Living in The Philippines > Emigrating section

Have you married a filipina and moved to Philippines?

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A lot of the posts here seem to be about your filipina partner moving to US or UK etc. I'm curious - are there many here that have moved in the opposite direction - moved to Philippines, married your filipina and then stayed via a marriage visa?

If so, what was the process of getting a marriage via like? What were your experiences? Is this something you'd recommend? Do you have any ongoing visa issues?

Interested to hear your thoughts and experiences!


Hi Code,

I moved from Canada to the Philippines by myself. I met my future wife in the Philippines, and we managed to finally get married.

The marriage process, for a non Phlippino, can be quite onerous depending on the municipality.

When I first got here I arrived and got a visitor's visa issued at the airport. The renewal process for a visitor's visa nowadays has been simplified and in my experience, not too bad.

After we got married I and my wife, who is a Pinay, then applied to the local Immigration office for a permanent resident visa for me. The reason I say that I and my wife applied is because we were asking for a permanent resident visa based on the fact that I am married to a Philippine citizen. Once the paper work was done, stamped, approved, etc we had an interview, the 2 of us together, with the local Immigration head. Once we satisfied him that it was not a marriage of convenience he approved the request and I ended up getting my permanent resident's visa and ACR card.

The "interesting" issues to all of this was mainly in the travel from and to the Philippines. We travelled outside the country before I got my permanent resident's visa and on occassion I got a returning Balikbayan visa because we were married, even though we both lived permanantly in the Philippines.

The other "interesting" issue is that most of the airline check in personnel outside of the Philippines have to be explained what permanent resident's visa means, and even sometimes have to be told to go ask their managers. They keep asking me for proof of an airline ticket leaving the philppines.

If you want more info, comments, etc you can message me.

Good luck

Steve & Myrlita:
Hi Tom,
Once you get your permanent 13A ACR-I Card, you will find it much easier to return back to The Philippines.

Thanks Thomas, the process as you describe it does not sound too bad. Good to bear in mind I think.


13a Visa is the way to go if the Philippines is your final stop but I wouldn't get this Visa if you plan on returning to your homeland. 

The reason I mentioned this is that I do know of an Expat that left and then wants to return for vacation with his wife but was worried about his expired ACR card and Visa, and for good reason because you'll be held until you pay your fines they do rack up. 

If you do decide to leave the Philippines but have a 13a Visa, then I'd look into what's needed to cancel your ACR card.


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