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ACR I-Card for Foreign Nationals in the Philippines

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Last week, we covered the advantages of having an ACR I-Card in The Perks of Having an ACR I-Card, from quick verification of information to decreasing the cost of transacting business with the Bureau of Immigration. These are just some of the conveniences that you will get once you secure an ACR I-Card. As stated on the previous article, all registered aliens are required to replace their paper-based ACRs with the microchip-based ACR I-Card and this also applies to their dependents.

But what are the coverage of the ACR I-Card? According to the Bureau of Immigration, all aliens who have been duly issued immigrant or non-immigrant visa and all other aliens who are required to register under the Alien Registration Act are required to register and apply for the ACR I-Card.

Listed below are types of foreign nationals who are required to apply for the ACR I-Card:

1. Native-Born

2. Permanent residents under:

  • a. Section 13 and its sub-sections

  • b. Republic Act Nos. 7919 and 8247 (Alien Social Integration Act of 1995)

  • c. Executive Order No. 324 (series of 1988)

  • d. Note Verbale No. 903730 dated Sept. 17, 1990 between Philippines and India

3. Temporary residents under:

  • a. BI Law Instruction No. 33 (Series of 1988)

  • b. BI Law Instruction No. 13 (Series of 1988)

  • c. BI Law Instruction No. 48 (Series of 1988)

  • d. BI Memo Order No. ADD-01-038 (Series of 2001)

  • e. BI Memo Order No. ADD-02-015 (series of 2002)

4. Temporary visitor under Section 9(a), PIA – one who is coming for business or pleasure or for reasons of health if his stay exceeds six (6) months

5. Treaty trader under Section 9(d), PIA

6. Temporary student under Section 9(f), PIA

7. Pre-arranged employee under Section 9(g), PIA

8. Such other aliens as may be required by law to register

9. For those who are required to register but exempted from immigration fees, they may opt to avail of the ACR I-Card subject to payment of the card fee.


You need your ACR I-Card as a legal requirement to stay in the Philippines and even when buying a car or for the registration of your vehicle. When applying for a bank account or an insurance, they would normally ask for you to present your ACR I-Card. If you are a foreign national and you see that you qualify amongst the list above, then it would be best to apply for your ACR I-Card now.



Author: Aris Malli  


Related posts:

 The Perks of Having an ACR I-Card

Getting a Bank Account in the Philippines




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