I have an Australian friend who came here on a tourist visa. She enjoyed her first trip here back in 2012, established friendships and eventually found a partner/boyfriend who is a Filipino and also my friend. She came back here last year. She was only able to extend her tourist visa a couple of times. Now, her visa is expired for about two months already. Can she be deported because of this? What if she has already married my Filipino friend, is she not considered a Filipino as well, or at least a permanent resident? Please advise me on this matter.
Possessing a Philippine tourist visa simply gives foreigners a privilege to leisurely stay here in our country. Such privilege is not without limitations. One of the significant limitations is the period for the foreigners’ admissible stay.
Accordingly, your Australian friend is only allowed to remain here in the Philippines for the entire period that her tourist visa remains valid. Corollary, she must apply for the necessary extension of her tourist visa prior to the expiration thereof, subject to the limitations and conditions that may be imposed on account of such extension.
Your Australian friend may be subjected to deportation, after proper investigation, should she deliberately fail or refuse to extend her tourist visa. It is expressly provided for under Section 37 of the Commonwealth Act (CA) 613, or The Philippine Immigration Act of 1940:
(a) The following aliens shall be arrested upon the warrant of the Commissioner of Immigration or of any other officer designated by him for the purpose and deported upon the warrant of the Commissioner of Immigration after a determination by the Board of Commissioners of the existence of the ground for deportation as charged against the alien: x x x (7) Any alien who remains in the Philippines in violation of any limitation or condition under which he was admitted as a non-immigrant; x x x
This holds true even if she has already married your Filipino friend. As explained by the Supreme Court in a long line of cases and reiterated in the case of Morano et al. vs. Hon. Martiniano Vivo (G.R. No. L-22196, June 30, 1967, Ponente, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Conrado V. Sanchez): “x x x the marriage of an alien woman to a Filipino citizen does not ipso facto make her a Filipino citizen. She must satisfactorily show that she has all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications required by the Naturalization Law. x x x” In the same manner, she cannot be considered as a permanent resident here in the Philippines just by mere marriage to a Filipino citizen. She must apply, satisfactorily qualify and be granted residence visa pursuant to Section 13 of CA 613 and other related Immigration rules and regulations.
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