Step-by-Step Guide to Successfully Applying for a Spouse Visa in the Philippines

When it comes to applying for a spouse visa in the Philippines, it is important to understand the process and requirements involved. A spouse visa allows foreign spouses of Filipino citizens to enter and stay in the Philippines for an extended period. However, the application process can be daunting, with various steps and requirements to be fulfilled.

The 13(a) Non-Immigrant Visa by Marriage, also known as Conversion to Non-Quota by Marriage, allows a foreign national to stay in the Philippines based on their marriage to a Filipino citizen. This visa is granted according to Section 13(a) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 (PIA) and Foreign Service Circular No.21-10, and is available to citizens of countries that also grant permanent residence and immigration privileges to Philippine citizens.

This step-by-step guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the application process and help ensure a successful outcome. From eligibility requirements to document preparation and submission, this guide will cover everything you need to know to successfully apply for a spouse visa in the Philippines. Whether you are a first-time applicant or are looking for ways to improve your application process, this guide will serve as a helpful resource.

Determine Eligibility

Before proceeding with your spouse visa application, it is crucial to determine your eligibility. To qualify for a spouse visa in the Philippines, you must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Your spouse must be a Filipino citizen
  • You must be legally married to your Filipino spouse
  • You must have a clean criminal record
  • You must have an original valid passport

In addition to the basic requirements, there are additional requirements that may apply depending on your situation. For instance, if you were previously married, you will need to provide a copy of your divorce decree or annulment papers. If you are a widow or widower, you will need to provide a copy of your spouse's death certificate.

Furthermore, if your marriage was conducted in a foreign country, it must be valid under Philippine law. You may need to obtain an official translation of your marriage certificate and have it authenticated by the Philippine embassy in the country where the marriage took place.

It is also important to note that same-sex marriage is not recognized in the Philippines. Therefore, same-sex couples may not be eligible to apply for a spouse visa.

Overall, it is essential to review and understand the eligibility requirements thoroughly before beginning the application process. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your eligibility, it is best to consult with a legal expert or the Philippine embassy for further guidance.

Gather Required Documents

When applying for a 13(a) Non-Immigrant Visa by Marriage in the Philippines, there are several documents that foreign nationals must gather. The first requirement is a joint letter request addressed to the Commissioner from the applicant and the petitioning Filipino spouse. This letter should state the intention to apply for the 13(a) visa and request its issuance.

Another important document is the duly accomplished CGAF (BI Form 2014-00-001 Rev 0). This form contains personal information about the applicant and the Filipino spouse, such as their full name, date of birth, address, and contact details. It also requires information about the applicant's previous travels to the Philippines, as well as their educational and employment background.

The applicant must also provide their Marriage Certificate or Marriage Contract, which proves their valid marriage to a Filipino citizen. In addition, the applicant must provide their Birth Certificate or a certified true copy of BI-issued Identification Certificate as a Filipino citizen of the Filipino spouse. This is to confirm the Filipino spouse's citizenship and to establish the legitimacy of the marriage.

A photocopy of the Filipino spouse's valid government-issued ID, such as their Passport, SSS/GSIS ID/PRC ID, Driver's License, TIN, or Voter's ID, is also required. This serves as a valid proof of identity for the Filipino spouse.

To prove the applicant's legal status in the Philippines, a photocopy of passport bio-page and latest admission with valid authorized stay must also be provided. Additionally, if the applicant has stayed in the Philippines for less than six (6) months, a valid Police Clearance from their country of origin or residence is required. If the applicant has stayed in the Philippines for six (6) months or more from the date of latest arrival, a National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Clearance or a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance is needed.

Lastly, a BI Clearance Certificate is required to confirm the applicant's good moral character and to ensure that they do not have any pending criminal cases in the Philippines. Foreign nationals can obtain the 13(a) Non-Quota Immigrant Visa/Marriage Visa in the Philippines through personal filing with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (if residing in the Philippines), hiring an accredited agency to process on their behalf, or personal filing with the Philippine Embassy or Consulate of their country of origin/residence.

By gathering all the necessary documents and fulfilling all the requirements, foreign nationals can successfully obtain a 13(a) visa, allowing them to stay in the Philippines indefinitely as long as they maintain the conditions of the visa, including having a valid marriage with a Filipino citizen.

Steps in Submitting the Application

When applying for a Philippine spouse visa, it's important to submit your application in the right place. You must submit your application directly to the Philippine Embassy or consular office located in your home country. Before submitting your application, be sure to double-check the requirements as they may vary slightly depending on which embassy or consular office you are submitting to.

Location of the Philippine Embassy

When applying for a Spouse Visa in the Philippines, you will need to submit your application to the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI). Specifically, you will need to submit your application to the BI's Visa Extension Section, which is responsible for processing applications for all types of visas, including Spouse Visas.

To submit your Spouse Visa application, you will need to visit the BI's main office in Manila or one of its satellite offices in other parts of the Philippines. You will need to bring all the required documents with you, including your marriage certificate, your spouse's passport or national ID card, proof of financial support, and any other original documents that the BI may require.


The first step in the process is to apply for a visa at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in the applicant's country of origin. The requirements and processing time for the visa application can vary depending on the type of visa being applied for. For example, the processing time for a 13A visa, which is a permanent residency visa for spouses of Filipino citizens, may take longer than a temporary visitor visa.

Once the visa application is submitted, it will undergo a review process, which may include an interview and background check. The applicant may also be required to submit additional documentation or undergo a medical exam.

After the review process is complete, the visa will either be approved or denied. If the visa is approved, the applicant will need to attend a visa interview at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate and may need to provide additional documentation.


The fees for applying for a Spouse Visa (or a Non-Quota Immigrant Visa by Marriage) in the Philippines are as follows:

  1. Application fee: PHP 8,400 (approximately USD 168)
  2. Legal Research Fee: PHP 10 (approximately USD 0.20)
  3. Visa fee: PHP 3,120 (approximately USD 62.40)
  4. ACR I-Card fee: PHP 2,880 (approximately USD 57.60)

Please note that these fees for visa application are subject to change and may vary depending on the exchange rate at the time of payment. Additionally, there may be other fees and requirements depending on your specific case and the processing time may vary. It is recommended to consult with the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in your country for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Wait for Processing

Waiting for the processing of your Spouse Visa application can be a frustrating experience, but it's important to be patient and follow the proper procedures for following up with the BI. By doing so, you can increase your chances of a successful Spouse Visa application and start your new life with your spouse in the Philippines.

Processing time frame

After submitting your Spouse Visa application to the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI), you will need to wait for the processing time frame. The processing time frame for applying for a spouse visa in the Philippines can vary depending on various factors, such as the type of visa being applied for, the completeness of the application, and the workload of the immigration office. Generally, the processing time frame for a spouse visa can take anywhere from 6 months to a year or longer.

Follow-up procedures

If your Spouse Visa application is taking longer than expected to process, you may need to follow up with the BI to check on the status of your application. You can do this by contacting the BI's Visa Extension Section directly or by visiting the BI's main office or one of its satellite offices.

When following up on your application, be sure to provide the BI with your application reference number and any other relevant information that they may require. You may also need to provide additional documentation or attend an interview if requested by the BI.

It's important to note that while you can follow up on the status of your Spouse Visa application, you should avoid contacting the BI excessively or making demands on the processing time frame. Doing so may delay the processing of your application or even result in its denial.


In conclusion, applying for a spouse visa in the Philippines can seem like a daunting process but with careful planning and attention to detail you can make it a much smoother experience. One of the most important steps is to make sure that you have all the required documents before beginning your application process. Additionally, make sure to review the timeline of processing times so you know exactly when your visa will be approved or denied.

Most importantly, remember to stay positive and patient throughout the entire process – great things take time! With effort, dedication, and faith in yourself, you can successfully apply for a spouse visa in the Philippines.

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney