Extension to Stay increase from 16 to 24 Months

Early this month, Jessie returned from the Bureau of Immigration office in Mandaue saying she was told that I could now extend my stay in the Philippines up to 24 months without getting special permission!

I could now extend my stay in the Philippines up to 24 months without getting special permission!

Wow, am I confused about how long I can stay in the Philippines on my tourist visa.  A couple of weeks ago I sent an email to the Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BI)  about getting an extension to stay for 24 months instead of the normal 16 months.  The day before Jessie delivered this good news, I got an email from BI stating that I had to write a letter to Immigration Regulation Division Chief and get approval.  Once the approval is granted, I must go to Manila office to pay the Filipinafees and get the necessary paperwork.

For me, I think I should just as well leave the country.  The cost to go to Manila minimizes the benefits of staying another six months and then being required to leave anyway.

I don’t know what to believe.  The BI website shows no difference in the requirements.  Jessie found it hard to believe too, she said she asked the BI official so many different ways that “She probably thought I was dull.”  I’m hoping what Jessie learned is accurate.  However, I’ve seen no other expats talking about it.  I’ve  seen nothing on the web by the newspapers and there is nothing on the BI website.

I’m going to try to get my next extension early, just to see if I can get it.  Until then, I’m going to continue to plan to leave the country in September.  I am not prepared for that either financially or physically.    I am close enough that I can get by though.  Once I find out what the actual rules are, I will share what I find out.

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Filed under: Expats Living in CebuPhilippine Immigration

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