TECO in Manila?

hi! i’m travelling arounf SEA and was planning to get a visitor visa in manila before returing to taiwan to look for work. has anybody ever got a visa in manila?? i know TECO has an office there but i’ve never heard of anyone ever using it (well, other than filipinos; obviously). has anyone actually done it? is this feasible? i really don’t wanna go to HK. also, what’s the deal in bangkok these days? still only 30 days? thanks!

Hi Christa

I’ve been to the TECO office in Manila to pickup a visa. Unless you plan to be in the country for a couple of weeks, I’d look elsewhere just to avoid the hassle

For one thing, it takes 5 business days to process – so if you submit on a Tuesday, you are there for a week (you’d have to come back on the following Monday).

Of course, when I did it, it was over 7 years ago. But I don’t expect the attitude in their office to have changed much (if at all).

Back then, I had just gotten cleared by MOFA in Taipei to teach English, and I was in town to fetch the work papers. I was surprised that the Consul called me in for an interview – I’ve gotten visitor and work visas at TECOs in HK, Singapore, Chicago, New York, and KL without a hitch (or the need for an interview). He looked me up and down with a suspicious eye - like he was trying to make me uncomfortable. I sized things up that here was a “little emperor” trying to feel important, so I played along – after all, I wanted to get back over here asap.

Then he asked me why I chose to come to Manila instead of going to HK. I explained that my parents live in Manila, and I grew up there. Why spend on a hotel when I could enjoy home cooking and the company of my HS buddies?

He then flashed this plastic smile, put on this look like he was doing me a big favor, and said, “well, I’m only going easy on you this time because in my culture we have a high regard for teachers. Here is your passport…”

I don’t want to discourage you from going to the Philippines. The Good Lord knows the country could use all the help it can get, and your spending time there is a plus. If you can stand the 5-day wait, then bring a book and prepare for a little attitude. I’ve received worse lip from AIT here in Taipei, btw. (hmmpf, maybe it’s me! :astonished: )