This post was long overdue, as we have done this process around 2008-2009. But in any case I would like to outline the steps we took in order for my US citizen husband to obtain his permanent residency in the Philippines.
Please note that these instruction may be more specific to Filipinos applying for 13(a) non-quota immigrant visa for their foreign spouse.
1) First things first, you need to review carefully the requirements for applying for a 13(a) non-quota immigrant visa. Head over to the Phil. Immigration site and read away.
Full details of the requirements here:
2) Once you have all the paperwork together, make sure to put them in the order as stated in the requirements, make triplicate copies and put each copy in a long folder (they are quite strict about this.)
3) Go to the nearest immigration office in your area and pay for the appropriate fees. The two that I have been so far were in Intramuros and in Makati.
Note: Please don’t ever go to the Immigration office wearing shorts, sando (wife-beater) or tsinelas (slippers), otherwise you will be turned down and will not be allowed to enter the Immigration premises.
4) After you have paid the necessary fees, you will be asked to photo copy the receipt. Make sure you have small bills, it’s always been a hassle for us to make photo copies inside the Immigration in Makati. You will be asked to go to the 2nd floor and photo copy and usually they say they don’t have change. Go back to immigration and give them a copy of your receipt.
Above all else, read this notice from the Immigration website carefully and pay very special and careful attention:
Republic of the Philippines
Department of Justice
BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION
NOTICE TO ALL APPLICANTS / PETITIONERS
To avoid the inconvenience of a summary denial of your applications/petition, please be advised of the following:
1.All sworn statement of affidavits must be properly notarized. Indicating therein the proof of identification of the party being sworn by the notary public.
2.All documents to be submitted must be properly authenticated. Documents executed outside the Philippines must be authenticated by the official of the Philippine foreign service at the place of execution or nearest to it. Any document executed within the Philippines must be duly certified by the offices having official custody of the originals.
3.All required documents required in nos. 1 & 2 must be submitted and must be in order, otherwise your application or petition cannot be processed immediately.
To summarize the general rule:
- only NSO issued marriage and birth certificates (or, forget about your application)
- bring pictures in the sizes it is asked
- submit papers in triplicate copies, each in folder and in order
- notarize all sworn documents
- bring small bills and exact change when possible
- dress properly when visiting the immigration office
Taking this to heart will save you time, money and effort (and frustration as well.)
That’s pretty much it for the application. Then you will just need to check with the Immigration every 2 weeks. From what I remember, we received a decision (application approved) in less than 2 months and my husband received his 1 Year Temporary 13(a) Non-quota Immigrant Visa.
The next step will be to convert the 1 year temporary 13(a) non-quota immigrant visa to permanent which will allow your spouse to stay here for 5 years before renewing his visa again (he will just need to check-in every start of the year for the annual report.) I will write more about this on a succeeding post.
Feel free to ask if you have any questions.