In the Philippines you will have to be very careful with visa requirements as they are always changing and can be a minefield to keep up with. Remember the onus is on you to get it right or incur fines or even more serious issues.
Who requires a visa?
As of 29 August 2013, nationals from 151 countries with visa-free privilege can stay in the Philippines for up to 30 days from the previous period of 21 days. Qualified foreign nationals only need to present a national passport valid for at least six months beyond the contemplated stay and an onward ticket.
Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil*, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel*, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland , Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
All nationals from other countries do require a visa to enter Philippines.
*The following are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding fifty-nine (59) days:
1. Holders of Brazil passports; and
2. Holders of Israel passports.
The following are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding seven (7) days:
1. Holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative (SAR) passports
2. Holders of British National Overseas (BNO) passports
3. Holders of Portuguese Passports issued in Macao
4. Holders of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) passports
1. Passport/Travel Document Valid for at least six (6) months beyond the intended period of stay in the Philippines;
2. Duly Accomplished Visa application forms;
3. Passport Photos (2 pieces);
4. Proof of bona fide status as tourist or businessman;
5. Confirmed tickets for return or onward journey to the next port of destination; and
6. Payment of Visa Fees.
(a) Holders of Certificates of Identity, Travel Documents, Documents of Identity, Taiwanese Passports and all stateless persons do require visas.
(b) All children of Filipino nationality must hold individual passports.
(c) Children of other nationalities up to the age of 15 and not accompanied by a parent are only permitted entry if they secure a visa based on an approved Waiver Exclusion Ground (WEG) granted by the Bureau of Immigration. Applicants should apply at the Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy) at least two weeks in advance.
Application requirements: (a) One application form. (b) One passport-size photo signed on the back. (c) Passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended period of stay. (d) Proof of means of support during stay, either by bank statement or letter of employment. (e) Fee in cash or postal order only. (f) If applying by post a registered, stamped, self-addressed envelope is required and the application should be signed by a notary or commissioner of oaths. (g) Onward or return tickets. (h) Business travellers also require a letter from the sponsoring Filipino company or from their employer, stating the purpose of the visit.
Application for a non-immigrant visa should be made in person.
Application for a temporary visitor’s visa must be made in person. In the case of a minor under eighteen (18) years of age, the application may be made for him by a person who, in the opinion of the consular officer, is responsible for his/her welfare. The minor, not an infant in arms, shall be required to appear at the Consulate for interview, together with the person making the application for him/her.
Applicants for temporary visitor’s visa should normally apply at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction over their place of residence. While some visa applicants may apply at any Philippine Embassy or Consulate abroad, others are only allowed to apply his/her visa at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in his country of origin or legal residence.
Foreign Nationals who wish to take up a short-term non-degree course
Foreign students who wish to take up a short-term non-degree course like language and computer courses must apply for a temporary visitor’s visa. Upon arrival in the Philippines and acceptance by the school/institution authorized by the Bureau of Immigration to accept foreign students, he/she should apply for a Special Study Permit at the Bureau’s Student Desk, together with the following documents:
Certificate of Acceptance from the school accredited by the Bureau of Immigration to accept foreign students;
Photocopy of passport reflecting the applicant’s authorized period of stay;
Affidavit of Support and Proof of Financial Capacity; and Birth Certificate.
How long is the visa valid for?
Single-entry (59 days from date of issue); Multiple-entry (between 6 months and 1 year from date of issue). Visas normally allow stays of up to 60 days. Extensions are possible at the discretion of the Bureau of Immigration.
How would I extend my visa?
You may get an application form from the Visa Extension Section located at the ground floor Annex building, Bureau of Immigration.
Fill up the form, provide a photocopy of your passport, visa, latest arrival card, valid extension of stay, if any and other pertinent documents which will support your application.
How long will it take me to extend my visa?
For non-restricted citizens, one (1) day using the express processing lane and one (1) week using the regular processing lane.
For restricted nationals, it will take three (3) days using the express processing lane and one (1) week using the regular processing lane.
1: A yellow fever or typhus vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age arriving within 6 days from infected areas. A certificate is also required by those arriving from small pox or plague infected areas.
2: Following WHO guidelines issued in 1973, a cholera vaccination certificate is not a condition of entry to the Philippines, unless travellers arrive from infected areas. However, cholera is a risk in this country and precautions are essential. Up-to-date advice should be sought before deciding whether these precautions should include vaccination, as medical opinion is divided over its effectiveness.
3: Vaccination against typhoid is advised.
4: Malaria risk exists throughout the year in areas below 600m, except in the Provinces of Bohol, Catanduanes, Cebu and Manila. No risk is considered to exist in urban areas or in the plains. The malignant falciparum strain is present and is reported to be resistant to chloroquine.
Extension of Authorized Period of Stay in the Philippines
In case of a temporary visitor’s visa holder whose stay in the Philippines will exceed the authorized period of stay, he/she will have to report to the Bureau of Immigration, secure an extension of stay and pay the corresponding immigration fees.
Embassy contact information:
Please contact the nearest Philippines Embassy for information on what documentation you may require to enter Philippines.