I am a Filipina who is married to my Indian husband for eight years now. We resided in India during the first two years of our marriage; then, we decided to live here in the Philippines and start our family. We were able to secure his temporary resident visa, but it expired last January 2016. It was actually partly my fault because I was the one who kept all of my husband’s papers, but I forgot all about the expiration of his visa.
Now, we are planning to extend his visa and are gathering all the papers we might possibly need. A friend of ours told us that we might have a hard time extending given that my husband’s visa is already expired. I just want to ask how we can go about it. Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you and more power.
Foreigners are only given the privilege to reside in the Philippines, if they have complied with existing immigration laws, rules and regulations. Considering that their stay is a privilege, the same is subject to lawful limitations.
For instance, foreigners who are holding temporary resident visas are confined to remain in the Philippines only during the period of their authorized stay. If they continue to stay in the Philippines beyond such period, they will be considered as overstaying aliens and may be subjected to the imposition of fines and penalties as well as possible deportation to their country of origin. Nevertheless, they may be allowed to extend their visa prior to its expiration in consonance with pertinent immigration regulations.
In the situation you have presented, it appears that your husband no longer has a valid temporary resident visa considering that it already expired last January 2016. Thus, it will not be possible for you and your husband to extend the same as an expired visa cannot be validly extended.
You and your husband, however, may opt to downgrade his expired temporary resident visa to a tourist visa so that he may be able to still remain in the Philippines, in the meantime. Simply try to reapply thereafter for the issuance of his new temporary resident visa. It will be most prudent for you and your husband to visit the main office of the Bureau of Immigration in Intramuros, Manila, for the processing of the downgrading of his visa. You and/or your husband must execute a letter request addressed to the Commissioner of Immigration, stating the reason/s for the downgrading of his visa as well as your residential address and contact number. Along with the letter request, photocopy of the following must be submitted: (a) your marriage certificate or contract; (b) your husband’s passport bio-page, visa implementation page and the page bearing the latest admission and valid authorized stay; and (c) his ACR I-Card (front and back portions) with proof of its cancelation. In addition, he must secure a derogatory record verification (No Derogatory Stamp) before the Bureau (BI FORM 2014-10-001 Rev 0, http://www.immigration.gov.ph/images/FORMS/Checklist/9Others/3.%20Downgrading%20of%20Visa.pdf).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org