Philippines Marriage Visa – 13a

So you’re lucky enough to wed a Filipino. What’s next? If you intend to stay in the Philippines, you’ll want to get a 13a marriage visa. A 13a visa not only gives you permanent residents, but you’re also exempt from work visas. 

A 13a permanent visa never needs renewal. That’s why immigration calls it permanent.


Sure, you’re exempt from a work visa, but what does that mean in the Philippines? A low-paying $300 a month job unless you have skills or experience.

Be aware that you’ll probably make a lot more money in a different country if you intend to work in the Philippines. It’s the reason why so many Filipinos work overseas. If you retire to the Philippines with at least $2000 monthly, you’ll live very comfortably.

Marriage Tips

Here are two tips for keeping a healthy marriage to a person from the Philippines.

  1. Don’t take the Filipino to your home country unless you want them to change. This tip is all over the internet and attached to doomed marriages.
  2. Meet the Filipino while you are both in a different country and marry them there. This tip is to ensure that it’s not about money or pressure from family. If the Filipinos are already making good money, they’re looking for love and not a way out of poverty.

Obtaining a 13a Visa

You can only apply for a 13a visa if you’re married to a Filipino. Knowing or engaged doesn’t count. The marriage has to be recognized by the government of the Philippines.

Check the immigration law here.


A 13a visa is two to three months of processing. I have also heard of it taking only one month, and this information is from personal accounts.

Probationary Period

If you file for the 13a visa in the Philippines, you’ll receive a one-year probationary period. After this period, you’ll return to immigration and obtain your permanent visa. 

If the applicant files in their home country, you’ll receive your permanent visa. There is no one-year probationary period.

ACR I-Card

You’ll be issued an ACR I-Card that needs renewal every five years. Probationary is light purple while the permanent is pale yellow.

Additional Documents

Along with your application, you’ll need these additional documents.

You and your Filipino spouse complete a request letter for a 13a visa and address it to the commissioner. The letter needs a notary.

Application form

Marriage licenses

Authenticated birth certificate of Filipino spouse. 

Photocopy of passport data page and any relevant pages.

Department of the immigration clearance certificate.

Police clearance from your home country or if you’ve been in the Philippines for more than six months, a National Bureau of Investigation certificate is necessary.

Cohabitation certificate from the barangay you live in that proves you live together as husband and wife.


The requirements are listed here.

The application is here.

If you have more than two children, fill out this document.

Read about a work visa here.

Have you applied for a 13a visa? Let me know in the comment section below your experience.

Do you have questions about a 13a visa? Leve your questions in the comment section below and I’ll do my best to answer. 

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