Immigration Rules & Regs

How a US Citizen Can Get Deported From The Philippines

Sometimes expats come here and can’t handle the fact that they went from being a pauper or commoner to a rich celebrity with the touchdown of an airplane. Many of us realize after we’ve been cheated a few times that smiling friendly faces mean nothing. There are some hard headed fellows, though, that don’t get the message. For those foreigners one of three things usually happens to them. 1. They get whacked (read more on that) 2. They become so miserable from getting cheated and intentional slow/poor service that they leave on their own. 3. They get deported and/or blacklisted from The Philippines. This article is about the third option.

Why US Citizens Get Deported From The Philippines

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration (The “BI”) deported a record number of foreigners last year. While most of those were Chinese and Koreans more and more westerners are getting kicked out of paradise as well. Let me start off by saying that while there may be a few instances of corruption most of those western guys that got deported absolutely deserved it. We don’t need degenerate foreigners here making the rest of us look bad.

The top reasons US citizens get deported from the Philippines are: 1. Being a sex offender back home 2. Being rude to government officials. 3. Are fugitives back home 4. Not keeping up on their visa extensions 5. Working without proper authorization 6. Their wives get them deported 7. Just being an undesirable alien in general. 

Kim Vegar Kristoffersen was blocked from entering the country as he tried to slip in at Clark International Airport. He had been corresponding with a 16 year old boy in The Philippines prior to his arrival. The Norwegian national was previously convicted for several sex crimes in his homeland and had been added to a list of international pedophiles that The Philippines participates in. Plenty of Americans have been denied entry for the same reason.

Under the Duterte administration The Philippines has begun a serious crackdown on foreign pedophilia in the country. I applaud this but let us not forget it’s not just foreigners who are sexually degenerate. In fact a cop in Manila recently got busted for promising sex for leniency with a minor. The Philippines is a participant in the international Megan’s law and works with other countries to maintain a list of foreigners who have been convicted of a sex crime back home.

US Citizens Get Deported from The Philippines for Being Rude

Tony Labrusca  (a Fil-Am) arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport and expected to receive a one-year Balikbayan (returnee) visa. The immigration official didn’t agree that the shoe salesmen turned actor was eligible to receive the visa and instead gave him a 30-day tourist visa. The actor lost his temper and attempted to leverage his celebrity status with the agent. He was nearly deported from the country for his disrespectful behavior.

Chinese tourists top this list again but anyone can be deported for being a jerk in The Philippines. Especially if they are rude to an immigration official at the airport. According to the BI that number stands at 133 last year.

Related: 10 Things I Wished I Knew Before Moving to The Philippines

US Citizens Get Deported From The Philippines for Being Fugitives

Stacey Thomas was busted in his Quezon City residence to face charges of ‘abusive sexual contact’ in Texas. The 49-year-old American had been hiding in The Philippines since 2010. He was seized at the request of the US Embassy.

I’ll never understand why American fugitives think they can hide and be safe forever in The Philippines. The country not only has an extradition treaty with the United States but the two governments have a very strong working rapport with one another. In fact, the BI actually has an entire unit dedicated to finding foreign fugitives who try to take refuge in The Philippines.

US Citizens Get Deported for Not Maintaining Their Visa Extensions

Not keeping up with their visa extensions is the number one reason Americans get blacklisted or deported from The Philippines. Some guys think they can get hitched and have kids with a Filipina and be able to stay but it doesn’t work that way. In fact, a requirement to get a 13A Residence Visa is that you are current on your visa extensions.

This is the top reason guys get the boot and it’s also the silliest. It costs $59 for a 59 day extension. I’m personally glad the BI is deporting people for being behind on their visa extensions. Sorry to be harsh but if you can’t afford $60 every 2 months then you don’t need to be here, period. There’s enough indigent people here already and we don’t need westerners adding to their numbers.

Related: How to Stay in The Philippines Permanently

Working Without Authorization

Randell Lee Parker learned this the hard way. The 52-year-old wasn’t deported for being violent, not for stealing, and not for fraud. He was deported for the simple crime of working! Specifically, working without a permit. Apparently, after someone filed a complaint against him for working at the front desk of a resort in Boracay the BI used undercover operatives to investigate him. After it was included that he was indeed working the American was expelled from The Philippines for the crime of working without a proper permit.

This may be a bit difficult for Americans to understand since we have illegal aliens working all the time in America, but in The Philippines a foreigner working without prior authorization is a serious offense. Basically, it is seen as taking a job from a Filipino. Seeing as many Filipinos are forced into indentured servitude in the middle east (OFWs) due to lack of work the government’s position is comprehensible. So, I hope you can see why they take this so seriously.

Their Wives Cancel Their Visas

Some guys think once they get married to a Filipino citizen and get their 13A permanent residence visa they’re scott-free. However, that’s just not the case as the visa is not permanent at all. Your Filipina wife can request cancellation if she has a valid reason. Peter Robert Sanders found this out the hard way. The 83 year old’s 13A permanent resident visa was cancelled at the request of his estranged wife. After he refused to leave voluntarily he was deported. The process is similar to the US. If you bring your Filipino spouse to America and it doesn’t work out you can request to have her permanent green card cancelled and deported from the US.

Just Being Undesirable in General

The Philippines makes it easy for Americans to come here in order to spur economic growth. In return, they expect us to behave in a manner that is civil and beneficial to the country. They don’t want troublemakers and/or indigent Americans/foreigners here. That is why they have a broad scope law which states that you can be deported for no other reason than being an ‘undesirable alien’. This gives the BI broad powers to get rid of anyone they deem unfit to be a member of Philippine society.

Sometimes scammers will try to use this to keep foreigners quiet after scamming them. But so far I haven’t heard of an American being deported just for truthfully speaking out against a scammer. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen though. My advice is to keep your nose clean and you won’t have any problems.

How Deportation Works in The Philippines

Just to make this clear I am not an attorney and nothing here constitutes legal advice. This is based on my research and what I’ve heard. Now that that’s out of the way The Philippines does practice due process when someone may be deported.

  1. Once a complaint is filed against them they are summoned to the BI offices to explain themselves.
  2. A lot of the time it ends there. You just have to pay a fine and move on. But if your infraction was severe enough you can be deemed to be an undesirable alien and deported.
  3. Most people agree to voluntary deportation to avoid spending a lot of time in the BI’s detention center in Bicutan.
  4. If you don’t agree to be deported you get another hearing of ‘reconsideration’. From what I’ve seen most of these are denied but not all, it just depends on your case.
  5. If you lose that hearing then you’ll be sent to Bicutan where you will await deportation

Here’s why most people submit themselves to voluntary deportation.

The detention center in Bicutan is no joke. For one thing, it’s dangerously overcrowded, unsanitary, and there are reports of a massive scabies outbreak. In fact, an American recently died of tuberculosis awaiting deportation in Bicutan. There’s no limit for how long you can be held there either. Mark Cyr had been held there since 2013. Guys, if it’s to the point where you’re facing deportation proceedings, for example if you’ve lost the first hearing and the reconsideration hearing just agree to be deported. You can go to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, or another tropical country. The cheap cost of living is not worth your life.

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