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“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Friday, November 4, 2016

Renewal ACR I-card and Change of Address

Image result for BIR intramuros
Yesterday I went to Manila to renew my ACR I-card. This card is required by foreigners staying or living in the Philippines temporarily or permanently.

The validity period for permanent cards is 5 years, as in my case. It's the first time I had to renew it, since I got my permanent card in 2011.

As we were moved in this period from our temporary house, actually of my parents in law, to our own built house not far away, we had a change of address. The rule for the ACR card is that you have to inform them. Read below when.

Before I checked in the BI field-office in Dagupan whether they could do either the address change or the renewal  of the card or both. They had all new employees working there and also the manager was, or removed, or not present. Perhaps they were moved to the new DFA field-office in Calasiao. Even the cashier was not there anymore. The (young) employees were very ignorant and not knowledgeable concerning the questions I had for them. After making some phone calls to Manila and San Fernando (La Union) the girl who served me was able to tell me the following:
  1. ACR I-card renewal can be done in San Fernando, not in the field office in Dagupan, but I don't believe her as some documents must be generated by the documentation office in Manila;
  2. Immigration field office is only involved in tourist visa's and aliens registration;
  3. We don't know if the Avidavit for Change of Address that I produced was acceptable, you better check this in Manila she said;
  4. The fine for a late request for address change is 2000 pesos per year late.
So after the visit to the field office I decided to go to Manila, not San Fernando. The main reason was the following documentary requirement (no. 4), which I believe only BI in Manila can do:
Certified true copy issued by the Records Section of the Board of Commissioner (BOC)’s Order granting the visa.
Later I discovered that the official rule for address change notification to the government is before or within 24 hours after the move. What I learned as well is that if you change address you better inform the field office by an official registered letter. just before the change. You can always refer to the letter and the office location as to prevent any fine. I was not planning to fight Immigration in my case, as I did wrong not them.

Here are some handy links:

1. RE-ISSUANCE OF ACR I-CARD
http://www.immigration.gov.ph/index.php/services/alien-registration/re-issuance-of-acr-i-card

2. CHECKLIST OF DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS
http://www.immigration.gov.ph/images/FORMS/Checklist/4AlienRegistration/5.%20Re-issuance%20of%20ACR%20I-Card.pdf
3. APPLICATION FORM ACR I-CARD RENEWAL
 http://www.immigration.gov.ph/images/FORMS/VariousApplicationsForms/5.%20Application%20Form%20for%20ACR%20I-CARD%20RENEWAL.pdf

4. AFFIDAVIT FOR CHANGE OF ADDRESS
Let me know if you are interested, if so I will add it to the download list of my Blogging site.

Payments (in my case):
  1. ACR I-card fee         Php 2422.50
  2. Express lane fee       Php    500.00
  3. Legal research fee    Php      10.00
  4. Amendment fee        Php    500.00
  5. Administrative fine  Php 4,600.00
  6. Express lane fee       Php    500.00 
  7. Total                         Php 8.532.50
I guess the Express lane fee was counted twice, one for the address amendment, one for the renewal.

In two to three weeks the card should be ready for pickup. They gave me a number to call to acknowledge that the card is available for pickup.

Note: I checked if the 13A visa stamp could be transferred from my old (invalid) passport to my current one, which they confirmed. However, I forgot to execute this, will do it when I pickup my new ACR card.

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