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.
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)!