Philippine Visas Suck

14 05 2010

So it came time to renew our visas the other day, so we headed over to the local Bureau of Immigration office. Needless to say, it wasn’t pretty once we arrived – it cost us 8,600Pesos EACH to renew for another 2 months (about $190 CAD)!

To put this in perspective, the original 2-month visa only cost $35. 8,600 Pesos is an insane amount of money here – the two of us combined only pay 7,500P for a month’s rent!

Some things you could buy with 8,600 Pesos here:

  • 170 restaurant meals
  • 570 halo-halos
  • 2 whole pigs (about 4000P each)
  • 2 4-day trips to Ilocos Norte
  • 570 hours at an internet cafe

and so on. It’s completely insane! And the fee descriptions were ludicrous too – “Legal Research Fee”, “Head Tax”, “Express Fee” (because we didn’t apply in Manila), “ACR-I Card” (We had to get a US$50 I.D. card as a part of the renewal, wtf?), not to mention the fact that we got dinged 1000P for overstaying (our mistake, though it certainly wasn’t clear on the passport). I can understand gouging the wallets of the creepy old white guys that come here to steal the country’s women, but you’d think/hope there could’ve been a separate visa for development volunteers! Blah.




2 responses

15 05 2010

that’s absurrd! so many halo-halos 😦

20 05 2010
wilma fuchs

Hi Julian, thank you for your wonderful blog with all the great adventures, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I am so happy for you, it sounds like the perfect job. Scary at first but now you love it and enjoy it.
Keep up the great adventure, I love hearing about it.
No comparison to Chris’s blog 😉

Life in Vancouver is fantastic, I am so happy to be put for a while. i work part time and enjoy the rest. No jobs have come through yet, but not concerned the right one will appear. I love my freedom right now.

I will read your adventures soon again,

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