Philippines Insider" The Ultimate Philippines Travel Guide for Tourists and Expats
Philippines Insider" The Ultimate Philippines Travel Guide for Tourists and Expats

Author Topic: Have You Been Asked To Leave Your Passport With BOI For A Tourist Extension Visa  (Read 702 times)

Offline Vicks

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For the past eight years, my husband has gone to our local BOI office and extended his Visa. In all of that time, he was never asked to leave his passport for 3 days while they processed his Regular Lane extension.

When he asked the young lady at the counter window if this requirement was a new directive from the main office, she replied, "No sir, it has always been a requirement and we are just now enforcing it."

My husband searched the BOI website and could not find any directive that indicates anyone is required to leave their passport. In fact, every issuing government that we know of, specifically states that your passport should be carried on your person at all times. And because he submitted his application for an extension on a Thursday he was without a passport until the following Monday. So without a valid ID on his person, he couldn't conduct banking transactions, use his credit card or even receive medical attention.

Now here's the kicker. If you are willing to pay the P1000 Express Lane fee, you get your passport returned the very same day. Hmmm. Is this just another way for a local office to make additional profits, because Express Lane fees don't get sent to the Main Office; they stay in the budget of the local office.

And when he sent an inquiry to the BOI's main office via FB, email and Twitter...only one reply came telling him to call the Office of the Director.
Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.
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Offline bigrod

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Doesn't your husband have an ACR card, that is a valid ID.
Life is  to short not to live it right the first time

Offline Peter

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Doesn't your husband have an ACR card, that is a valid ID.

Regarding leaving a passport with the BI, I have done this on a couple of occasions during the 13A visa processing. Just took a photocopy of the relevent pages and keep them in my wallet. Not a biggie, just common sense.

After 8 years I would hope your husband has, or if he hasn't should have, alternative forms of Philippines' ID card. As well as the above mentioned ACR ID which is available, maybe mandatory (?) to all long term residents/visitors,  the Philippines' Driving Licence and Philhealth card come to mind. There are other types as well. Barangay ID is available in some places.

The "Express Lane" fees are used to pay the BI staff overtime. A couple of years ago, these fees were taken from the BI and paid to central Govt. coffers. As a result the BI reverted to Govt. opening hours of business. 8 - 4 in most places. After many "work to rule" days, the monies were refunded to the BI, which ensured Aliens could get proper service. eg Intramuros went from 7 - 5, to 8 -4, then back to 7 - 5. That made a big difference when you travel to Intramuros from the outskirts of region 3. So we always pay the Express Lane fee, as the BI staff deserve a proper wage. IMHO of course.

Peter

« Last Edit: December 29, 2019, 05:44:08 PM by Peter »
Noli nothis permittere te terere.
Virtus autem corruptibilis est,
summa virtute prorsus corrumpitur,

Offline M.C.A.

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The Philippine Postal Service has an ID card and it's a government issued ID card.
My views would be from someone who lives out in the province close to in-laws on a pension.  Norwegian and French heritage.

Offline iamjames

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The "express lane fee" is at the discretion of the office chief (as explained to me by a member of staff). This money is a direct payment to the staff and NOT to the government. Just a normal corruption here.
Normally the express fee is 500.
NEVER part with your passport for any length of time - actually I never allow it out of my direct view.  This is normal international law.

Offline User444

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I have left my passport at BOI overnight. I didnít pay the express fee one time and picked it up the following day. One time I overstayed by 1 day and they said I had to pay the express fee. It was ready in 2 hours.
Never argue with an idiot who provides false information. First, they will bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

Offline Peter

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.........................................

NEVER part with your passport for any length of time - actually I never allow it out of my direct view.  This is normal international law.
James.

I do not think there is a "normal" international law that mandates one State to honour what an Alien's foreigner State requires that person to do.
(Written inside a passport, there will probably be a statement to the effect of "requesting and/or requiring" others to honour and assist the bearer, but that will be at the discretion of the State where the foreigner is visiting or resident in.)
When a State's Immigration Authorities requires an Alien to hand over their passport for processing/recording/copying/whatever, as part of the Alien's legal stay in that country, the Alien has 2 choices. Hand it over or leave the country.

Will you not send your passport to, or leave it with, a foreign Embassy for a visitor's visa stamp?

When dealing with non-immigration foreign State offices or other entities I agree, never let go of it if possible, but there are many other instances where keeping your passport in direct view at all times is quite impractical, if you want to travel. And why have a passport, if you don't want to travel?  :) :)

All the above is IMHO, of course.  :) :)

Peter
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 11:10:06 AM by Peter »
Noli nothis permittere te terere.
Virtus autem corruptibilis est,
summa virtute prorsus corrumpitur,

Offline Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am

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My comment is. I renewed my passport via mail. They had my passport for about a week for processing and my old and new passport was returned to me without any issues.
Blind faith and trust sometimes is a God send. So no, I don't have an issue with my passport being out of my sight when having faith and trust in the system.
"Life is what we all make it to be"!
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Offline Frosty

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I just did this a week ago, I gave them my passport and got it back the next morning,

when we are traveling around the islands an going through the ports I only give them a photo copy of the passport,
I never carry my passport with me after we get out of the airports                                   
I have used my US drivers license for an ID if I need to show one.
I will get my Phill. drivers license after the first of the year, they are waiting for the guy to come back to work that knows how to turn on the printer.  ;)
 

Offline jjcabgou

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I rented a care the other week, and one of the requirements is I leave my passport with them...  No passport, no car.  Got my passport back when they picked up the car.  Same thing for my brother in law when he visited last year

Offline JoeLP

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Over the past few years I have been asked to leave my passport with them if I didn't want to pay the express fee.  I do it.  Why?  I have my ACR I-Card which is not only an id card, but also proof I have a valid passport.  Also, I have a copy of the pages necessary to do most things.  And the biggest reason, the current head of the immigration office and the man before her are trustworthy.  The first few heads of that office were scary and completely untrustworthy.  One was so bad she was downgraded in rank and forced to become on officer in the airports again.
But, after her, a guy came in and in a matter of months moved the office to a much better location(been there since).  Upgraded all the equipment to the most modern setups available.  We're talking that lady used handwritten receipts.  The new guy brought in all the different types of printers required and the computer system with the scanners and everything.  Surprised me with how small this office is how he got it all done, but he was built to go places and our office was the first he was put in charge of and he was moved up right away.  I think he's in charge of the Iloilo office or something like that now.  Then the current lady is a local who worked under him and has done a good job of taking what he did and keeping it going. 
But, anyway, with the much more neat/clean setup they have going on top of the fact that they are much more forthright in talking about anything you ask, I find them more trustworthy and have never had any issues.  So I'll leave it there a week sometimes as I don't always take trips back to that area.  It's over an hour away via car/van.  It's always there.  But, if my ACR I-card is not in hand(ordered a new one and haven't received it yet), I will pay the express fee and get the card same day.  I need to have something "hard" on hand(not just  a copy) to show I have a valid passport.  Just for my satisfaction. 
But yeah, I've been asked since I've arrived to leave it.  And determining the situation, I have or have not.
In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

Offline clarkee

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In the past when I was in the Philippines I would use a travel agency who use to operate out of the Premiere and Sunset Garden hotel in Angeles. They would take care of the visa extension of course for a nominal fee and return my passport back to me about 3 days later.  No problem with it whatsoever.  Of course I always had 5 copies of my description page printed and kept one on my person and the others along with my passport in the hotel safe. Any problems you may encounter with a local official just show them your passport copy. They can input the passport number if needed to see if I was up-to-date on my visa extensions.

Offline Vicks

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Yes, he has an ACR Card.

He just felt like he was being manipulated to pay the Express Fee.

And being a Filipina I can understand why he feels that way.

Even included in the instructions with my Philippine Passport it clearly states that you are not to surrender your passport to anyone.

We knew the rules in Vietnam, where hotels ask that you leave your passport during your stay, so we took our old passports and gave them to the desk clerk. They never asked why there was a hole punched through our passports.  ;)

Hopefully he can get his passport back tomorrow because the mall where the office is located is rumored to only open the supermarket due to COVID-19.

Thank you for all of your replies.
Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.
-Sandra Carey