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Philippines/Extended Visa's and Medications.


QUESTION: I'm going to San Mateo Rizal to marry my sweetheart and wait until she can get her US visa to return to America. Should I try at first to get some other type long term visa to go there rather than the 30 day tourist visa, or just get the extensions? Should I buy an open ended return ticket just to fulfill the exit ticket rule? I also wanted to take 3 months of meds but I read I can only take enough for the length of the visit there. Do I tell the visa office I'm intending on staying at least 3 months or longer there? Will they only allow me enough meds for the initial 30 day visa?
Thank you Very much!

ANSWER: Dan, Extensions is easiest because applying for visas in the States is so much hassle with the embassy staff there asking for banking details etc etc etc. And now the good news recently you may be able to get 6 month visa upon entry I heard a 3 of our guests at our Townhouse Hotel / Hostel Manila and Casa Casa Camilla Boracay apartments but haven't checked the DFA or Philippine Immigration websites yet. for 30 years you could only apply for 2 month extensions but now it's easier. Money wise best to buy either a return ticket with one year validity or a cheap one way ticket to Manila if you can get it for 60% of the cost of the return ticket( often one way economy tickets cost 80% of a return ticket making it an obvious decision) then buy cheap on-line one way ticket out Cebu Pacific Airlines, AirAsia, Tiger Airlines of Philippine Airlines for as little U$100 to any of several destinations in S.E. Asia, Kota Kinabalu, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur etc. You don't have to say anything to immigration when applying for your tourist visa extensions other then "I love the Philippines" or I always wrote on the reason for extending, "Extensive Travel" I think you can bring as many meds as you like and wouldn't advise volunteer declaring anything. Maybe 100,000 American passport holders are living their retirement here and many others from Europe. So all the best luck to you and your sweetheart. Mabuhay Philippines!

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QUESTION: I'm coming on March 27 but the visa rules vs some advice I've received differ and I am confused on the easy way to do this if I can.
It appears I can come there with no visa for 30 days but I have to have an outbound ticket. My question is do I have to actually leave the island (Hong Kong for instance) and then come back to get an extended visa or can I just refund or throw away this ticket and go apply for extended visa before 30 days is up?
I can't wait to hold my long time GF finally.
I sure could use a quick answer,
Thank you very much

the tourist visa issued upon arrival can be extended every 2 months for up to 16 to 24 months ( with signature of local immigration chief) before you would need to fly to HK or elsewhere overnight to renew the whole process. I have been here since 1985 when we bought our first townhouse and land and still prefer the extendable tourist visa when I arrive alone. When I arrive with my Philippine passport wife or daughter I am issued a Balikbayan visa good for 1 year 21 days and can be extended 1 year. We love to travel so rather than apply for residency we prefer this but others who do not share our love for travel can eventually get different type of visa like SRRV which allows foreigners to work, operate small businesses ect.  


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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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