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Philippines/Balikbayan Visa/Stamp


Hi, I am a French citizen currently married to a Filipina. I want to ask about the Balikbayan Visa/Stamp that you can get when you enter the Philippines with your Filipino Spouse.

I read that for a filipino to be considered a "Balikbayan" he/she must have lived outside of the Philippines for a year/work abroad/etc. My wife does not work abroad, and we haven't been out of the Philippines for more than a couple of weeks at a time.

We are currently planning a short trip to France on a tourist visa for 30 days, when we re-enter the Philippines will it be possible for us to go to the Balikbayan lane for me to receive the Balikbayan stamp on my passport, even if my wife is not technically a "Balikbayan"?

If it is possible, what kind of stamp will my wife receive? Also a Balikbayan stamp?

Further, would you recommend for my wife to travel on a spouse visa instead in order to ensure that we can BOTH receive a balikbayan visa? Or does it not matter?

Lastly, my wife would also like to get a balikbayan stamp when we return. Is this possible or only for those who are Filipinos living abroad?

Thank you so much, I look forward to your response.


Balikbayan status is NOT a RIGHT but a privilege which each individual immigration officer can grant and usually 90% of the time is no problem if you ask if your wife asks nicely and smiles regardless of how short a time you were outside the philippines. Only once at Centennial 2 Manila airport did the immigration not give it to me but then my wife played our Boracay resort owners' "card" and the female immigration official changed what she stamped on my passport and gave me the one year 21 day balikbayan visa. If your Filipina wife has a French passport the same goes with her as you. If she has Philippine passport not possible nor necessary to get balikbayan visa cause as Filipino she can stay indefinitely.

If you need a place to stay near all 4 Manila airports try our guest house style Townhouse Hotel / hostel with 8 private room rates from P300 to P950.  


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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.

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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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