QUICK SUMMARY- Philippines Visa Extensions
Expat life in the Philippines is full of beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and one of the most convenient and stress-free visa policies in SE Asia. Americans and most Westerners can arrive and stay in the country visa-free for up to 30 days.
But what do you do if you want to stay longer than 30 days? Unlike Vietnam or Thailand, the Philippines doesn't require you to frequently leave the country to renew your visa (the monthly visa runs in Vietnam are a headache and a half). But if you're planning to move to the Philippines longer term, it's essential to know how to extend your visa to avoid legal issues.
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QUICK TIPS- PHILIPPINES
Show a mandatory departure ticket. You cannot enter the Philippines on a one-way ticket if you only have a tourist visa or visa on arrival. You will need a flight ticket with a date leaving the country before your visa expires. Save money by showing immigration you have a cheap onward travel ticket for just $14.
Get help with your visa. The Philippines visa process can get complicated. The rules and regulations change frequently. Avoid the hassle of dealing with the immigration bureaucracy by speaking with a Philippines Visa Specialist.
Learn some basic Tagalog phrases. While nearly everyone speaks some English, learning some basic Tagalog is always appreciated by Filipinos. Get a FREE Language Lesson using the same learning technique used by the US State Department, FBI, and overseas military.
Save On Moving Costs. Save up to 40% on your international moving costs. Nomadic FIRE has partnered with 10,000+ pre-screened global moving companies to save you time and money. Fill out our 60-second form and get 5 free quotes from accredited moving companies competing for your business.
Get Free Expat Health Insurance Quotes. Your home insurance will not cover you while abroad. However, you can find affordable international health insurance for less than what you would pay in the United States.
There are several requirements you must meet to get a Philippines visa extension. But don't worry: I'm here to walk you through the steps of extending your Philippines tourist visa.
In this article, I'll provide detailed instructions on extending your visa, including the necessary documents, fees, and where to apply. I’ll also offer insider tips and information so you can navigate the immigration process frustration-free.
Whether you're a first-time visitor, digital nomad, or expat looking to live in the Philippines long-term, follow my step-by-step instructions and note the detailed requirements, or you can have a certified Philippine Visa and Immigration expert assist to save your time and energy.
I have accredited experts ready to assist.
What is the timeline for a Long-Stay Visitor Visa Extension?
Download My FREE Infographic On "How To Stay In The Philippines For 3 Years On A Tourist Visa"
Other Guides On Expat Life In The Philippines
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What is the difference between a Philippines visa waiver, visa exemption, visa on arrival, and tourist visa?
Expats consistently confuse the terminology between visa waiver, visa exemption, visa on arrival, and tourist visa. These are actually 4 different things, but nearly every foreigner in the Philippines uses the terms interchangeably.
Let's look at the key differences between these types of visas:
The Philippine government exempts citizens from 157 countries (the United States, United Kingdom, and EU are included) from needing a visa before entering the Philippines. The program allows expats to skip the hassle of applying for a visa before their trip. This means you simply get a free tourist visa stamp when you arrive.
The visa exemption is valid for a limited period, usually for a maximum of 30 days (depending on your nationality), but can be renewed for up to 3 years.
|Visa Applicant's Country of Citizenship|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina|
|Northern Mariana Island|
|Papua New Guinea|
|Trinidad and Tobago|
|* Limited to male visa applicants married to female Philippine citizen partners |
** provided that the marriage took place before 24 April 2001 or the couple has been married for at least 5 years.
Photo Credit- Bureau of Immigration Philippines
If you are a visa-exempt tourist who wants to stay in the Philippines past your initial 30-day period, then you technically need to request a "visa waiver."
A visa waiver is the very first extension you request after your 30-day exemption is over. A visa waiver grants you an additional twenty-nine (29) days in the Philippines.
All foreign tourists who want to stay in the Philippines longer than 30 days must first apply for a 29-day visa waiver. Only after the visa waiver expires can you apply for regular visa extensions in 1, 2, or 6-month durations.
Even though they are different, expats commonly and incorrectly use the terms visa exemption and waiver interchangeably.
Visa on Arrival-
This is another term most expats use interchangeably with visa extension or waiver.
However, the Philippines has a special visa category for foreigners arriving in the Philippines in an "official capacity." Examples are rescue workers from aid organizations or foreign athletes competing in a sanctioned athletic event.
Since most expats rarely use this specific visa, I use the term Philippines Visa On Arrival to refer to the visa waiver or exemption program for clarity in this article.
This is another term expats commonly use incorrectly. Technically, the Philippines 9a is a type of visa expats acquire at a Philippine embassy or consulate in their home country or country of residence before arriving in the Philippines. This visa is commonly used by nationalities NOT included (for example, India, China, or Nigeria) in the Philippines Executive Order 408 list of 157 countries with visa-free access.
Another critical difference between the 9a visa and the other visas above is that the 9a tourist visa grants an initial 59-day stay on arrival. Still, it can only be extended to 1, 2, or 6 months for up to two (2) years from the latest arrival date.
While there are key differences, most expats use the term “tourist visa” to mean the 9a visa, visa on arrival or visa waiver, or simply tourist visa extension.
How can stay in the Philippines past 30 days?
If you arrive in the Philippines visa exempt or on a tourist visa on arrival, but want to stay past 30 days, then you must extend your visa. If you are a US citizen or similar passport holder and this is your first extension, you can initially only extend for 29 days (technically a visa waiver).
A 29-day extension can be done online or in-person by your or by an authorized representative at a Bureau of Immigration office.
30 days visa on arrival + 29 day visa waiver extension = 59 total days in the Philippines.
How can I extend my Philippines tourist visa past 59 days?
After your first 59 days, you can apply for another 2-month extension, either in-person or by an authorized representative at a Bureau of Immigration office. No online extensions are currently available.
After four months (59 days + 2 months), you can extend with another 1, 2, or 6 months extension. Most nationalities can legally live in the Philippines for a total of 36 months on a tourist visa with proper extensions.
How does a Philippine visa extension work?
If you arrive in the Philippines on one of the tourist visas above, but decide you want to stay past the visa expiration date, then you will need to extend your visa. Extensions are for done in-person or by an authorized representative at a Bureau of Immigration office.
If you are a US citizen or similar passport holder and this is your first visa extension, you can initially only extend for 29 days (technically a visa waiver). After 29 days, you can extend it another 2 months. After the 2 months, you can choose 1, 2, or 6-month extensions.
Most nationalities can extend for a total of 36 months.
Can someone extend my Philippines visa for me?
Yes. With a special power of attorney, someone can extend your Philippine visa on your behalf. Using a visa service saves you time and the hassle of waiting in traffic, long lines at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) office, and dealing with sometimes tricky Philippine bureaucracy.
These services are especially useful if you live far from a BI office, such as in a province area.
If you fill out this form, I will connect you with an accredited and trustworthy visa service that can extend your visa for 3000 PHP, or roughly $55, without the need to provide a Special Power of Attorney. Just your original passport.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Extending Your Philippines Visa At The Bureau Of Immigration Main Office Or Other Satellite Office
Step 1: Gather the additional documents and Philippine Visa Extension Form TVS-CGAF-VE-2016
You can download a copy of the visa extension application form online or pick up a copy at the Public Information and Assistance Unit (PIAU) at a BI Main Office
If applicable, bring an original and copy of your most recent visa extension. Additionally, you’ll want to bring cash, mask, passport, and any previous tourist extension.
Step 2: Look for the Visa Extension Lane to get your queuing number
Most Bureau of Immigration Offices have a dedicated visa extension lane,, otherwise, head to the information desk and show your passport. The desk will provide you with a form to fill out. Enter your name, address, date, and signature. After filling out the form, hand it back to the information desk and wait for your name or number to be called.
Step 3: Obtain a BI Clearance Certificate
Head to the Verification and Certification window to get a Clearance Certificate. Your visa extension application must be clear of any negative records or hits in the Philippine Immigration Authority database.
A “hit” can show if you are on any government agency blacklist order, hold-departure, or deportation list. You will have to clear any hits before proceeding.
INSIDER TIP : Bureau of Immigration Clearance Certificates- This step may now be redundant. Many expats are reporting that their BI office is no longer asking for this certificate separately. Instead, the BI officer automatically checks your name against their blacklist database prior to accepting your visa extension application and payment. Each BI office may have different basic requirements.
Step 4: Evaluation of Visa Application
Provide the immigration officer with your visa application packet for review. In the main BI office in Manila, these officers are at Windows 23-25 (Windows 23-24 are for Persons with Disabilities or Senior Citizens).
Step 5: Get your Order of Payment Slip
If there are no negative records in the immigration database, you will receive a BI Clearance Certificate and an Order of Payment Slip detailing all your assessed fees and visa extension costs. But you don't pay here; you'll need to head to the cashier window to make payment.
INSIDER TIP : Your visa fees will depend on how long you are planning to stay in the Philippines. There are different fees for a 29-day, 1-month, 2-month, and 6-month extension.
Step 6: Pay your applicable visa extension fees
Make sure you have enough cash, as BI offices do not take credit card payments. Crazy enough, the fees occasionally change without notice, so bring more cash than you think you need. For example, it is not uncommon for the “Express Fee” of 1000 PHP to inexplicably become mandatory, rather than an optional rush fee.
If you don’t have enough money, ask the information desk for the location of a nearby ATM. However, be aware of the ridiculously high withdrawal fees, especially if you use a credit card.
Once you have enough cash, proceed to a Cashier at Window 26-28 to pay the visa extension fees.
Remember to keep your Official Receipt after payment. Your payment confirmation doubles as your proof of extension, and you will also use it for your next tourist visa extension request.
Step 7: Turn in the official receipt, passport, visa application form, and supporting documents to the BI Assessment Officer.
Submit the Official Receipt with a completely filled-out application form, and supporting documents to the Visa Officer.
Step 8: Claim your passport without a visa extension stamp
Wait for the Assessment Officer's response and proceed with the instructions they provide. Once the documents have been assessed and approved, you can claim your passport.
The BI no longer adds an extension stamp or wet inks anything on your passport. Instead you will receive a receipt with a "VISA VALID UNTIL" expiration date (see picture below).
INSIDER TIP : Keep your paperwork safe- You will need to show the payment confirmation with your prior visa extension's expiration date to get another extension.
Additionally, it is also good practice to double-check your documents and verify the details for accuracy before leaving the counter. You don’t want to waste another day returning to the BI office if you find out that you made any errors on the dates.
How long does the visa extension process take?
Processing time can range from minutes to hours. However, depending on how far you live from a BI office, the traffic, and how busy the office is, plan on taking a whole day to extend your visa in the Philippines. Over time, you may learn how to make this process quicker, but the first few times can be a bit disorienting.
You can save time waiting at the BI office by getting there when they open at 8 AM, but then you must deal with rush hour morning traffic.
How much does it cost to extend a visa in the Philippines?
For Americans, British, and other non-visa-required citizens, your first visa extension after arrival, is a visa waiver that costs 2,030 PHP and additional 1,000 PHP charge for the “express fee.” The visa waiver allows you to stay another 29 days in the Philippines (59 days total).
After 59 days, you can apply for additional visa extensions of 1, 2, or up to 6 months in a single transaction to save on visa fees. You will be automatically charged for an ACR I-Card tourist (Alien Certificate of Registration), which costs $50 and is good for one year.
A 1-Month Extension with an ACR I-Card costs ~$75 / 4141 PHP.
A 2-Month Extension with an ACR I-Card costs ~$85 / 4641 PHP.
A 6-Month Extension with an ACR I-Card costs ~$222 / 11,500 PHP.
The fees for the visa extension application depend on the foreign national's country of origin, and how much longer you wish to stay.
You can find the complete breakdown of fees for different ages, durations, visa options, and foreigner ID cards in my Philippines Tourist Visa Guide.
When should you extend your Philippines visa?
When extending a Philippines visa, it is advised to do so one or 2 weeks before the expiration of your valid stay. Do this in case anything goes wrong during your visit. Those who know they will stay for more than 30 days can extend it immediately at the airport.
Head to the Government Clearing Center on the 3rd floor of terminal 3 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to apply for an extension. As of October 2022, a new one-stop shop immigration office there is open 24/7.
How to avoid visa extensions in the Philippines
With more and more visitors staying in the Philippines for extended periods, long-term tourist visas and visa extensions are in high demand. To avoid the hassle of extending your visa, you have two options: get permanent residence or do continuous visa runs.
Permanent Residents Are Exempt From Visa Runs
The best option for foreigners living in the Philippines longer term is applying for a permanent residence visa (also known as Non-Quota Immigrant Visas), such as the Special Retiree Resident Visa (SRR Visa) or the 13a Foreign Spouse Visa. With long-term visas, you avoid the need for visa extensions in the future.
Visa Runs Instead Of Visa Extensions
Another option is to do a "visa run." Visa run is a colloquial term used by tourists and expats who want to stay longer in the Philippines but don't want to extend or renew their visas. A visa run is "running" to a nearby country (Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore are cheap alternatives) for a short stay (some people only stay one day), then returning to the Philippines.
Leaving and returning to the Philippines resets your visa expiration date.
INSIDER TIP : Visa Runs In The Philippines- It's important to note that visa runs are not guaranteed. Entry into the Philippines is a privilege and not a right. An immigration officer is not obligated to grant entrance.
While reports of visa run crackdowns are rare compared to Thailand or Vietnam, reports are trickling in of the Bureau of Immigration increasing scrutiny of expats staying an indefinite period of time in the Philippines using tourist visa extensions.
What documents are required for a Philippines visa extension?
A passport with at least 6-months validity beyond your intended stay in the Philippines. The passport must be electronic or machine-readable and have at least one blank visa page.
Duly-Accomplished Application Form
The form needed for a visa extension is TVS-CGAF-VE-2016, which is available on the Immigration official website or from the Public Information and Assistance Unit (PIAU) at BI Main Office. This form is required for foreign nationals who want to stay in the Philippines for longer than 30 days.
Previous visa extension
If this isn’t your first extension, you will need to show the original and photocopy of your most recent extension.
Order of Payment Slip
See the step-by-step guide above for instructions on how to get the Order of Payment slip.
The Official Receipt (OR) is required for a Philippines visa extension because it serves as proof you paid the necessary fees associated with the visa application and provides the Bureau of Immigration with the necessary information to process the application.
The OR also serves as your official extension of stay. The Bureau of Immigration no longer stamps the tourist visa in the passport.
Onward Flight tickets
While most expats will tell you that tickets for return flights are only necessary when entering the country, there has been chatter in expat groups about some BI offices requiring proof of departure to your next country of destination. My article details several ways to show proof of onward travel, but the easiest is simply using this departure ticketing site to get return flight reservations for $14. Easy-Peasy and Cheap.
Sworn statement for overstaying (Optional)
If you overstayed your current visa by more than six months, you will need to provide a sworn statement addressed to the Commissioner (currently Atty. Norman G. Tansingco) with justifications as to why you did not properly extend your visa and overstayed.
Where do I go to extend my Philippines visa?
You can extend your visa at the main BI office in Manila. Additionally, satellite offices in major cities, including Dumaguete, Cebu, and Davao, can process visa extensions. However, not all BI branches can process long-stay tourist visa extensions- call and verify before you visit.
Here is a list of all the BI offices in the country. Check with your nearest office and see if they can extend your visa.
What Bureau of Immigration form do I need for a Philippine visa extension?
If you are looking to extend your stay as a tourist in the Philippines, you will need to complete several requirements before you can apply for a visa extension. The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has provided a checklist, TVS-C-VE-2016, which outlines the documents you need to submit.
These documents include the Consolidated General Application form (TVS-CGAF-VE-2016) and your original passport.
Where can I get the application forms to extend my visa in the Philippines?
Click here to download the visa extension forms along with instructions, or you can get required extensions forms from the Public Information and Assistance Unit (PIAU) at your closest BI office or the official BI Website.
What's the longest I can extend my visa in the Philippines?
The minimum extension is 1 month up to 6 months (maximum) but you can still extend your visa in the Philippines for up to 36 months for non-visa-required nationals and 24 months for visa-required nationals.
Additionally, citizens of 157 countries on the EO 408 list can stay in the Philippines visa-free for up to 30 days. After that, they can extend the visa for another 29 days, 59 days, or 6 more months, as they choose.
How long can I stay in the Philippines without a visa extension?
The longest a foreign national can stay in the Philippines without a visa extension is 59 days with a 9a visa obtained from their nearest Philippine Consulate/Embassy. However, expats who arrive in the Philippines visa-free only get a maximum of 30 days without an extension. After the initial visa duration expires, foreigners must extend their Philippines visa at a Bureau of Immigration office.
Note that for Hong Kong and Macau citizens or Indian nationals with valid AJACSSUK visas, the maximum period they can stay in the Philippines is 14 days and only renewable for 7 more days. Chinese nationals with valid American, Japanese, Australian, Canadian, or Schengen visas (AJACS) have an authorized period of 7 days and are only renewable for up to 14 additional days.
However, foreign residents can live in the Philippines indefinitely with a legal residence visa. The Philippines has easy-to-acquire resident visas for retirement, investment, and marriage.
Key Takeaway: Extending Your Visa In The Philippines
The Philippines has an extremely accessible visa policy for most expats. However, if you don't extend your Philippines visa on time, you may face several penalties and fines. Penalties include charging you retroactively for the duration of your stay and an additional fee of $10 per month for any overstay.
Immigration officials take their job seriously, and violations can result in fees and deportation. To avoid consequences, apply for an extension at least one week before your visa expires.
This guide helps answer how foreigners can stay longer in the Philippines. But if you want to save time and avoid the hassle, I have a certified Visa Assistance Team ready to help. Contact me today, and let us process your extension for you.
Other helpful resources on visas in the Philippines
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FAQs: Getting A Visa Extension In The Philippines
No. A Philippines visa exemption is a single entry visa. If you enter the country visa-exempt then leave, you will get a new passport entry stamp on your return. Each time you pass through a new port of entry restarts your 30 days, regardless of any previous Philippines visa renewal or extension.
Currently, no multiple-entry visa exists for tourists. Only business visa holders with an endorsement from a Philippine employer can apply for a temporary multiple-entry visa. However, Philippines permanent visas (SRRV, SIRV, 13a, etc) offer unlimited entry and exit privileges.
You can extend your Philippines visa for up to 3 years by applying for extensions every 1, 2, or 6 months. Expats from a visa-free country (like the US or UK) can extend up to 36 months. Visa-required nationals— for example, Indian citizens—can extend their stay up to 24 months.
As of 1/23, only the first 29-day extension (technically a visa waiver) of your Philippines visa on arrival is available online at https://e-services.immigration.gov.ph. All other visa extensions require physically bringing required documents to a Bureau of Immigration office for processing.
However, the Philippine Immigration Authority plans to implement additional visa services online. Check the Philippine Online Visa Application System (OVAS) website for updates.
If you prefer someone to take care of your temporary visitor's visa extension or extend your tourist visa, I have accredited visa experts who can help.
The 9a Temporary Visitor's Visa is a non-immigrant visa. Foreign nationals on a 9a visa who want to stay in the Philippines longer than 59 days must:.
- Download a copy of the Tourist Visa Extension application form TVS-CGAF-VE-2016 or pick up a copy at the Public Information and Assistance Unit (PIAU) at a BI Main Office.
- Complete all the requirements on the Checklist of Documentary Requirements for TVS-C-VE-2016.
- Optionally, Duly-Accomplished Application Form BI 2014-00-005 Rev 0 for any dependent children.
- Submit your passport, applications for visa renewal, and supporting documents at a Bureau of Immigration Office.
- The frontline officer will then check the applicant's status if you do not have any derogatory records in the Philippines. Once cleared, you will be given a BI Clearance Certificate along with the OPS.
- Get the Order of Payment Slip and proceed to Cashier for payment of fees
- Pay the visa fees. Don't forget to lose the Official Receipt (OR).
- Turn in the OR and supporting documents to the visa officer.
- Claim your passport and your OR stamped with your extension of stay expiration date.