Recently I published this article on the BalikBayan Privilege Program in the Philippines. Balik Bayan Privilege Stamp — Red or Blue I got such a good comment on the post I felt it needed another full article to explain some of the intriguing and not often discussed aspects of the age-old BB or 13(a) question.
Here’s the comment, in blue quotes. I have broken it into sections and responded to each part so that everyone can benefit from the answers.
Thank you so much for this article. From previous articles on the subject, I assumed that the 13(A) was best for my situation because I have four kids and I assumed that a trip required my wife to travel which means all 6 of us would need to travel…
Well to get into the Philippines, yes indeed you all must travel together. When a Balik Bayan (Philippine citizen, or former Philippines citizen) travel to the Philippines, his or her spouse and his or her unmarried,minor children can claim the Balik Bayan Privilege Stamp.
There is no way I know of (legally that is) for any of them to avail of the privilege unless they travel together.
But the “flexible” part is, the non-Filipino spouse and/or any of the children can leave the Philippines independently, without even an ECC. And so long as their stay has been less than one year, they are also exempt from paying the travel tax..
Also, the Filipino citizen spouse can leave at any time s/he desires and the BB stamp for his/her spouse and dependents remains in force until the end of the original year stay.
All of my kids are dual citizens.
Well if they are dual citizens then the whole discussion becomes moot (of no point), doesn’t it?.
Any Filipino, adult of child, with a Philippine Citizenship Certificate and enter and stay in the Philippines as long as desired. S/he does not need a Philippine passport, only the citizenship certificate they received when they (or their parent) reacquired Philippine citizenship.
My dual citizen wife, for example, hasn’t had a Philippine passport in years. She enters and leaves the Philippines with her US passport and her reacquired Philippine citizenship certificate. No hassle.
If your children were not Philippine citizens, then they could only enter when accompanied by their mother who would request the BB Stamp for them. But as dual citizens, there’s no problem, with or without their mom.
You mentioned two things that have rocked my 13(A) visa world. First… “In other words you never HAVE to leave at a given time, there is always a legal way to stay longer” I was stuck in the mindset that there was no other option, this is interesting and I guess I need to explore this more.
Not much to explore. If you are here in the Philippines on a BB Privilege Stamp and you are reaching the end of the one year stay, just go to any Bureau of Immigration office and ask that your BB be converted to a Tourist visa. It’s done right then and there along with the first 2 month tourist visa stamp going into your passport.
The issue I didn’t cover, but should have, is _if_ your children were also on the BB Stamp, they would have to be converted as well. Not that much hassle, but the fees would certainly begin to mount up.
Again, since your children are “duals”, this is no issue for you.
However, when you said, “The BB privilege stamp allows you to leave on your own (with no ECC and no tax) but absolutely requires you to enter only in the company of your Philippine citizen (or dual citizen) (or former Filipino) spouse.” when I first read this I initially did not read the word ‘spouse’ so my brain processed that it could be my Philippine citizen son. If that was true then that would be a no brainer and I would 100% abandon the pursuit of the 13(A)
Ah yes. If your child could sponsor you for the BB Stamp, what a great world that would be. But sorry, so far as I know, no can do.
I’m not really too sure what you mean by your “pursuit” of the 13(a). If the 13(a) suits how you want to live, then just get it. It’s not something you have to compete for and enter a contest for, just fill up some forms, pay some fees and you’ll get it.
That’s, again, one of the main reasons I am writing yet again about the BB Stamp because the question is NOT if the BB Stamp is “better” than the 13(a) or the 13(a) is “better” than the BB Privilege.
It’s like a red shirt and blue pants. They are two different things. Chose the one that’s best for you.
Just remember, the BalikBayan Privilege may be the easiest.