Balikbayan visa-free stay

The Bureau of Immigration has relaxed its rules for returning Filipinos or balikbayans by giving them a one-year visa-free stay in the country, Commissioner Marcelino Libanan has said. Libanan said they decided to ease the bureaus rule after being swamped with queries and complaints from returning Filipinos who claimed that they were confused by some immigration officers who would give them a 21-day stay instead of one year on the pretext that they have been to the country more than once over a 12-month period.

We will be doing our balikbayans a disservice if such mistakes by some of our immigration officers are not addressed and rectified, especially in light of our governments thrust to encourage our countrymen abroad to visit the land of their birth and even settle and have business here, Libanan said.

Under immigration rules, a balikbayan shall declare before a Philippine immigration officer at the port of entry that he or she is availing of the balikbayan privilege and shall present his or her valid passport in addition to other supporting documents such as the passengers cancelled Philippine passport, birth certificate, naturalization papers to show former Philippine citizenship or certification from the adopted country. Libanan said the balikbayan privilege was extended to foreign spouses as well as minor, unmarried children provided they were traveling together.

12 Replies to “Balikbayan visa-free stay”

  1. In the Balikbayan Free Visa which is extended t the foreign spouse as long as travelling together. What is mean by travelling together? Will be be possible to avail balikbayan visa if it is only one- way we will travel together?

    Does it should be the two-way flight?

  2. Balikbayan Visa.
    1. Do I need a roundtrip ticket?
    2. Can I purchase one way ticket only?
    3. Because roundtrip tickets have expiration date of maximum 3 months, therefore, If I stay one year, I can always leave the country before visa expire and then return to the country again?
    Mindy Coker
    Las Vegas, NV USA
    (702) 644-8242

  3. Balikbayan Visa.
    Do we need to get a visa? I am a former Filipino Citizen. I am holding a foreign passport for 29 years. I´ve got my Europe Union Pass Port 5 years ago. I have not been in the Philippines for 7 years. On the month of June we are going to visit my home country Philippines together my two unmarried children and my husband. We are going to stay one month in the Philippines from June 14 to July 14. I wonder if we need to secure our visa? Please send information and reply!

    Million of thanks,

  4. if i was born in the philippines in 1984, but grew up in australia (my mother is filipina, and my father is australian)….i married a filipino….gave birth to a child in Philippines and he has australian citizen by desent and gave birh to anoter child in Autralia…. can the three of us avail the “balikbayan”? or not???? i want to travel to the philippines …just me and my 2 kids,,,and wanted to spend 3 to 4 months there….and my husband would meet us there in the philippines and would return to australia ith us….

  5. To the Nigerian Alade…you can only use the balikbayan if you are MARRIED to her/him. Fiancee status is of no value. When you enter the Philippines you must bring the marriage documents to prove you are actually married to that person you are traveling with.

    To Ms Paterno…your children can use that BB privelege but your husband cannot since he is not traveling with you.

    To Estrella…you can regain full Philippine citizenship with all rights simply by going to any Philippine consulate or embassy, filling out the docs, pledging allegiance and paying a fee of $50.00 (US by the info I have found). Then you have all the rights of both countries.

    To Mindy…It is the airline that determines if they will allow you to board. Some are not aware of that visa status & will make you have an onward ticket just to board. Notice I DID NOT SAY Round trip, just onward from The Philippines at some later date…find a cheap flight to Bangkok or Macaou or Hong Kong & then get it refunded in Philippines.

  6. If you have a balikbayan stamp in your passport, do you still need to get an exit clearance (ECC) if you leave the country after 6 months stay?

    1. Jan 22, 2013
      I and my foreign natl husband was at the immigration a week ago n have inquired if clearance is required before we exit the country and i was told that for balikbayan visa it is not required; only for those who have i.e tourist a 6 mths of stay are required to.

  7. Hello,
    I am getting married In Cagayan de Oro, Philippines April 2010. After the wedding party we will leave for a honeymoon in Taiwan then return to the Philippines.
    What is needed for me to avail of this Balikbayan 1 year pass. I have heard so many stories about this I would like to see some facts I can take with be when I go to Cagayan. Where can I find the actual printed statement that Commissioner Libanan made and approved.
    Thaks Joseph.

  8. i am indian citzen, after marrige with phillipines citizen  when i will move philipines with my wife can i get balikbayan stamp,

  9. i am from india i can get balikbayan visa stamp on my passport balikbayan is a single entry visa or wat i mean to say if i exit from philippines i need visa to enter or i can enter with my balikbayan visa

  10. hi good day.. my concern is.. my husband is an austrian and right now he is holding balikbayan visa.. we book a vacation flight to bangkok for next month.. my question is.. do my husband need a return ticket? i mean ( austria ticket)

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