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About flicks1998

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    Platinum Member
  • Member # 358109
  • Location Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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  • Immigration Status
    Adjustment of Status (approved)
  • Place benefits filed at
    Chicago Lockbox
  • Local Office
    Pittsburgh PA
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  • Our Story
    Have been living outside the US for 25+ years, Manila has been my base or home base for 10+ years. On pace to go to all 193 UN countries, currently at 131. Was born and raised in the US up through high school and then I saw the light. I got out. Still carry around a blue passport for now, but thats the extent of the connection to the country. Hold citizenship in the UK (through family ties), Cambodia (investment), St Kitts & Nevis (investment), Turkey (investment). Also hold PR status for Singapore and Hong Kong.

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  1. Just follow this advice. Keep it simple and no reason to over complicate the process. There are many dual citizens enter and exiting the Philippines each day. I would assume her stay was for 30 days or less? If it wasnt, if entering on a US passport, then an extension would have had to be done for any days over 30 days and its essentially wasting money and time. Over the years I have acquired 5 nationalities. If Im entering a country that I am a citizen of, I always enter with that countries passport........ Chancy put it in the simplest terms on what should be done.
  2. The below is not my personal advice, it is strictly a comment based on what I have seen many US citizens do who live in the Philippines and want to bring their gfs/bfs/spouses, etc to visit the US. Since 99% of them will be rejected for a B-visa, many will do a K1 visa, go through that process for a year +, get the visa, bring their SO to the US for a 3 month trip, and then return to the Philippines. Obviously this is fraud, but this is what many do, and creates problems for the rest of us who do a K1 or CR1 visa legitimately. I mention this as it shows how far people will go because the chance of a B visa is tiny. If he has the time, it makes much more sense for him to go there and visit.
  3. I dont know which country you come from, but I have quite a few friends who are EU citizens, all retired before 35, and did make frequent trips into the US, similar to what you proposed and they did it for a few years without issues, although they had documentation of their financial status. In general, what people are saying in this thread is correct, however for some reason, Americans have some pre-conceived notion that people are suppose to work their entire lives and anyone who doesnt, must have something wrong with them. If your financial situation is strong, and you can prove this if asked, I dont see you having a problem. If your financial situation is more normal, then I would agree with the other posts in this thread. In the past I have had extensive conversations with US Commercial service officers as well as Consular officers and even they will say, if you have the money, they dont really care too much how long your in the US, as long as youre spending money. Ive had this repeated to me throughout the years in various US Embassies in multiple countries. I dont know your situation, but I can tell you with 100% certainty, there are double standards.
  4. Yes thats correct. Her passport was stolen just after we got the visa. This was also during the peak of Covid in December 2020. The Embassy, though, was highly responsive in getting the new visa issued once we obtained the new passport. This was when certain provinces required Covid testing or did allow travel to non-residents of that province etc etc so we were trying to navigate that issue as well. Also, we were an expedited case due to my son not being in school and we were trying to get to the US by January for the new school semester. We did not arrive until Feb 2021, mainly because of the difficulties in getting the new passport. This was 2 days before the visa was to expire. I havent read this whole thread but if you need something urgently, its best to demonstrate how their quick actions will benefit the US citizen.
  5. Her last login was 7 years ago. I dont think she will answer. Probably best to close the thread.
  6. Especially when you consider the first 4-5 months of 2022, there were limited or less international flights. It comes to around 90 people per day were offloaded throughout the Philippines in 2022. The article lists 472 related to human trafficking, 873 for misrepresentation. I wonder what category the other 31,000 fell under given the whole point of offloading is supposedly to prevent human trafficking as well as misrepresentation. It just further confirms the abuse of the program. According to the BI, of the 32,404 Filipinos offloaded in 2022, only 472 were related to human trafficking, 873 allegedly misrepresented themselves, and 10 were minors.
  7. You were in the same situation as myself when I came back. Once you come back, you will need to get a state DL. Each state is different, some states may issue you a new license without a written exam and road test and others will not. You will need to check with Texas on their requirements. Also, the insurance will be for the specific car you have, then you can add authorized drivers to that. Its likely all 3 of you will be considered new drivers so expect some sticker shock as its not nearly as cheap as in the Philippines. We have been lucky as we have relatively good public transportation. I have a non-owners car insurance policy through Geico which gives coverage whenever we rent a car. Its cheaper than selecting the car rental insurance at Enterprise, Hertz, etc etc. We then use a combination of Uber/Lyft, the Tram, and Zipcar. The only problem is public transportation in the US is horrible, except for very few cities so this may not be an option.
  8. We bring in thousands of medical professionals every year to work at our facilities with the majority of them brought in on immigrant visas. We refer most of them to Progressive as the process is very easy for them with no driving record in the US. As a 3rd party agent told us, Progressive doesnt care that you have no driving record in the US, they just want your premium. Second on the list, may be Geico.
  9. Yeah, makes sense on your step daughter and agreed that with no fathers name on the BC is very helpful. Your wife's situation was exactly my wifes situation, I think she was around 5 years old as well. Because of that, we had to get the NBI AKA for USCIS.
  10. Hello Steve, sorry I have not replied to your PM yet. I have been in China the last few months and have not been able to log into this site. Here is some feedback: As others have stated, you should look at applying for the 13A while you are still in the US. Minor traffic violations do not need to be reported. They dont matter as part of the process. Since they do not matter, do not include. I have seen some people include these and it can cause mass confusion and misunderstandings. As for the local police clearance, I need to double check my notes on this. To get an FBI clearance is quite easy but takes some time. Usually you just need to go to your local police department, they will either do electronic or ink fingerprints (depends on the station) and then these can be mailed to the State Dept to be authenticated/certified etc. State Dept is backed up so this process may take around 2 months or so. Dont worry so much on proving financial stability. Ive seen people with only SS and no assets get approved for the 13A. Its best to follow @seekingthetruth advice on having a US address, although he only "highly recommends" and I "highly highly recommend" you dont change the address to a Philippines address. With about 99.9% certainty, the person you spoke to at your bank has misinformed you and its likely when the bank runs an audit and they come across your foreign address, they will contact you to close your accounts, usually within 30 days. You MUST maintain a US address. The situation with US banks is getting much worse in regards to US citizens living overseas. I always advise our Expats to never tell their bank they are going overseas. During my time back in the US, I have found a massively misinformed population on anything that deals with a foreign country. We joke in the Philippines about sometimes getting the "deer in the headlights" look, but it occurs in the US as well on anything international. Someone else in this thread mentioned that there are services that can provide you a US address. Ive used this company (at the link) in the past for mail forwarding and you should call them and discuss what you would like to have done. https://www.personalmailinternational.com/ There are other companies, but I have first hand knowledge with this one and they were very good for what I needed. As for your medical, alot of the advice from @seekingthetruth is correct. I think you should consider something like this: - Having health insurance in the PI for routine things is not really required since the services are cheap. A doctors visit is around 600-1000p (the upper end are the international hospitals) and X-rays, blood test, etc are cheap. - You should have some kind of high-deductible plan that will cover you for major surgeries, etc etc (for example, heart attacks/stroke/cancer/etc) Although these are much cheaper to treat in the Philippines, the cost will still be very high. - Try to get evacuation insurance coverage as well. I always have had this living there. If the insurance company requires you to designate countries, I would just put Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. There are hospitals in Thailand now that are just as good or better than what you could get in the US. If you are able to travel, I really dont recommend anything major being done in the Philippines. You will find some foreigners who have had good luck, but the ones who have not had good luck far outweigh the others. - You should subscribe to Philhealth as well. A few years ago they raised the fee to 17,000p/ year for foreigners. Normally this will only cover a certain % if you are hospitalized, that % ranging anywhere between 10- 50%. Will depend on the services and it covers nothing for outpatient etc. However the BIGGEST advantage of Philhealth is you will be admitted without having to pay a deposit upfront. For example, if the hospital does not recognize your private health insurance carrier, alot of times they wont admit you without an upfront deposit. However, if you have Philhealth, they will. This can be the difference between life and death as well. People have died waiting outside the emergency room as the hospital was requesting payments upfront, but with Philhealth, you will be immediately admitted. - Try to check out Maxicare, BUPA, AXA, etc. Maxicare I had as part of my employer insurance. They are very popular with companies, but they do insure individuals. Over the past 25+ years, BUPA has been quite popular with foreigners living in SE Asia. I had them at certain times back in the 90s/early 2000s. If money is no object to you, then CIGNA by far is the best. The gold standard. However their premiums are sky high and I dont see how they will be of good value to you. You can also check out GEO Blue and Aetna. Those two will be a little less expensive than CIGNA, but the premiums will still be alot. - Also, as other have stated, some insurances providers (alot) end coverage at a certain age, some are 70, some are 72, etc etc. - Finally, read the fine print over and over and come up with lots of questions and get those answers. Its best to get those answers in writing as well. Nothing verbal as these insurance companies in SE Asia will promise you the world on the phone. I guess to just repeat, I strongly suggest you find a way to maintain a US address both for banking and credit card. If you dont, you will find yourself in a world of problems quite quickly. Also, on the 13A, you will be able to get a local credit card from BDO, BPI, etc and I suggest you do this. Finally, one of the go to online banks that expats used has been Schwab but a few months ago, they sent notices to many Americans living in foreign countries (one of them was the Philippines) that US citizens could not longer use their brokerage services if living outside the US. Essentially they would not be able to add any more money to the accounts and they would remain open for liquidation purposes. However, Im not sure how this affected their retail online banking services but its another reason to always use a US address and never tell your bank you are permanently living outside the US. Every time you log into your US bank, you will need to do so via VPN to make it appear you are in the US (NordVPN, ExpressVPN, etc etc etc) will work. In this day and age, a VPN is a must have for living outside the US. You will need a VPN to log into the IRS, SS, etc websites as well. The other thing you need to take into consideration is trying to maintain a US phone number. Since many of these financial institutions are going to 2factor authentication, they will need a US phone number and not an overseas number. Some people have tried US google voice or google fi, but some banks can recognize this now. T-Mobile, Verizon offer international plans and I know some Americans in the Philippines maintain one of these numbers strictly to receive 2factor authentication. The only issue is its an additional monthly expense. Since you are not moving until the end of the year, I wouldnt research this too much until a few months before as this is a rapidly changing area as well.
  11. Out of curiosity, did the father of your stepdaughter not sign the birth certificate when she was born? Many times this occurs and if so, the child will obtain the mothers later name. However, if the father signs the birth certificate (even if not married), the child can use the fathers last name. This was the case with my son. He has my last name although I was not married to the mother. His name structure is: the two first names, middle name is the mothers last name, his last name is my last name. However there is a cutoff on when the father needs to sign the BC and if that date is missed, the child will take the mothers last name. A UK friend of mine worked overshore and when his daughter was born, he could not get back to the Philippines in time to sign the BC. It became a disaster as it took him about 2 years to get it correct and alot of money spent. I dont remember the cut-off time, but I thought around 2 weeks or 30 days but not sure.
  12. Yes the 13A will allow you to travel in/out without your spouse compared to the BB visa. Just note that the 13A is a resident visa and you will need to pay the travel tax (1,620p) each time you depart internationally. The BB visa you do not need to do this. However, you couldnt get the BB visa if you were flying into the country alone and they would only give you a 9a so getting the 13a has that advantage along with a few others. Also, alot of people confuse the travel tax with the departure tax (or terminal tax) but they are two different things. Terminal tax is usually put into the ticket price except for one or two airports nowadays. The travel tax is occasionally included, most Philippine airlines give you the option to pay this when buying the ticket. The only time some needs to pay the travel tax on a 9a visa is if they spent 365+ days consecutively in the country. Also if someone has a work visa (9g, 47a2, etc), there is actually an additional tax of 2,880p on top of all of the other taxes.
  13. They should have given every American $10K to be split between basic math and personal financial management classes with the other half spent on weight management and health. Would have had much better long-term results than throwing money arbitrarily at student loans.
  14. Yes this is all correct. I know some are chiming in from other countries, but St Lukes has their own process they follow. To the OP, dont worry about this process as it will be handled for you by St Lukes. The only thing you may want to get is a copy of the vaccination record that St Lukes does, if they will give you one. We found that to be helpful later on.
  15. I deal with the PI Embassy/Consulates in the US on a regular basis. The best way will be to contact the one that falls under your states jurisdiction. There is only one Embassy which is in DC, the rest are Consulates. Its common to receive various responses to the process for the same type of visas. You can call them and get the details on the phone, but I have always found it best to send an email and get a response in writing. If anything goes wrong later, you have the email as proof. To answer your questions, #1 you can apply in the US or in the Philippines. #2, I answered above.
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