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Collected My ACR Card Just In Time

This is part two of my ACR renewal story – see part one here

I was book to fly to kuala lumpur on the 3rd of September and needed to renew my ACR card in order to leave the country otherwise my Philippines residence visa might be revoked. I lodged the renewal on the 24th of August and told to return a week later to pickup my new ACR card.

Unfortunately it was not ready and I was sent to another window to inquire and then upstairs.  I was then sent to another area where a very helpful person let me sit inside an air-conditioned office area while others chased up the progress of the card.  I was then introduced to someone else who invited me to meet some other immigration personal in the intelligence section where I sat and was given snacks and drinks wile others chased up my application.  At 5 pm the card was still not ready and I was asked to come downstairs where someone from the commissioners office assisted me.  Really the office closes at 5pm and by 5.30 most of the staff have already left.  At 5.20 I was still waiting as I watched most of the staff leaving to go home.  The last stage in the process after the renewal is signed by the commissioner is the printing and and I was a little concerned but later found out they had already requested someone stay behind waiting for the final approval. I was then sent down to the collection window where i had arrived at about 11am that morning and at 5.45 I was given my ACR card.  The person handing me the card was surprised that they had been asked to print just my card from the entire batch.  While talking upstairs one immigration officer had offered to give me a lift home as it was on the way for him so I was also given a lift home.

I was very impressed with how helpful many of the immigration personal I encountered were. This is the second time the Immigration department has gone out of their way to assist me.  The first time the lady heading up the ACR card department endorsed a xerox copy of my ACR card allowing me to fly to Singapore the next day after I was robbed and lost my ACR card.

I want to stress that on both occasions no money was paid to anyone to facilitate the assistance provided to me. I know how frustrating it can be and probably more than anything else it the time it can take that causes many people to loose patience and perhaps become agitated. I spent 6 hours to lodge and then almost 7 hours waiting to collect my card.

My suggestion for anyone that does not want to spend of time then an alternative is to use a professional (I do not mean a “fixer”) to handle the lodgement and collection.  It will cost you a lot more but if you don’t want to spend the time it is the best way to go.

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Exiting the Philippines with the permanent residence is easy. You do need to pay 2170 pesos in fees and taxes but it means you do not have to worry about Visa renewal while you are there

About the Author

I have been visiting the Philippines for the past 30 years and lived here full time for the past 10 years. I have travelled extensively around the Philippines and lived in many locations. I was married to a Filipina for over 20 years and been with my current girl friend for 8 years. I have also operated businesses in the Philippines including a Dance and Fitness Studio, Restaurant, Family karaoke and disco. My background is IT and my real interest is in online marketing and outsourcing and these are the areas I currently focus on. I have made heaps of mistakes along the way and I have always enjoyed helping others and passing on my experience so that they might avoid making many of the same mistakes. - Chris Bennetts
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