Friday, January 17, 2014

The New Annual Report: Ouch!

In years past I've written posts regarding the annual report, which is a yearly registration and head tax that runs from early January to early March and  with which most aliens residing in the Philippines must comply. Until a few years ago, this used to be a complex procedure but was then revised and made more user friendly.  During this time, the only requirements  were that applicants show up at  the BI main headquarters or district offices and present their I-card, the previous year's annual report payment receipt,  a copy of their  passport validation page, and a P310 fee. Seniors were exempted from having to appear and instead were allowed to  have a 3rd party present their data and complete the filing in their behalf.  

However, effective this January, some radical changes have been  instituted by the new Bureau of Immigration commissioner that have once again made  completing the  annual report more difficult than in quite some time. The rationale behind this revamping is supposedly a need to clear out the dead wood of improper and fraudulent registrations and to modernize the BI's records.  Yet when the biometric I-card was introduced by Immigration around 2008, its  purpose was to prevent these very problems and  others which had been prevalent under the old ACR/ICR paper filing system.

Here is a list of items necessary for filers to complete the AR
  •   The 4 page form which must be filled out beforehand and notarized, complete with thumbprints.
  •   The filer's I-card plus 2 photocopies , one side of the card on the front and the other on the back         of the page..
  •   2 copies of the filer's passport validation page and date of last arrival in the Philippines page. It's         also a good idea to bring the passport itself.  If it was renewed in the Philippines, bring the expired       one as well. Annual report evaluators sometimes want additional data from this source.
  •  1 photocopy of the  visa page in your passport. Again, if the visa is in an old passport, bring it along with your new one.  
  •  Last year's annual report payment receipt.  
  •  Two 2" x 2" photos of the filer taken in the last 30 days (bring a dated receipt).
  •  Review  the form for  further information, such as instructions that are particular to the filer's particular situation
Arrive early. At the Immigration headquarters in Intramuros, Manila, the doors open at 7:00, and queues start forming around 6:30. Naturally, the later you show up, there will be more people ahead of you and the  longer the process will take. BTW Seniors are no longer exempted from appearing, but they will receive priority service.

For those who plan to execute the filing at a BI branch office, call there first to ensure that they are equipped to deal with this new procedure.  Click here for a list of Immigration branch offices and their phone numbers.

In my next post, I will discuss my personal experience in filing the new AR.

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