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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tips for 9G Visa Processing in Bureau of Immigration Intramuros Office

Since November last year, it has been part of my tasks as an HR staff to process the 9g visa of our Korean Managers and I tell you this without sugar coating it: IT IS HELL. Two things I hate about this job is the travel time to and from the office and visa processing and I tell you, there are days when I question which I loathe more than the other. Knowing that many Foreign nationals process their visa on their own, here are some tips (based on one year of going to the Immigration office back and forth) with regard to processing.

This is how I feel like after a day in the Bureau of Immigration

I say between 8am to 9am. Technically, the Bureau opens at 7am but I noticed that most of them arrive at 8am anyway, so why waste your energy getting up so early? However, the area transforms into a whole new level by 10am, since many people arrive after 9am, so to experience shorter lines and less irate immigration employees, be there from 8am to 9am.

-When you check their website and other sites, there is a list of things that they will ask from you but believe me, that list is incomplete. First and foremost, it does not tell you that you have to put all your documents in a folder with a fastener and each fastener costs 5 pesos if you buy it from the folks who do photocopy near the cafeteria. Second, you should fill out an extra copy of the application form + a photocopy of your passport bio page, last day of arrival and visa stamp + i-card photocopy and fasten it to the left side of the folder for the processing of your i-card. They also ask for extra documents, especially those pertaining to tax, so bring all documents which you think are applicable.

The actual processing time can actually be much shorter or much longer than what they say. 

*On one occasion, I passed a passport for visa implementation (or stamping) at 2:00pm and they asked me to come back at 5:00 the next day. So that would be a total of 11hours for stamping, which can be finished in an hour or two. The following day, I came back at 10am and passport was not yet ready. Luckily, when I came again at 11am, the passport was ready..which took them a total of 6 hours ONLY. YEY!!!!(NOTE A TON OF SARCASM)  

*On another occasion, I was waiting for a document to be transmitted to another department in the 3rd floor. It was 12:15 noon and the guy told me to expect the document to be there after 15 minutes and though they say they "dont" have lunch break, I "felt" he would go on a break anyway so I decided to take a lunch break as well and voila, when I took the elevator at 1:15, that guy in charge was in the elevator with me. A WOMAN'S INTUITION IS ALWAYS RIGHT(*wink)

*At some point, you are bound to go to window 14 where you will pass your documents for evaluation. They say they will that they will call you. They will- IF YOU ARE FOR COMPLIANCE-meaning there is is something lacking or missing in your application. If not, THEY WILL NOT CALL YOU. If you do not see your number in the small whiteboard, after a few hours, check the folders laid out near the window. You have to point to your folder and tell them which one is yours, and that's the time you can get your OPS.

Your AEP or Alien Employment Permit should be valid at the time of the Visa application so before you process your 9g conversion or extension, process your AEP first. If it is a new AEP application, it will take about a month since you have to complete the requirements and wait for the publication in a newspaper but for renewal, it can be done in less than 10 working days.

5. Be Familiar with the Dollar Exchange Rate*(Updated as of December 30 2013)
I processed our operations managers' visa last September and two others just last week and surprise, surprise, the amount were different. Only then did I notice that the amount actually depends on the current exchange rate and probably due to the recent Haiyan catastrophe and many other things, the peso value is lower and thus, fees are higher.

Probably the only things exact in this agency are the things pertaining to money:
For sure, what you see in the list is the actual amount you should pay and second, the cashier does close at 5pm. Other than that, you cannot trust them to be accurate and precise and similar to customer service, the last person you talk to can say something completely different from the next person who does. So just to be sure, ask twice.

~I will update this list as I continue to process visas but for now, these are the tips I can share...Ciao!


Melo Smith said...

Thank you for your advice. I'm already been warned by some of my friends about the visa processing. They told me of the bad things that might happen to me during my application.

Anonymous said...


I just wanna ask, my Temporary (Tourist) is about to expire, but my application for 9G Visa is still in process, and the decision will be posted next month (december). Do I still need to apply for Tourist Visa Extension?

Thanks. I hope you can help me.


Arnold and April said...

Hi Anthony,

Yes, you still have to apply for an extension, because technically you're visa will only be 9g once it has been approved.

shahankit_java said...

I am an Indian and have a valid Singapore visa and will be going to Philippines with On arrival visa since I have singapore visa. So can I get working visa on basis of on arrival visa.

Arnold and April said...

You can renew your "arrival" or tourist visa several times until your work visa becomes approved.

However, the requirements for the work visa are more related to your company and job and
the company you work for- they will ask for business permit, your contract, tax details and the like.

Hope this helps!

Canny Geyer said...

Great article! My husband is coming to the Philippines end of next month for a new position. Is it possible to start the visa 9g process or the Alien permit application beforehand so that it wouldn't take so long? We stay in South Africa at the moment. Our container cannot ship before he has the permit, otherwise we must pay 50%tax on it. Any advice would be great as I am really struggling to find answers. His company is European and he will be the one opening a new office so they are also a bit in the dark.

Arnold and April said...


Look for a broker that can process his Alien Employment Permit first as this is a requirement for the work visa and takes about 2 weeks to process. I believe he can use a tourist visa whilst waiting for the work visa. Hope this helps :)

Hyacinthe said...

Hi Everyone
am working in the working in the philippines for 2 years already and holder of the 9G visa provided by my company.

however, i have to move to another company and they are asking to process the 9G visa my own.

does anybody know the fee for the 9G while moving 9G to 9G and the downgrading process?
also when moving from tourist visa to the 9G visa...

Actually the company said, its their first time to proceed for the 9G visa.

Thank you

Arnold and April said...


The company acts as your "sponsor" as an employee in the Philippines so what would happen is that before you move to the new company, you have to downgrade from 9g to tourist. Downgrading takes about two weeks to a month. After that, you have to process your 9g again, this time, passing the documents of the new company. the downgrade costs about 4-5k pesos if I remember correctly, and the fees for the 9g is about 10k pesos- but that's just the fees for the Immigration office. If you have to pass through a broker/agent, I think they charge about 30k processing fee.
So you if you pass through a broker, you need about 50-70k tops for everything.
Hope this helps

April Cavalida said...

Hi, May I ask po how much will it cost like for Husband and Wife, both Koreans, no child. They are new, and would like to get 9g Visa for 3 years? Thanks

Arnold and April said...

Hi April. Im working in a diff field now so Im not updated with the rates, though I remember that the fee is close to $200 per person per year. They follow the prevailing exchange rate(which didnt make sense to me), so just multiply that. I'm also not sure if it's possible to get a 9G visa for 3 years, because I remember we just applied either for 1 year or two years. Hope this helps! :)

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