Over the last few years, some countries in Asia made it more and more difficult for long-term tourists (or none-working Expats) to stay longer than just a few months in country. Thailand only recently made their Visa Rules more difficult and complicated; before that monthly Visa Runs to the neighbouring countries were quite common.
Indonesia introduced a Visa-On Arrival (VOA) for maximum 30 days with respective fees only back in 2004 – before you could get a 3 months stamp for free. The bureaucratic processes to attain and extend a Social Visa are legendary. Although there were some rumours of longer VOA (up to 120 days) a few months back, those have yet to materialize.
I remember when I first went to the Philippines and overstayed my Visa for a few days, I paid something around USD 150 to be able to follow my already checked-in luggage on my plane out.
So it’s nice to hear that things are changing for the better:
The Philippines announced just a few days back, that foreigners are now allowed to stay in the country for up to 24 months! That is really great news – as the Philippines are quite far off from the rest of Asia and therefore a more expensive flight ticket would be required to just doing a Visa Run.
Of course there are always these kind of ‘agencies’ who only let your passport travel; but then, those can be quite tricky too in case something goes wrong. Thailand tried to eradicate this kind of businesses with some success, too bad for the foreigners who were caught in the middle.
The Bureau of Immigration of the Philippines is going even further, they are even thinking of doing away with Visas completely!
Wow, that’d sound great. Can’t wait to see that in place!
Besides the many thousands of Pinoy islands with plenty of beaches, the Philippines have still relatively low costs of living in Asia, but you don’t have to miss out on Life’s modern amenities as well.
As we are warming more and more up with moving again to some place new some time next year – the Philippines just moved to our Top Spot on the list of interesting countries. A nice site to learn more about Living in the Philippines is this one for instance.
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