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What is a Visa by Marriage in the Philippines?

A visa by marriage in the Philippines is granted to a foreign national married to a Filipino citizen. 

The 13(a) Non-Quota Immigrant visa allows the foreign spouse to live and work in the country permanently. 

Additionally, it offers the invaluable opportunity to start a business within the Philippines, making it an attractive option for many.

For foreign nationals married to Filipino citizens, securing a Spousal Visa marks a pivotal step in their desire to reside together in the Philippines. 

Meeting the eligibility criteria, assembling the necessary documentation, and navigating the application process diligently are key elements in obtaining this visa, facilitating a life shared with your Filipino spouse within the country’s borders.

This guide offers a comprehensive overview of the prerequisites and the step-by-step application process required for securing a Philippines spouse visa.

Key Requirements for the 13(a) Visa

To qualify for the 13(a) visa, certain prerequisites must be met:

  •  A Filipino citizen as a partner: 
    • A fundamental requirement for obtaining a Philippines spouse visa is being married to a Filipino citizen. This criterion serves as a cornerstone for eligibility, laying the foundation for foreign nationals seeking to secure residency in the Philippines through marriage.
  • A valid marriage certificate recognized by the Philippines.
    • A valid marriage certificate officially recognized by Philippine authorities is required for the application for a Philippines spouse visa. This document serves as concrete confirmation of the foreign national’s marital union with the Filipino citizen, confirming their visa status.
  • Demonstrated financial capability to support oneself and family.
    • Financial stability must be demonstrated as part of the Philippines spouse visa application. This includes demonstrating the ability to sustain oneself and dependents while remaining financially secure in the country. To achieve this requirement for the visa application, you must provide evidence of acceptable financial resources.

Benefits of the 13(a) Visa

  • Offers multiple entries without limiting the number of annual applicants.
  • Provides permanent residency, ensuring continuity and stability.
  • Serves as a pathway for establishing enduring long-term residency in the Philippines.

Significance of the Philippines Spouse Visa:

  • Crucial for foreign spouses aiming to live with their Filipino partners.
  • Establishes legal grounds for shared residency, fostering family unity.
  • Prevents hurdles in employment, banking, and accessing essential services within the country.

Application Process

Where to Apply

  • BI Main Office: Primary avenue to initiate the visa process, offering comprehensive assistance and guidance.
  • Other Authorized Immigration Offices: Additional options to commence the application, ensuring accessibility for applicants.

Application Requirements

1. Checklist
  • Essential Documentary Requirements: Ensuring completeness to prevent processing delays.
  • Thorough Review: Verify and cross-check all required documents for accuracy and completeness.
2. Application Form
  • Accurate and Complete Information: Filling out the necessary form accurately to prevent rejections or delays.
  • Provide Valid Information: Ensure all personal and spousal details are accurate and up-to-date.
3. Additional Information
  • Details Regarding Applicant’s Children: If applicable, provide accurate and complete information to streamline the process.
  • Thorough Documentation: Furnish all necessary details and supporting documents related to the applicant’s children.

Step-by-Step Application Process

1. Obtain Necessary FormsAcquire the required forms (CGAF) from BI's Main Office or their official website.
2. Document Submission for Pre-screeningSubmit all documents for review at the Central Receiving Unit (CRU) or authorized Immigration Offices.
3. Fee Payment and Order of Payment Slip (OPS)Obtain the Order of Payment Slip (OPS) and pay the stipulated fees.
4. Attend Scheduled HearingAttend the scheduled hearing for further processing, which may include image/fingerprint capturing.
5. Monitor Visa Approval StatusContinuously monitor the designated website for updates on the visa approval status.
6. Visa Implementation and ACR I-Card CollectionUpon approval, submit the passport for visa implementation and claim the ACR I-Card if approved.

13(a)Spousal Visa Application Fee

PrincipalPhp 8,620.00
DependentPhp 8,370.00
Dependent (below 16/14 years old)Php 8,370.00/Php 7,870.00
Additional Fee for ACR I-Card (1 Year)+ US $50 (Fees as of 06 March 2014, subject to change without notice.)

While these fees are current as of March 2014, it’s prudent to note that they are subject to change. It’s advisable to frequently check the BOI Immigration website or consult an accredited consultant for the most updated information, ensuring a smooth application process.

Bringing Dependents with Your Philippines Spouse Visa

When applying for a Philippines spouse visa, bringing dependents along is possible, provided they meet certain criteria. 

Dependent children under 21 years old, unmarried, and with a blood relationship to the principal applicant are eligible to join or accompany them.


Application Process for Dependents 

The process for dependents mirrors that of the principal applicant, involving these key steps:

1. Obtain CGAFGet the necessary forms from BI's Main Office or their official site.
2. Submit Documents for Pre-screeningSubmit documents to authorized Immigration Offices for review.
3. Complete Fee Payment and Hearing AttendancePay fees and attend the scheduled hearing for further processing.
4. Monitor Visa Application StatusStay updated on the status via the designated website.
5. Upon Approval, Submit DocumentsUpon approval, submit necessary documents for ACR I-Card, if approved.

Cost Breakdown for Dependents

The process for dependents mirrors that of the principal applicant, involving these key steps:

Dependent TypeFee
Dependent SpousePhp 8,620.00
Dependent (below 16/14 years old)Php 8,370.00/Php 7,870.00
Additional Fee for ACR I-Card (1 Year)+ US $50 (Fees as of 06 March 2014, subject to change without notice.)

Acquiring a visa by marriage in the Philippines extends opportunities for a permanent family life in the country.

Understanding the process and requirements is crucial for a seamless transition to living in the Philippines.


Can I work in the Philippines with a 13a Probationary Visa?

  • Yes, with a 13a Spousal Visa: Holding an approved 13a Spousal Visa, whether probationary or permanent, exempts foreign nationals from needing an Alien Employment Permit to work in the Philippines.
  • Temporary Employment Solution: While waiting for your 13a Probationary Visa during work contract commencement, you can apply for a Special Work Permit (SWP)–Commercial for temporary employment, valid for up to six months.

How long does it take to process a Philippines spouse visa application?

The processing duration for a Philippines spouse visa application varies, often spanning several months. It’s advisable to apply at least 2-3 months before the intended travel date.

What are the essential documents required for a Spousal Visa application?

Document Preparation

  • Passport and visa application form.
  • Marriage certificate from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
  • Birth certificate.
  • Affidavit of support from the Filipino spouse.
  • Photocopies of the Filipino spouse’s valid identification documents.
  • Joint affidavit of undertaking.

Where can I stay during the processing of my 13a spouse visa application?

  • Visa-Free Entry Countries: Visitors from visa-free entry countries can stay in the Philippines for 30 days and extend their stay depending on the application process.
  • Countries with Visa-Free Entry to the Philippines: Some countries with visa-free entry include the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and more.