[Before Paradise] A Legal Resident of the Philippines!

I just dozed off into my Saturday afternoon nap when there was a loud knock on the door. I looked out the window and saw a Post Office delivery truck parked in front of the house. The postman was at my door and holding a really large envelope – I knew it was my Permanent Resident Visa (series 13A) being delivered from the Philippines Consulate in Chicago. Yeah!

Upon opening the package, I found all my original documents and my passport which now included the affixed and glossed over Visa which proclaimed me to be a “Non-Quota Immigrant. Oh, the beauty of it all! Then there was another large sealed envelope with the instructions: Please Do Not open the attached envelope! This is the envelope that I must present to the Immigration Officer at the airport upon my arrival in the Philippines. They will be the one to open it.

To be completed!
To be completed!

Only now I find out that upon arriving at the airport, and after clearing Customs and Immigrations, I must submit my medical documents (supposedly contained in the large envelope), to the Bureau of Quarantine and International Health Surveillance (where I will be thoroughly looked over and officially proclaimed to be amongst the living) and receive an endorsement stamp on my Visa.

Then, I am required to head over to the Alien Registration Division of the Bureau of Immigration (BOI) in Intramuros, Manila to complete the 13A process. Sheesh!

My original thought once I arrived in the Philippines was to NOT hang around Manila for ANY length of time as I have an empty hammock waiting for me in Samar. Oh well, at least the first part of the process was easy (application)!


24 thoughts on “[Before Paradise] A Legal Resident of the Philippines!

  1. Congratulations………look it like a half of glass full….. then when all this is done have a nice siesta @ Samar…God bless you

  2. Congrat’s on the 13A, one big step frwd.

    From what I read up on and heard from other Ex-pats in PI, the BOI in Manila can take a couple of days, and even through you have all your shots, may require to play pin cushion one more time, almost like being back in uniform…lol, hurry up and wait, stand-by to stand-by, this might be a maybe

    While in Manila, you can also go to the LTO to get your temp license driving permit

    I was also told, you should stop into the VA Clinic at the US Embassy and bring any med records you have, to open a Hlth Record with them

  3. Well, PI does not accept Tri-Care, CHAMPUS, or Blue Cross/Blue Shield, so anything major (medically) that is required that can be covered with VA, they already have you on file, blood type, prev med info, ect.

    Shots, PI is really tough on TB, even if you just had a TB test in the past 6 months, they may require a new TB test, or TB shots, as well as Malaria Swine Flu, and a few others.

  4. You can file for Med Reimbursement claim with CHAMPUS, but from what I have heard from Ex-Pats in PI, the amount reimbursed does not come up to much, and when you look at the cost we are paying into Tri-Care and CHAMPUS it’s not worth it, so most ex-pats opt out You can also opt-out of Blue Cross/Blue Shield Part B

    Another option is our military benefits at US bases, Guam is only a short skip and a hop away, Naval Base and Air Base. I hear the medical facilities are top notch, and not to many retirees take advantage of them

    Perla and I are both in good health, but you never know what tomorrow brings, so it’s better to look into things know, th

  5. Richie, I’m sorry to disagree but your statement that PI does not accpt Tri Care is not accurate. While there is no Tri Care Prime, I believe Tri Care Standard is the norm in PI. I have already identified the Tri Care participants (providers) in the area where I will be living and will be selecting a primary care physician shortly after we settle. Although it may take some time, Tri Care does reimburse allowable amounts. Prescription drugs are also reimbursible. I suggest to anybody that is Tri Care eligible and looking to move to the Philippines to check it out HERE. I was just examined and diagnosed as TB free and the purpose of my upcoming visit to the Bureau of Quarantine is for delivery of and review of my results, and medical endorsement on my Visa. As far as the VA is concerned, basically one must be eligible to be treated by the VA and unless you have a service connected disability or qualify under certain low income requirements, the VA is not an option for many.

  6. Pay? Who pays for Tricare Standard? I don’t and I still have it. For retired military, Tricare Standard is no cost. It’s not that great, but it sure is better than nothing and the price is right. I can get reimbursed for my medical and prescriptions here through Tricare. I haven’t done it yet, but I have talked with them and I have the website with the application to fill out.
    Osan AB in Korea is the closest US base to here, but Kadena AB in Okinawa would be the easiest to get to if you want to fly for free through Space A out of Clark. Most of their flight go to Okinawa.
    I don’t know that you can do much at the military hospitals overseas though. I suppose if we go to Guam, Hawaii or Alaska we could get something done though.
    If you are on any disability you can go to the VA Hospital in Manila, no need to travel off the islands at all.

  7. John, I thought all retired military paid insurance premiums (Tri Care). I know I will be switching from “Prime” to “Standard” once I leave the U.S. and all that really means is that the costs of medical care will reimbursable instead of just a co-pay at the point of visit and them filing the claim for you. There is still the annual premium from what I am being told by Tri Care South.

  8. (BOI) in Intramuros now the real fun begins, when your I-Card is ready 10-20 days, it will be listed on their website as ready to pick-up in Manila, so plan on coming off the hammock and flying to MEGA-Manila one more time. I asked if I could pay to have it delivered, last year and they said no. I hope you have better luck shipmate.

  9. John Jackson: There is NO VA hospital in the Philippines.

  10. Randy,
    We will be over to visit Paul again too when we get there. Maybe i’ll see you at Subic and have a few cold ones.

  11. We will surely make a trip now and then to the Subic area…might even buy Paul a cold one! Hope to run into you soon.

  12. Gary, There is a VA Regional Office (RO) and VA Outpatient Clinic (OPC) operating in Manila…both administrations are now co-located on US Embassy grounds.

  13. A small doctor’s office is not a hospital.

  14. John Jackson said it…

    I don’t know that you can do much at the military hospitals overseas though. I suppose if we go to Guam, Hawaii or Alaska we could get something done though.
    If you are on any disability you can go to the VA Hospital in Manila, no need to travel off the islands at all.

  15. Gary, I think he meant to say clinic. There have been discussions about expanding the facility but still, it is not a viable option to many of the “qualified” American expats who live there. It’s just not practical, conveniently located to the provinces, and is limited in its capabilities. Best thing is just to try to stay as healthy as possible. 😉

  16. Okay, my mistake, it’s a clinic. I only know that I can not go there because I do not have as disability that I know of and none documented.
    I called them and referred to them as a hospital and the guy didn’t tell me anything different. That’s when I found out for sure that only people with disabilities can go there.

  17. Randy all I can tell you is that I have Tricare Standard, can get reimbursed for my medications and care and I don’t pay anything. In fact when I switched to Standard from Prime after moving here, I thought I would have to pay, but the lady at the Tricare office on Ft. Hood told me that there is no charge.
    The Prime was coming out of my retirement check, but now nothing is coming out.
    Of course I have not actually used Tricare Standard since I’ve been here, but I have contacted them and gotten some information from them.

  18. Okay, that’s consistent with what I’m being told. I know I will have to notify Tri Care of my change in address and that automatically places me into Tri Care Standard since we will not be in a “Demo” area in Samar.

  19. hello friends..looking for a place to retire…was in cebu last year, seems a little expensive for the very good condos..any ideas??..thanks so much

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