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How to get an ACR I-Card in the Philippines (Alien Certificate of Registration)

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor October 29th, 2020 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Philippines Travel Blog, Travel Blog, VISA Application Guides 6 Comments

Here’s a guide on how foreigners can get an ACR I-Card in the Philippines.

ACR Card

For foreigners who stay in the Philippines for more than 60 days, an ACR I-card is required. An ACR I-Card is an Alien Certificate of Registration Identification Card. It’s a micro-chip ID that has different categories. Usually, an ACR I-Card is submitted together with a visa application. You can get it at the Bureau of Immigration Offices. Read the steps to secure it.

Foreigners Required in getting an ACR I-Card in the Philippines

All foreign nations with immigrant and non-immigrant visas (including Temporary Visitor Visas Holders) who stayed in the Philippines for more than 59 days

These are the categories with the corresponding color assignment on their cards:

Permanent Residents – Light Yellow

  • 13 Quota
  • 13(a) – Philippine Citizen’s Wife, Husband, or Child (below 21)
  • 13(b) – Child born abroad whose mother is a Permanent Resident
  • 13(c) – Child born after parents have immigration visas
  • 13(d) – Filipino woman who lost citizenship by marriage and dependent child
  • 13(e) – Returning Residents
  • 13(g) – Natural born Filipinos naturalized in another
  • RA 7919 – Social Integration Program
  • EO 324
  • PD 730
  • MCL-07-021 – Chinese National Married to Filipino
  • MCL-08-003 – South Korean National Married to Filipino

Native Born – Bronze

  • Special Non-Immigrant – Dark Purple
  • 47(a)(2) nonexempt
  • 47(b)
  • EO 758 – Employment Generation
  • PD 1623 – Investors
  • PD 1034 – Offshore Banking
  • RA 8756 0 – Executives of Regional HQ

Worker – Blue

  • 9(g) Commercial
  • 9(g) Missionary

Probationary Resident – Light Purple

  • 13(a) probationary
  • Temporary Resident Visa
  • MCL-07-021 probationary – Chinese National Married to Filipino

Voluntary Registrant – Red

  • All Economic Zone Visas
  • Balikbayan
  • Tourist less than 59 days
  • 47(a)(2) exempt
  • SIRV – Investor’s
  • SRRV – Retirement

Tourist – White

  • Temporary Visitors who will stay/have stayed for more than 59 days
  • SWP – Special Work Permit
  • SSP – Special Study Permit

Student – Aqua Blue

  • Sec 9(f)

Treaty Trader – Gray

  • Sec 9(d)

Gratis – Green

  • RA 7837 – Veterans
  • C.A. 613, 47 (b)

Requirements for an ACR I-Card Issuance

This is as per BI Website:

1. ACR I-Card Application Form

How to get an ACR I Card in the Philippines Alien Certificate of Registration 01

2. Checklist – please read this ahead, in case you are voluntary applying, this is a special checklist

3. Copy of passport bio-page and passport pages bearing valid visa implementation and latest admission with authorized stay

4. 2 pieces of 2×2 photo – taken within the last three months with white background (voluntary not needed)

Additional Documents For New Applicants

  • 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)
  • Photocopy of official receipt(s) of payment for applicable fees

Additional Documents for Paper-Based ACR holders (Late-Filing for Permanent Residents):

  • Letter of explanation – why filing is late
  • Original ACR (to be surrendered)
  • Photocopy of Immigrant Certificate of Residence (ICR) or Native-Born Certificate of Residence (NBCR)
    Index Card Imaging print-out from the Fingerprint Section;
  • Affidavit of Undertaking in case of expired passport (original and photocopy of the new passport which shall be presented fifteen (15) days from the date of its issuance)

Additional documents for Voluntary Applicants

  • Letter Request – with the purpose why you are applying for such
  • Photocopy of ID from concerned Agency – PRA, BOI, PEZA, if applicable
  • Photocopy of Marriage Certificate or Birth Certificate – for Balikbayan
  • Original Paper-Based ACR – if applicable

ACR I-Card Fees

I-Card Fee – USD 50

Express Fee – PHP 500

Steps on How to get an ACR I-Card in the Philippines

Usually, this is done together with your visa or application, but here are the steps

STEP 1: Gather all requirements for your application.

STEP 2: Go to the BI office that processes your visa or permit; you can refer here. Go to the in-charge of pre-screening and submit your documents.

STEP 3: Pay the fees and get an OR. Most will be asked to come back for a scheduled date.

STEP 4: On the day of your schedule, you will attend a hearing. After that, you may also be applying for your ARC I-Card, so proceed to the registration division. Have your fingerprints and photo taken, you may hand in your application there.

STEP 5: Wait for your visa and ACR I-card to be approved. After that, you may need to submit your passport for stamping.

STEP 6: Claim both your passport and ACR I-Card. The I-Card is valid for only a year.

Getting a Special Work Permit – Foreigners Working Temporarily in the Philippines
Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

Renewing your ACR I-Card

Who needs to renew an ACR I-Card?

  • Those who have expired ACR I-Card
  • For foreigners who have reached 14
  • Status of visa has changed
  • Replacement of ACR as required under the Alien Registration Act of 1950, as amended

Requirements in Renewing your ACR I-Card

1. ACR I-Card Application Form

How to get an ACR I Card in the Philippines Alien Certificate of Registration 02

2. This Checklist

3. Original ACR I-Card – surrender this

4. Photocopy of passport bio-page, visa implementation page, and latest admission with valid authorized stay.

Additional Requirements For the Following:

Immigrant Visa
MCL 07-021
MCL 08-003 – Amendment from Probationary to Permanent Resident Visa,
Temporary Resident Visa
Treaty Trader’s Visa
Pre-Arranged Employee Visa (Commercial/Missionary)

  • Photocopy of the Board of Commissioners (BOC)’s Order of Approval

For Sec. 47(a)2

  • DOJ endorsement – Photocopy

Special Subic/Clark Investors Visa
Special Subic/Clark Working Visa
Cagayan Economic Zone
Investor/Working Visa

  • Photocopy of Endorsement from Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA)/Clark Development Corporation (CDC)

Student Visa

  • Photocopy of the Student Desk-approved Order granting a Student Visa extension

Re-Registration of Dependents

  • Certified true copy of the Board of Commissioners (BOC)’s Order for a non-immigrant applicant
  • Photocopy of parent’s passport bio-page and passport page bearing the visa implementation as well as the ACRI-Card (front and back)
  • 2 2×2 colored photo – recently taken with white background

Philippine Born (Permanent Residents)

  • Birth Certificate
  • Certified true copy of ACR and Native-Born Certificate of Residence (NBCR), if applicable (issued by the Records
  • Section for internal verification purposes)
  • Photocopy of parent’s ACR (front and back) and Immigrant Certificate of Residence (ICR)

Reissuance of ACR I-Card

Who can get a reissued ACR I-Card?

Those with:

  • Lost Card
  • Damaged Card
  • With Amendments – name, address, etc.
  • Rejected Card – wrong printed information due to applicant’s negligence

Requirements in getting a Reissued ACR I-Card

1. Accomplished ACR I-Card renewal/re-issuance application form

2. This Checklist 

3. Original ACR I-Card, if not lost

4. Photocopy of passport bio-page, visa implementation page, and latest admission with valid authorized stay

5. Certified true copy issued by the Records Section of the Board of Commissioner (BOC)’s Order granting the visa (for internal verification purposes)

6. Certified true copy issued by the Records Section of the Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) or Immigrant Certificate of Residence (for paper-based ACR holders)

Additional requirements:


  • Letter request – for your reissuance
  • Affidavit of Loss
  • Police Report


  • Official receipt(s) of payment for applicable fees


  • For Name
    • Court Order (if applicable)
    • Amended/Corrected Birth Certificate
    • Affidavit of Amendment of Name/Inclusion of Name
  • Citizenship/Nationality
    • Official document proving the change of citizenship/nationality
    • Affidavit of Change of Citizenship/Nationality
  • Civil Status
    • Official document proving the change of civil status (e.g., Marriage Certificate or Marriage Contract,
    • Death Certificate or Annulment /Divorce Decree
    • Affidavit of Change of Civil Status
  • Address

Steps in Renewing/Reissuing the ACR I-Card

STEP 1: Gather the requirements.

STEP 2: Go to the nearest BI Office and submit your requirements. Get an Order or Payment Slip after.

STEP 3: Pay the fees, it’s still the same as getting a new one.

STEP 4: Submit a copy of the Official Receipt to get it processed.

STEP 5: Wait for the application to be evaluated and your reissuance to be approved.

STEP 6: Present your claim stub and get your new ACR I-Card.

How to Get a Call Center Job in the Philippines Be a Call Center Agent 03
Photo by Proxyclick Visitor Management System on Unsplash

Those are the steps on how to get an ACR I-Card or Alien Certificate of Registration Identification Card in the Philippines. Also, we have included how you can have it renewed or reissued. The fees are the same, and the card is only good for a year. I hope this guide helps you with your application! ​

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About the Writer

Lyza Paloma

Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I’m aiming to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, photography, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.


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6 thoughts on “How to get an ACR I-Card in the Philippines (Alien Certificate of Registration)

  1. how long does it take to get the acr of a saudi national, husband of a Filipina who are staying in the Philippines for 8 months and applied for the acr last november 2021?.

  2. I would like to know if I can get an I Card – I have been here 22 years and I support 4 families.
    This is critical for the well being of the Children I support – I also have 2 American friends who need to renew their I card when they get into the Country. Before March 2020 no Visitors visa was required to come to the Philippines. Please send me an e mail dealing with these concerns for me and my friends

  3. hello,i just want to ask if where i can get the Certified true copy of the record section of the Commissioner’s order of Approval granting the visa.thank you if you can answer me

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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

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