About the ACR-I card (Alien Certificate of Registration)

In general the ACR-I card is a very important thing that would need to be acquired by foreigners who are in the country. It would serve as the documentation of a foreigner who is currently living or has opened an establishment in the Philippines. It will also hold all the records of the foreigner and other legal documentations. For reference, foreigners can apply for an ACR-I card. This will serve as their identification.

ACR-I Card Now Required For Additional Categories

Effective 20 December 2011, and according to the recently issued Memorandum from the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines (Order No. MCl-09-024 dated 23 November 2009), additional categories of foreign nationals in the Philippines will be required to apply for an Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card).

Additionally the Memorandum also brings in the need for an emigration clearance certificate (exit approval) for foreign nationals who have been granted a total stay in the Philippines of six months or longer.

The additional categories for ACR I-Cards are as follows:

1) Temporary visitors (including business visitors) applying for an extension of stay for over 59 days in total under section 9(a) of the Immigration Act.

2) Temporary residents with a Special Study Pass (SSP), regardless of length of stay.

3) Temporary residents with a Special Work Permit (SWP), regardless of length of stay.

Note also that if a SWP holder subsequently obtains a 9(g)/9(d) visa, the ACR I-Card tied to his/her SWP will become invalid and a new ACR I-Card will need to be applied for, linked to the 9(g)/9(d) visa. At this time, the authorities have not yet disclosed whether personal appearance is needed for the new ACR I-Card application (personal appearance for the first application is a requirement, as fingerprints and a photograph must be taken).

Who needs the  ACR I-Cards

Previously, ACR I-Cards were not required for SSP holders, for SWP holders or for business visitors staying over 59 days. The ACR I-Card was required for 9(g)/9(g) visa holders, but was the final step in this process. From 20 December, applicants in this latter category will be required to obtain the ACR I-Card twice, once when the SWP is secured and then again when the 9(g)/9(d) visa endorsement is completed.

Note that foreign nationals already in the Philippines under one of the above three categories must make ACR I-Card applications as soon as possible in order to comply with the new regulations. Where applications have not been made, extension of stay will not be granted.

Registered foreigners have the ACR-I card. It is complete with a lot of features which will determine a lot of things about the foreigners. Some have already tried to fake it or tamper with it but the card is tamper proof. It does hold the following data:

  • Personal information such as name, age, date of birth, place of birth, etc.
  • Photograph
  • Date and status of admission
  • Visa type granted / date granted / date issued / expiry date
  • Biometric information (2 digitized fingerprint templates)
  • Signature
  • ACR and ICR, NBCR, RTV, CRTT, CRTS and CRPE numbers
  • Travel details
  • Payment of immigration fees details

For those who are already living in the Philippines, the card can also serve as an Emigration Clearance Certificate or ECC. It can also serve as the Re-entry Permit (RP) and Special Return Certificate (SRC)

Re-entry Permit, Special Return Certificate and Emigration Clearance Certificate

The Bureau of Immigration would be in charge of giving the Re-entry Permit. It is actually given to foreigners who are already living in the country who plan to leave the Philippines for vacation or other business purposes. It is valid provided that they arrive before the permit expires. The permit usually last for up to one year. You should remember though that even though it is an additional documentation for travelling immigrants in the country, it does not replace the visa or the passport. You still need visa and or passport are to travel to different destinations around the globe.

A non-immigrant who would like to re-enter the Philippines would need to secure the SRC or the Special Return Certificate. Like the Re-entry permit, it is valid for one year from the date of issuance. However, as a non-immigrant you have to make sure that his visa is still valid. The moment the visa expires, the SRC is not valid anymore. The SRC should be applied for by the non-immigrant or the temporary resident before leaving the Philippines.

Who needs the Emigration Clearance Certificate

The ECC or the Emigration Clearance Certificate is still needed both by the immigrant and the non – immigrant who would like to re-enter the Philippines. Usually the ECC is acquired if an immigrant or non – immigrant would travel outside the Philippines within 30 days. Obviously, non immigrants and immigrants would need at least two of these certificates to make their entry to the Philippines smooth sailing.

Having these certificates however does not mean that if they committed other crimes after the issuance of the certificates they would be automatically relieved from the crimes. Usually those who have been proven to have been committing fraud and misdemeanor will not be allowed to enter the Philippine premises even if they have the above mentioned certificates and documentations.

Note: One must remember that the officer at the port of entry has the right to refuse anyone with valid reasons even if they have complete documents at hand.

Re-Entry Permit (RP) or Special Return Certificate (SRC) Requirements

  • 1. Duly accomplished Application Form
    – RP – Attach ACR and ICR
    – SRC – Attach ACR and CRTV, CRTT, CRPE or CRTs
    – SIRV Holders – Certification from BOI Internal Audit
  • Original Receipt of Annual Report
  • Clear copy of the applicant’s passport
  • 3 pieces, recent 2 x 2 colored picture
  • Attach original Re-Entry Permit or Special Return Certificate

Re-Entry Permit (RP) or Special Return Certificate (SRC) Extension Requirements

  • Letter request addressed to the Commissioner
  • Original copy of the Re-Entry Permit (RP) or Special Return Certificate (SRC)
  • Borrower’s Slip
  • Clear copy of the applicant’s passport
  • Original copy of the ACR and ICR, NBCR, CRTV Etc.
  • Attach original Re-Entry Permit or Special Return Certificate

Re-Entry Permit (RP) / Special Return Certificate (SRC) with the Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Original copy of ACR and ICR, NBCR, CRTV, CRTT, CRPE and CRTs (as the case may be)
  • Photocopy of the passport
  • 3 pieces, recent holders, submit Certification issued by BOI Internal Audit Unit

Fees (in Pesos) for Permanent Resident Visa (13A), Treaty Trader’s Visa (9D), Pre-Arranged Employee – Commercial and Missionary Visas for Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) before departure

ECC 700

  • CE (below 14 years old) 200 PhP
  • Annual Report Fee (59 days before/after the end of year)
  • – Arrival on or before November 2 of previous year 310 PhP
  • – Monthly fine for delayed annual report 200 PhP
  • Total (w/o CE) 1,410 PhP
  • Fine for overstaying per month 500 PhP
  • Motion for Reconsideration 510 PhP
  • Non-appearance in filing of annual report 500 PhP

Fees (in Pesos) for Temporary Resident Visa (13A) Holder’s Application for Special Return Certificate (SRC), Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) and Certificate of Exemption (CE) before departure

Multiple SRC (valid for (1) year)

  • ECC 700 PhP
  • CE (for minors) 200 PhP
  • SRC and form (1) year 1,450 PhP
  • Head Tax 250 PhP
  • Express lane fee 500 PhP
  • Total 3,100 PhP

Fees (in Pesos) for Immigrant Quota (13) Application for Re-Entry Permit, Emigration Clearance Certificate and Certificate of Exemption

  • Multiple Re-entry Permit 1,450 PhP
  • ECC 700 PhP
  • LRF 20 PhP
  • Head Tax 250 PhP
  • Express 500 PhP
  • Total 2,920 PhP

(**If minor, replace with CE 200 PhP)

Subsequent trips (Single)

  • ECC 700 PhP
  • RPP 700 PhP
  • LRF 20 PhP
  • Head Tax 250 PhP
  • Express Lane Fee 500 PhP
  • Total 2,170 PhP

(**If minor, replace with CE 200 PhP)

Fees (in Pesos) for Alien Certificate of Registration Application for the Re-Entry Permit, Special Return Certificate and Emigration Clearance Certificate

Initial RP/SRC Issuance

  • RP/SRC 1,400 PhP
  • ECC-B 700 PhP
  • Head Tax 250 PhP
  • LRF 30 PhP
  • Express Lane 500 PhP
  • Total 2,880 PhP

RP/SRC Re-Issuance

  • RP/SRC 700 PhP
  • ECC-B 700 PhP
  • Head Tax 250 PhP
  • LRF 20 PhP
  • Express Lane 500 PhP
  • Total 2,170 PhP

Places of Application:

Therefore, if you wish to apply for the above mentioned documents, you would need to go to any Immigration office in the Philippines. Here are some tips that you can follow to make the application process easier for you:

  • Make sure that you have all the listed documents needed. If you complete all of the requirements, it would be easier to process the documents.
  • Once you submitted the requirements, then proceed to the cashier and pay the fees.
  • Wait for your card. The good thing about this is that it would only take about 30 minutes.

At the Airport:

Once you already have the documents you need and you haven’t done anything wrong, you should not worry about being refused at the airport. These are the things that you would have to do:

  • Proceed to the Immigration office for assessment and for processing of the departure fee.
  • Make sure that your paperwork is in order so that you do not have to show your card anymore.]