Philippines/Balik bayan status


Here is my question. Let's assume that we know someone, (an American male), who is married to a native born Filipina. She has never been out of the Philippines and holds a Philippine passport only. If they go outside the country for only a few days once a year, can she be considered a balik bayan? They got married in 2011 here in the Philippines. Since she has not been out of the country except for a 2 day stay, (with him), in another country, what do they need to do to achieve balik bayan status and to avoid paying Immigration fees? Will the American husband be able to get his passport stamped "balik bayan"?

The Balikbayan Visa is NOT a right but a privelidge so it depends on the indidual immigration official. But that said if the Filipina wife's Philippine passport has her married surname and the couple arrives together then I'd guestimate that the foreign husband has 90%+chance of being issued a Balikbayan visa one year + 21 days. I was issued a BV upon arrival with my daughter , dual national or my Filipina wife. Only once in 20 years did an official NOT issue me the bV upon arrival even after a short time outside the Philippines and then my wife humbly convinced this female immigration officer to go ahead and change the stamp so actually I was issued the BV


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Bill and Lorna Collings


Feel FREE to ask us about traveling, living, relocating, retiring and investing in the Philippines. Guests from 93 countries, the latest being a female PHD from Uganda, make our place in Manila an incredible meeting place for world travelers who exchange travel stories. We understand both the joys and the hardships of living and traveling in the Philippines.


I arrived in the Philippines in January 1980 to travel for 2 months; I stayed 4 months before reluctantly leaving. I met my Filipina wife, Lorna. an incredible stellar, "one in a million" individual in 1983 in Seoul and we moved to the Philippines in 1986 and opened our 3BR house to world travelers on a budget. After welcoming thousands of guests from 93 nations our place has grown to 38 bedrooms in 5 townhouse units, 4 of which are attached but will never lose its "Home away from Home" atmosphere. Almost everyday at The Townhouse Hotel there's a party-like social scene with vibrant, almost magical energetic conversations between our guests who have the pleasure to meet each other and share their life's many experiences.Often three groups with conversations in different languages are going on at the same time. So we've been exposed to every kind of person from all over the world and shared their experiences. Since arriving back in the Philippines Nov 2011 from traveling for 8 months my wife and I have been busy buying land, building houses and expanding our Boracay beach front resort, Casa Camilla for 16 months. Hopefully we'll be finished by the end of 2013 with a total of 50 apartments, 44 units for yearly stays and the six units in our house to be saved for short term stays.

Publications,, who asked me to apply with

some college 2-1/2 years - no degree - I've been traveling since I was 18, almost 30 years.

Awards and Honors
Luckily, my wife and I have been semi-retired since we were 30 years old, almost 30 years.

Past/Present Clients
3000 to 4000 world travelers and guests on a budget pass through our guest house style Townhouse Hotel / Hostel each year since 1986 so we do get a lot of feedback and share a lot of experiences with people which we can then pass on to help others with their questions and problems

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