balikbayan_entry_stampForeigners who are married to a Filipino and want to live in the Philippines do need the necessary papers to be able to do so.
There are a few possibilities to stay in the Philippines. Once a foreigner and his or her spouse arrive in the Philippines they can get a ‘balikbayan’ status, which means that they are allowed to stay for 12 months without getting a visa. After that, if they like to stay longer, they should get a visa.

  • The first possibility is a tourist visa which has a valadity of two months and needs to be renewed every two months. Foreigners, not married to a Filipino citizen need to do this or get a SRRV.

  • The second possibility is to apply for a so called 13a visa. This visa is only possible if the foreigner is married to a Filipino Citizen. If the spouse of the foreigner doesn’t have Filipino Citizenship because of marriage to this Foreigner, he or she can get Filipino citizenship back by requiring for it. After that is done the application for 13a visa for the Foreigner husband can be done.
  • The third possibility is to get a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) . This type of staying permit can also be given to Foreigners not married to a Filipino citizen.

Let me give you some links first so you can check your possibilities and the requirements.

(links to government sites in the Philippines are often broken, why? They have more traffic than the hosting company allows !!)

Recently my wife and I have applied for the 13a visa for me. Untill now I was just a tourist in the Philippines after the balikbayan status has expired.
I will describe the procedure here, as we have experienced at the Immigration Office in Intramuros, Manila. I will also mention about the costs for it. I have tried to be as accurate as possible, but the Immigration Office might change procedures or fees so this is just my experience.
All over the country there are Immigration Offices where one can go and apply for this type of visa.

If you are interested in reading how I get my 13a visa, just click on page 2 below