The citizens of most countries do not need a visa to visit the Philippines for less than 30 days. A comprehensive list of countries eligible for visa exemptions in the Philippines is available on the official website of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Travellers must simply ensure that their passport is valid for at least six months and have proof of return tickets. Those who wish to visit the Philippines for a longer stay must apply for a visa or permit in person at the nearest embassy or consulate of the Philippines.
Temporary visitor visas for the Philippines
Temporary visitor visas (9A) or visa waivers are granted to non-Filipino citizens entitled to an initial visa exemption and allow them to stay longer than 30 days. The Bureau of Immigration can grant further extensions beyond the 29-day extension granted by the visa waiver.
Student visas for the Philippines
Expats who wish to study at a higher education institution in the Philippines must apply for a student visa (9F). Those who are already living in the Philippines can apply to convert their current visa to a student visa.
Expats who want to trade and invest in the Philippines are eligible for the Special Investor's Resident Visa, which requires a decent investment in the country's economy. We recommend contacting the nearest embassy or consulate to find out which countries qualify and the minimum capital investment requirements.
Work permits for the Philippines
Alien employment permits (AEP)
A company must requisition an employee and prove that no person in the Philippines is willing or competent to perform the service for which they are hiring an expat for them to obtain an alien employment permit (AEP).
An AEP is a document issued by the Philippines' Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) and is valid for one to five years. It is not a travel document; it allows a foreign national to work in the Philippines and is typically applied for alongside an employment visa.
Pre-arranged employee visas
Any foreign national wishing to work in the Philippines must obtain a valid work visa, called the pre-arranged employee visa (9G). There are commercial visas for applicants engaging in gainful work and non-commercial visas for those in social or missionary work. The Bureau of Immigration will not issue a 9G working visa until an applicant has the AEP.
Special work permits
Expats on an assignment shorter than six months can apply for a special work permit. They should consult their employers and the nearest embassy to determine their eligibility.
Provisional work permit
In addition to the AEP, foreign nationals must secure a provisional work permit, pending the approval of the 9G visa. The Bureau of Immigration issues the provisional work permit, and it is valid for three months.
*Visa and work permit regulations are subject to change at short notice, and expats are advised to consult their respective embassy or consulate for the latest requirements.
►For information on the Filipino business culture and work etiquette in the country, see Doing Business in the Philippines
|This page includes contributions from Asia Relocation, a leading relocation company in the Philippines.|
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