THE BALIKBAYAN PRIVILEGE (R.A.6768 as amended)
By legal definition, a Balikbayan is:
1. A Filipino citizen
who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least 1 year;
2. A Filipino overseas worker
3. A former Filipino citizen and his or her family, who had been naturalized in a foreign country and comes or returns to the Philippines.
• The “Balikbayan Privilege” may be availed of by foreign family members of all 3 classifications provided that they travel together everytime they enter the country (MEMORANDUM dated July 1, 2008 issued by Atty. Edgardo L. Mendoza, Chief, IRD).
• “FAMILY” shall mean the spouse and the children of the Balikbayan who are not Balikbayan in their own right traveling with the latter to the Philippines. (Section 2 (b) of R.A. no. 9174, amending R.A. 6768, entitled: “An Act Instituting a “BALIKBAYAN PROGRAM”, by providing Additional Benefits and Privileges to Balikbayan and for other purposes”).
• Correspondingly, all Balikbayans 14 years and below and 60 years of age shall be allowed to extend their temporary visitor visa
under Section 9a of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 as amended, for a maximum period of 6 months for every extension PROVIDED that all appropriate fees are paid. Thus, Balikbayans are allowed a maximum total stay of 2 years inclusive of all extensions. (MEMORANDUM ORDER NO. ADD – 02 – 011 dated 11 February 2002).
source: Bureau of Immigration