Filipino visitors in the UAE now have the option to pay visa extension fees in instalments, thanks to a new online service.
Available on the recently launched platform ‘Balikbayan Store’, the pay-later offer for tourist visa extension was born out of Filipina expat Michelle Guinto’s desire to help her kababayan (compatriots) in the UAE.
“We were hoping to support our fellow Filipinos in the UAE, who may want to extend their stay in the country but are facing financial issues,” said Guinto, founder and CEO of Balikbayan Store, a new online platform that caters to the needs of the community.
Two days after the promo’s launch, around 20 Filipinos have already availed of the offer, she added.
Tourist visa extension fees vary from one agency to another. With the Balikbayan Store’s promo, the visa can be extended for a month for around Dh900. Converted in four instalments via the payment gateway Tabby, this amounts to just around Dh225 per month.
Balikbayan Store’s core business revolves around offering boxes and packages of groceries and home appliances that Filipinos could pay in instalments with zero interest. The items could also be delivered straight to the Philippines.
The shop is able to provide the visa extension service through its affiliation with a travel agency, Guinto explained.
How to avail of the service
Those interested in the pay-later offer for visas may contact Balikbayan Store through WhatsApp. A WhatsApp widget on its official website https://www.balikbayanstore.com/ is directly linked to the platform’s customer service centre.
This promo will be available throughout the year, Guinto said. So far, this Balikbayan Store service is available only to Filipinos.