Downgrading of visa in the Philippines with canceled ACR I card

Downgrading of visa means the cancellation and reversion of the foreign national’s immigration visa to a tourist visa.

It implies if a foreign national has no further association with his/her employer and wants to return to their country, they have to undergo the downgrading process in the BI office before they exit the Philippines.

Likewise, the students who have completed their studies and want to exit the country also need to downgrade their visas before departure.

In this article, let us understand the 

  • Documents requirements per visa category 
  • Downgrading procedures
  • Application processing time
  • Processing Fees  
  • Related topics on downgrading a visa. 



  1. Photocopies of back and front passport, and ACR I-cardvisa implementation, and latest admission stamp with valid, authorized stay. 
  2. Present a letter request addressed to the Commissioner stating the reasons for downgrading a visa, like resignation, late filing of extension of visa, termination, etc. 


  • Write your present address and contact numbers if you apply for the downgrade process. 
  • If petition by a company, accredited travel agency, congregation, consultancy, or law firm, points out the address and contact numbers, alongside a letter request on their letterhead. 
  • Attach a certificate of employment/certification of I Missionary work from the petitioning company/congregation along with the letter request. 
  • A copy of the DOJ endorsement must supplement the letter request to the Commissioner, granting the visa and proof of notice of downgrading from the Department of Justice. 
  • A Cancellation Order from the Special Economic Zone authorities must accompany the letter request. 
  • Certificate of Employment from the Embassy/Consulate/International Organization, endorsement from the Department of Foreign Affairs, and a copy of the Embassy’s note verbale (if applicable) must tag with the letter request to the BI Commissioner. 

On downgrading the student visa to a tourist visa, the BI allows a student only 59 days to stay, and they issue an order to leave. 

The principal coverage for a student visa downgrade are-  

  • Graduate Students, 
  • Expired Student visas 
  • Failed to file for the 9 (f) Extension. 
  • Cannot enroll for an academic year or satisfy the grading requirements. 

The required Documents are – 

  1. The letter request to the Commissioner, stating the reason for downgrading. 
  2. NBI Clearance. 
  3. Proof of ACR I-card cancellation. 
  4. Transcript of Records or grades.
  5. School Clearance. 
  6. Duly accomplished CGAF and official downgrading receipt. 

Downgrading procedures

  1. Go to the Bureau of Immigration office (map). If in doubt with the downgrading process, you can seek help from the Public Information and Assistance (PIAU) inside the immigration office. 
  2. Present the letter request for downgrading and other required documents (as mentioned above)
  3. Get the Order of the Payment slip. 
  4. Pay the immigration fees and get the official receipt. 
  5. Submit the required documents alongside the official receipt. 
  6. Present the passport for implementation (if approved). 
  7. Claim the passport with the downgraded visa stamp. 

Processing time for downgrading of visa

Depending on the visa category and status, it will take between 3-4 weeks, sometimes more than a month.  

Processing Fees


  • Application Fee ------ ₱ 2000
  • Certification Fee ------ ₱ 500
  • Legal Research Fee ------ ₱ 20.00
  • Express Fee ------ ₱ 1000


  • Update Fee ------ ₱ 1000
  • Application Fee ------ ₱ 2000
  • Certification Fee ------ ₱ 500
  • Legal Research Fee ------ ₱ 20.00
  • Express Fee ------ ₱ 1000


  • Motion of Reconsideration Fee ------ ₱ 500
  • Update Fee ------ ₱ 1000
  • Application Fee ------ ₱ 2000
  • Certification Fee ------ ₱ 500
  • Legal Research Fee ------ ₱ 30.00
  • Express Fee ------ ₱ 1000

Related topics on downgrading of visa

Order to Leave

Order to leave (OTL) is an order released by the immigration to the foreign nationals who have downgraded their visas either for a reversion or departing the Philippines for good. 

 Three visa types will contain an order to leave when downgraded. They are: 

  1. Where the visa is a non-immigrant category and the cumulative period within the country exceeds five years
  2. Where the visa is a student visa under the Philippines Immigration Act (PIA) of 1940, as amended regardless of the total or cumulative period;
  3. Where there is a badge of fraud or fact that casts suspicion on the applicant’s visa (badge of fraud examples: Insufficient explanation in downgrading from TRV by marriage, derogatory information provided by the employer upon downgrading from a 9G visa, etc.)

The Foreign national can also write a letter request to the Commissioner’s office requesting a Motion of Reconsideration from the Order to Leave under (2) and (3) on valid, exceptional grounds with payment of the MR fee.

The Order to Leave is different with deportation. The impact is not the same, and it seldom puts the foreign national on the immigration blacklist.

However, the grounds to justify a stay depend on the inspection and the approval of a case-to-case basis.

In case of approval, the foreign national may even come back on the same day and be allowed entry in the Philippines under a new 9 (a) visa and is not a restricted foreign citizen.

He/she must still present an exit flight ticket to the immigration officer-in-charge upon entry, along with his/her passport.

Also, the holders of Special Non-immigration 47 (A) 2 visa (also known as PEZA) will not allow changing their visa status to another non-immigrant before departing the Philippines.

If they stay beyond the expiration of their PEZA visas, they will have to update their stay with the Bureau of Immigration.

However, their visa will not intend downgrading, instead issued an order to leave.

Wrapping Up

You can download the document’s checklist for the requirements from here

The best approach is always to downgrade before the expiration of your visa, be it conversion to another Visa or exiting the country. 

 If you are looking for a visa consultancy or an agent, be sure to deal with an accredited consultancy or an agent. 

You can check the list of accredited visa consultancies for your information here

For any further help, you can also contact one of our expert Visa consultants to guide and assist with your process. You can contact us today for additional information.  


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