For all those wondering how to get an alien certificate registration or commonly known as ACT Identity card (ACR I-card), here’s your complete guide on the following matters you should consider before applying.

What is ACR I-card?

ACR I-card is a replacement for the paper-based ACR issued to registered aliens. The new ACR I-card is now a microchip-based credit card-sized identification card that has biometric features that can hold certain data and be updated electronically. The ACR I-Card now serves as the Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), Re-entry Permit (RP) and Special Return Certificate (SRC) of the holder upon payment of the required fees.

This will serve as the immigrant’s certificate of residence in the Philippines. This is commonly applicable to all foreigners living in manila that wanted to retire or stay in the Philippines.


Who can apply for ACR I-card?

This is all for foreign nationals who are visa holders of Temporary Visitor’s Visa or Tourist Visa that have stayed for more than fifty-nine (59) days in the Philippines. Here is the complete list of ACR requirements;

Where to apply?You can apply in the BI Main office or in other immigration offices.
What should I bring?
  • Completed application form and,
  • Certified true copy issued by the Records Section of the Board of Commissioners (BOC)’s Order granting the visa (for internal verification purposes)
  • Certified true copy issued by the Records Section of the Commissioner’s Order of Approval granting the Student
  • Visa (for internal verification purposes)
  • Photocopy of passport bio-page and passport pages bearing valid visa implementation and latest admission with authorized stay
  • Photocopy of official receipt(s) of payment for applicable fees
  • Two (2) pieces of 2×2 photograph of the applicant with white background and must be taken within the last three (3) months from the date of application.
How to apply?Your ACR I-card application together with your application for visa should be submitted to BI office.
How much does it cost?$ 50.00
You need to add ₱500.00

General Instructions

To avoid denial/delay in the processing of your application, please be advised of the following:
1. All documents required for submission must be complied with, arranged in the order as listed in the
Checklist of Documentary Requirements (CDR), compiled in a legal size (8½ x 14 in.) folder and shall be
submitted within the prescribed period, if applicable. Otherwise, your application shall not be accepted.
2. The original valid passport of the applicant must be submitted to the Central Receiving Unit (CRU)
personnel or concerned frontline officer for scanning. Thereafter, it shall be returned.
3. It is recommended that you seek legal advice from lawyers and/or BI-accredited entities.

Checklist of Documentary Requirements for Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card) Waiver.

Please read carefully the above-stated General Instructions, before proceeding with the completion of the documentary requirements.
1. Letter request addressed to the Commissioner personally signed by the applicant, stating therein valid
and meritorious reason for waiver, and stamped “No Derogatory Records” by the Certification and
Clearance Section (CCS);
2. Photocopy of the applicant’s ACR I-Card transaction form claim stub;
3. Photocopy of applicant’s passport bio-page and latest visa implementation page;
4. Photocopy of airline ticket showing applicant’s name and date of departure; and
5. Official receipt of payment for ACR I-Card waiver application.

Where to apply?You can apply in the BI Main office or other immigration offices
What should I bring?Your completed application form and,
All documents needed.
How can I renew my ACR I-card?1. Complete your application for and all other requirements and submit it.
2. Check the database for any derogatory record.
3. Get an Order of Payment Slip (OPS).
4. Pay the required fees.
5. Submit copy of Official Receipt.
6. After evaluation of application, check the status of the ACR I-card and when approved, it shall be printed.
7. Present claim stub and identification (ID) card.
How much does it cost?I-card fee costs $ 50.00 and Express fee costs ₱500.00

Are children under 5 years old required to have an ACR I-card?

Under the Philippine Immigration law, Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, children below fifteen (15) years of age who are unaccompanied by or not coming to a parent, are classified as excludable. In order for them to be admitted into the Philippines, they must secure a Waiver of Exclusion Ground (WEG) from the Bureau of Immigration Philippines, upon proper coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). They may be allowed admission upon the approval of the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Voluntary Application for ACR I-Card

  1. Who can apply?
  2. A foreign national who voluntarily applies for an ACR I-Card
  1. Where to apply?
  2. BI Main Office
  1. What to bring?
    1. Checklist with complete documentary requirements
    2. Application Form
  1. How to apply?
    1. Secure and fill out an application form and attach required documents.
    2. Submit application with complete requirements.
    3. Check the database for any derogatory record.
    4. Get an Order of Payment Slip (OPS).
    5. Pay the required fees.
    6. Submit copy of Official Receipt.
    7. After evaluation of application and approved, the ACR I-Card shall be printed.
    8. Present claim stub and identification (ID) card.
How much does it cost?
Item DiscriptionAmount
I-Card Fee$ 50. 00
Express Fee₱500

The different categories of the ACR I-Card

a. Permanent Resident
13 Quota RA 7919, 13(a) EO 324, 13(b) PD 730, 13(c) MCL-07-021, 13(d) MCL-08-003, 13(e) Permanent, 13(g)
b. Native Born
c. Special Non-Immigrant
47(a)(2) non exempt EO 758, 47(b) PD 1623, RA 8756 SVEG, PD 1034
d. Worker
9(g) Commercial Missionary
9(g) Missionary
e. Probationary Resident
13(a) probationary, Temporary Resident Visa, MCL-07-021 probationary
f. Voluntary Registrant
Balikbayan All Economic Zone Visas, Tourist less than 59 days SIRV, 47(a)(2) exempt SRRV
g. Tourist
Temporary Visitors who will stay/have stayed for more than 59 days SWP, SSP
h. Student
Sec 9(f)
i. Treaty Trader
Sec 9(d)
j. Gratis
RA 7837 (Veterans)
C.A. 613, 47 (b)

The corresponding color assignment of each category

Visa CategoryAssigned Color
Permanent ResidentLight Yellow
Special Non-ImmigrantDark Purple
Probationary ResidentLight Purple
Voluntary RegistrantRed
StudentAqua Blue
Treaty TraderGray

Removing Name from Immigration Blacklist
What Should I do If my Alien Certificate I-card Lost or Stolen?

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Could you tell me do I have to apply for acr card in person or as with extending visa an authorized representative can do it in my name since biometric passports have eye and finger print on it so there is no need to be in person???


Hi Asen, you have to apply it in person.


Actually I sent an e-mail to Bureau of Immigrations in Makati and they reply to me that ” You may seek a representative and execute of Special Power of Attorney (SPA)”. So you don’t have to do it in person you can send representative in your place. So for ACR card and conversion of visa you dont have to do it in person, since your biometric passport has your finger print you can send someone else.


Hi Asen, thanks for the info.

Gordon Musgrave
Gordon Musgrave

I went and applied for my ACR I card in the BI office in Tacloban,they stated 2 weeks it is past that now and still have not received it ,is that common?.I live in Sogod Southern Leyte a small town is that a factor also?

Gordon Musgrave
Gordon Musgrave

Thank you for your reply!!!!

Adelle Dimalanta
Adelle Dimalanta


If I am applying for an ARC card for my infant son, do I have to wait for the release of the card before traveling out of the Philippines?

We have an extension visa and just want an Exit Clearance, so we can travel ASAP. Do I still need to apply for the ARC card and the ARP?

Thank you

nina panares
nina panares

hello DAFINA K ,
My Boss is applying for a probitionary visa but we he needs to go home for his treatment h is required to make a “REQUEST For Waiver ” PURPOSE :REMEDY FOR EMERGENCY DEPARTURES” CAN you please help us ,do you have a draft for this?he needs to go home for his cancer treatment follow up check up ,thank you ,much appreciated for your feedback


I am applying for a voluntary ACR-I card to meet the requirements at Phil Health for the new foreigner application requirements. When applying for a voluntary ACR-I card, it is requested you send a letter of request to the Commissioner through the Chief of the Alien Registration Division (ARD).
Does anyone have a sample letter and where do you send it to. Also, who is the current Commissioner.

Thanks, TJ.


Just been there a couple of days back, It has to be addressed to as follows:
Hon. JAMIE H. MORIENTE (Comissioner)


Should i stay for this long in philippine to apply for the ACR ?
what if i ll buy a condo ? will that be exclusion of this 59 days period.
and could i get the ACR me, my spouse and my children ?


Hi Dafina!

For one of the requirements for ACR i-Card. where can I get the certified true copy issued by the Records Section of the Board of Commissioners (BOC)’s Order granting the visa (for internal verification purposes)?

Also, I am leaving the PH in 3 weeks time (temporarily), if my card is not ready yet by then, can I leave the country eventhough I haven’t received my card yet?

Many thanks! 🙂


Hi Farah, you can get that at the Bureau of Immigration main office. When you apply you better tell them that you were leaving temporarily, they might expedite your card or they can give you an advice what you can do if your card is not yet ready and you have to leave the country.


Hi Cyrine!

Thank you for the advice!

Btw, can I get the certified true copy issued by the Records Section of the Board of Commissioners (BOC)’s Order granting the visa (for internal verification purposes) at the Bureau of Immigration Makati Extension Office?

John Doe

Does the BI require a criminal background check to obtain an extension of tourist visa, or to obtain an ACR I card? What do they mean by checking for “derogatory records” and “Verification and Certification Unit for clearance”? Thank you.

Gabriel Ann
Gabriel Ann


I have a son with a foreign passport staying in the Philippines right now. His Balikbayan visa will end on 31st May 2018. Since I am not in the country until end of July 2018 to apply the ACR and the visa extension, my in-laws will do the application. Do you happened to know the requirements? This will be our first application.
Hoping someone can help us.

Gabriel Ann

Mayflor Yu
Mayflor Yu

I have a friend who wants to apply for the ACR but they stayed not longer than 59 days. Is it really required to stay that long before that can get an ACR?


Hi Mayflor, this ACR application are for those who are visa holders of Temporary Visitor’s Visa or Tourist Visa that need to stayed for more than fifty-nine (59) days in the Philippines.


hi cyrine can i ask you please what is the maximum days or months i can stay after the tourist visa expired with the ACR application card thanks

expat forum
expat forum

Nationals from the following countries are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a period of stay of thirty (30) days or less: Andorra Angola Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Barbados Belgium Belize Benin Bhutan Bolivia Botswana Brazil* Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Chile Colombia Comoros Congo Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Democratic Republic of the Congo Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Fiji Finland France Gabon Gambia Germany Ghana Greece Grenada Guatemala Guinea Guinea… Read more »


Hello. I am approaching my 59th day here and plan to stay longer. So I need to get the ACR card, but am wondering isn’t these two items done internally by the BI office?

-Certified true copy issued by the Records Section of the Board of Commissioners (BOC)’s Order granting the visa (for internal verification purposes)
-Certified true copy issued by the Records Section of the Commissioner’s Order of Approval granting the Student

If I’m not mistaken, they do that and give it to me like they have for my tourist visa extension.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.


Hi Zach yes you can get those two at the BI offices.