Visa 9(g) and AEP Renewal

I have been living and working in the Philippines for some years and because of the convenience and conscientiousness I always wanted to have the needed paper work, namely 9(g) visa and AEP, done. For processing them I always used the same law office as I somehow thought that by repeating the same process they would learn it over the time and become more efficient. How wrong I was.

The owner of the law office has impressive background, she is well known in the country and has worked/is working with political elite. By the time I chose to use them I didn’t know any of that and only later learned it from news and other sources such as wikipedia.

Unfortunately working with them has proved time after time and year after year that even Filipino/Filipina is high in the socio economic hierarchy it doesn’t ensure any level of competence or professionalism.

As I anticipated some hiccups in the process I asked to start it early and we finally got the process running about 5 months before my visa expired. I thought that 5 months would be ample time for preparing the needed documents, since they had gone through the same many times before for me and other customers, but no, it seemed that they had forgotten everything and that it was their first time to hear about 9(g) visa and AEP.

Highlights from this time (note that they still haven’t got my visa and AEP done)

  • It is impossible for them to provide single list of documents I need to provide. All documents are asked one by one
  • It’s absolutely impossible to first prepare all the documents and then send them for signing. All the documents must be signed one by one
  • They don’t seem to have any glue what documents they need for the renewal even immigration provides a comprehensive list. Apparently they try to file the documents one by one and when they’re rejected they ask for the document immigration requested. And since immigration officers are Pinoys they will ask documents one by one too
  • They kept and still keep on asking documents that have been provided to (some few times) and documents we had agreed several times them to prepare
  • Instructions they give are often wrong
  • They don’t proofread or understand what they do as documents were filled wrong
  • Month after my visa expired they still hadn’t prepared all the needed documents, some of which are extremely simple, and instead of preparing them they started to ask them from me
  • AEP is being processed again 6 months after my visa expired and 11 months after this chaos started
  • All their mistakes have mystically become my mistakes

It’s 1 year from the start of the process and I have provided requested documents eight (8) times, but they still keep on asking some of them. I still don’t have visa, nor AEP and I don’t have slightest idea where we are and when I can get them as they refuse to give me status update or agree to meet.

So far I haven’t given them too much pressure or beating as I have been extremely busy and I realize that it can be counterproductive. But things are about to change. I have already asked to fire some of the people and I think I will make surprise visit to their office and sit there until I get some answers. To give them credit they haven’t asked money aside from small initial payment in the beginning that doesn’t cover even the government fees.

If they are able to finish the process I expect them to ask me to pay all their mistakes, we’re in the Philippines after all, and if I refuse they will keep my passport as hostage until I do.

As a side note, calling their secretary imbecile would be insult to real imbeciles who compared to her are on Einstein’s level. I’m not entirely sure if she can read as she hasn’t answered any of my questions, and all the emails she sends are beyond cryptic.

Like they say it’s more fun in the Philippines!

Published in Blatant Stupidiy, Immigration


  1. Profile gravatar of Heresiarch

    “Unfortunately working with them has proved time after time and year after year that even Filipino/Filipina is high in the socio economic hierarchy it doesn’t ensure any level of competence or professionalism.”

    Yep. There are some cases where undergrads surpass the college graduates. And when you find a high-class filipino/filipina that’s smart, they’re usually only looking out for their own and they run 24/7 with their crab mentality.

  2. Profile gravatar of Idiotocracy

    No different than BIR I’m afraid. You file the returns, get the receipt with the confirmation number or they email you a confirmation number to print out, then the fun starts. About six weeks ago we had gotten eight signatures from all eight departments of the regional BIR stating that we were in full compliance, everything filed, everything paid, good to go. Took that to Manila and as the internet link between regional and national BIR has been down for three months their computer system shows missing tax returns and reports. Get a list and back to the regional BIR to get copies. Nope… they can’t find them but if we would be nice enough to bring in our copy they would stamp it certified true copy (keep in mind they have no copy on file to compare it to. LOL)

    So back staff goes with a copy of the ITR and lo and behold we are presented with a long list of “missing” reports, all of which had been filed, confirmation numbers or notices provided, and all of which six weeks earlier they certified were all in good order. So back staff comes to reprint for the umpteenth time the same damn filed reports and confirmation numbers. Oh, and do you want to look up everything on their online payment and submission system, EFPS? Good luck! You will need to know the date it was filed in order to find it and once you do find it you can’t download a copy. Print only, then scan a 25 mb file, reduce using Paint to get it down to email size, just so you can email it to the dumb bastards.

  3. Profile gravatar of IrishPat

    Why do business with these people, you are only encouraging them. In most places the inefficient and incompetent go out of business as people stop using their services, However if you reward this behavior are you not part of the problem?

    I’ve had plenty of dealings with legal people in my occupation in several countries and most are downright inefficient and incompetent. The law seems to attract imbeciles. However I’ve never paid for bad work, I’ve always suggested they sue which they never do. These people are normally afraid of the a real law court. After a bit of trial and error you can find a competent practice, but sometimes even that can go bad.

    1. Profile gravatar of omgwtf

      The problem is that there is no real competition here since its all the same shit. So often you switch businesses until you end up at the first again because you ran out of options.

    2. Profile gravatar of JackTheBlack
      JackTheBlack Post author

      I did terminate the contract with them bit after I wrote this article, and I’ve demanded them to refund the small initial payment I made. I never paid them anything else. Unfortunately in that business initial payment is normal practice even with foreign run service providers. Do I think they will refund, no, not without fight (=suing them)

      Like omgwtf said there is no real competition, the offers I received are in line like companies had agreed the pricing and the initial impression I got from most of them was that they are no better. When I asked what documents I needed to provide I always received only partial list with important documents like business permit missing from it. So there are only bad options available.