoI is a small run down office and is often full. Hate going in there, they have seating area that has an old couch with cracks in it that seats about 5/6 people the rest have to find other seats or stand up waiting for your turn. Glad I got the 13A spouse visa only have to report annually. Well worth it in my opinion, even with the initial hassle going to Cebu.

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1 hour ago, jimeve said:

Dumaguete BoI is a small run down office and is often full. Hate going in there, they have seating area that has an old couch with cracks in it that seats about 5/6 people the rest have to find other seats or stand up waiting for your turn. Glad I got the 13A spouse visa only have to report annually. Well worth it in my opinion, even with the initial hassle going to Cebu.

It seems that each BI office has standards that are probably set by the person managing it.  Low standards of the manager = low standards of quality of the environment.  It probably all comes down to managing a budget and keeping the place up.  You would thing that Dumaguete, with a high expat population, would have a higher standard.

Here in Olongapo it has always been neat, organized, clean and enough seats, even though it is a small space.  The attorney in Balanga told me he used to work in Olongapo.  The Balanga BI he manages now is in a much older building, and everything in the offices is older, but they are organized, clean and there is a decent sofa and chair for customers.  I went there 3 times, and I only saw 1 other customer there!  He also told me that quite a few of his customers are at ports in the area, and they actually travel to the ports to process arrivals.

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41 minutes ago, OnMyWay said:

It seems that each BI office has standards that are probably set by the person managing it.  Low standards of the manager = low standards of quality of the environment.  It probably all comes down to managing a budget and keeping the place up. 

BI at CDO is in a mall on the second floor, it's always clean and there are padded benches along the wall for people to wait although a couple of times there has been a short wait for a seat.  The process there (before Covid) was that you sat on the bench at the space closest to the door and people moved along the bench as their applications were processed.  If you paid for priority processing then they'd generally jump you past onto the bench at the next window (each window did a different function so you went from one window to lodge your papers and passport, then another to pay, then another to collect them back.

I always found it to be well organized and the staff tried to be helpful but not all questions could be answered by the counter staff.

It's generally an ok place to be although there was one time an expat starting loudly complaining and getting in the face of the woman behind the counter so I stood up and basically told him to shut it because he was making all of us expats look bad.  He glared at me then stormed out.  The counter lady thanked me though.

Not sure it was the wisest choice but he was being a bully and an a**h*le.

That's the only time I've ever seen the place be other than quiet and polite.

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I did not even do the annual report this year.  Sent a representative with a notarized limited power of attorney.  Allowed as a senior. :thumbsup:

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