The Balikbayan 12 Month Visa
The Balikbayan program allows certain people to enter the Philippines for a stay of 12 Months without needing any other Visa.
A foreign national spouse and/or child of a Balikbayan may only be given the said privilege if he/she is traveling with his/her Balikbayan spouse or parent.
The following text appears to say, in brief:
A Filipino citizen who has to have been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one year, is eligible for a one year Balikbayan program privilege, which allows a spouse to stay in the Philippines for 12 months without a Visa. [Sec 3(c)]
A Filipino citizen who has been naturalized in a foreign country, may not have this one year period limitation applied.
Whether this is checked at immigration or not is another question, but might explain why some people get refused the 1 yr Balikbayan Visa privilege
The Balikbayan program is detailed under the Republic Act Numbered 6768.
It was amended in 2002 with the Republic Act No. 9174
“Section 1. Balikbayan Program. – A Balikbayan Program is hereby instituted under the administration of the Department of Tourism to attract and encourage overseas Filipinos to come and visit their motherland. This is in recognition of their contribution to the economy of the country through the foreign exchange inflow and revenues that they generate.
“Section 2. Definition of Terms. – For purposes of this Act:
(a) The term “balikbayan” shall mean a Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one (1) year, a Filipino overseas worker, or former Filipino citizen and his or her family, as this term is defined hereunder, who had been naturalized in a foreign country and comes or returns to the Philippines;
(b) The term “family” shall mean the spouse and the children of the balikbayan who are not balikbayan in their own right traveling with the latter to the Philippines.
(c) Visa-free entry to the Philippines for a period of one (1) year for foreign passport holders, with the exception of restricted nationals;
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