The Philippines Visa Requirements And Policy For Foreigners

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What are the current visa requirements for foreigners visiting the Philippines right now?

As of Oct 4th, all citizens of 157 visa-free countries, including the United States, can enter the Philippines regardless of vaccination status. Citizens from visa-restricted countries must apply for a valid visa from their nearest Philippine Consulate General or Embassy. 

However, as of April 1, 2022, a Department of Foreign Affairs issued Entry Exemption Document (EED) is no longer required for any foreign nationals.

For the complete requirements, accepted proof of vaccination, quarantine protocols, and latest Inter-Agency Task Force travel advisory, see this post on "Can I Travel To The Philippines Right Now"

The Philippines Visa Policy

A Philippine visa is an endorsed travel document by consular services at a Philippine Embassy or Consulate abroad or an immigration officer in the Philippines denoting that the officer examined the visa application and declared the visa holder is authorized to travel to the Philippines.

The type of visa a foreigner receives depends on their country of citizenship, the purpose of visit, and length of stay.

map showing the Philippines visa policy for each country

Visa Policies For Entering The Philippines Image Source

Visa-Free Entry Into The Philippines

Nationals of certain countries can enter the Philippines without a visa for pleasure purposes. The length of stay allowed depends on their nationality and existing bilateral agreements between the Philippines and their home country. The United States is on the visa-free list.

Generally, citizens of countries with which the Philippines has a visa-free arrangement can stay for 59 days, 30 days, 14 days, 7 days, or less. Depending on nationality, foreigners can extend the duration with a 6-month a Long-Stay Visitor Visa Extension (LSVVE). The LSVVE can be extended multiple times for a maximum stay of up to 3-years.

Search in the table below to determine whether your country's passport requires a visa to enter to the Philippines.

LIST OF COUNTRIES Allowed To Enter The Philippines Visa-Free [Click to Expand]

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 INSIDER TIP : Be Nice To The Immigration Officer At The Airport- The visa is not an automatic guarantee you can travel to the Philippines. You still request permission from the immigration officer checking your passport when you enter the country. The Philippine Immigration authorities have the discretion to admit or refuse admission to any foreigner trying to enter the Philippines.

Philippines Visa Waiver Program

The Philippines' visa waiver program exempts citizens from 157 countries from needing a visa for tourism or business travel to the Philippines. The visa waiver (also called a visa exemption) starts at 14 days, but most countries (United States, United Kingdom, and European Union are included) get 30 days. 

Foreigners from countries in the Visa Waiver program don't need to go through the hassle of applying for a visa before traveling. To take advantage of the Visa Waiver Program, simply present a valid passport with at least six months of validity to the immigration agent on arrival in the Philippines, along with proof of return travel

Foreigners using the Visa Waiver program are also eligible for Philippine visa extensions for up to three years. 

Types of Philippines Visas For Foreigners

The Philippines has three categories of visas: the non-immigrant visa, immigrant visa, and unique class of special resident visas. The non-immigrant visa is for people who want to stay in the Philippines for a specific purpose and limited duration. The immigrant visa is for people who want to live in the Philippines permanently.

The Philippines issues Special Resident Visas to foreigners who meet specific requirements. Foreigners who generate employment, invest in Filipino businesses, or choose to retire in the Philippines can live in the country permanently, provided they meet investment and financial requirements.

Philippines Permanent Visas

What is a Philippines immigrant visa?

An immigrant visa is for foreigners looking to live, work, or move to the Philippines long-term. An immigrant visa is limited to foreign nationals from countries that allow reciprocal permanent residency and immigration privileges to Filipino nationals.

There are two categories of Philippine Immigrant Visas:

Quota Immigrant Visa- Reserved for foreign nationals who meet particular qualifications such as high educational attainment, technical knowledge, unique experience, or exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, professions, or business beneficial to the country's national interest. The Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration admits a maximum quota of 50 foreigners per year.

Non-Quota Immigrant Visa- A multiple entry visa allowing entrance into the Philippines under Section 13 of the Commonwealth Act No. 613. The Non-Quota Immigrant Visa is initially valid for one year and renewals for four years. After the 4th year, the visa holder is allowed permanent residence in the Philippines. Non-Quota Immigrant Visa applicants are exempt from the 50 people per year quota.

Section 13 Long-Term Stay Immigrant Visa Types:

  • 13a Marriage Visa- Commonly referred to as a Spousal or Marriage visa, the 13a is for foreign spouses or unmarried children under 21 of a Philippine citizen. The 13a has two versions: a one-year 13a probationary and 13a permanent. 
  • 13b Children born to a foreign parent granted permanent residency in the Philippines who gave birth during a temporary visit abroad.
  • 13c For children of foreign residents born after the Philippines issued their parent's visa.
  • 13d For Filipina women and their unmarried minor children (under 21), who lost their Philippine citizenship after marrying a foreign spouse
  • 13e For permanent residents returning from a temporary foreign stay abroad then resuming their permanent residence.
  • 13f The spouse or unmarried minor children (under 21) of a foreign national granted a permanent resident visa before the approval of the Philippine Immigration Act.
  • 13g Commonly called the Balikbayan Visa- For former natural-born Filipino citizens and their dependents who have naturalized in a foreign country and wish to return to the Philippines. The 1965 Republic Act No. 4376 legalized this visa.

Temporary Residence Visa (TRV) For Foreign Citizens Of Countries Without A Reciprocity Immigration Agreement

 Citizens from visa-restricted countries who are married to a Filipino spouse are not eligible for the 13a or 13g visas. However, the Philippine government offers a probationary Temporary Residence Visa (TRV) valid for one year and extendable every two years. The TRV allows the foreigner to work in the Philippines, lease housing, and qualify for Philippine citizenship after five years of continuous residency in the country. 

What Countries Allowed Permanent Resident Visas In The Philippines?

The Philippines has one of the most accessible visa policies allowing foreigners to immigrate to the Philippines. However, permanent residency is only available to foreign nationals from 1 of 84 countries with reciprocity agreements giving the same immigration privileges to Philippine citizens.

*Hint the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom ARE on the list. 

LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT CAN APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY IN THE PHILIPPINES [Click to Expand]

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Philippines Temporary Visas

What is a Philippines non-immigrant visa?

A Philippines non-immigrant visa is a temporary visa issued to foreigners who want to stay in the Philippines for a specific purpose. There are different types of visas depending on the basis of your visit. Some of the most common reasons for a non-immigrant visa are tourism, transit, business, study, or employment.

Section 9 Temporary Stay Non-Immigrant Visa Types:

  • 9a Temporary Visitors Visa- Commonly referred to as the Philippines Tourist Visa. The 9a is issued for leisure, business, conferences, or medical treatments.
  • 9b Transit Visa- For visitors passing through the Philippines with a final destination outside the country.
  • 9c Crew Members and Seaman Visa- For the crew on a ship docked in a Philippine port of entry
  • 9d International Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors Visa- For foreigners from countries with existing commerce treaties with the Philippines to conduct business in the country.
  • 9e Foreign Government Officials Visas- For accredited officers of foreign governments and international NGOs
  • 9f Student Visa- For students over 18 years old attending a Philippines university, seminary, or college.
  • 9g Pre-arranged Employees Visa- Commonly referred to as the Philippines Work Visa for employees with valid employment contracts with a local registered business.

Philippines Special Visas

  • SRRV Special Resident Retiree's Visa- A multiple-entry permanent non-immigrant visa for foreign retirees with pension income over 50 years old and can meet financial deposit requirements.
  • SIRV Special Investor's Resident Visa- A non-immigrant visa for foreign nationals over 21 years old that hold shares in Philippine companies in the manufacturing or service sector, engaged in Investment Priority Plan projects, or listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange.
  • SVEG Special Visa for Employment Generation- An extended stay, multiple entry, non-immigrant visa for foreigners with direct authority to hire, fire, manage, and promote employees working in a viable and sustainable Philippine business employing at least 10 Filipino nationals.
  • SNIV Special Non-Immigrant Visa 47a(2)- Granted to foreign citizens employed by a multinational corporation's regional, area, or regional operating headquarters.
  • SEVOBU Special Employment Visa for Offshore Banking Unit- A non-immigrant visa for foreign citizens working for Philippine offshore units of foreign banks.

Philippines Visa Extensions

Can I extend a temporary or non-immigrant Philippines Visa?

Yes, under Immigration Memorandum Circular No. SBM-2013-003, citizens of a visa-free country may extend their visas in the Philippines for up to three years (36 months). Visa-restricted foreign nationals may extend their visas for up to two years (24 months).

However, if you stay past your visa expiration date without extending your visa, you are considered an "overstaying foreigner" and are subject to Philippines immigration laws, fines, and penalties. 

Are extensions required for a Philippine immigrant visa?

No. Immigrant visas allow you to stay in the Philippines indefinitely, as long as the conditions of your visa issuance are still valid. For example, your 13a Marriage Visa is invalid if you are divorced.

Philippines Visa Policy Annual Reporting Requirements For Foreigners

Within the first 60 days of every year, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) requires all foreign citizens to report in person to the BI Main Office at Intramuros, Manila, the nearest participating regional or district office, or using the new online annual reporting system.

Additionally, all immigrant and non-immigrant visa holders, including Temporary Visitor's Visa holders, who stay in the Philippines for more than 59 days, must apply for an Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) I-Card. The ACR I-card must be renewed annually.

 INSIDER TIP : Benefits of the SRR Visa-  Special Resident and Retirees Visa holders are exempt from both the annual reporting and ACR I-card renewal requirements.

Helpful Philippines Visa Terminology 

  • Applicant- The expat/ foreign national spouse
  • Sponsor/Petitioner- The Philippine citizen married to the foreigners
  • Non-Quota Visa- No set limit on the number of visas allowed to be issued each year. These types of visas are easier for foreigners, because there is no number limit available.
  • Quota Visa- A visa that the Bureau of Immigration has set a hard limit on the number of visas that can be issues in a single year. 
  • Immigrant Visa- Intended for foreigners who wish to move and live in the Philippines permanently. 
  • Temporary Visa- This is a visa with a set time limit, where the foreigner must leave the country before the expiration date. Examples would be a Tourist or Student Visa.
  • Immigrate- When you enter the country, as with an Immigrant Visa.
  • Emigrate- When you leave the country. For example, a Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) is required when you leave the Philippines.. 
  • Balikbayan Visa- Technically not a visa, but a "privileged" that allows former Filipino citizens and their foreign spouse and dependents to live in the Philippine for up to one year. 

Philippines Visa Requirements

The complete requirements for a Philippines visa application will vary depending on the specific type of visa (immigrant vs. non-immigrant), justification (work, retirement, marriage), and duration (temporary vs. permanent). 

However, the minimum requirements for most visas include:

  • An original passport valid for at least six months and one photocopy of the passport data page
  • Duly accomplished application form and one photocopy
  • Two passport-type photographs on a plain white background
  • Medical examination by a qualified physician, including laboratory tests and x-ray results on standard-sized chest x-ray film.
  • Proof of sufficient financial capability (monthly bank statement, credit cards, pension benefits letter, etc.) 
  • Clean police background check (FBI, Interpol, or NBI clearance) 
  • Visa fee payment receipt

Examples of additional requirements can include:

  • COVID-19 Health Insurance (Visa on Arrival and 9a)
  • Proof of Marriage- Marriage certificate or Marriage license (13a)
  • Proof of Citizenship- Birth Certificate or National Passport (13b)
  • Philippine passport (13g)
  • Onward Travel Ticket (9a)
  • Employment Certificate (9g)
  • Investment Certificate (SIRV)
  • Bank Certificate (SRRV)

Philippines Embassy and Consulate Generals Worldwide

Check the drop-downs below to find the Philippines Embassy and Consulate General in your country.

Africa

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EUROPE

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North America

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South America

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Asia

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Middle East

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Oceania

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FAQs: Guide To Philippines Visa Policy

Can a US citizen get a visa for the Philippines?

US citizens traveling to the Philippines are eligible for non-immigrant and immigrant visas. American citizens can even enter the Philippines without a visa for short trips less than 59 days, then apply for extensions to stay in the Philippines for up to 36 months.

What is the difference between a tourist and a permanent Philippine visa?

A foreign tourist visa is a temporary visa that allows initial stays up to 30 days. A permanent visa is an immigrant visa permitting you to live and work in the Philippines indefinitely. Obtaining an immigrant visa is more complicated than a tourist visa, but it offers more benefits.

How long does it take the Philippines Embassy to process a visa application?

Processing time depends on visa type and where you submitted the visa application form. For example, the NYC Philippines Consulate states 7 to 14 business days. The London Embassy stipulates 3 to 5 days for foreign citizens from EO 408 (visa-free) countries and 10 to 15 days for non-AO 408 citizens.

How do I apply for a Philippines e-visa?

Though not the official name, the eTA system is commonly referred to as a Philippines e-visa or the Philippine online visa application system. Only citizens of Taiwan can apply for an entry permit using the Philippines Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) system.

How can I get a Philippines Visa On Arrival?

The Philippines Visa on Arrival (SEVUA) is frequently misunderstood or mistaken for the Philippines Visa-Free entry privilege. Visa-free entry requirements allow citizens from the 157 countries with reciprocity immigration agreements with the Philippines to fly to and enter the country without a visa.

In contrast, the Visa Upon Arrival or SEVUA is a special visa specially available for visitors in the Philippines in an official capacity. Examples are athletes in a competition, convention speakers, NGO officials, foreign investors or business people endorsed by the Philippine government agency, or foreigners specially selected by the Bureau of Immigration Commissioner.

  • I am indian 47 years i have travelled to dipolog city for 11 years by 9A visa How can i get retirement visa in 1500 dollars

    • Hi Rajan,

      Regretably, permanent residency visas are only for citizens of countries who allow Philippine citizens the same permanent resident visas in their country (reciprocity agreement).

      https://nomadicfire.com/philippines-visa-policy#reciprocity

      India is not one of those countries. Indian nationals are eligible for a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV) if you are married to a Philippine citizens. A probationary Temporary Residence Visa (TRV) valid for one year and extendable every two years. The TRV allows the foreigner to work in the Philippines, lease housing, and qualify for Philippine citizenship after five years of continuous residency in the country.

      Sorry I don’t have better news.

      Marco

          • Bambo Romain says:

            Name: Bambo Romain

            Question: Hello Marco, thank you for your information you are providing here, please I am a Cameroonian National working in the Philippines on 9g work visa, I will be going to my country on a visit soon but my Visa is still 6months valid, I have a Filipina I want to marry, Since you mentioned that the process of obtaining the 13a visa faster and cheaper in the foreign embassy, I wanted to apply for it in my country but then my country does not have a Philippine embassy, So what can be done in this case where your Country of origin does not have a Philippine embassy? Thank you in advance for your clarification., Ok, I am Bambo Romain from Cameroon, my country do not have a Philippine embassy, how do I get to apply for the 13a Visa

          • Hi Bambo, The Philippines Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria has jurisdiction for 12 countries in West and Central Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso,

              Cameroon

            , Central African Republic (CAR), Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Good luck with your visa. If you decide to get your 13a in the Philippines and would like help, let me know.

  • I just had some questions in regards to the balikbayan visa that wasn’t covered in your informative article. I coming up on my 3 years stay finishing next month but will be going to Hong Kong to take my fiancé and my family for a day trip to eat and shop. Will I need anything considering I plan to return to the Philippines in 12 hours?

    • Hi Mr. Sison, <- are we related????You shouldn't have any problems as long as you leave the Philippines with a departure stamp before reaching three years; you should be OK with a 12-hour visa run outside the country. However, like in any country, the specific immigration officer you get when you return has ultimate authority in letting you in the country. I have heard of Philippine immigration giving some people a difficult time with a turnaround of fewer than 24 hours.

  • Jesrae Laguna says:

    Hi, can my Brazillian partner get a permanent visa in the Philippines, just so you know we are both LGBT. Thanks

  • Hello Mr. Sison

    I am an US citizen married to my wife who is former filipino/current US citizen. We have a 4 year old son who is a US citizen as well.

    We are all currently in the Philippines under the balikbayan program (not the balikbayan visa) and we were all issued visa on arrival. Mine and our son’s arrival stamp is valid until August 2024 while my wife’s is valid for indefinite entry.

    Due to unforeseen reasons, we have decided to stay here permanently. We will slowly start the process of closing affairs in the USA but for now there is no immediate need for us to go back to the USA and we want to sort out everything here first.

    We currently need to get all of these done:

    1. Requiring Philippine citizenship for my wife and make her dual citizen.
    2. Apply for citizenship for the minor son and.make him dual citizen.
    3. Apply for some sort of permanent residency for myself? Would that be 13a after we do step 1 or 13g now?

    We are looking for a paid service that holds our hands thru this process.for a fee of course. Does your company do this?

    Can I work with you/your visa specialist staff outside of this public website to do this?

    • Hi SK,

      I’m sending you an email to answer you questions. If you don’t see the email, please check you SPAM folder or reply to this comment for alternative contact options. Looking forward to discuss. Cheers, Marco

  • Kirubel tesfaye says:

    Hi..if I enter phillipines on a phillipines visa and when that visa expires, so can I stay now in phillipines for extra 14 days on a Singapore visa (as Indian nationals can stay in Philippines for 14 days on Singapore visa).

    • Hi Kirubel, you would not be able to “switch" visas, but you could leave the country and re-enter on your Singapore visa. But the easier option would be to extend your 9a.

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    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 eight years to over 50 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, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Association of MBAs, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller, Abroad: Expats That Thrive . [view press...]

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