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What To Do If You Overstay in the Philippines? Penalties, Blacklists, Extensions

Having fun and enjoying your stay in the Philippines, and overstayed your Philippines visa? Stay calm. This article guides expats who accidentally overstay in the Philippines and explains the fines, process, penalties, and risks of being blacklisted from returning to the Philippines in the future. minutes

04/10/24

  Mins Reading Time

About the author

Hi, I'm Marco Sison. I worked in finance for Fortune 50 companies before retiring early at 41 years old. I have been an expat for over 10 years, living in over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries outside the USA. I am a trusted resource on personal finance and overseas retirement for 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.

QUICK SUMMARY- Visa OVerstay In The Philippines

  • The Philippines has easy entry requirements; there is no reason to stay illegally.
  • Most foreigners get a 30-day visa on arrival and can get a long-stay visitor visa extension to legally stay in the Philippines for up to 36 months
  • Overstaying in the Philippines is illegal and can result in fines, detention, deportation, and a Blacklist ban on re-entry
  • Financial penalties for overstaying include overstay fees and any missed visa renewal fees
  • Minor overstays will cost you about 4000 PHP in fines and fees per month

The Philippines has become one of Southeast Asia's most popular tourist destinations because of its beautiful beaches, warm climate, and hospitable people. Expat life here is paradise. But if you plan to stay longer in the country, knowing the visa regulations and how to extend your visa to avoid breaking the country's immigration rules is essential.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) deported over  1,300 foreign nations, including 19 Americans, in 2022 for violating immigration laws. 

This article details the consequences of overstaying in the Philippines, including the penalties you may face, such as fines, deportation, or even imprisonment.

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.

Did you know that an overstay can block you from future entry into the country? I'll share how to avoid getting barred and the options for extending your stay legally.

So if you're planning a trip to the Philippines or are already in the country but need more information about visa extensions, penalties for overstaying, or what to expect at immigration when leaving the country, keep reading!

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How Do I Send Money to the Philippines? My Remittance Rundown

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What does it mean to overstay your visa in the Philippines?

Per the Bureau of Immigration Memorandum Circular No. SBM-2015-010 Section 2. a

Overstaying Foreigner.- An overstaying foreigner refers to a foreigner with an expired visa despite validly issued passport/travel documents ...

Nicolas & De Vega Law Office- Pasig, Philippines

The definition differs from an undocumented foreigner, which is a foreign citizen with an expired, canceled, or otherwise invalid passport.

immigration law and definition of an overstaying foreigner in the Philippines

Per Immigration law, if you are in the Philippines past your visa validity date, you are overstaying

What do I do if I overstay my Philippines visa?

<6

Overstaying less than 6 months

The situation is relatively easy if you overstay your visa by less than 6 months. Still, it would be best if you immediately headed to a Bureau of Immigration office and simply paid the fines associated with the overstay. Depending on the length of your overstay, the penalties may be minimal. You may also need to pay the visa extension fees that you have missed.

6+

Overstaying more than 6 months

The procedure and penalty if you overstay a visa in the Philippines by more than 6 months are the same as less than the 6-month process above with the added requirement of obtaining an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC).

An ECC is valid for one year and costs approximately $13 USD / 710 PHP. It takes at least 72 hours to process an ECC, so if you plan on leaving the Philippines after paying your overstay fines, apply for your ECC at least 3 days before your departure date.

The BI officer has the right to ask you for a sworn written explanation explaining why you overstay your visa. The BI officer may ask for documentation supporting your reasoning. Additionally, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration will need to approve your justification.

 INSIDER TIP : Not all penalties are equally applied- Immigration officials have given some foreigners an undue hard time. One Australian was detained and deported after allegedly only overstaying his visa by 7 months.

What Happens To Americans Overstaying In the Philippines

12+

Overstaying more than 12 month

If your overstay extends over a year, the penalties can start to get serious. While not consistently enforced, overstays of over 12 months can lead to getting kicked out of the country.

Foreigners who have overstayed for more than twelve (12) months, regardless if their stay is within the maximum allowable period ... shall be referred for deportation.

Leila M de Lima-HONORABLE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE 

Even if you don't get kicked out, the fines and procedural red tape get heavier after overstaying in the Philippines over 12 months. Not only will you need to pay the fees and fines discussed above, but you also have the added requirement of obtaining a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance certificate before settling the penalties with the Bureau of Immigration.

While the certificate cost is minimal (~$3 / 155 PHP), getting an NBI clearance can take one to three weeks.

And your headaches increase if your NBI clearance returns with a "hit" record. All hits must be sorted out before exiting the Philippines. Hits can add several weeks to the process.

Once the NBI clearance is obtained and you've cleared your record, you can proceed to the BI office to pay your overstay fee and fine and receive the Exit Clearance Certificate (ECC).

 INSIDER TIP : Overstay Fees and Fines- An American friend of mine insisted that it was cheaper for him to overstay and pay a fine than it was to extend his Philippine visa. He pointed to the Bureau of Immigration page, stating

"Fine for Overstaying – (additional) Php 500.00 per month." 

His logic was if you overstayed for 6 months, then the fines for overstaying would be less than $60 (500 PHP x 6 months overstay), less than the ~$222 / 11,500 PHP cost of a 6-month visa extension with ACR-card

In reality overstaying for 6 months will cost you much more- over $220 more. What the BI page does explain well is that the overstay fines are in addition to the money you need to fork over for your visa extension and associated extra charges such as an NBI Clearance, ECC, ACR ID Card, and motion for reconsideration for overstaying your visa.

3+

If you overstay your visa and stay in the country for more than three years, you can be banned from entering the Philippines for life.

Overstaying your visa by more than four years can lead to severe penalties. The BI can bring down the hammer and "blacklist" you. A Blacklist is effectively a permanent ban from entering the Philippines. Per Immigration Memorandum Circular No. SBM 2013-003, foreigners can be banned at the discretion of the BI Commissioner, when

Foreigners who have overstayed for twelve (12) months or less but have been in the country beyond the maximum allowable period... may be included in the Bureau's blacklist upon the discretion of the Commissioner.

Not only will you be required to pay a hefty fine for each month that you have overstayed your visa, but you can also be deported from the country and not be allowed to enter the Philippines again in the future. Deportation applies to 9a tourist visas and foreign nationals entering on visa exemptions and waiver permits.

Furthermore, a hefty fine of approximately PHP4,000 per month will be imposed, which could add up to a considerable sum. In addition to the fines, you may also face other types of penalties such as restrictions on entering the Philippines in the future.

 INSIDER TIP : Maximum Allowable Period To Stay In The Philippines- Per Philippine Executive Order No. 408, the maximum number of months you can stay in the Philippines at one time without a permanent or long-term visa depends on your passport citizenship.

  • 36 months for Visa-Exempt citizens of 157 countries, including the United States, UK, and Canada
  • 24 months for Visa-Required citizens not on the EO 408 list, including India, China, and Nigeria

The maximum allowable period starts from your most recent arrival date and refreshes every time you leave the country and return.

 INSIDER TIP : Annual Report Requirements For ExpatsWhile a permanent residence visa does not expire, foreigners staying in the Philippines on a permanent resident visa (13g, 13a permanent) must file an annual report with the BI. If you miss the Annual Report deadline (typically March 1st), the BI charges a $2 USD / 200 PHP per month fee.

The good news is the Annual Reporting process can be done online, and the cost is cheap- $6 USD / 310 PHP per year.

What is the cost of overstaying my visa in the Philippines?

The financial penalties charged by the Bureau of Immigration for overstaying your Philippines visa depend on the length of overstay and by who you are dealing with at the Immigration office. You can use $73 USD / 4000 PHP per month as a rough estimate for the cost of overstaying a Philippines visa.

However, the costs can vary depending on the BI officer processing your overstay.

Minimum Overstay Fee In The Philippines

While the total fee varies, minimum penalties reported are:

At the time of writing, the foreign exchange is $1 US Dollar = 55 Philippine Pesos

Estimate of a one-day overstay fee in the Philippines (on the 31st day after arrival):

Header

Overstay Fees in US Dollars

Overstay Fees in Philippine Peso

Visa Waiver Fee for your first 29-day visa extension

$9

500

Visa Waiver Application Fee

$18

1000

Certification Fee

$9

500

Express Fee

$18

1,000

Legal Research Fee (LRF)

$1

30

Overstay Fine per month of Overstay *see note below

$9

500

Motion for Reconsideration Fee 

$9

510

One Day Overstay Fee Total

$73 USD

4,040 PHP

Fees not included when overstaying by only 1 day

  • Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) - after 6 months
  • ACR-I Card - after 6 months
  • NBI Clearance Certificate - after 12 months
  • Annual Reporting - after 12 months

 NOTE : The Bureau of Immigration (BI) rounds up to the next whole month- Overstay one day is the same charge as a one-month overstay; An overstay fee for one month and one day is the same as a two-month rate

Additional estimated fees, fines, and financial penalties for overstay

xxx calculator

 INSIDER TIP : Paying your visa overstay fee in the Philippines- I have yet to find a BI office that takes credit cards, so always bring cash. US dollars are also not accepted, so change all your money to pesos before heading to a BI branch to pay any visa overstay fees. There is almost always an ATM near by if you get desperate, but beware, they nearly all have exorbitant fees. 

How can I avoid an overstay visa situation when visiting the Philippines?

Avoiding overstay in the Philippines is simple- extend your visa by the proper time. Most travelers get a 30-day passport entry stamp entering the Philippines. An additional 29-day visa waiver can be done online, making it easy to legally stay for 59 days without overstaying your Philippines visa.

Here is the list of 157 countries whose citizens can enter the Philippines visa-free.

To avoid the ongoing hassles of overstay visa situations, visa fees, and temporary tourist visas, the Philippines has several permanent resident visas, including visas for retirement, investment, and marriage to a Filipina.

Tired of endless hours spent researching complicated visa requirements?

Knowing how frustrating it is to navigate a foreign country's immigration process, I started a new visa service to make life easier for expats who want to live and retire abroad,

I pre-screened and carefully selected partners with decades of expertise helping expats like you cut through the government red tape, clarify the visa options, and ease your worries about moving to a new country.

getting a SRRV retirement visa is one way to avoid the consequences of overstaying in the Philippines

Avoid overstaying in the Philippines by obtaining a permanent residence visa

What happens if you overstay in Philippines

Step 1: Fine- see the complete section on financial penalties

In addition to the extension/ updating fees and other charges, the concerned foreigners shall be required to pay all immigration arrears imposed by Republic Act No. 562, as amended.

The fines for overstaying in the Philippines can vary depending on the length of time you have been in the country. Generally, you must pay all visa extension fees that have not been previously paid, a fine of $9 USD/ 500 PHP per month, and a motion for reconsideration fee of $9 USD / 510 PHP.

The longer you overstay, the more documentation is required, which drives up the financial cost.

Expats who overstay in the Philippines by more than 6 months requires obtaining an ECC before leaving the country

Step 2: Detention

If you are arrested for overstaying, you will likely spend some time in a Bureau of Immigration detention center waiting for trial or summary deportation. The Bureau of Immigration Bicutan Detention Center, also known as Camp Bagong Diwa, is notoriously overcrowded and considered one of SE Asia's worst jails.

foreigners caught overstaying in the Philippines for more than 12 months can be detained in Camp Bagong Diwa before getting deported

Expats detained for overstaying can spend months in Camp Bagong Diwa before getting deported

Step 3: Deportation

Foreigners who have overstayed for more than twelve (12) months regardless if their stay is within the maximum allowable period ... shall be referred for deportation.

The punishment for overstaying in the Philippines depends on the overstay length and type of visa.

Temporary Non-Immigrant visas (9a, Tourist, 9g, TRV)- If you have overstayed for twelve (12) months and have stayed in the country over your maximum allowable period, then the BI Commissioner can force you to leave the country.


Step 4: Blacklisting

Not abiding by Philippine Immigration Law, whether by being improperly documented or by overstaying, will result in getting blacklisted. Additionally, foreigners who have tried to circumvent immigration laws by lying to enter the country and bypassing or refusing proper inspection and admission procedures are blacklisted.

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration has the discretion to deport and blacklist any foreigner who has overstayed in the Philippines for more than twelve months. A blacklist is a permanent ban from entering the Philippines.

This policy is particularly harsh for foreigners with families in the Philippines to have to leave them behind and risk not being able to see their wife and kids again. However, the policy is in place to ensure that foreigners who break the law and overstay their visas are held accountable.

overstaying your Philippines visa can lead to future visa applications getting rejected

A blacklist revokes your immigration privileges and your future visa applications will be rejected

Step 5: Criminal Charges

Overstaying in the Philippines is considered to be breaking the country's immigration rules and can bring serious consequences. Depending on the circumstances and amount of time you have overstayed, you may be fined, charged, and tried as a criminal.

While most overstays result in simple fines, I recommend staying within the terms of your visa and ensuring you comply with the laws of the Philippines.

How would I get caught overstaying in the Philippines?

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration implemented a program, "SA IMMIGRATION MAGSUMBONG," encouraging locals to report any "OVERSTAYING ALIENS." The program offers cash rewards to any Filipino who sends a text message reporting the name, address, and immigration status of any foreign national. 

There was even a case of a 69-year-old German national named Jurgen Helmut Schumacher, who was reported by his estranged wife and deported from the Philippines.

poster of the Bureau of Immigration bounty program to catch foreigners overstaying a visa in the Philippines

Overstaying foreigners are at risk of being reported by locals to the Bureau of Immigration bounty system

What is the penalty for a US citizen overstaying in the Philippines?

If a US citizen overstays their tourist visa in the Philippines, they will be charged approximately 4,000 PHP per month. In addition, they may also be subject to additional fines of 500 PHP per month, as well as a motion for reconsideration of 500 PHP. If a US citizen overstays for more than 12 months, they will be blacklisted and unable to leave the country until they pay the penalties.

Key Take Aways: Overstaying A Philippines Visa

If you have overstayed a Philippines visa, take action as soon as possible. Overstaying even a day can lead to a fine, and the longer you wait, the more serious the situation gets. You can face harsh penalties such as deportation, blacklists, and possible jail time.

Life is easy in the Philippines; if you play by the rules, you can legally stay up to 3 years or even settle down and retire permanently.

Why complicate things? Avoid overstay visa issues by extending your stay legally or leaving the country prior to your visa expiring. In the case of accidental or unavoidable overstays, filing for a visa extension right away can help you minimize the penalties you face.

NEXT STEPS

If you liked this story, you will enjoy these other posts on expat life In the Philippines

2024 Philippines Online Annual Reporting Requirement Guide for Expats
Expat Life in the Philippines: An American Expat’s Pros and Cons
Foreigner’s Guide To Prenuptial Agreements in the Philippines- Protecting Your Money

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FAQs: Overstaying In The Philippines

What happens if I overstay my visa in the Philippines?

If you do not extend your visa before it expires, you are considered overstaying in the Philippines. Short overstays lead to fines of roughly $73 USD /  4000 PHP per month. Overstaying 6 months or more can lead to severe problems, including detention, deportation, and loss of visa privileges.

The financial penalty for overstay visa includes:

  • All visa extension fees not previously paid.
  • A fine of 500 PHP per month for overstaying.
  • A motion for reconsideration for overstaying fee of 510 PHP.

If you attempt to leave the country without paying the overhead fees, you will be stuck at the airport and will likely be sent to the Bureau of Immigration Bicutan Detention Center in Taguig. You could be stuck there until you pay the overstay visa fines.

If you overstay for more than 12 months, you will be deported and potentially blacklisted, which means you will never be allowed to enter the Philippines again or be banned for an extended period.

Can I go to jail in the Philippines if I overstay my visa?

Most likely, no, you would not go to jail. Overstaying by a few days or a few months normally results in a hefty fine and penalties. However, the longer you overstay, the more severe your punishment can be. If you can't pay your outstanding visa fees and overstay fines, jail is possible.

The BI states that foreigners who overstay by 12 months can be deported. While waiting for deportation, you could be held in the Bureau of Immigration detention center (i.e., jail).

Where do I pay my fines if I overstay in the Philippines?

If you overstayed your visa in the Philippines, you must pay all overstay visa fines before leaving the country. You can pay fines for short overstays at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Alternatively, if you are overstaying more than 6 months, you must visit the main BI (Bureau of Immigration) office to settle your overstay fees and fines. If you live outside the NCR, this requirement adds hours of travel time.

Are there any fees associated with visa overstay in the Philippines?

Yes, the Philippines has visa overstay fines that vary depending on the length of overstay. Visitors who stay for over thirty (30) days and up to 12 months are subject to a penalty fee of approximately PHP4,000 per month.

However, the costs and paperwork required to increase the longer you stay past your visa validity. The penalties for more extended stays go beyond financial fees and can include jail time, deportation, and a permanent ban from the Philippines.

Is there a risk of being put on a blacklist if I overstay in the Philippines?

Yes, you risk being put on a blacklist if you overstay in the Philippines. Per the Immigration Memorandum Circular No. SBM 2013-003, foreigners who overstay a visa by 12 months can be blacklisted and permanently barred from entering the country in the future.

Even if you have a wife and kids in the Philippines, the BI can block you from returning to see your family again. It is harsh, but the only way to avoid being put on the blacklist is to follow the law and not overstay.


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...]

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We moved the comments to our new Philippines Expat Forums

  • I was just a baby when my parents got seperated . Then my mother decided to come home to the philippines but me and my sister are japanese citizens. My mother didn’t think of the consequences of bringing us in the Philippines ,didn’t know the rules of it . So we overstayed there for 17 years and got deported. How can i lift my blacklist and overstayed fee? The fee is too much for us so . Is there any chance to lower the overstaying fee . And btw i studied there for 17 years my mothers is also pure filipino . Thank you!

    • Hi Kazuki, your situation sounds terribly unfortunate. I would suggest speaking with a Philippines Immigration attorney due to the specific nature of your case.

  • I want to return to Indonesia and my visa has been expired for 18 months. How much do I have to pay a fine and how long does the process take?

    • If you overstay by that long, I recommend contacting your closest BOI branch and discuss with them. On extremely long overstays, the fines and penalties will heavily depend on the specific Immigration Agent assigned to your case.

  • hi,
    my tourist visa (29 standard +30 days waiver) expires 3 days before my flight. My next visa would be the extended visa with ID card for one month costs 7600 php. Do you know what the penalty fee is for overstaying 3 days?
    thanks

    • Hi Peggy, the final amount depends on what Bureau of Immigration officer you get. But, it is cheaper to extend your visa than to pay the overstay fee, as the overstay fee usually includes the cost to extend your visa PLUS penalties and fines. You can renew your visa online or if you would like a hassle free visa extension we can do it for you.

  • I have only over stayed for two days because Iissed my initial flight. I rebooked for the morning out of Clark international, do you know if there will be 2 day fines and if I can pay them at Clark??? Or will I need to go somewhere else.

    • The overstay fines are dependent on the Immigration Official. However, there isn’t a “one-day" fine. The Bureau of Immigration (BI) rounds up to the next whole month- Overstaying one day is the same as overstaying one month. While the total fee varies, minimum penalties reported are:

      • Any Outstanding Visa Extension Fees To Bring Your Current Up To Date; plus
      • Overstaying Fine– $9 USD / 500 PHP per month; plus
      • Motion for Reconsideration Fee For Your Overstay – $9 USD / 510 PHP.
  • Hi. I have a friend who have a filipino wife. His visa is expired but, he already paid for the penalty. Do you know how much it will cost for getting a 13A visa and what is the requirements? Thank you

  • If my visa extension is valid to April 4 2024 and i am leaving the country April 4 2024 do i need to get 1 more month visa ext. ?

    • Hi Randy, officially, the Bureau of Immigration says “The start of the count will be the day of your arrival and the 30th day will be the same day of your departure." You should be ok if you are out leaving the country by the date stamped on your passport/visa. However, I hate cutting things that close. As with many things in the Philippines, it all comes down to how individuals interpret the rules. I would either extend or arrive at the airport extra early to ensure you have time to handle any potential issues.

  • My visa first extension ends February 27. I leave March 2
    What is the best way to handle the extra few days?

  • I got stuck here during COVID and had to spend funds to remain because travel was restricted. Then after the ban was lifted I didn’t have funds to depart. I was close to retirement and decided to wait for SS for funds to depart. Unfortunately it took over a year to receive my SS. By that time I had already overstayed 3 years. What should I do. I definitely don’t want to go to jail.

  • If I over stay my 30 day stay by 3 weeks can I pay all fees at the airport as I’m leaving us passport holder

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