Living In The Philippines Forum

Getting Prepared For The Philippines => Laws, Regulations, Taxes as Applied to Foreigners => Topic started by: Reid54 on July 21, 2017, 02:44:50 AM

Title: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: Reid54 on July 21, 2017, 02:44:50 AM
Hello I live in the UK and my wife and children are Philippine nationals and live in gensan. I want to travel there the beginning of next year and stay for 3 months, however I picked up a conviction earlier this year for growing quite a large amount of weed for which I received a fine, suspended sentence and community service.  Does anyone know or have any experience if this will affect me when applying for a visa extension.  I've aplied many times before at the immigration office in gensan but I can't remember if u need to declare convictions, or of this will affect my visa? I'm praying it doesn't becuase I really want to be with my family for as long as I can.  Thanks for yr help on this, any advice will bwe appreciated. Cheers :)
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: Lee2 on July 21, 2017, 05:58:32 AM
If you go for the visa free stay of 30 days then you might be okay but the visa application apparently does ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime.
http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/uploads/pdfs/Non_immigrant.pdf (http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/uploads/pdfs/Non_immigrant.pdf)
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: Reid54 on July 21, 2017, 06:04:45 AM
I would like to stay for 2 or 3 months :(  I'm sure if I need to declare my conviction they won't allow me to stay. :( cheers for yr help.
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: BudM on July 21, 2017, 06:11:19 AM
If you are unable to get in to the Philippines, then get you a visa for the US.  The state of Colorado will welcome you.  In fact, they might allow you to take your weed there with you.
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: Reid54 on July 21, 2017, 06:25:24 AM
So I could leave the country before my 30 days are up then re- enter and that would give me near enough 2 months without a visa? Does anyone know if this is a possibility?
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: Lee2 on July 21, 2017, 06:41:15 AM
So I could leave the country before my 30 days are up then re- enter and that would give me near enough 2 months without a visa? Does anyone know if this is a possibility?
Under normal circumstances yes.
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: lost_in_samoa on July 21, 2017, 07:00:55 AM
weed

I read where Nevada has shortage.  Might be an opportunity there.   :P
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: Reid54 on July 21, 2017, 07:16:12 AM
Under normal circumstances yes.
  stating under normal circumstances suggest to me that u have some doubt that I could do it. I'm thinking maybe my and my wife go to hong Kong for a few days then re- enter, I think this is maybe my best bet.
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: Lee2 on July 21, 2017, 07:41:30 AM
  stating under normal circumstances suggest to me that u have some doubt that I could do it. I'm thinking maybe my and my wife go to hong Kong for a few days then re- enter, I think this is maybe my best bet.

Sorry but I did write that you might be okay in my first reply, the problem is that the Philippines is now linked to Interpol's database and I have no idea what information they might find should they enter your bio information. Since Duterte became president, he has made ridding the Philippines of drugs a priority, even to the extent of ordering the killing of all drug dealers and many dealers and even users have been gunned down in the streets, thus I am not sure you will be flying into a friendly climate should your record show up on their database, so under any other president, then I think you might have been better off, this president is an unknown quantity when it comes to anything related to drugs, so your idea of flying in with your wife might be a good one, just be sure to have documents because if they accept it and they should as long as nothing comes up in their computers, then you would be able to stay up to one year with no other visa, it is called a balkibayan privilege. I wish you good luck...

Quote
BI database linked with Interpol now running in 10 intíl airports
The Bureau of Immigration is beefing up its gatekeeping capabilities with the integration of its databases with those of other government agencies and the Interpol.
The agency has begun implementing the BI Information System, which links up information sources and databases from the BI, government agencies and its international partners.
MORE: [url]http://globalnation.inquirer.net/149717/bi-database-linked-with-interpol-now-running-in-10-intl-airports[/url] ([url]http://globalnation.inquirer.net/149717/bi-database-linked-with-interpol-now-running-in-10-intl-airports[/url])


Quote
Duterte's 'War on Drugs' in the Philippines: By the Numbers
According to the information bulletin released by the police, the government has conducted 40,982 anti-drug operations from July 1 last year to January 7 this year. The police killed 2,206 drug personalities during this period while 44,070 were arrested.
More: [url]http://thediplomat.com/2017/01/dutertes-war-on-drugs-in-the-philippines-by-the-numbers/[/url] ([url]http://thediplomat.com/2017/01/dutertes-war-on-drugs-in-the-philippines-by-the-numbers/[/url])
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: lost_in_samoa on July 21, 2017, 07:52:12 AM
You could "come clean" before you attempt a visit.

You've paid your "debt to society" the court ordered ..... right?  Then you should be in good standing with the powers that be.

Visit the Philippine consulate.  Bring your concerns forward to the consular officer.  They may assist you.  They may not.  In the long run that would be better than trying keep your conviction quiet.

Let's just say your successful in using the short time visa rules for a few years.  After your settled and life has started here you get pulled over for any little offense.  That conviction would come out, and the fact that you did not highlight it on entry would be evident. 

And probably incriminating.


Hope this helps.



Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: bigrod on July 21, 2017, 08:19:13 AM
The new application for extension of Tourist Visa does not ask about prior convictions, so if you can get in on the 30 day Visa free, you should be ok.  You stated you had a suspended sentence, so I presume that would be ended by the time you leave the UK.

http://www.immigration.gov.ph/images/FORMS/TouristVisaSection/TVS-CGAF-VE-2016.pdf (http://www.immigration.gov.ph/images/FORMS/TouristVisaSection/TVS-CGAF-VE-2016.pdf)


Chuck
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: balutsky on July 21, 2017, 12:12:12 PM
Hello I live in the UK and my wife and children are Philippine nationals and live in gensan. I want to travel there the beginning of next year and stay for 3 months, however I picked up a conviction earlier this year for growing quite a large amount of weed for which I received a fine, suspended sentence and community service.
You've mentioned that you have been fined, suspended sentence and community service.  Sounds to me that it was a misdemeanor crime since you did not spend time in jail.   I am no law expert.  However, I do not think that Interpol will be wasting time listing people convicted with a misdemeanor crimes.  If they do, then their list is overwhelming. 
Your plan on taking your wife to Hong Kong then return is very sound too.  Upon your return, you can avail for the Balikbayan visa and that is good for 1 yr.  Anyway, good luck to you.
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: Reid54 on July 21, 2017, 02:55:46 PM
Sorry but I did write that you might be okay in my first reply, the problem is that the Philippines is now linked to Interpol's database and I have no idea what information they might find should they enter your bio information. Since Duterte became president, he has made ridding the Philippines of drugs a priority, even to the extent of ordering the killing of all drug dealers and many dealers and even users have been gunned down in the streets, thus I am not sure you will be flying into a friendly climate should your record show up on their database, so under any other president, then I think you might have been better off, this president is an unknown quantity when it comes to anything related to drugs, so your idea of flying in with your wife might be a good one, just be sure to have documents because if they accept it and they should as long as nothing comes up in their computers, then you would be able to stay up to one year with no other visa, it is called a balkibayan privilege. I wish you good luck...
    yeah I know about Philippines stance on drugs as I actually traveled there twice last year whilst on bail.  My wife would like to visit hong Kong so maybe we will do that anyway.   If u apply for balkibayan visa is there no criminal check when doing this?     
You could "come clean" before you attempt a visit.

You've paid your "debt to society" the court ordered ..... right?  Then you should be in good standing with the powers that be.

Visit the Philippine consulate.  Bring your concerns forward to the consular officer.  They may assist you.  They may not.  In the long run that would be better than trying keep your conviction quiet.

Let's just say your successful in using the short time visa rules for a few years.  After your settled and life has started here you get pulled over for any little offense.  That conviction would come out, and the fact that you did not highlight it on entry would be evident. 

And probably incriminating.


Hope this helps.




.   The problem with coming clean is that even in this country it has stopped me getting about 5 jobs.  So I then lied to Get a decent job then they done a dB's check and sacked me 2 weeks later. I know its my own fault but the judge suspended my sentence because he didn't deem me a threat to society and so I could get on with my life.  Like I say I know its my own fault I just need to deal with it the best I can.
You've mentioned that you have been fined, suspended sentence and community service.  Sounds to me that it was a misdemeanor crime since you did not spend time in jail.   I am no law expert.  However, I do not think that Interpol will be wasting time listing people convicted with a misdemeanor crimes.  If they do, then their list is overwhelming. 
Your plan on taking your wife to Hong Kong then return is very sound too.  Upon your return, you can avail for the Balikbayan visa and that is good for 1 yr.  Anyway, good luck to you.
.

I was very lucky not to go to jail it was a large number of plants and the title of my charge doesn't help either, " in concern with supply of a class b drug and theft of electricity "   
 
The new application for extension of Tourist Visa does not ask about prior convictions, so if you can get in on the 30 day Visa free, you should be ok.  You stated you had a suspended sentence, so I presume that would be ended by the time you leave the UK.

[url]http://www.immigration.gov.ph/images/FORMS/TouristVisaSection/TVS-CGAF-VE-2016.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.immigration.gov.ph/images/FORMS/TouristVisaSection/TVS-CGAF-VE-2016.pdf[/url])


Chuck
.      Thank u for this , this is reassuring.   

Thank u everyone for your help and advice it is much appreciated.         
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: lost_in_samoa on July 21, 2017, 03:40:39 PM
I know its my own fault


Don't get me wrong.  I have no problem with the "herbals" in of themselves. 

But running a  "grow room" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growroom) on somebody else's nickel was not the best of life moves.

I have done some truly stupid sh_t in my life that I regret immensely.   So I can empathize with you.

For me,  the final solution was own up to it all and change the way I perceived the world.  That process took decades, and is still underway.

Some folks call that the 4th (http://www.12step.org/the-12-steps/step-4/) step.

If you wish long term residence here in the RP then  working through this issue, if it is possible to do so, would be the road to walk.

Hope this helps.

Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: medic3500 on July 21, 2017, 05:55:56 PM
I'm not a lawyer but don't think it's going to be an issue if you are just visiting. It sounds as if it was treated as a misdemeanor. Later if you decide to stay and apply for a different visa and have to get a police background check it might pop up and even then I don't think it will. With that being said I would not raise any Red Flags by contacting BI and telling them in advance. There are several people in this country legally that have some criminal background in their past. They paid their dues, changed their ways don't have any warrants nothing to worry about. If really concerned talk to an immigration attorney in your home country and just ask if they (the government) can flag your passport.   
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: Lee2 on July 21, 2017, 07:06:52 PM
    If u apply for balkibayan visa is there no criminal check when doing this?
Thank u everyone for your help and advice it is much appreciated.       
I am only guessing, as we all have to do, since I believe none of us had been in your situation but I suspect the BI use the Interpol check no matter what process a person enters on. From what I have seen, it is automatic when they run your passport into their machine, so while I feel/guess they might be more lenient towards one of us married to one of their citizens, it will depend on if the information comes up or not when they enter your passport and what that information says and that will depend on what your government did or did not do about entering it.

I guess it should go without saying but I will write it anyway, make sure any clothing you wear or suitcases you bring have never had any MJ in them and are freshly washed if they were even close to where it was grown or processed, as the Philippines also uses dogs nowadays at the airports. 

You are welcome and I wish you the best of luck. I wish we had better answers for you but as I wrote above, it is impossible for us to know exactly what will happen.
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: iamjames on July 22, 2017, 03:33:27 PM
The new application for extension of Tourist Visa does not ask about prior convictions, so if you can get in on the 30 day Visa free, you should be ok.  You stated you had a suspended sentence, so I presume that would be ended by the time you leave the UK.

[url]http://www.immigration.gov.ph/images/FORMS/TouristVisaSection/TVS-CGAF-VE-2016.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.immigration.gov.ph/images/FORMS/TouristVisaSection/TVS-CGAF-VE-2016.pdf[/url])


Chuck


Exactly -  but there is an interpol background check at some stage so that is where the problem could be. Not sure though if your conviction would be on the interpol database - so try that check
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: hitekcountry on July 23, 2017, 10:18:50 AM
You could "come clean" before you attempt a visit.

You've paid your "debt to society" the court ordered ..... right?  Then you should be in good standing with the powers that be.

Visit the Philippine consulate.  Bring your concerns forward to the consular officer.  They may assist you.  They may not.  In the long run that would be better than trying keep your conviction quiet.

Let's just say your successful in using the short time visa rules for a few years.  After your settled and life has started here you get pulled over for any little offense.  That conviction would come out, and the fact that you did not highlight it on entry would be evident. 

And probably incriminating.


Hope this helps.

Or you could go the nearest Philippine Consulate there in the UK and apply for an extended Visa and If the issue comes up either by them asking or by their normal processing you will know that before you step onto Philippine soil and you can deal with that at that time. The worst that can happen to you in that situation is youíre denied the Visa.  If they donít ask and their normal processing doesnít raise the issue, then they'll probably just issue you the extended Visa and youíre good to go.

My first trip to the Philippines I first went to the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco and applied for an extended Visa and I received a 59 day Visa no trouble at all. If they asked about any criminal record or not, I don't remember.
Title: Re: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on July 24, 2017, 07:35:14 AM
I also recall when applying for visa extensions, that a derogatory statement from the BI is provided when the visa request has been processed.
Title: Advice on criminal convictions and visas
Post by: WarnerTug on December 30, 2018, 11:09:24 PM
If you need help with names, just ask

Are you talking about moi = pacific threadfin kinda thing?