Getting a Visa Extension From Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines
This post will explain getting a visa extension from Tacloban. It covers getting the first visa waiver extension as well as subsequent longer term visas.
I had decided to live in Baybay (Leyte) for a few months whilst working on SurvivalFtinessPlan.com, which meant the closest BI Office was in Tacloban.
From Baybay it cost 150php and took two hours to get to Tacloban by minibus.
Getting my first Visa Extension from Tacloban was a very easy process… once you find the place.
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Getting a Visa Extension From Tacloban
Visa Waiver Extension
6th June 2016
First I went to the Engineering building as directed by google. According to the lovely ladies that worked there the immigration office had been moved to the Provincial Capitol. After a short walk I arrived there but the immigration office was not there either. The security guard sent me to Tacloban City Hall. Unfortunately it was not there either, but it was pretty close by.
When I arrived there were only two other foreigners there, but they where chatting/filling out paperwork, so I was immediately served. The process was super easy since I had everything, i.e., a filled out visa extension form (which can be printed from … or can be obtained at the immigration office), a 2 x 2 inch passport style photo (on white background), 2 x photocopies of your passport front page and a photocopy of your latest entry stamp onto the Philippines. I didn’t have one of the photocopies but they have a photocopy machine there and it only costs 5php. They do not have the ability to take the 2 x 2 inch photo so make sure you have that. Also, the paperwork requires two character references from people in the Philippines.
So I gave the guy all this along with 3230php. Not more than 15 minutes later he gave me back my passport with my 29 day visa extension. He also informed me that I could get the next extension from Tacloban also, as opposed to having to go to Cebu or Manila (which I had read on the internet), which is a big relief.
11 July 2016
The next time I went about getting a visa extension from Tacloban I went there the day before my first one expired. I went in the morning and came back the same day.
I was told the previous time that it would cost approximately 8000php so I brought along 9 and a bit.
From the minivan drop off point in Tacloban I just walked to the immigration office. There seemed to be more employees than last time and I caught them having lunch. There where only a couple of other people there (besides the employees) so the whole process went as smooth as last time.
I got photocopies of my passport picture page and the last extension stamp from the roadside before climbing up the dirt track to the immigration office (2php per copy), and I just filled out the form which they provided in the office. It is a different form from last time. It no longer requires references. I used the same photograph as last time (not the exact same one, one from the same batch).
The total cost for this first two month Philippines Visa extension was 7765php.
They said my ACR card (It’s like an ID card) would be ready in three weeks, but also said I could just pick it up next time I get an extension. I told them I would see them in two months.
After that I got a tricycle to town, ate lunch, got a 200php fine for jaywalking (which you have to pay in Tacloban within 72 hours) then took the minivan back to Baybay. It was about a 5 to 6 hour day all up.
I think my next two month extension is only about 2000php. The guy at immigration said it alternates like that, i.e., every second time is more expensive.
There is the option of a six month visa which would cost 13,000 but I only plan to stay until November. Economically it is better for me to get two 2-month extensions.
Getting to the B.I. Tacloban
Getting from anywhere to anywhere in the city of Tacloban is 8php/person by tricycle. The Bureau of Immigration in Tacloban is close to City Hall. If you go to City Hall you have to walk out to the road (Magsaysay Avenue) and head north. Up on the hill (as you look inland) you will see a “big” building. There was some construction happening the first time I went there.
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Have you had experience getting a visa extension from Tacloban? Help other readers out with your tips and/or updated information (or anything else you want to say) in the comments.