Obtaining a 13A visa
As my wife is Filipino I applied for a 13A non-quota immigration visa while we were living in the UK. I submitted my application form together with all the supporting documents to the Philippines Consulate in London. It was quite a fat file of papers as in addition to the application form itself you are required to provide in triplicate a report of the results of a list of medical tests including chest x-ray together with a certificate of good moral character, proof of financial capacity, marriage certificate, proof of dissolution of previous marriage (if applicable), a copy of my Filipino spouse's passport (or birth certificate), original of my own passport and original and photocopies of my son's birth certificate. I would strongly advise checking the latest requirements via the Philippine Consulate's website in case they have altered. The checklist of requirements is on most consulate websites. Several passport photos are also required for the main application form and separately for the medical form. Finally there is the fee which at the time I applied was £108 in cash.
Most of that list is straightforward, it just takes time to pull it all together. My GP advised me to get a number of the tests done privately including the chest x-ray so I arranged these through a local private hospital. My GP then reviewed all the test results, carried out a physical examination and completed and signed the front sheet of the medical report. I almost forgot that the other piece of information I had to provide was proof that my GP was duly registered to practice medicine in the UK. The General Medical Council now have a website with a complete register of all doctors so I simply located and printed off the details relating to my own GP together with other details I found on the Internet to prove that he worked in that particular practice.
For the certificate of good moral character I approached Father Jim at our local church and he was happy to provide me with a simple letter. A similar letter from your employer is also acceptable.
Financial capacity is clearly a matter of assembling bank statements, payslips, pension details or whatever. If you have a house or are arranging to start receiving a pension, include whatever offical documents seem most relevant to substantiate your future financial capacity.
I delivered the file of papers one morning to the Philippine Consulate in London. They operate a ticket number system for the waiting process so we pulled our ticket and went away to have lunch. On our return they received the papers and fixed an appointment later in the week with the Consul General. The interview itself, with my wife and son in attendance, was very relaxed. I was asked a few simple questions about our plans for settling in the Philippines and the Consul General then explained the process I needed to go through when we arrived in Manila. This involved visiting both the Bureau of Quarantine for my medical report to be approved and the Bureau of Immigration where I had to apply for my Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) I-Card. In fact the arrival process itself is worthy of a separate guide blog. Then we sat in the waiting room for a short time until my passport with the 13A visa now entered and some other papers were brought down. Special import duty and tax dispensation is granted to 13A visa holders relating to the bringing into the Philippines of their household and personal effects but there are strict conditions attached with which 13A holders should familiarise themselves.
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