Philippines Visa for US Citizens- Entry Requirements and How to Apply

09/14/2022

Traveling to the Philippines as an American

Good news for Americans traveling to the Philippines, as of February 10th, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (shorted to IATF-EID or IATF) announced that the Philippine Bureau of Immigration could restart issuing Philippine visas for US US citizens. 

The Philippines' world-class islands, stunning beaches, and famously friendly Filipino hospitality are back!!

This post may contain affiliate links. I may get a commission if you purchase something using my link. Please note, there is NO ADDITIONAL COST to you. For more information, please see my disclosure.

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 COVID-19 Health Insurance. Your home insurance will not cover you while abroad. However, you can find affordable travel insurance for less than $50 that will protect you in an emergency.

Can a US citizen travel to the Philippines right now?

After nearly two years of lockdown, the Bureau of Immigration allows fully vaccinated citizens of 157 countries, including the United States, to travel to the Philippines for up to 30-days visa-free. After 30-days, US citizens can extend their visa for 1, 2, or 6-months for up to 3-years.

It's More Fun In The Philippines, Again.

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How To Get A Philippines Retirement Visa For As Low As $1500
Philippines Visa Application Forms And Visa Extension Forms
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What are the Philippines entry requirements for uS citizens?

  1. Be a citizen of a visa-free country (*Hint: The United States is a visa-free country);
  2. Fully vaccinated with two approved shots (one shot, if it's the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine);
  3. Present valid proof of vaccination;
  4. Show a negative RT-PCR test result taken no more than 48 hours old;
  5. Buy an airline ticket for proof of onward travel dated no more than 30 days from arrival;
  6. Hold an original passport with at least 6-months of validity;
  7. Purchase COVID-19 health insurance covering medical treatment of at least $35,000 USD; AND
  8. Register on the One Health Pass website.

Exemptions for Onward Ticket Requirements (#5) and COVID insurance (#7):

  • Foreign spouses and unmarried minor children of Philippine citizens;
  • Former Filipino citizens entering under Balikbayan privilege (Republic Act No. 9174) and their foreign spouse
    and unmarried minor children when traveling together; 
  • Foreign citizens with valid immigrant visa, non-immigrant visa (9A visa holders are not included), or special
    visa issued by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration; or 
  • Minor child under 12 years old is exempt from the vaccination requirement if traveling with a vaccinated American parent

I detail the complete Philippines visa-free entry requirements for US citizens here.

required proof of vaccination for Philippines visa for US citizens


Where can buy COVID health insurance that meets the requirement to enter the Philippines?

You will need travel insurance that includes at least $35,000 of COVID-19 treatment coverage. Click either of the links below for a FREE insurance quote that covers COVID medical treatment. 

  • COVID-19 Trip Insurance- A short-term health insurance plan specifically to meet the Philippines mandatory COVID-19 insurance for tourists to enter the country.  

 INSIDER TIP : Healthcare Coverage Abroad- Most health insurance will not cover you for any injuries sustained outside your home country. To get protection while living abroad, there are two options:

  • Travel Health Insurance- This will cover you for unexpected medical issues while overseas. However, the coverage requires you maintain insurance in the United States or your respective home country. I pay roughly $50 per month for complete coverage with no deductible.
  • Expat Medical Insurance- If you retire abroad, expat health insurance is a more complete option. Expat Medical Insurance is the "normal" insurance you are familiar with to from home. Coverage is built for people who live in a country versus traveling. While more expensive than Travel Medical Insurance, premiums are still cheaper than the US. 

What are the Philippines ' travel restrictions from the USA?

Foreigners traveling to the Philippines from the USA must fit one of the following:

  1. Have a passport from one of the countries list under (EO 408); OR
  2. Hold a valid visa; OR
  3. Be a former Filipino national entering the Philippines under Balikbayan Privilege; OR
  4. Be a foreign spouse or child of a Filipino citizen traveling with you.
  5. As of April 1, 2022 an Entry Exemption Document (EED) from the Department of Foreign Affairs is no longer required.

Philippines Visa Requirements for American Citizens

American citizens do not need a visa to stay in the Philippines for 59 days for business or tourism. The requirements for American citizens for other visa types depend on the purpose of your visit. You can check the specific visa requirements in this article on Philippines Visa Types and Policies.

However, the minimum requirements for a long-term Philippine visa include:

  1. Completed visa application forms
  2. Two recent passport-type photographs with white background
  3. Valid passport and photocopies of the passport data page
  4. Proof of Sufficient Financial support
  5. Clean Police background check
  6. Medical examination by a qualified physician
  7. Additional documents requested by the Philippine Immigration Officials

 INSIDER TIP : Be Courteous To The People Checking Your Travel Documents and Passport- A visa does not grant US citizens the right to enter the Philippines. The visa allows you to request permission to enter the country. The Philippine Immigration Authorities at your port of entry can deny entry into the Philippines.

Is there a Philippines visa extension for US Citizens?

US citizens can extend a tourist visa at an eligible BI regional, district, or main office. US citizens entering the Philippines Visa on Arrival or visa-free have up to 30-days before needing an extension. Americans with a 9a temporary visa have up to 59-days before needing an extension.

US citizens must extend their visa at a Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) office before their approved time runs out or pay an overstay fine of 500 PHP per month.

You can also download the Philippines visa extension forms here.

Application Process Philippines Visa for American Citizens

The Philippine visa application process varies depending on if a US citizen will be applying for the visa from the United States before departure or applying when they arrive in the Philippines.

Applying for a Philippine Visa In The US

9a Temporary Visitor Visa- Requires you to provide documentary proof of your identity and justification to enter the Philippines. The specific documents vary depending on which Section 9 visa you are applying for. The consular office can change the 9a visa application forms and requirements. Check the Philippine Embassy or Consulate-General with jurisdiction over your state for specifics.

Basic requirements for 9a applications include:

  1. Visa application form filled in English
  2. Recent passport-type photograph with a white background and no eyeglass or sleeveless attire
  3. Original US passport with an expiration date at least six months past your intended period of stay and at least one blank visa page
  4. Photocopy of the passport data and amendment pages
  5. Proof of financial capability, such as latest monthly bank statement, pay stub, income tax return.
  6. An onward travel ticket returning to the US or your next destination outside the Philippines dated no more than 30-days after your arrival.
  7. Immigration officials may request additional requirements depending on the initial evaluation results.
  8. Visa Cost- $30 for a single entry 9a visa valid for 3-months
example of 9a Philippine visa for us citizens


13a Permanent Marriage VisaUS citizens with Philippine spouses can apply for a 13a Permanent spousal visa faster and cheaper in the United States than in the Philippines. However, the consular office that processes your visa application needs to conduct an in-person visa interview with you and your Filipino spouse. Unless both are in the US, you will need to apply for the 13a Probationary visa in the Philippines

The specific 13a visa application forms and requirements depend on the consular office. Check with the Philippine Embassy or Consulate-General with jurisdiction over your state for specifics. Minimum documentary requirements for the 13a application include:

  1. 13 Visa application form (FA Form No. 3 downloadable here)
  2. Passport style photo (size: 2" x2" inches) with clear white background
  3. Applicant's valid passport and two copies of the passport data page
  4. Original NSO or Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)
  5. Proof of marriage to Philippine Citizen: PSA authenticated Marriage Contract or Philippine Embassy, or Consulate authenticated Marriage Certificate from the United States
  6. A PSA authenticated Birth Certificate or a Report of Birth issued by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction for any minor children.
  7. Proof of Filipino Citizenship- Birth certificate of Filipino spouse authenticated by PSA
  8. Original passport and copy of Filipino spouse's Philippine passport bio-page.
  9. Notarized Proof of Sufficient Funds and Affidavit of financial capacity by visa applicant, with supporting documents (monthly bank statement, investment certificate, etc.)
  10. Joint Letter of Request signed by the Filipino spouse, confirming Philippine citizenship and endorsing the visa application of their foreign spouse. 
  11. Apostilled Clean Police Background Check from your State Police or FBI
  12. Medical certificate, examination by a qualified physician, laboratory tests, and x-ray results with standard-sized chest x-ray film.
  13. Additional Documents may be requested as necessary
  14. Visa payment of $400

Visa Application Fee For US Citizens

These are the payment fees for US citizens. Other countries can review their payment of fees at the Philippine Consulate in their country of origin. 

Current payment fees as of the date of writing. 

US Dollars

9a Single Entry (Regular Processing Fee)- Valid for 3-months

$30

9a Single Entry (Expedited Processing Fee)- Valid for 3-months.

$40

9a Multiple Entry Visa- Valid for six (6) months

$60

9a Multiple Entry Visa- Valid for one (1) year

$90

9b Transit Visa

$20

9d Treaty Trader/Investor Visa

$400

9f Student Visa

$250

 (13a - 13g) Non-Quota Immigrant Visas

$400

Expedite fee for same-day release of travel document

$10

Applying For Visas In The Philippines

Philippines Visa On Arrival- The Visa On Arrival passport stamp acts as a tourist visa allowing US citizens to arrive in the Philippines without applying for a visa ahead of time. I detail the requirements for US citizens to obtain a visa on arrival in the Entry Requirements section above.

13a Spousal Visa- An American citizen married to a Filipino citizen can follow a 3-step process to apply for a 13a Marriage Visa in the Philippines.

  1. 1
    Arrive In the Philippines- 
    Enter the country on a tourist visa on arrival.
  2. 2
    Convert the tourist visa To 13a Probationary Visa- 
    Apply at a BI office for a Conversion To Probationary Non-Quota Immigrant Visa 13a.
  3. 3
    Amend to 13a Permanent Visa-
    Amend your 13a Probationary to 13a Permanent Residence Visa after one year.

Basic Requirements For 13a visa

  1. A Filipino national partner.
  2. A valid marriage certificate recognized by the Philippines.
  3. Proof you have the financial ability to support yourself and your family.
  4. Are a foreigner from this list of 82 countries that grant permanent residency and immigration privileges to Filipinos

Summary of Process To Covert To A 13a

  1. Complete the visa application form (BI FORM CGAF CO-001-Rev 2 downloadable here)
  2. Submit the application form and required documents for pre-screening to the BOI Main Office or eligible regional or district office
  3. Pay the visa fees with cash. Personal checks, debit cards, and credit cards are not accepted.
  4. Wait for an Official Receipt that contains the schedule and location of the hearing and instructions for image and fingerprint capturing.
  5. Attend your scheduled hearing
  6. Proceed to the ARD Image and Fingerprint Counter and submit requirements for the ACR I-Card application
  7. Check the BI website for your instructions and requirements for the entire 13a process here .
  8. If your 13a visa application is approved, submit your original passport for visa implementation.
  9. Pick up your ACR I-Card, when Alien Registration Division (ARD) completes the process.

You can find the complete instructions and requirements for the entire 13a process here.

 Special Resident and Retirees Visa (SRRV)- US citizens over 50 can apply for 1 of 4 different types of SRR visa. US military veterans even get special incentives when applying for the SRRV in the Philippines.

Basic requirements for the SRRV are

  1. Financial Deposit- the amount varies from $1,500 to $20,000 depending on SRR visa type 
  2. Valid US Passport- with valid entry visa
  3. PRA SRR visa application form (Downloadable here)
  4. Medical Clearance- A clear medical report no more than six months old. 
  5. Police Background Check- State Police or FBI clearance from the United States and Philippine NBI clearance if you have been in the Philippines longer than 6-months

You can read the details of how to apply for the SRRV in this post.

example of SRRV Philippines visa for us citizen


How much does a visa cost US Citizens in the Philippines?

Entering the Philippines visa on arrival is FREE. However, the Bureau of Immigration charges a visa fee to extend a tourist visa or convert a tourist visa to a more permanent one. The total cost depends on the visa type.

Visa Extension After 30 days (Visa Waiver for 29 days)= Php 3, 030. 00

Visa Extension After 59 days (1-month)= PHP 4, 400.00

Click here for a complete schedule of 9a visa extension fees and How-to apply.

Convert To A 13a Marriage Visa = Php 8,620.00

Convert To A 9f Student Visa= PHP 9, 720.

Can someone help me with my Philippine Visa?

Yes. I can help you with a marriage visa, retirement visa, or work visa? I've partnered with a Philippines Visa Specialist with experience relocating embassy personnel and corporate expats since 2011. If you don't want to deal with the hassle and complexity of the visa process, they can help. 

My partners are visa specialists certified by the Bureau of Immigration, Department of Tourism, and the Philippine Retirement Association to handle your visa application, document submission, local appointments, and much more. They will simply your immigration process and make getting your visa easier. 

Philippines Embassy and Consulate General Offices in the US

CountryCityMission
United StatesAgana, GuamConsulate-General
United StatesChicagoConsulate-General
United StatesHonoluluConsulate-General
United StatesHoustonConsulate-General
United StatesLos AngelesConsulate-General
United StatesNew York CityConsulate-General
United StatesSan FranciscoConsulate-General
United StatesWashington, D.C.Embassy

FAQ: Philippine Visa for American Citizens

How long can a US citizen stay in the Philippines?

The maximum stay for a US citizen without a permanent residence visa is for 3-years. However, US citizens have visa options to stay in the Philippines permanently. Americans married to Filipinos can apply for a 13a, while US citizens over 50 can apply for the SRRV retirement visa.

Do US citizens need visas to enter the Philippines?

No. US citizens do not need a visa to enter the Philippines. US citizens can enter the Philippines Visa on Arrival and stay in the Philippines visa-free for up to 59-days. After 59-days, US Citizens can extend their visa by 1, 2, or 6-months at a Philippine Bureau of Immigration office.

Is It safe for Americans to travel to the Philippines?

Yes, it is safe for Americans to travel to the Philippines. Most Filipinos are pro-Western and pro-US. There is minimal anti-American sentiment in the Philippines. In a 2022 Safety Index, the Philippines ranked the 59th Safest country out of 142 countries, better than Canada (60) or the USA (86).

You can read more about "Is The Philippines Safe."

Can US Citizens use the Philippine Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to apply for a Visa?

The eTA Philippines eVisa system is not available for US citizens. Only citizens of Taiwan can use the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) website to apply for a Philippines eVisa online. US citizens may be eligible for the eTA system in the future, but no ETA has been confirmed.

Can US Citizens use the Philippines Online Visa Application System (OVAS) form?

Yes, but OVAS only allows US citizens to complete 9a Temporary Visa application forms. After completing the visa application online, you will still need to bring your required documents and officially submit the application at the Philippine Consulate with jurisdiction over your home state.

OVAS is only for the 9a visa. Applications for a Permanent Immigrant Visa (13a, 13g, etc.) or a different Temporary Non-Immigrant Visa (9f, 9g, etc.) cannot be submitted online. You will need to submit your visa application directly to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate.


About the author

Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last five years to over 40 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, Huffington Post, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Best Life, CW Network, Dr. Wealth, and others. [view press...]

  • Ronald Weiland says:

    Hello Marco, My Name is Ron W. Important question prior to my using your services to the Philippens. I am 81 and do not have and extra $10,000 to deposit for requirements regarding the Philipeen Retirement Visa. Question: Do you have another visa suitable for me to Go, from the United States? I have a permanent place to live in Pampanga, and a dear friend to stay with. I also cannot afford to keep leaving the Country every 3 or 6 months and re enter. My health is not 100% so travelling often is too burdensome. I appreciate your kindness so I can get on with this project to arrange my life.

    • Marco Sison says:

      Hi Ronald,

      Actually, as a former US Marine, the Philippines Retirement Associate offers you a special retirement visa with financial incentives. The visa is called the SRRV EXPANDED COURTESY. Do you meet the requirements below:

      1. Were in the US military?
      2. Are you over 50 years old?
      3. Can you show guaranteed monthly income of $1,000+ (military pension and social security both county)?
      4. Do you have your DD214 form?

      If you meet the SRRV Expanded Courtesy Requirements, then qualify for a significantly reduced deposit of $1,500!

      I hope this counts as good news for you. If you need help with your SRRV visa application or if you have further questions, please contact us.

      https://nomadicfire.com/philippines-visa-consultation

      Cheers,

      Marco

  • Hello, my question is will I have issue with the airport when I show them the onwardticket? Like have people really used that site with success going to the Philippines from USA?

    So does this mean I can book a one-way ticket from USA to the Philippines & used onwardticket as my way to bypass showing a rountrip ticket?

    • Marco Sison says:

      Hi Clos,

      I’ve been using and recommending that site for ages, and I haven’t had anyone mention any issues. Instead of booking a round-trip ticket, you can show the PDF that includes a flight itinerary for your selected route and a PNR (Passenger Name Record)code that confirms your reservation. It is a real flight reservation made by a registered travel agency. Your reservation and all your included information can be verified on major airlines’ websites.

      Cheers,

      Marco

  • Hi, I’m a US citizen traveling to the Philippines in December. I know I can only stay for 30 days, but I’ll stay for more than that. I was planning on using onwardticket.com. My question, will I have issue with Philippine immigration on my way back to US? Will they check if I went over the 30 day limit? Thank you!

    • Marco Sison says:

      Hi Jen,

      US citizens can stay in the Philippines for much longer than 30 days. After the first 30 days, you simply need to legally extend your stay at the Bureau of Immigration office. First, you can get a 29-day extension (technically a visa waiver) for a total of 59-days without a visa.

      The steps on how to extend can be found here.
      https://nomadicfire.com/philippines-tourist-visa#visa-free-extensions

      After 59-days, US Citizens will need to apply for an ACR card, but then you can continue extending your visa by 1, 2, or 6 months for up to 3 years.

      Even if you plan on staying longer than 30 days, you still need to get proof of onward travel no more than 30 days from your arrival date. You can use my link to purchase an onward ticket reservation for $14 https://link.nomadicfire.com/onward-ticket

      Cheers,

      Marco

  • zackary martinez says:

    Just trying to get more clarification. I am a US citizen planning to visit the Philippines for over 30 days. What is the maximum days I can stay without applying for a visa as a US citizen visitor? When would the visa (9a) application be required for a US citizen?

    • Marco Sison says:

      Hi Zachary,

      US citizens can enter the Philippines and stay for 30 days without a visa. After 30 days you can get a 29-day extension (technically a visa waiver) to bring the total to 59-days without a visa.

      After 59-days, US Citizens will need to apply for an ACR card, but then you can continue extending your visa by 1, 2, or 6-months for up to 3-years.

      Enjoy your time in paradise.

      Cheers,

      Marco

      • zackary martinez says:

        Thank you for answering,
        Couple of follow up questions

        Can the extension request can only be completed at the Philippines Bureau of Immigration in Intramuros, Manila at the time of my stay?

        Do I need a round-trip flight ticket to apply for the extension?

        • Marco Sison says:

          You can apply for the visa waiver or extension at your closest Bureau of Immigration office. You’ll want to apply roughly a week BEFORE the due date.

          To enter the country you need proof of onward travel with a date within 30 days of your arrival date in the Philippines. Even if you plan on extending to 59 days or more, you need to show a flight out within 30 days. Stupid rule, I know.

          I recommend renting an airline reservation from these guys for cheap.

          For the extension, the BOI could theoretically ask for a ticket, but I have never heard of them doing so.

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